Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (3DS) Review

Fight!

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition 3DS Review
7th April, 2011 By Ian Morris
Game Info // Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Boxart
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Players (local wireless): 1 - 2
Online Multiplayer: 1 - 2
Subtitles: Full
Available On: 3DS
Genre: Beat 'em up

If you've seen any coverage in the mainstream press, or been anywhere near a game shop, the chances are Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition will have been plastered all over any 3DS you saw. Quite possibly the 3DS's poster-boy game, Street Fighter IV comes packing features galore, with each one designed to show off a different aspect of your shiny new console. But aside from already winning the award for the longest-name on the 3DS, what else does Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition have to offer?

If you've never picked up a Street Fighter game before, you've really been missing out. A side-scrolling beat 'em up, Street Fighter IV 3D pits two very different characters against each other, in an over the top, all out brawl. Far from being a serious simulation, Street Fighter IV takes pride in not taking itself too seriously, as shown in the caricatures that make up most of its characters.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Screenshot

Street Fighter's a game that's not ashamed to make fun of itself - or make you laugh in the process.

Whether you're playing as Sumo wrestling champion, E.Honda, stereotypical bad guy, M. Bison (we can only presume the "M" stands for "Mount"), furry, electric, green... thing, Blanka, or Turkish oil wrestler, Hakan, most of the characters are entirely unique. Thankfully, the same thing can be said for their moves.

Far from simply punching and kicking their way to victory (although you can still do that if you want), each character has their own move set, and selection of special moves, each of which has been designed around that character. While quick, agile characters have drop kicks, huge leaps, and spinning kicks, the larger, burlier characters have suplexes, and other throws at their disposal, letting you find a character that suits your own fighting style.

If you've ever played a beat 'em up before, you'll be familiar with the ritual that you had to follow whenever you picked up a new game. After finding a character that sort of worked for you, learning to play as them properly took hours, as you memorised, and then learnt to perform each of their moves, memorising the button combo that went with them. The problem was, this put a huge barrier on beat 'em ups, and meant they were anything but accessible - and this is something Capcom have put right for the 3DS edition.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Screenshot

Punches and kicks are performed using the X, Y, A and B buttons, along with the shoulder buttons, for varying strengths of strike.

Brilliantly, now, rather than having to remember a huge string of buttons to perform a move, all you have to do is press one of the four giant buttons that have been handily placed on the touch screen. Letting you pull off fancy combos with complete ease, the addition of the touch screen makes Street Fighter IV a game, literally, anyone can pick up and play. No longer do you have to learn how to use a character - now, all you have to do is decide which move sounds the coolest. Better still, the touch screen's fully customisable, letting you choose which of your character's four moves you want available at any one time, adding an extra layer of depth and customisation.

There is still some skill involved, though, even if Street Fighter does still suddenly feel a lot less elitist. Knowing which move to use when is still an issue, and timing is key to your success. Pull off a move at the wrong time, and your opponent could block, or, worse, beat you to the punch, but it's so much easier to get into, it's helped breathe a whole new air of life into the franchise.

If you still find yourself sucking at Street Fighter, however, there are a few things you can do to help yourself out. As you take damage, you'll charge your Ultra Combo, and whereas before you used to have to remember a button combination, now all you have to do is touch one of the big friendly buttons on your touch screen to wreak revenge on your opponent. Entirely over the top, Ultra Combos and Super Combos cause the action to go into slo-mo, and give you a cinematic camera angle to watch the choas unfold. Each character has their own Ultra Combo and Super Combo, and unleashing them at the right time can turn the tide of a battle. Especially if you use Hakans. At the touch of a button, Hakan, the Turkish oil wrestler, will lather his opponent in oil, before leaping on top of them, spinning around, and squeezing so much, they fly out from underneath him, and crash into the side of the stage. It had us in fits of laughter - and our opponent, because they didn't see it coming.

The multiplayer here is easily the most impressive of any 3DS launch game, with full online, and local multiplayer support. It's actually the only game in the entire line up that allows for single card download play, letting you play a one on one match against a friend, even if they don't have a copy of the game (although they can only use one character). Even more interesting is the StreetPass figure battle mode, which sees you assembling a team of Street Fighter figures, each of which has their own stats, which will then have random "battles" with people you walk past. It's kind of like a 3DS version of top trumps - and the points you earn when one of your characters wins can be spent on more random statues.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Screenshot

Everyone's favourite Russian takes on everyone's favourite.... er.... thing.

In fact, the biggest disappointment in Super Street Fighter IV is the training mode. With the game's newfound emphasis on accessibility, it'd be nice if the game went out of its way to ease you into it, explaining how to punch, kick, perform different strengths of strike, and crucially, block or reverse. As it doesn't, you're left having to figure it out for yourself, which is a little bit stupid. Equally strange is the decision to include numerous titles and icons to unlock, but not tell you what you've got to do to get them. Had they given you clear instructions, it would have added that extra replay value beat 'em ups need, but sadly, this is slightly lacking.

With its tongue firmly in its cheek, Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is one of the best games in the 3DS's line-up. While it's not as accessible as it otherwise could have been, it's still a huge leap in the right direction. Easy to pick up and play, and at times, eye-wateringly funny, around the only problem we have is with its lasting appeal. With a minimal single player game, Street Fighter IV 3D is all about the multiplayer - and if you don't have a friend who's willing to play with you, this could find its way to the bottom of the pile.

That said, there wasn't much to do in Tetris once you'd finished the single player mode, but it didn't stop that. In short, Tetris style doses, Street Fighter IV 3D works incredibly well.

Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS

StarStarStarStarEmpty star
A standout game in the 3DS's launch.
  • +
    Hilarious characters and moves.
  • +
    Much simplified action.
  • +
    Features coming out of its eyeballs.
  • -
    Disappointing single player.
  • -
    Lack of a tutorial is a huge disappointment.
  • -
    Strange "titles" system that doesn't explain how to unlock them.
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