Review: Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition

When the 3DS was first picking up steam based on the strength of the first batch of games announced for it, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition (SSFIV 3D) was one of those title that really got me most excited. As the release date for the 3DS neared, I kept my eye on SSFIV 3D and quietly hoped that it would be as good as it looked like it was shaping up to be. After many hours making my way through the various modes of the game, I can safely say that Super Street Fighter IV: 3d Edition is definitely living up to the hype.

While Capcom crammed enough modes into the game to make use of pretty much every feature the 3DS hardware offers (aside from the cameras), the real core of the game plays out in the Arcade and Versus modes. Playing through the Arcade mode has you fighting your way through the single player experience as you work up to a final match with the game’s final boss. The game’s story mode plays out differently for each character and certain unlocks are tied to completing Arcade mode with different characters, so there’s lots of good reasons to come back and play through the mode multiple times.

Super Street Fighter 4 3DS

With the Versus mode you can play either locally or online. Online play works quite well and it actually has provided a smoother experience than I’ve had with my Xbox 360. Pretty impressive for a handheld, especially for the game’s first online-enabled game. Getting into fights online is a quick enough process and after each match you can choose to rematch your opponent or head off to find someone else to spar with. SSFIV 3D doesn’t sport the most robust of feature sets for online play, but it’s simple and easy to use, which is perfect for the handheld experience. This mode will keep the game relevant for years to come.

Other modes in the game include Training and Mission modes where you can learn to become a better player and how to better master each character. There’s also support for the 3DS Street Pass functionality where your team of assembled fighters will do battle with the team of anybody you cross paths with while your 3DS is in sleep mode. Again, it’s a simple thing, but it encourages you to keep mindful of the game and it adds value to an already great package.

Coming from consoles to the handheld environment, the game wasn’t scaled back too much. Some background animations and details were pared down, as well as some of the overall polygon counts on the fighters, but it’s still a beautiful game. The controls are obviously a little more compact, but the 3DS is comfortable to use even for longer play sessions.

Super Street Fighter 4 3DS

As cliche as it sounds to say, fighting genre fans are really going to want to pick this one up along with their 3DS purchase. While it is a version of a game that’s been out for a while, the game really doesn’t lose much in the translation from console to handheld. Unless you own an arcade stick, the 3DS button layout really isn’t even much of a compromise in regards to controls.

When it comes down to it, there’s not much to nitpick about with SSFIV 3D. It’s easily the best handheld Street Fighter title out there, and quite possibly the best handheld fighting game I’ve ever seen. For me, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is not only the best game available in the 3DS launch lineup, it’s one of the better games released in 2011 so far. I recommend this game without reservation.

Overall Score: 5 out 5


Street Fighter High: The Musical

Street Fighter High was a goofy fan-made short that appeared on YouTube a while back and got quite a bit of attention. A sequel was announced and updates have been appearing at http://streetfighterhigh.blogspot.com/ from time to time. Well, the sequel is here and it’s a musical…of sorts. Justin Wong even has an appearance (as himself) in the piece. For an idea of the awesomeness, here’s a quote from the show.

Ryu: Chun-Li, can I take you to prom?

Chun-Li: Sure you can!

Ryu (confused): Did you…say..SHORYUKEN?!

Chun-Li: Huh?

Ryu: Oh…wait…gotcha…awesome!

Yes, it’s stupid, but you can’t look away. Head over to http://streetfighterhigh.blogspot.com/ to see the whole thing, and if you haven’t caught the first episode, it’s embedded below.

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Beating down the cheesers in Super Street Fighter IV

So back when Street Fighter IV came out I was really excited. I hadn’t seriously played any Street Fighter games since Super Street Fighter II. Even with the Alpha series I barely touched them, and the SFIII family of games were just something I never got into even passively. I’ve always loved fighting games, so it’s weird that I went so long without playing. Anyway, I picked up SFIV and was really excited about it for about a week or two. I thought it was my return to playing Street Fighter regularly. It wasn’t. It’s not because I didn’t really like the game, I did, it was because I had no time to invest in learning the game and the new fighting engine. Eventually I sold it off, figuring I would pick it back up when SSFIV came out, if ever.

Well, I picked up SSFIV a little while back, modded my arcade stick to put authentic arcade parts (Sanwa stick with an octagonal restrictor plate and Seimitsu buttons), and sat down to play. This past weekend was the first weekend I went online to compete, and boy did it feel like old times when I’d walk down to the arcade with a pocket full of quarters to test my growing skills against the other kids and teens that were sucked into the game. Right from the get go I had success, winning my first 5 online ranked matches and earning a handful of achievements in the process. I noticed that the same sorts of players still exist–the special move spammer, the combo master, the rushdown aggressive type, the defensive player, the guy who keep jumping into your uppercuts, and that one guy that everybody hates…the cheeser.

A cheeser is a guy who basically knows 3-4 tough to defend moves and he relentlessly throws them at you. Typically this guy will just hold to this strategy, whether it’s successful or not. These guys will find out what move you’re not familiar with defending and it’s all they’ll do until the round ends. If you can’t figure out a good counter, you’ll lose.

I ran into a guy playing as Vega, and here was his strategy. Hold down and back to keep a move charged. If the other player approaches, quickly do an aerial special attack. If the player throws a projectile, he’d do a backflip to avoid it and return to his crouching charge state. It was all very annoying. After the first round where I got beat by a Super finish, I was already irritated. This was the first time I had faced Vega in SSFIV, so I was totally unfamiliar with which of my moves would take priority over his, and what counters were open to me. I reverted back to old standby strategies and made short work of him in round 2. It helped that he was being somewhat cocky and careless. In round 3 he came at me with his cheese tactics 100% again, so I had a tougher time. After a throw, he had me down to 0% on my health bar, just a sneeze would do me in. He had about 50% of his bar left, and he just let loose special move after special move. I got lucky and was either dodging or countering every single move. The round ended when he tried to unleash his Ultra 1 move, which I managed to jump over and hit him with a dragon punch to finish the round. The next 10 seconds were nothing but a stream of curses coming through his mic (I wasn’t wearing one, so it came through my TV speakers). Ahhh, it felt good. I saved that replay, and I’ll show it to my kid one day to demonstrate why his mom would choose to marry a guy like me.

A great way to punish a Blanka electric thunder spammer.

Throughout the weekend I ran into many more cheesers. They don’t seem to be as rampant as they did in the past, possibly due to the punishing Super and Ultra moves, but already I’m remembering how to deal with them. In round 1 it’s best to just play your game and see what they’re going to throw at you. If you can adjust in the first round, do it, but don’t worry if they best you at this point. In round 2 you have to start punishing those moves. Even if you win the round, they’ll stick to the moves into round 3. If you can get a lead, they’ll typically panic and start trying something else, this is when you hit them with everything you have, because they’ll be so flustered they’ll incorrectly block on cross-ups and it’ll be over quickly. After that, you’ll just have to grin and hold your tongue as they whine and cuss you out on the mic.

Ah yes, whine does go best with cheese.