Street Fighter IV

A fighting game that gets back to it's roots.
Ryan Gutowski - Guest Reviewer
Content at a glance:

Over the years we've seen fighting games evolve from 2D arcade games to the current 3D button mashers. As games like Tekken, Street Fighter, King of Fighters, and Soul Caliber had sequels, the games got harder for new players to get into. Capcom realized this and Street Fighter IV is a return to the fighting game roots.

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The Return to Basics
Whether you played a fighting game in the arcade or at home on a console, there always seemed to be someone who was a little better than everyone else. Over the past couple years it became common to have a list of moves printed off for your favorite character and for games like Mortal Kombat, pausing the game to look at the list was normal.

Street Fighter IV returns to the basics that made Street Fighter 2 so popular in the 90’s. Capcom did an amazing job of making every fighter feel like they popped out of the screen while keeping this basically a 2D fighter. You won’t be able to side step an opponent to win, you won’t have an issue of not being at the right angle to grab the opponent, and that’s what makes it so easy to pick up.

Fans of Street Fighter 2 will feel right at home with the controls. Each of the 19 fighters have relatively easy moves that can be pulled off by someone who has played video games before. Many people had complaints that games like Street Fighter Alpha 3, and the branching games ruined the series. This is all corrected by the fighting system in Street Fighter IV.

For people who enjoy being more technical, the game has a combo meter that allows for a Super Combo. There is also an Ultra Meter that allows a person who is being beat down to make a comeback by pulling off an Ultra Combo. This can sometimes change the course of a match and make for a great fight! The best part is that these special moves are not some convoluted 7 button combo, most people can pull these moves off with ease.

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The Play Modes
There is the always standard Arcade Mode that takes you through 8 opponents and the end boss, Seth. Seth has all the players abilities and can sometimes frustrate a player with his moves. Finishing Arcade Mode will unlock new items in the game. Don’t look for a great story for the characters here. The stories are poorly written, and the cut scene movies are just ugly Anime scenes. This is one of the only elements I wish they would have improved.

The Verses Mode is great because it lets two people go head to head in the living room and it keeps stats at the end of each fight. It is great to have a couple people get together a pass controllers around and see who can really challenge each other.

The On-line Mode is probably the most impressive for this fighting game. Usually fighting games don’t do well with on-line matches because they require you to be very precise. After playing more than a dozen matches, I’ve had no problems. The game tells you the other persons connection strength and it works very well. You can jump in and out of on-line fights with ease. There are also rewards for wins, Ultra Combos, Specials, ect. which should keep people coming back.

There are also Trial Mode (practice), Survival Mode, and Time Attack that unlock other items like art work and costume colors.

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The Content
The game is rated Teen and this rating actually is pretty accurate. I’ve seen about 85% of the cut scenes in the game and they have the same feel as something you would see in an Anime that runs on a cable network. The cursing is kept to a minimum with nothing that was truly offensive. There is an announcer who will say a quick one-liner before the fight begins at the match-up screen. One of the phrases that pops up about every 4th or 5th fight says, “This should be one hell of a fight”. That is pretty much the extent of the language for this game.

The game is not gory or bloody, and all the punches and kicks have a cartoon style to them. The one gripe I have is that the character Cammy (only available if she is unlocked) really needs some pants on. She has always worn a swim suit style costume, this latest version of Cammy has her in a thong. Another thing to be aware of is, while most of the female characters’ normal costumes are not terribly revealing, the costumes from the Downloadable Content (DLC) tend to show plenty of cleavage and in the case of Chun Li, plenty of leg. Now, one can only use these costumes if they are purchased however, if somebody you play online has purchased them, you will see them. The rating says “alcohol reference” in the game, but outside of seeing a tipsy man in the background of one of the stages, I can’t find this in the game.

Overall
It’s refreshing to see a game that doesn’t pride itself on being bloody but gets back to what a fighting game should be about. The game is visually beautiful and is easy enough for two inexperienced players to have fun with. If you are against fighting games, Street Fighter IV will not change your mind. The hits are big and the actions fierce. One female character in the game really needs more clothes, but beyond this the game is perfect for teenagers that are just discovering fighting games or the adult who remembers gathering around the arcade cabinet for Street Fighter 2 back in the 90’s.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Eden Communications or the Christian Answers Network.

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