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Review: Super Street Fighter IV
The sequel to last year’s smash hit Street Fighter IV finally makes it way to the stores last week after months of hype from the fighting game community. What things did Super Street Fighter IV (here on abbreviated as SSF4) to the table? Read on and see them all.
First of all, most everything from SF4 is returning here in SSF4. The EX version of Special moves, damaging Super Combos, powerful Ultra Combos (which everyone has 2 now). Basically you do a few normals, string them into combos, do a special move and cancel them with a Focus Attack Dash Cancel and continue on with your combos and win. Everyone can pick up a controller and start playing and do combos. Even if one does not know how to do them, a little training and dedication can do the trick.
There are 10 new challengers to the SSF4 universe. The 8 returning characters would be Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Adon, Cody, Guy, Makoto, Ibuki and Dudley and the 2 new challengers are Juri, an evil Korean girl working under orders from Seth and Hakan, a Turkish oil tycoon who is also a practitioner of Yagli Gures (Turkish Oil Wrestling). Some people were afraid the SF3 cast would not blend well in the SF4 engine due to the lack of parries or how the new characters might seem out of place with their weird designs and moves but Capcom manages to take these 10 characters and blend them in near perfectly they seem as if they came straight from SF4!
The returning characters more or less play like how they used to from their previous incarnations (save for some exceptions for Makoto, though she was given some new ways to play out) so for players who used to main them or just simply knew how to play them will have no difficulty getting used to them again, it’s all a matter of integrating the focus attack system into their playstyle. As for the new characters, players would not have much difficulty to master them as their moveset are somewhat similar to current characters. Juri is more or less like a female version of Rufus, except with more combo hits and a more outlandish style. She has a custom combo ultra where all her hits links to each other without fail. Hakan is a grappler type character who has 2 kinds of throws and an oiling up ability. Oiling up gives him many benefits which will be pivotal to his playstyle. He has a ultra combo where any opponent in the air is instantly trapped on jumping to him, it makes the perfect anti-air move when timed right.
Some fans wished for these, some fans even begged for these. Yes, the car smashing stage and barrel breaking stage return from the SFII series! Of course, they take place during intervals of arcade mode as a form of short mindless fun. It even adds to you total arcade score so it could help if you want to attain a high score online 😉
Trial mode returns from SF4, albeit this time with some changes fans would be glad to hear about. Instead of the 5 sets of Normal and Hard trials in which the next trial can only be done if you complete the previous trial in SF4, you get a set of 24 trials in SSF4 which you can choose to do anytime you wish and in any order you want to. Character titles and icons are unlocked based on the number of completed trials and not when you complete all trials in 1 set so it makes it easier for players to access the really cool looking character specific titles and icons.
The online functions in general have been improved quite a notch too. When selecting for opponents, the selection is defaulted to your area of residence first to allow you to have stable online matches and you can change the setting to all countries if you wish to later on. Therefore, you should experience less laggy matches when you decide to play online. Points system are like Arcade style too. Each character has his own set of points and the player himself has his set of points so you can see which of your characters are the best or most used, etc.
Aside from that, there are some new online modes available. Endless Battle is somewhat like an arcade settting where there is a group of players in one lobby and two people play with each other while the rest waits. The winner stays, and the loser is out, and another player takes on the winner of the previous match to try and defeat him. There is also Team Battle where players can set up groups of 2s, 3s or 4s with their friends on random online players and play with others in a team battle similar to what you would see in some tournaments. In the future there will be an upgrade called the Tournament mode which will literally add a tournament feature to the online mode where you can set up a tourney and decide how you want the brackets to be like and even give the winner a specialized trophy signifying his victory!
The new Replay Channel will definitely be visited many times by the more skilled players. Every match you play online is automatically recorded here and you can save them if you like. While rewatching the recorded match, you can see both players’ inputs, damage outputs and all in slo-mo if you like which can help you in learning new combos or perfecting your own combos. You can view your friends’ videos or other videos uploaded by other players online too !
With Time Attack and Survival gone, how do people unlock Taunts and Colors? Well by simply playing! For every match you play, you either unlock a new color or a new taunt. So just keep playing your character and you’ll eventually unlock all your colors and taunts. Having a SF4 save nets you 2 special colors, based on the watercolor effect from the SF4 artworks and the pencil stroke effect from the SSF4 artworks. Speaking of colors and taunts, there are some new Titles I have yet to mention. These are special titles you can only get for your character when you complete Arcade Mode on any difficulty and Hardest. Beating any difficulty nets you a special blue title while beating hardest nets you a special red title.
Arcade mode has somewhat changed too. The openings and endings use a different studio now, and it’s much better than those you see in SF4. The AI has improved also as it changes depending on the difficulty more so than SF4 did so there is better variance amongst the difficulties now. Seth isn’t cheap any more too, rejoice. He actually plays fairer than he did in SF4. The hidden bosses have improved too. Unlike their regular counterparts, they are generally improved in all areas. For example, Akuma’s EX air fireballs are non-ex in boss mode, Gouken’s fireballs are fully charged without charging. They generally move faster, hit harder and take less damage like how a boss character would. I’m glad those two are finally actual bosses instead of easy fights against another regular enemy AI. Beating them nets you special titles for you to use.
Last of the changes would be the roster rebalances. Many people have complained how Sagat was overpowered or Vega was underpowered, etc etc. Capcom listened to the fans and did major balance testing to the roster through the months and finally finalized it upon the release. You will definitely notice changes in some parts of the roster (like Dan being able to kick ass properly!) and not much so to others but rest assured from what I have seen and played myself, it is definitely much balanced compared to SF4.
All the new cast and the older cast that lacked their unique character themes are given their own now so each character in the game finally has their own theme. The only problem I have here is that you can only hear this in rival matches in Arcade mode and online (where you hear your opponent’s theme). The new themes and stage themes are much better than SF4 in general as they fit into the Street Fighter vibe moreso than SF4’s stages.
Super Street Fighter IV is an amazing sequel, working and massively upgrading all the good and bad aspects of Street Fighter IV. The game might feel the same as Street Fighter IV, but once you go deeper into the game, you’ll know it’s something else. Easily, the best Fighting game out this entire year. For 35 characters and tons of upgrades and features, there’s hardly a reason why you shouldn’t get this game.
Review Score: 9/10