Everyone has waited nearly an entire decade for a new Street Fighter game and when Street Fighter IV was announced, hearts began pounding. A new Street Fighter game with favorite classic characters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and newer characters Crimson Viper, Abel and more all beautifully seamed into a stylized 3D architecture of pure wistfulness came as a delightful surprise this generation. Street Fighter IV couples the honored art of martial arts with spectacularly refined combat this generation to produce a title that is simply one that will prove insanely difficult to overcome for the WhatIfGaming Game of the Year 2009: Best Fighting Game award. There are a few lame cinematics in the arcade mode and a few tiny problems, but none that bruise too bad for hardcore fighting gamers. Fans and newcomers alike to the fighting genre will bask in the munificence of a re-imagined Street Fighter beyond the wildest of imagination.
Street Fighter IV combat is undoubtedly advanced. Multiple new moves including Focus Attacks, Super Combos, EX Moves and Ultra Combo system scrape the battle environment. The absence of parrying is now replaced by these. No one can gain complete advantage over another player simply because one is a button mashing maniac. Likewise, Focus Attacks are not invincible as EX moves are easy to pull off and provide incentive to anyone that is aiming to constantly rake up points in the combat. Street Fighter IV has finally managed to get the formula of fighting harmony right. There needs to be an opposing force for any force, but a force that still has a chance to win the match. Ultra moves will give players the edge they need, eliminating the only problem we had with every single fighting game: falling behind will fare you worse. 30 seconds in and if the fighter is down a good majority of health points, forget it. You’re fighting to lose. Not in the fourth iteration of Street Fighter. The opposing player can really bring the spoilage to a whole new level with the new Revenge meter evening up the matches, one-sided fights can actually be won if the Ultra Moves are used skillfully.
Multiplayer in Street Fighter IV is exactly like single player but incredibly more fun with an actual person on the other end. The game includes the ability to use anything earned from single-player to shift onto the multiplayer aspect. The fluidity in the punch is rarely halted by any frame rate drops in either multiplayer or single-player, keeping environments in the same quality level as the single-player matches. Street Fighter IV debases players in the face after ten years with copious unlockable content. Aside from the original twelve World Warriors from Street Fighter II, more characters can be unlocked as a result of winning the game, including dozens of multiple costumes. Extra modes such as Survival and Time Attack provide an area for players to sharpen their skills, and make the battle more difficult for an opposing player.
Street Fighter IV pleasantly surprised us on more than one occasion. Initially when it was announced, we were not too ecstatic when it came to the blueprints in the actual execution of the game mechanics and what would be done to keep the immeasurably respected franchise in a same frame of mind for the current generation without feeling extremely dated. There are problems with Street Fighter IV that range from the typical thin storylines to slightly awkward voice acting, but there are a lot of things that Street Fighter IV does that make it simply incredible. Capcom has created Street Fighter IV as a brand new image of a comprehensive title and one that renews and further cultivates the true spirit of what Street Fighter IV has been always known for: the beauty of martial arts in arcade style competitive play.