Street Fighter 4

Almost a decade after the original, Capcom has released its newest addition to their legendary fighting series with Street Fighter 4. They’ve basically re-created the classic Street Fighter 2 with beautiful 3-D graphics, new backgrounds, and the addition of five new characters. It’s got the old feel to please all the old fighting veterans but is updated and pretty enough to catch the eye of a newcomer to the ring. Here are some different things about the game to get you into it.

Story:First off the cut scenes in the game are ridiculous with no relation to a plot whatsoever. Each beginning and ending movie is a badly drawn anime with horrible dubbing that when watched will completely baffle you. But from what I can surmise each character’s reason for joining the tournament is still basically the same: A) want to be the world’s strongest fighter. B) Want to take down Shadaloo or C) Want to take over the world.

Characters: Instead of a massive list of fighters to choose from, SF4 brings back updated versions of the eight original world warriors along with six new characters. Of the originals there’s Ryu, a wandering martial artist who strives to be the world’s strongest fighter. Ken, Ryu’s rival and sparring partner. Guile, a typical American soldier with fatigues and American flags tattooed on his arms. But of all the characters the new ones are the most intriguing. Instead of just throwing together random moves and mediocre designs, each new fighter fits well and can hold their own against the originals. Abel, my personal favorite, is a French mixed-martial artist who seeks to take down the crime organization Shadaloo. Instead of just giving him some fireballs and a cool look they developed him into a close-combat specialist who delivers hard hits and throws.

Graphics:As I’ve stated SF4 has been updated and looks beautiful. First off all the characters have been taken from their usual 2-D looks and transformed into a brand new 3-D masterpiece. The cool part is that it looks 3-D but is still plays on a 2-D plane. The camera stays on the fixed side view unless you do a super or ultra combo at which point it moves to give you a cool view of the moves. Along with the updated look it’s the little things that make it really beautiful. The calligraphic brush strokes that appear when executing certain moves or the ink sprays when connecting with a hard hit add an artsy flare.

Online:For lots of games, be they fighters, shooters, puzzles, racers, etc. there is usually lots of little problems, if not a few big ones, with online gaming. But with this game there’s almost nothing wrong with the online side of things. Lag, which is slow game play caused by a bad connection, is virtually non-existent. For the 150-200 matches I’ve played online there was serious lag three or four times and very brief, minor lag five or six times. Another cool thing with online play is the icons and titles you can customize to your ID by which you obtain by completing certain challenges. So you can show off your skills to challengers, which gets me to the negative of the SF4 online, the cheap players. Every once in a while you get into a fight with someone who is a cheap bastard who only does the same move over and over to win. But trust me when I say you need not be deterred by those less-skilled players, when compared to the awesomeness of the game the cheap players are a minor annoyance.

As I’ve said before this game is fantastic. It looks beautiful, plays great and has very little negatives in contrast to its many positives. If for some reason you’ve never played any of the games in the Street fighter series or have never been into the genre this is the game to get you into it.