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Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Review


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On 07/04/2011 at 03:14 PM by Jon Lewis

The latest entry in the Street Fighter IV series is controversial, yet improves the game in necessary areas.
RECOMMENDATION:

For die hard Street Fighter players, or people who are looking for a fresh addition to Super Street Fighter IV.

While this game has been out in arcades for at least six months now, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition has finally made it on to home consoles after much demand. Aside from the four new characters and controversial balance changes, Capcom went the extra mile to add to the online experience with some unnecessary, but valued and interesting features. Does Arcade Edition have what it takes to warrant a purchase, or is it just another useless DLC?

Let's start with the obvious. Arcade Edition comes with four brand new characters to play as, including the twins Yun and Yang from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, Evil Ryu, and a new take on Shin Akuma known as Oni. Each of these characters come with their own story lines that feature animated cutcenes for the introduction and ending. These characters also bring new titles and icons for players to use for online play. It's a shame that they didn't add trials for the new characters to help players learn their special moves and combos. Also, in the story mode, where usually the rival battle has a small in-game cutscene, there is none for the newer characters which is a minor issue, but still bothersome. Now concerning the quality of these characters, all of them are fun in their own ways. None of these characters are pushovers and especially Yun and Yang are looking to be the dominant characters in the game due to their damage output, speed, and movement options. Evil Ryu and Oni are not the best characters, but they are fun to use, and in time may have a few tricks up their sleeves.

Alongside the new characters comes a complete re-balance of the other characters in the game. This is where most of the controversy lies in Arcade Edition, especially in the competitive scene. While some characters got improvements, like Ken and Fei Long, most characters got "nerfed" or made worse by the balance patch. This includes characters that needed it, like Ryu and some that didn't, like Dhalsim. The thing is, even including the characters that needed the balance changes, in most cases the changes are pretty severe like weakening E. Honda's damage output and priority. Many players will probably opt out of playing their favorite characters to play one of the better characters, like Yun or Fei Long solely because of the tweaks. Whether this balance change is good or not depends usually on the player and the level of play. Each character is still playable, and very few characters are bad. If anything most of the characters are on an even playing field, and despite some exceptions, it is a more balanced game.

With the new characters and balance also came some online additions that are very welcome to the game. While some changes are small like being able to view titles and icons in battle, there are some that are way more worthwhile like being able to follow your favorite players on the leaderboards. People can now track a player by his or her gamertag, and if that player uploads a match, you will get it sent to your replay channel to be viewed. This is a great way for people to keep up with their favorite tournament level players and learn strategies.

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is a great package. Players who love the Street Fighter IV series, and especially tournament level players will definitely want to play this version of the game. Whether you agree with the balance changes or not, the game is still fun and great for beginners as well as high level enthusiasts. The best part is, even if you don't want to deal with the new balance, you can still revert back to the old Super Street Fighter IV and retain access to the advanced online features. Of course the new characters will be locked out. Lastly to note is that the game is available for download and disc release which is great for people who don't own the game as well as people who do. With that said, I believe Arcade Edition is a welcome entry into the series, and even if Yun is too godlike, it remains one of the premiere fighting experiences on consoles today.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

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