Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Super Street Fighter 4 Review (Xbox)

Firstly, I feel I must make you aware that I neither like fighting games nor do I really know anything about their history other than the infamous death of Liu Kang from the Mortal Kombat series.
This is mostly because I suck hardcore at them (having once been beaten by my aunty on the original Tekken) and I have a really short temper when I lose.

However, I am a sucker for hype and the opinion of others, so I picked up SSF4 on day of release and remained sure that I would, as my past predicts, hate it and never play it again.

Let me get the bad points out of the way first; It is frustrating at times (here's looking at you Seth) and it can be horribly fiddly for someone who isn't used contorting their fingers into the shapes required. It is also immensely difficult on the harder settings.

The good news is there's a bright side too. In fact, I've had so much fun playing the game that it has changed my perspective on the genre entirely.
Yes it is hard, but it's meant to be. You're meant to spend ages learning the moves of the fighters to be good and you're meant to dedicate yourself to get used to chaining Ultras from cancelled specials. The game even gives you a dedicated section to learn all the moves (including the new characters and the new Ultra for each of them).

The main fun of this game lies, not in the arcade mode, but in the improved online modes. My personal favourite is Endless Battle, which has you entering a lobby of up to 8 people with the top two fighting. From then on in it's winner stays on. The beautiful thing is the rest of the lobby watches the fight take place while the voice chat is still fully enabled. This leads to some excellent banter.
On top of this there is also a team battle mode as well as your standard 1 on 1 fights.
The final genius of the online modes are the leaderboards. Winning fights not only provides you with points, but you are also awarded character specific points allowing you track your ability with each individual fighter as well as on a whole.

The only question I cannot answer here is, if you already bought Street Fighter 4 should you buy the Super version. If you want more characters, moves and online options then your answer is a simple yes. However, this is mainly due to the price tag. If this were a full priced game it would be a different story.

Overall I'd give SSF4 a solid 8/10
Immensly fun in the right company, but the frustration that is inevitable from losing A LOT loses a mark or two for me.
If you didn't buy SF4 this should be a must buy for fans and haters a like, you never know, it may just convert you too. And if you did buy it, then it depends on if the features included tickle your soft spot.