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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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