2D fighters – who needs ‘em? Not when we’ve got three wonderful dimensions to play in, surely? Wrong! Street Fighter IV is a glorious union of old and new, serving equal helpings of nostalgic revelry and relevant, peerless gameplay.
If you have fond memories of battering M. Bison on the SNES you’ll feel instantly at home here. The graphics are gorgeous – unlike current 3D beat-em-ups like Mortal Kombat or Soul Calibur, the lush character models and seemingly hand-painted backgrounds don’t feel as if they’ll ever become dated.
The gameplay is the perfect example of this marriage between old and new. Classic moves such as Ryu’s Hadouken sit snugly alongside female assassin Crimson Viper’s Thunder Knuckle, and all, though challenging to pull off, are well within reach for anyone to grasp.
The game, of course, won’t please everyone. If you instead recall snapping your SNES controller after a particularly nasty Blanka beat-down Street Fighter IV won’t lure you back to the genre. Sure, it’s kid-sister-accessible but it’s a fighting game through and through and, as such, shares its pitfalls. This means bosses such as Seth can be cheap (honestly, teleportation?) and the slightest slow-down when playing online can utterly wreck matches.
Street Fighter is back with a new vigour and with it comes its trademark tight, rewarding gameplay. Offering immense depth and playability under a gorgeous visual style, it’s simultaneously an ode to the halcyon days of arcade gaming and a promise there’s life in the old dog yet.
Ben P. Griffin