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Billed by Capcom as being “the Superest Street Fighter ever” this latest edition to the Street Fighter franchise will not disappoint any fans, even to those with just a passing memory of times spent at the arcades. As the game ran through its initial loading dance i once again was transported back to that arcade on Queen Street in Auckland, buried deep underneath the Civic theatre.

But before you get too nostalgic about your favorite character, and those well rehearsed moves you used over and over again to topple your friends, you need to realise that this is a different beast. A much more enjoyable beast.

Super Street Fighter IV brings alot of the old elements of the game into a much better package. Where as in the past the game was won or lost over defensive play, the new game relies heavily on a more aggressive style, meaning the more adventurous will most often win the fight. There’s new challenges, modes, combos and a range of new characters. But fear not some of your old favorites are still intact, just improved. 

The visual elements on this game are polished. Still the same parallax style gaming field, but with much higher definition and clarity. The visual effects are very effective but the game doesn’t seem to loose any of its response time to this glitz and glamour.

My first few runs into this game were initially very good, with a satisfactory outcome (yes i won those matches) but then my traditional Street Fighter moves were not enough as the fights became progressively harder. So a new learning curve exists, however the game also has a very useful training mode and additional key/combo guides to practice with. This is useful to understand another new feature, selectable Ultras. As you start with each player you have the option to choose from two distinct Ultra attacks.

And then there’s the Online Play mode…. Which… Doesn’t work… I assume its because there were no locals playing at the time i tried this, and lets be fair you don’t really want to fight an overseas opponent with any lagg. Infact try as i might i just couldn’t make it work. I suspect this has more to do with local internet than anything else, however there are two features to Online Play i was really hoping to see.

There’s an Endless Battle mode, where the winner stays fighting and the losers take turns to topple him. This will be useful for up to 8 in a party, and for me brings back memories of endless fights over repeated winning moves by single players to decimate the competition. And then there’s the video replay section, so you can watch how you manage to repeatedly decimate your opponents.

So…. Does this game deliver?

Well if your a fan of classic arcades there is plenty of nostalgia to be had, and the improved game play will bring an element of surprise. I certainly found myself reminded of the simplistic reason why we all get into games.

Win Yourself A Copy…

Were giving away our preview copy of Super Street Fighter IV. All you need to do is leave a comment telling us your memories of the first game you ever played. Winner will be drawn 10th May.

Reviewed on: XBox 360

Available on: XBox 360, PS3

Reviewed by:

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