Review by akuma634
"The best fighting game this gen has gotten even better and once again PC gets the best version."
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition version 2012, it's amazing how a game dating back to Japanese arcades in the summer of 2009 is still very popular by fighting game fans from casual players to the professional tournament competitors and that Capcom still supports the game as best they can with patches to keep the game super balanced. What really impresses me the most is that the PC version became the ultimate version of the game. Sure it came out months later and patches take months longer to get on Steam/Games For Windows Live but we get bragging rights for the only version in 1080p, a solid 60 frames per second, the fastest load times, and the smoothest online play. Not to mention a top notch fighting game with a PC release, that's incredibly rare to see.
Story - 7/10
I'll give it some bonus points for being a Street Fighter story and attempting a story. The structure is similar to Street Fighter Alpha 3. You get an intro cut scene of anime stills that are voiced over (as opposed to Alpha 3 having stills and text) that explain why your character is fighting in this tournament. Before the final boss, you get a rival battle and a cut scene but the Arcade Edition new fighters Yun, Yang, Oni, and Evil Ryu don't get a rival cut scene, they do fight their rival but it's just the same before the fight cut scene with no story before that. After you beat the final boss, Seth (or if you play good enough to be challenged by someone like Akuma) you get your character ending. The endings are done anime style and not quite as poorly made as the original Street Fighter IV endings. As for the light plot, this takes place sometime after Super SFII Turbo and many years before Street Fighter 3. You have every Super SFII fighter in this game, some of the top SFIII The 3rd Strike fighters, some Alpha favorites, and some new warriors. There are a lot of stories to see but nothing really mind blowing. It's nowhere near what Mortal Kombat has done in their last few games, those games changed the perception of fighting game story telling. For what it's worth, Super SFIV does a solid job of telling a story for each fighter and endings vary from fighter to fighter but everyone is true to how they should act. All of the story and cut scenes are new in Super so it's not just a rehash of the original Street Fighter IV.
Game play - 10/10
I've played every Street Fighter game from the biggest games of the series to the ones hardly anyone played like Street Fighter The Movie The Game. I would have to say Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition really is the most approachable. I think with the Street Fighter III games, they were too hardcore and complected for most gamers which is why they didn't sell as much and we didn't get a proper SF sequel for almost a decade. SFIV found a great balance in the learning curve and challenge. The input time on the movies is a lot more forgiving than previous games which is wonderful. The game play does feel a lot like Street Fighter II but more refined and you have new systems to better balance the fights. As with most modern SF games, you have a super gauge that fills as you fight and fills faster when you do special moves. When the super gauge is full you do a powerful super attack. Next to that is the EX gauge which fills with the damage you take so when you're getting bean down, the bar fills so you can attempt a big comeback move with high damage to even a fight or simply use it for a huge flashy victory. What Super SFIV added to the EX moves is that every single fighter has a 2nd EX attack, you can only pick one as you pick your fighter. Most often the EX2 attacks are better against other players like to lure them into it while the AI rarely walks into these situations.
The great thing about this game is that it is the most user friendly game of the Street Fighter series but it's also very much tailored to the hardcore crowd and especially the EVO crowd who play professionally. For the new player there are plenty of difficulty options but you also have a full training mode as well as under the trials menu, there's a mode to teach you all the special moves, ultra/supers, and combos for each character in the game. The game really does a great job of helping you learn the ropes without getting too frustrating. The game also has some well thought out online options. There is the usual one where you wait in a lobby for your fight and you play whoever or challenge a friend. What I like is that on arcade mode you can turn on fight request so as you play the game it does all the match making in the background so you always have something fun to do. The online community is always active when I play, I've never had to wait more than a minute to get a match online. Be warned that the people who still play online are often insanely skilled. I think there's more than enough in this game to keep you busy for a very long time. This is one of my most played games on Steam.
