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‘Ultra Street Fighter IV’ Review: Growing tired, but still strong

Ultra Street Fighter IV


Ultra Street Fighter IV” is the best edition of the game to date.

‘Ultra Street Fighter IV’ Review: Growing Tired, But Still Strong-slide0
‘Ultra Street Fighter IV’ Review: Growing tired, but still strong

There’s only one way to perform a Sonicboom, Flashkick or the myriad of maneuvers in the “Street Fighter” series, but somehow, someway, Capcom continues to find ways to spice up the tried and true gameplay in “Ultra Street Fighter 4.”

Easily accessible, but quietly refined, tactical and deep, “Ultra Street Fighter 4” is arguably one of the best fighting games on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

Regardless, it’s kind of hard to argue that this game may strike many as a way to make some quick cash at the end of a console generation. Lets be fair here- it’s been more than a half decade since “Street Fighter 4” was released and over four years since “Super Street Fighter IV” hit store shelves, so a brand new “Street Fighter” came makes more sense than a revamped edition. But after playing a few rounds it’s hard to deny how much fun “Ultra Street Fighter IV” actually is.

The addition of the extra sexy Poison, Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Decapre to the already hefty roster puts the number at 44- quite an accomplishment. The fact that all five of these characters have new animations and play differently than the 39 other fighters add another level to the gameplay experience as well. Real fans of this series enjoy playing through the story mode with every character, so with five more to tinker with, the payoff is there.

Also added to make “Ultra Street Fighter IV” more than a fresh paint on the series is six new backgrounds from and the ability to have access to both of your Ultra attacks. While it won’t make the game feel brand new, it’s like adding a double-shot to your favorite cup of coffee. It already worked before, now it just works better. Strangely enough, it's a small change that adds a lot more strategy to the game and something that hardcore fans will enjoy as one of the key additions in "Ultra Street Fighter 4."

In the end, that’s the best way to sum up this game, just better, in every way.

At the same time, even with all the new things added, you have to question the demographic for the series’ newest entry. If you’re just a passing fan of the series, it’ll be hard to understand or even realize all of the same changes that have been made to the game’s flow, look and presentation. Instead, average gamers will take it at face value and will pick it up for the new characters and backgrounds and not for all of the small, but important additions made under the hood. For that reason “Ultra Street Fighter 4” will be best enjoyed by real fans of the series and not those with only a passing interest in fighting games. That is unless you don’t own a version of “Street Fighter 4.”

And if that’s the case, you may have to check your blood pressure.

The Good:

44 Characters: With a roster this large, it’s impossible to ignore how much appeal for long-term gameplay “Ultra Street Fighter IV” has. Even if you like only a few characters, you’ll definitely find them here.

Balanced Gameplay: With so many characters, it would have been easy to have a few overpowered ones, but taking advice from fans on this one, Capcom has ensured that skill plays a bigger role in your success than what character you choose to play with.

Awesome New Backgrounds: While all the new backgrounds are vibrantly colored and cooly animated, the skate park in particular does a great job of providing that cool “Street Fighter” feel. Overall, Capcom did an excellent job of making sure that all of the new visual elements "fit" in with the already existing content.

Move Diversity: The ability to perform two supers changes up the tried and true gameplay just enough to add an extra level to the fun without it feeling tacked-on.

The Bad:

Still Plays Like the Older Versions: A handful of new characters, new backgrounds and even new gameplay elements can’t still avoid the fact that this is a remix of a remix. If you’re not the type of gamer that wondered why a certain character was stronger or faster and all of a sudden isn’t in this version, then “Street Fighter 4” won’t strike the same chord with you. Simply put, casual gamers just won’t get it and would be better off hitting the bargain bin and purchasing any other versions of the game that are already out and much cheaper. But if you’re a real “Street Fighter” fan, one that automatically thinks Blanka when ever they hear the word “Brazil,” or screams “Uppercut” whenever someone says “Tiger,” then this is the game for you.

Final Thoughts:

The added characters and backgrounds, as well as the rebalanced gameplay and features do an excellent job of rounding out the final package. Regardless of how many other versions of “Street Fighter 4” are available on other systems, “Ultra Street Fighter IV” is by far the king of them all.

For more information on the game, click here.

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