Reader Review: Super Street Fighter IV

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Norman does, as he really wishes he was playing a previous Street Fighter game.

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This review was submitted by Norman Vo. If you’ve played Super Street Fighter IV, or just want to ask Norman more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Super Street Fighter IV (PS3)

Supposedly the best brawler of this generation, Street Fighter IV didn't get me to bite when it came out but I gave the new one a fair go.


Focus Cancel: This allows to alot of possibilities following EX special attacks, opening the door for big combos. Easy to execute; difficult to master.

Juggling And Target Combos: Carry-overs from SF Alpha 3 and SFIII: 3rd Strike, having these in the game add depth to characters and reward skill.

The Newest New Guy: Hakan is great, just the right quirky design to fit in next to Blanka and Dhalsim, and yet he has his own distinct moves not seen in any other game.

Challenge Trials: Good for familiarising yourself with characters' moves, bread and butter combos, target combos, and eventually working your way up to hardcore link-focus-cancel combos.

Sumi-e Brush Stroke Style: Complements the Ultras very nicely. Watch the finish on Ryu's Metsu Shoryuken.


Focus Attacks: Jamming the medium attacks will throw out a Focus attack. Charging down on medium attacks will unleash a more powerful Focus attack. This feels slow; 3rd strike's parrying is a simple tap towards or down, and it doesn't force your next attack. I'd say Focus attack is half-parry, half-alpha counter. Add to that, you can somewhat defeat all but fully charged focus attacks by jabbing to activate the opponent's counter attack then jabbing again to interrupt all but fully charged focus attacks, and even then you'll see those coming miles away. Also, can you successfully use Focus attack/counter with zero health? Watch the Daigo vid again. Could something that exciting and insane happen under SSFIV's Focus system?

Lack Of Air-Countering: Jump in the air and die. There is no air counter in SSFIV. In the SFIII series and Alpha series you could parry or block, but this game, jump at your opponent and you will die.

Small 'Dash': Why is the dashing in this game so inefficient? It takes about five dashes just to cross one screen width!

Fireball Vulnerability: In the SFIII series, parrying almost completely nullified fireballs, SSFIV makes spamming fireballs effective again - not a good thing.

Recycled Characters: The SFIII series was all about reinvention via new characters and an overhauled fight system (only Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Akuma are from other SF games, making for a 16:20 originality ratio) while SSFIV only has a 8:35 originality ratio (Gouken, Seth, Abel, Rufus, Viper, El Fuerte, Juri and Hakan).

Seth: What a cheap bastard. 3rd Strike's Gill could be taken to town by mastery of the parrying system (even without, he's still quite beatable), while Seth is just a lazy 'has-every-character's-moves' character. Just cheap without redemption.

Limited Grading: Grading system only after vs human match. The grading system in 3rd Strike kept me coming back for more!

While I appreciate that Street Fighter IV revived fighting game interest, I really feel the engine is a step backwards; the 3D just doesn't feel right and the fight mechanics are closer to SSF2T than SFIII:3S. I'm not saying remake 3S (just release it on PSN in Australia, pixellation and all). It just isn't right, it's lacking serious air-countering options and limited by sticking too close to SF2's formula.

Reviewed by: Norman Vo

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    Some fair points but I think the designers have done a magnificent job of making the game both approachable for novices and having depth for those more experienced folk.

    On the fireball spamming I find that opponents soon stop once you focus attack cancel dash forward through and then jump in over their second fireball.

      I have to disagree. While the developers have definitely made the game interesting and flashy for novices, they certainly haven't made it approachable. Two different super bars for two different super attacks, many with convoluted motions (Guile's, for example) and requiring multiple motions and buttons pressed? Focus attacks with 3 levels of usage (which I find are rarely used by novices in any shape or form anyway)? Ridiculously difficult link combos that aren't explained in detail either in the manual or in-game (and which is further compounded by the poor net code)?

      Sure, all the old, memorable characters are there. And novices can spam fireballs (assuming they know how to) until the cows come home and be reasonably effective. And Super and Ultras (when they can pull them off) are certainly visually impressive, especially when most of them go all cutscene when they connect. But there really was so much more they could have done to make the game accessable to novices without taking away depth.

    Jeebus. The game is Super Street Fighter 4, not Super Street Fighter 3.

    Sounds like you expected Street Fighter 3 when you bought this game.

      My thought exactly.. so just because there's no air blocks jumping is now suicide?
      Riiight.. because pre SFA on the SFII era no one at all jumped because there was no airblocks <.< and heaven forbid you walk to your opponent =P

      Dash is too small now? I seem to recall even from SFA times only Guy had a real "dash/run" (and that was move) and everyone else just had a small hop.

      I'm not even going to comment on the 'fireball' problem

      Oh... and originality ratio?! o_O

    Fairly typical pro-3s style review that shitted up the srk forums.

    Ah well, it is always interesting to read vastly differing opinions.

    Maybe MvC3 will placate you?

    I think this is one of the few fighters to get 3D right; I quite like it.

    In his defense though, it's not unrealistic to expect a sequel to have an evolution or adjustments of mechanics that worked in previous games.

    But, essentially, yes, SF4 is a different beast to SF3 in many ways, and it's a bit silly to compare the two so much.

      Thanks for the comments, everyone.

      I'm not trolling for 3S, but my line of thought is that you try to improve on preceding games, hence the strong comparison with SFIII/SFA series.

    So long as I can bash up my daughter in it, I can't wait to check this out! Should be a few good laughs which is what you want from a fighter. :)

    This is by far the most accurate review so far. Excellent choice.

    "Watch the Daigo vid again."

    What 'vid'? Either something got lost in the publishing or this has just been copy/pasted from somewhere else.

    Norman comes off as a cranky SF3 fan that doesn't like Capcom's design choices.

    It's been a while since I played a game every night. SF4 and SSF4 have done that for me again though.

      this Daigo vid:

      "THE" Daigo vid:

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