A sneak peek at Super Street Fighter IV, out next week


It’s always a shame when a video game sequel sucks. Luckily for Street Fighter fans, this isn’t the case. Super Street Fighter IV (SSFIV) is the newest and, according to its creator, Capcom, last part of the SFIV series. Sorry, no SSFIV Turbo this time around.

It features 10 additional characters: two completely new, and eight from previous games (Super Street Fighter II, the Street Fighter Alpha series and the Street Fighter III series). However, some of the new characters have translated into the new engine better than others.

The SSFII new additions, T. Hawk and Dee Jay, have transitioned quite well, with their style of play not affected severely by the engine difference. Characters from Alpha 3 (Adon, Cody and Guy), who have lost their Alpha Counters, seem to have it easier than the SFIII characters (Dudley, Ibuki and Makoto), who lost parrying. (See below for definitions.)

The biggest difference for the new returning characters is the pacing of the game. The games under the SFIII series have been a lot faster paced than SFIV. The SFIV series scaled down damage quite a bit compared to previous versions in order to make matches more dependent on skill rather than a few gimmick moves.

SSFIV is the same speed as SFIV, but matches are generally lasting longer. Damage across the board has been nerfed, which leads to a need for more consistent play. “By toning down the overall damage, players no longer feel like they lost an entire game from a single mistake,” said Ryan Firtell, co-founder and webmaster of Option-Select.com, an SFIV site geared toward competitive players.

“Capcom has done a great job balancing all the characters so that anyone at any level of play, from beginner to pro, can have fun with any character,” said Firtell. And that’s really the point of games — to be fun.

Any good fighting game is going to have balance, which will merely exist for the casual player but can mean a world of difference to the hardcore gamer. It appears that after listening to community feedback, which Capcom is known for, SSFIV is just that — fun and balanced.

If all goes well, people will feel the same sentiment Firtell does. ” I thought I was enjoying playing Street Fighter IV competitively before,” he said. “But I’ve already had more fun with Super Street Fighter IV in a few days than I did with Street Fighter IV in a year.”

Street Fighter definitions:

Alpha Counter – A technique where the player blocks an attack and performs a predetermined counterattack. Performing an Alpha Counter depletes the player’s Guard Power Gauge slightly.

[Source: http://www.giantbomb.com/street-fighter-alpha-3-max/61-8680]

Parrying – First introduced in Street Fighter III. It’s done by tapping forward for high attacks and down for low attacks at the moment of impact. It enables the person who parries to avoid damage or to counterattack without block- or hit-stun.

[Source: http://www.eventhubs.com/images/2010/apr/17/playstation-3-vs-xbox-360-super-street-fighter-4-image-comparison-4/]