Wait a second... is Street Fighter IV a 2D or a 3D game? Or both?
2D or a 3D or 2.5D? The genuine old-school arcade feeling is back with SFIV
Depending on your definition, Street Fighter IV is either a 2D or 3D fighter; actually, some inventive individuals have dubbed it a 2.5D title. Facing facts, the game is taking place on a 2D plane, yet the models/visuals are 3D. We’re highly impressed by the complete visual expression as it provides a rebirth of 2D, so to speak, yet the virtual martial arts presented here does not detach itself from the well-known visual expression of the predecessors. Furthermore, animations are indeed spectacular, and Ultra Combos are likely to leave you begging for more.
Albeit fighting is in focus, the underlying plot is served through very brief and - regrettably - rather silly anime cut scenes, obviously targeting the most eager gamers to whom the high-speed pace of an arcade setting is crucial. When you’re playing through the Arcade mode, each character is associated with an introductory cut scene as well one which is shown upon completion when you’ve wiped the floor with the final boss. Disappointingly, Capcom should have delivered both better anime and avoided the pitfall of producing a lackluster and superficial story. In our verdict, this lingers as one of the sole points of criticism of an otherwise luminous game.
Out of a total of 25 playable characters, Capcom includes classic fighters counting lead character Ryu, the American patriot Guile, your very own Muyai Thai nightmare Sagat, private investigator Chun-Li, as well as the Russian pro wrestler Zangief. Furthermore, it’s seen itself fit to include newcomers such as El Fuerte, Rufus, Crimson Viper, and Abel who are generally well coupled to the plot and the uptight inter-character relationships. Certain characters are stronger than others, yet remarkable results can be realized even with a relatively simple fighter. Nonetheless, the most astonishing achievement is quite possibly Capcom’s astoundingly well balanced characters - making e.g. a fight between the monstrously huge Zangief and tiny Sakura an unpredictable experience.
Players looking to harness the maximum game play for their money will find the venture for unlocks highly addictive while the variety of Challenge modes - including Survival and Time Attack modes - certainly enhances the gaming experience. Additionally, the included Training mode proves to be a practical point of departure for unskilled fighters looking to grasp the more advanced combos.
Overall, Street Fighter IV certainly shares common characteristics with its predecessors, but it also introduces an appealing share of innovative fighting techniques in order for you to get more aching thumbs than ever. Particularly, the all-new “layered” nature of the game deserves acclaim, as new players are capable of constantly delving deeper into the tasteful martial arts presented here - peeling off one layer at a time. They are likely to continuously become flabbergasted by the depth contained within this fighting game. It does this without disappointing the most hardcore players who can skip right to the core experience.
Charging combos is followed by the effective zoom-in animations - Ryu’s charging up a vindictive Ultra Combo - the “Metsu Hadoken”
Seconds later, Ken is having a really bad day - during the combo discharge... the whole scene errupts... we simply love the Motion Blur / Depth of Field zoom-in-and-outs…
With a - possibly - refined online matchmaking system and a replacement for the downright unsatisfactory anime cut scenes, Street Fighter IV could have been unadulterated excellence. No less than nine years since the last well-renowned Street Fighter installment (and more than two decades since the franchise was conceived), it will just have to do with being the most outstanding beat ‘em up game for the PC currently available. While achieving this, it can also be fairly argued to be the best game in its genre for just about a decade now.
Using our proprietary TCE (Total Cost of Entertainment) measuring system, we arrive at a score of 25. This score is actually going in reverse, with the perfect score being zero, and well, a not-so-great score being anything more than 300. The translation is very simple: We estimate that you are going to get some good 20 hours of sheer fun, and at a price of 49.99 USD, this game will cost you $0.25 per hour of fun. According to our standards, this is considered Gold Value.
Street Fighter IV will be released for the PC on July 3rd, and if you want to rekindle your spirit with the childhood beat 'em ups, there isn't any better way than playing some Street Fighter.
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