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Street Fighter IV

Platform(s): Arcade, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom

About Brad Hilderbrand

I've been covering the various facets of gaming for the past five years and have been permanently indentured to WorthPlaying since I borrowed $20K from Rainier to pay off the Russian mob. When I'm not furiously writing reviews, I enjoy RPGs, rhythm games and casual titles that no one else on staff is willing to play. I'm also a staunch supporter of the PS3.

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PS3/X360/PC Preview - 'Street Fighter IV'

by Brad Hilderbrand on Feb. 28, 2008 @ 6:03 a.m. PST

SF IV features a mix of returning favorites such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Guile along with new characters created for this game, such as Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, and Rufus. Characters and environments are rendered in stylized 3D, while the game is played in the classic 2D perspective with additional 3D camera flourishes.

Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: TBA

There is absolutely no doubt that the granddaddy of all fighting games is Street Fighter II;. Some people may want to argue, but those people are self-important pricks who think that any game with commercial success must suck. We've all played SF II;, and we've all loved it. It's that simple. Ever since that magical success story all those years ago, Capcom has been trying to recapture the magic. Be it through spin-offs or new games, the franchise has gone through multiple permutations over the past 17 years, none of them quite living up to the bar of the original. That's all about to change, as Street Fighter IV; is near, and it's everything fighting fans could want and oh, so much more.

Capcom presented a playable arcade cabinet demo of SF IV; at GDC this year, and getting my hands on it reminded me of just how much fun a fighting game can be when sculpted by masters. The game returns all of your favorite characters and moves, with everything from Ryu's fireball to E. Honda's Thousand-Hand Slap being represented in such beauty as to bring tears to a nostalgic gamer's eyes. The entire SF II; crew is back, and two new characters made their world debuts as well. The developers are keeping mum on the specifics, but it's quite likely that the game will ship will more new faces and possibly one or two familiar old hands as well.

During combat, successful attacks fill your Super Meter while enemy blows raise your Revenge Meter. Filling one of these meters will allow you to break out a punishing Super Attack, while filling them both grants access to the utterly pants-wetting, head-smashing, bone-snapping Ultra Attack. These attacks are preceded by a quick cut scene and followed with hoots from the victor and profanity from whoever received the blow. On top of these special moves, the developers have also included offensive and defensive Focus Attacks, which allow for unblockable attacks and unbreakable guards. There are still a few balancing issues left to work out, but even with this early build, SF IV; is already an incredibly fun game.

Fun is the key here, as even watching a few matches reminds you just how great it is to tag your foe with a Dragon Uppercut, or punish a hopper with Blanka's electrification. Capcom held a special tournament, and by the end of the night, the entire crowd was hanging on every punch and kick, and hooting with each Ultra Attack or momentum swing. It's moments like these that remind you that while there may be a lot of junk out there, a great game is still one of those experiences that is hard to rival.

One of the most common questions people ask when you tell them you've seen the new Street Fighter; is, "How does it look?" While this particular query is mainly to do with gameplay, the visual style is worth mentioning, too. In short, the game is gorgeous, with slightly cartoonish graphics offsetting the on-screen violence. Muscles bulge all over, and characters make hilarious, yet strangely appropriate expressions every time they take a big hit. There's no doubt about it; even playing an early build, it's obvious that this is going to be one impressive-looking game.

As the team finalizes things, fans will have to hang on just a bit longer to scratch that lingering Street Fighter; itch. No release dates have been announced, but Capcom mentioned that they are currently focused on finishing up the arcade builds first, and then taking care of the consoles shortly afterwards. One thing is for certain, and that is that Street Fighter IV; is going to be the game for which fans have been waiting.


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