You might be wondering why you should buy Super instead of the regular SFIV because it is cheaper. Without a history lesson on Capcom and their numerous updates, this game really stands on its own, so much so that it had to be a new version of it rather than a DLC expansion. Every character was rebalanced, several new fighters were added to the game, all new (and better) endings, more music and voice, the return of the bonus games like smashing the car, and a lot of work went into making the best update to SFIV they could possibly make. Also they did release the Arcade Edition patch which is free, it was further balance to the game along with 4 new fighters. Then they released the free 2012 patch which brought the consoles and PC totally up to date with the Japanese arcade machines. This game is 100% arcade perfect along with more options for the home version and more options for the PC gamer. This is the definitive version of the game to get.
Graphics - 10/10
This game engine has been around since 2008 and it still holds up great. Capcom really did wonders on creating a 3D art style that would age well and that's something you rarely see in 3D games. On the PC you get plenty of graphics options as well as benchmarking to test the extremes of your settings. On a good gaming PC you can max it all out and ad visual effects to the characters such as ink or water colors which also add more style to the game. Every fighter looks amazingly detailed with their 3D models and they kept plenty of nods to the fans like Vega's claw will switch hands depending on what side of the screen he's on. The anime cut scenes look good too, mostly they are stills but it works. They only use in game animation for cut scenes in the rival battle which I think should have been for every cut scene, but those really look the best. As usual when you finish a fight with a super or ultra move, you get a very flashy and colorful ending to the match. It really is the best way to bring Street Fighter into the HD generation of gaming.
Music/sound - 9/10
Being a Capcom fighting game, you can always expect very memorable music and even the voice acting during the fights is memorable. They did a great job of using character theme music and remixing it just right, usually you'll hear your theme song in your rival battle which really gets you pumped. Each stage has it's own song but gone are the days of each fighter having their own exclusive stage and theme, but then this roster would be too big to make that work. Another cool thing about this game is in your rival battle, both fighters will have things to say during the fight and it can get pretty heated. The voice acting is also well done, if you don't like some of the English dubs then you can freely change each character's voice to English or Japanese after beating Arcade mode once. You can also choose to have cut scenes spoken in English or Japanese (with subtitles.) Another thing I greatly appreciate about Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition over the original SFIV is that they have a better soundtrack overall and the J-pop/boy band theme song of SFIV is completely removed from this game, in SFIV it was on the menu every time you started the game and you couldn't escape it. The horror of song is over.
Controls - 10/10
Another great perk of the PC version is that you have the most options for the controls. Ideally you would want to buy one of the MadCatz brand SFIV fightsticks because they are made from real Japanese arcade parts for an authentic experience. You can also use any Xbox 360 controller if you prefer that. If you have any USB controller like a PS2 controller with USB adapter, you can use that too. If you don't want to use a controller the good news is that the game can be played on a keyboard and it's no as bad as it sounds. I have a mechanical keyboard and for a time I played a while using just a keyboard. I changed the keys to my liking and I did great with the game, I felt that pulling off some of the more tricky super/ultra moves were easier on a keyboard than the analog stick of a 360 controller.
Performance - 10/10
This does vary more from how powerful your PC is but if you have a gaming rig that can run most modern games in the high/ultra settings then Super SFIV AE will run silky smooth and have very short load times. Being the kind of game you'll spend a lot of time playing online, you will get very perfect lag free gameplay out of the PC version as long as you're using the right visual settings and have a good online connection. The game greatly out performs its Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions.
Overall - 10/10
If you love fighting games and you're a PC gamer, you're only real options (as of typing up this review) for modern fighting games are SFIV, Super SFIV, and SF X Tekken. There isn't much variety on the PC but then we are lucky enough to get the absolute best fighting game franchise on the PC. I can't think of any reason not to get this game other than if you hate fighting games. Another plus is that this game often goes on sale when Steam does their various seasonal sales. There are times of the year where you could pick this game up for around $8-14 and the extra DLC costumes for $3. Also the costumes are pretty cool, I held out until they were 75% off but you do get over 50 costumes made from scratch. If anything the PC version of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is the very best of the best.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 01/24/13
Game Release: Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (US, 07/07/11)
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