Street Fighter 4
Jason "OrigamiPanther" Love
Capcom - 360/PS3
The last major Street Fighter release was over 12 years ago with Street Fighter III. Since then, things got quiet for the much beloved franchise that spawned not only a few imitators, but a large number of competitors that all attempted to take down what some would consider to be the king of fighters. The Street Fighter hiatus finally ended with the release of Street Fighter IV.
The latest Street Fighter game has gotten an interesting face lift, both in terms of the art style and the move system. While Street Fighter still controls in the familiar 2D plane, the world itself has been fleshed out some to include stylized 3D models that look more hand drawn than CG. The art style is nice, but it can be a bit over the top at times; especially when you land a particularly crushing blow and your opponent pulls a Looney Tunes-esque face. The familiar quarter circle, punch is still there, as well as the dash cancels and EX moves that were part of Street Fighter III, but gone are the parrying, super cancelling, and stun gauge mechanics. While the large cast of “also ran” characters that bogged down the third game have been removed, of the new characters, Crimson Viper is the only one that feels like she belongs in the Street Fighter series. The others are a bit too gimmicky and feel as if they were pulled from Virtua Fighter or Soul Caliber.
In the end, Street Fighter IV feels like the spiritual successor to Street Fighter II and plays like the precursor to Street Fighter III. While this makes sense to some degree as the story is intended to bridge the two games, those expecting a revamped version of Street Fighter II may find themselves a little disappointed.