Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Street Fighter IV (PC) -
It's been over a decade since Capcom released it's last version of it's fighting game legend, so there's no wonder there's an insane amount of hype surrounding Street Fighter IV. Sporting a 2.5D style, a revamped fighting engine, and all new characters, this edition is definitely one for the ages.
I'm just going to put it very simply. This game is freaking gorgeous. The ink brush effect that follows focus attacks looks so amazing, you just have to see it in action. The character models are the best I've seen for a fighting game, hands down. They may not look realistic, but they're definitely stylish. Fitting well with the backgrounds, the characters, and such. My only hangup is the sort of high demand this game makes on my computer. My computer is no beast, but I have to run it with everything to Low or Off, so all of my backgrounds end up looking like the training room, only less detailed. That could easily be fixed with an upgrade, however.
The fighting systems in this game has been completely revamped, the only thing is.. I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. Don't get me wrong, this game is freaking epic, I just feel like it would have been a lot better if they didn't totally get rid of the best feature of Street Fighter III's best feature, parries. In lieu of parries, Street Fighter IV has focus attacks, which allows you to absorb an attack and launch a counter attack. By holding medium punch and medium kick, your character will slowly start building up the attack, during this phase your character can absorb one hit, it still does damage, however, but it regenerates very quickly. When fully charged, your focus attack will crumple the opponent slowly, allowing a free hit or combo, so to speak. The the beginning of the focus attack, you can dash forward or backwards, effectively canceling. This can be used in combos to help transition from move to move without too much of a time in between. My favorite thing to do is to do a special move, and if it's blocked, cancel into a focus attack then dash away quickly. I'd still rather have the parries. The best part of this installment, is obviously, the ability to play online. This hasn't been around before, it might have been in Street Fighter III on the Dreamcast, but I'm not too sure. So, for the first time (?) players can duke it out from their living rooms instead of having to go to the arcades and listen to jerk little kids, or having the "Next" douches walk up and put a quarter on the machine. The introduction if challenges is very, VERY welcome. Adding to the overall re-playability of the single player game. Offering challenges like Survival, Time Trials, and Trials, all with two difficulties and multiple challenges in each. Survival and Time Trials are pretty self explanatory. Trials, hands down, is my favorite new addition to this game. It takes you to training mode, where it has you completing combos, moves, and the like. It really helps get your game up. My only gripe is that I'm playing on a keyboard, and the same moves I can easily do on a controller, I have a hellacious time pulling them off on this keyboard. That's more due to my lack of skill on a keyboard, however.
Not much to say here, the anime cutscenes before and after the story mode are pretty amazing, some of them anyway. Nothing spectacular here however. I have no idea why Abel is Guile's Rival, or why everyone is fighting Seth. But it's Street Fighter, so not too many people will. Unless there's something I'm missing here.
The soundtrack for this game fits very well, so far it seems like there isn't a set song for every stage like there used to be, and the songs just kinda rotate. I'm okay with that, because like I said, the soundtrack still fits very well. The only Stages I think have their own music are Seth's and the Training Room. Which makes it very annoying when you're doing challenges and you keep going back to it over and over again within a short period of time.
I do believe this is my favorite pack-in of any game to date. This version comes in two different bundles. The original, and another, which comes with a Ryu fight pad. Which comes in very handy if you suck on a keyboard (like me.) In game wise, there's a TON of stuff to unlock. Cinematics, characters, achievements, statuses, icons and the like. So there's a TON of playtime you've got to invest to unlock everything. But that's definitely not a bad thing. This game is so good you almost don't want to stop playing.
A definite must have for any Street Fighter, Capcom, fighting game, or awesome video game fan. You should definitely have this in your collection.