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September 20, 2008

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Hduki

Review by Armando N. Roman for Rating: I only played Street Fighter 4 a colupe of times before I realized that I just plain didn't like it. And that's pretty bad coming from someone who grew up with the series, playing the first incarnation of Street Fighter 2 when it hit arcades in the early 90s. Something seemed off to me, balance was horrible, and the online modes were lackluster. Plus it seemed like there was a lot missing that they could've put in, but didn't just so they could make the release date. Sure enough, Super Street Fighter 4 was announced just a few months later. So I waited, and once I saw gameplay of the new characters and the changes they made to the original cast, I went an pre-ordered it, knowing I wouldn't be disappointed. Obviously, I wasn't, given the title of this review and the ratings, and anyone who was disappointed with the first SF4 should at least give this a rental/borrow.First things first, the new characters. While I wish they would've added a few more unique characters (like Oro, so then we could have the 4 true masters in one title finally!), the characters they added all rock for the most part, and getting to see Dudley take on Balrog is something that needs to be seen for yourself in order to experience the gentlemanly bad-assedry. Juri's pretty rad too, and once I played as her in the Training mode just to see her moves, I could see why there are so many people playing as her online. The original cast from SF4 got changed here and there, like some attacks having different priority, being slowed down, or not being invincible during an EX move. Sagat and Ryu were notorious for being god-like in the previous version, and here they're still pretty tough, but not -as- impossible to take down as they were. Trust me when I say that if you play competitively, the tiers list will be quite different from the SF4 tiers. Heck, I think Cody's an automatic upper tier just because his knife attacks do chip damage while being blocked and one of his Ultras can almost always hit you when you're on the ground.Online modes have been revamped as well, and it's so much better from what it used to be. There's little to no lag most of the time when I'm playing people in the same region, though sometimes there'll be a quick freeze for both players, and then it goes back to normal. Endless Battle is similar to the mode in the Dead or Alive 2 remake for Xbox, where a person hosts a game, then others keep playing them until they're defeated. This can be a true test of skill if you think you're all that. I still wish there was a way to do rematches when a match ends in the Ranked Battle, so I wouldn't have to go right back to the Network menu to pick another match type, but it's not that big of a complaint. I did have some problems with trying to join another person's Ranked Match. Sometimes it would say that there was a problem, and ask if I wanted to try again, only to have another problem. If this happens to you, just host your own game. SSF4 is so hot, there's ALWAYS someone to play against. Heck, look at Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix- there's ALWAYS someone to play against on there too, and that thing's been out for a while.There are a few extra features, like titles and icons you can earn through Arcade, Network and Challenge modes, and there's also a completely new set of trophies to earn here. Nope, they didn't just port over the old list from SF4, everything's new and you'll have to earn them again. Costume packs from SF4 transfer over to SSF4, and that bonus' that Capcom talked about for people who have their SF4 files still saved is just an extra color. It's a cool filter [that only works for the original color] that gives you a comic book look, similar to the style in Valkyria Chronicles. Capcom also gave a colupe of characters an extra Rival scene in Arcade mode, but unfortunately, Gen and Akuma didn't get one. The opening and ending animated scenes are still horrible, but eh, how often do fighting games get good endings in Arcade mode? I would've liked Capcom to have finally made a Story mode like what Guilty Gear and BlazBlue had. They've been sitting back while the fans figure out what's actually going on with the story for way too long. Even the endings here, which are completely different from those in SF4, don't explain much if they have anything to do with the story, and what they do explain is often left for you to figure out (like Akuma's).The graphics remain the same from SF4 of course, but the new animations for new Ultras can range from incredible to incredibly goofy (like Akuma's new Tasmanian Devil Ultra). There are a lot of new tracks to listen to, and I'm happy to say all of them are just as memorable as the old themes from the first Street Fighter 2. You gotta love Cody's theme, and especially the new Dudley mix. As with the last game, you can also set the voices to English or Japanese or mix and match and choose who you want to speak either language. very good for those people who whine about omg da english subs sux0rz' all the time and think it affects gameplay.All in all, despite the few problems here, I'm glad I waited for this. Oh heck, I was actually hyped for this game, and I -never- get like that for anything. While I love BlazBlue, Street Fighter tends to be the fighting game series that I always play the most, and with SF4, it looks like it'll be staying that way for a while. Now if Guilty Gear X3 comes out

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