I was never the biggest Street Fighter fan whilst growing up due to the fact that the younger me just wanted to button bash my way through all fighting games. Only in the last 5 years I came across the latest successful series of Street Fighter 4 games, the ones with the 3D modelled fighters in a 2D fighting world, and have been hooked ever since. Ultra Street Fighter IV is the 4th updated game in the series despite Seth Killian saying that the previous was the last. But, I’m ecstatic they did go ahead with a new title as it’s the biggest update to date.
What’s an Update?
For anyone that doesn’t know what a Street Fighter update is it’s literally what is says. The base game would be released, in this case 2009’s Street Fighter IV, and due to feedback from gamers and professional players Capcom would tweak and balance the fighters to become better/fair whilst throwing in some added features. Within an update characters would have various movements sped up or slowed down, made stronger or weaker and even be able to withstand more or less damage.
Over the past few years we’ve seen 2 updates, the first being Super Street Fighter that added 10 new characters, then Super Street Fighter Arcade Edition which brought 4 more characters, and now Ultra Street Fighter IV which adds 5 more characters. So what exactly makes this summers most anticipated beat up a must have?
I got my hands on the latest new and exciting characters for this game and I must say they fit in absolutely snug amongst the already awesome roster. 3 of the 5 characters you might have already played or come across from 2012’s Street Fighter X Tekken game.
First up: Poison, armed with a riding whip and biker hat, this woman had me keeping my guard up as she mixes up her delayed projectiles and swift moves perfectly.
Hugo, the big burley wrestler type can take quite the beating and dish out a lot of damage if used correctly.
Rolento, the final addition from the previous cross over game who slides and rolls around quite a bit, dressed in military uniform and armed with a staff and grenades. What more could you ask for?
Elena is a female Capoeira fighter seen in previous Street Fighters with the unique ability to heal as her ultra move. Fighting only using her feet as Capoeira fighters do, Elena is the only additional character that offers a unique fighting style and is also very quick and accessible to learn.
Decapre is the final and most recently announced character that debuts in Ultra Street Fighter 4. She has a similar look to Cammy but has her own unique move set and is armed with a claw and some moves which resembles Cammy’s. With an unknown background other than being part of an army of clones I’m looking forward to seeing how she unfolds. Who isn’t excited to seeing how a brand new fighter does on their first outing?
If you thought having now 44 playable characters in the roster was enough that’s just the tip of the iceberg of features. There’s an additional 6 stages to battle it out on for even more visual variety. Pitstop 109, Mad Gear Hideout, Cosmic Elevator, Blast Furnace, Half Pipe and Jurassic Era Research Facility make their way across from Street Fighter X Tekken which I enjoyed as they were dynamic in that game and some of the background animations have made it over too.
The online mode now features a team battle mode that features also the survival game type meaning after every match your remaining health bar stays the same. A true test of endurance and 3 verses 3 team play. You can now even train with your friends online to try out and practice new moves and combos rather than being restricted to default match ups. And if you’re just training by yourself you could have your match making done in the background so you can continuously keep honing your skills whilst you wait.
My Favourite Feature
There are a few other additional cool tricks you can now pull off within the matches. From delaying your standing up after being knocked down to throw off your opponent’s timing if they’re anticipating you getting back up, to the new Red Focus move which absorbs multiple attacks in exchange for some of your super bar. But my favourite feature is having the option to having both of your ultra moves. For anyone that doesn’t know, your ultra move is only powered up if you’re taking quite the beating, previously named the Revenge bar which makes sense. Now this ultra bar allows you to do 1 of 2 moves chosen by you whilst selecting your character and can’t be changed mid fight. With the addition of Ultra Combo Double you can now have the option to do either move at the cost of reduced damage to keep it fair. Now players like myself who use a character with an ultra offensive move and an ultra counter move can have game changing options right at our finger tips.
I happen to be that gamer that never buys additional costumes or colour packs for my characters as I’m completely happy to still have the same fun without, but secretly wish I did when I see others with them. What Ultra Street Fighter IV comes with is every DLC costume pack for all the characters and all the varieties of colours, which surprisingly got me more excited than I anticipated. I got to play as Cammy in a black cat suit and have Guile in an all white admiral’s coat. Considering the price of the packs previously this alone would make up the update’s asking price plus more, let alone getting more characters, stages and tweaks to the moves.
Whether you’re thinking of getting into Street Fighter for the first time, new to the Street Fighter IV series or a fan already my verdict is this game is what we’ve been waiting for and it doesn’t disappoint. If you buy the digital upgrade version in June or holding out for the disk version in August you will be getting your money’s worth. I eagerly await the launch and will pester Capcom to eventually bring Ultra Street Fighter IV to the Xbox One and PS4 where we can share our videos across the communities.