by Keaton Arksey
reviewed on 3DS
Same but more
It is hard to believe that Street Fighter, a series that gained prominence on the Super Nintendo, completely skipped the Wii when the long-awaited Street Fighter IV was released in 2009. Then, a year later, Capcom released Super Street Fighter IV, once again passing over Nintendo. Though the Wii’s lack of graphical power certainly played a role, the relationship between Nintendo and Street Fighter is long and storied. Better yet, Capcom saw fit to release Super Street Fighter IV as a launch title for Nintendo’s new handheld, and it proves to be one of the best portable iterations of Street Fighter ever.
Super Street Fighter IV 3D is, essentially, the same as last year’s release on 360 and PS3. The game retains the classic 2D fighting style that gamers have come to love and know by heart. Overall, the amount of content Capcom has managed to squeeze on to a 3DS cart is astonishing. All 35 fighters from the console game cross over, from series favourites like Ryu and Chun-Li, Street Fighter IV characters like Crimson Viper and El Fuerte, to characters returning in Super Street Fighter IV like Dudley and Adon. In addition to every character, the downloadable costumes come free of charge on the 3DS version. Each character’s move set remains the same as in the console game, meaning people how know how to pull off a Shuryuken should have no problem laying the smack down on others.
If there is one major complaint to be made, it is that the 3DS control scheme itself is not exactly perfect for a fighting game. The circle pad works pretty well for movement, with the four face buttons handling light and medium punches and kicks, while heavy kicks and punches are mapped to the triggers. While this mirrors the default console controller layout, those adamant that fighting games need to be played with a fight stick (or, at least a fight pad) will surely find something to complain about. Still, pulling off basic moves like quarter circle punch and the like is relatively easy to do.
The only real difficult part is pulling off Ultra Combos, powerful moves that can be used to turn the tide of battle your way that require several repeated movements with the circle pad as well as pressing all three buttons, whether punch or kick. Since all the action takes place on the front screen, Capcom has wisely used the touch screen to help alleviate this problem. The screen is divided into four blocks. During fights, tapping one of these blocks automatically makes the character perform their move. These blocks are entirely customizable for each character, from basic punches and kicks to complex combos that take lots of memorization and practice to pull off. While series purists surely will look at it as cheating, it certainly helps things out. Characters that would never have been used before have become some of my favourites thanks to this, as fights become less about rote memorization and more reading the fight itself and knowing when to do what. Still, if this is a serious issue for some (which I am sure it will be), it can be completely ignored.
Most of the modes from the console versions are retained in the 3DS version. The classic arcade mode returns, complete with the animated sequences that open and close each characters stories that are fully voiced. The car destroying and barrel smashing mini-games also return to serve as a (somewhat) nonsensical side diversion. Why Akuma has such rage for that poor sedan, I will never know. There are your standard difficulties, which range from a cakewalk to the insanely difficult, along with other modifiers like fight length, number of rounds, and whether bonus stages should be included. The training mode also returns to polish your skills, as well as Mission Mode, which is compromised of 20 levels for each character that help players learn news and tactics.
Controls work fine most of the time, best Street Fighter handheld game yet, great online play.
- When the controls don’t work, static backgrounds.