Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
: Nintendo 3DS
: March 27, 2011
Fighting fans and 3DS owners your portable fix into the world of Street Fighter has arrived. Does this fighter hold up on a portable console for those with competitive blood?
Super Street Fighter IV offers a variety of options from the get go. First you have the arcade mode which takes you through the story of whoever you decide to choose as your fighter. The characters story opens up with a FMV and dialogue which is quite entertaining to watch but as far as story this is all you will get along with an FMV upon completion of arcade mode. During arcade you can set the rounds from 1 to 7 and set the timer to a select amount of seconds. This also applies to versus mode and online play but lets dive into that later on. During arcade mode you fight various characters from the street fighter world. After a couple of battles you can then score some bonus points by beating up a car and smashing barrels in mini games that are offered. These can also be turned on or off if you choose.
Versus mode is different, you can connect with other 3DS systems and players who also own a copy of Super Street Fighter 4 to battle it out. Versus mode consists of 2D fighting but what is interesting about this version is that it also has a 3D versus mode. This lets you fight in 3rd person and makes use of the 3D features of the Nintendo 3DS.
Online Play lets you compete with players around the world and rank up by battle points and player points. Player points are earned by winning using any character and is your overall score for online play. Battle points are points given to a specific character which allows the individual character to rank up from a D to an A ranking. There is no point in this other than to show off how good you are with a certain character.
Figure collection is a nifty little feature thrown in. This option lets you view figures you collected and view figure battles you have had. More info on this will be discussed later on.
The game also has a training feature that lets you fight against a dummy (Dan) to test out combos and moves. You can set the dummy to attack, block, evade or just even stand still. This will help players practice combos and get a hang of the control mechanics. A challenge mode is also offered that gives the player the option to replay the barrel buster or car crusher mode with any character at any time. One of the most prominent features of challenge mode is the trial mode. Each character has 24 trials. In order to pass each trial you must perform special moves and combos that are required in the top left corner to progress. Aside from training this is also an excellent way to hone your skills and learn no tactics when fighting.
Player Data is one of the last features that shows the stats of each character and the overall stats of your performance throughout online play. Below is an options mode which is pretty basic, this lets you set up the controls for individual fighters or the controls in general. You can also set the audio on characters if you want them to speak in American voices or the original Japanese dialogue. Last option is to reset data but let's not worry too much about that.
The music for Super Street Fighter is quality more often than not. The score ranges from hip hop to rock style tunes that amp the players during battles. These sound fantastic for a portable system and translate very well into the style of the game. Although a complaint with the music is that at times it can sound a little tedious and generic at times.
Each character has their own voiced dialogue attached to them. These can be heard through FMVs or during battle as taunts or outbursts spoken before the fight begins. The player can switch between the American dialogue and the original Japanese dialogue in the options menu. During the FMV cutscenes subtitles are offered for the hearing impaired. The voice acting isn't something to write home about but it's a nice little addition that brings some life into each fighters attitude.
The sound effects from actual fighting are pretty bare bone. They can sometimes come off as more generic than the music in the game. These are fight effects that can be heard in a lot of action movies. Although the sound effects are lacking it is still impressive for what it's worth. In fact there is no need for it to be realistic as the game encompasses a more cartoony feel than a realistic fighter so there should be no real complaints in this department.
Characters represented in this game are in 2D but with 3D models. Most of the time you will wonder if they would look better as sprites than the 3D design they were given. The characters look good but just not great, there is lack of detail and everyone would have looked more polished with a sprite based body than what they were given. Backgrounds are pre rendered and there is absolutely no movement in the back and everything is just lifeless. This isn't a big deal at all but those who wanted a little bit extra touch might be disappointed.
3D effects in the game are average at best. Anyone can tell they were tacked on for the most part and aren't really too impressive. The mode where 3D shines is the 3D versus. Even in this situation it is still really hard to play a fighter with a pace such as this having the 3D on. It can be distracting when trying to perform combos or moves in 3D versus or even 2D. It would seem the 3D mode was there to show off the 3D capabilities instead of actually trying to become a solid alternate way to fight. Those who want to experience 3D need to find another title, using it on this game is nothing but an annoyance.
Gameplay is pretty simple but has a high learning curve. You use the D-pad or analog to move left and right, duck and jump. Double tapping left or right allows you to sprint forwards or backwards. There are 6 different attacks, low punch, medium punch and high punch, the same goes for kicks. Throwing can be accomplished by pressing low punch and low kick together. Pressing medium punch and medium kick together performs a focus attack. This is the bread and butter of the Super Street Fighter IV fighting mechanics. Using a focus attack allows you to suck up projectiles and avoid the damage. This can also be said for avoiding basic attacks and countering with your own focus attack. Each character has their own move set and the player must know in what situation to use them because they all do different things. Ultra moves and Special moves can be used when you have taken enough damage or performed enough moves or did enough damage to the other player. Using a super is fairly simple because all you have to do is insert the movement command then press a kick or punch button. Ultras on the other hand are quite difficult to pull off with the 3DS button layout because you have to press all 3 punches or all 3 kicks with the specified D-pad/analog input. This is difficult as the face buttons only have 4 slots and the others are taken up by the shoulder buttons so pressing 2 face buttons and a shoulder button can be difficult. This can be remedied by changing the controls but then you are left without a regular attack and is replaced with an all 3 button attack. Also special attacks can be used with all 3 punch or kick buttons to perform a more powerful special attack.
With the Nintendo 3DS the touch screen is used to configure attacks. There are 4 slots on the touch screen to which you can customize which attacks you want to be on there. Once this is done all the player has to do is merely touch one of the slots with the move using the stylus and the move is performed. You can have ultras, specials, throws and what not set up on the touch screen. The problem with this is that players online take advantage of this and set up the powerhouse moves to the touchscreen making it easier to spam. Guile is an example of a character that can easily sonic boom then flash kick at will and this can become very frustrating as more and more players are taking advantage of this online. You do have the option to go into pro mode where these setups cant be used and you can only play players who are also using pro mode. Although the problem still lies within the button layout of the Nintendo 3Ds for a fighter such as this. With lite mode as the game calls it, it makes it hard for players who want to really learn the game be able to learn when other players online are exploiting the touch screen. So if you want to play serious and you want to play online always select pro mode only.
The last feature is the figure collecting mode. Figures you collect through slot machines from coins you earned in multiplayer and arcade can be used to randomly purchase a character figure. You have five slots to put characters to fight other peoples figures. Each character has a figure that ranges from level 1 to level 7. You have only 20 points total so pick your levels wisely. For example you can use two level 7's, two level 4's and a level 2 which equals 20. You can also alter each individual stat of each figure by increasing the strength, speed etc. Not every figure is different a Ryu level 7 figure will have better stats than another level 7 Ryu figure you might have previously had. This all depends on your luck with the figure slot machine. Fights happen through street passing with other Nintendo 3DS owners that own the game. Once the street pass happens you can view the battle though the fight log in the figure section of the menu. Each victory grants you coins and the player who has 3 or more out of 5 victories wins the battle and is rewarded with even more coins. The coins earned are there to earn more figures. So it can be fun at first but then just becomes a tedious cycle but it is a great way to introduce the street pass feature of the 3DS.
If you find the online mode to your liking this game can last you for a very long time but if you don't there isn't much else on the horizon. Arcade mode can be beaten within a matter of minutes and the trials are very cumbersome with the 3DS button layout to even bother with at times. Playing online can grant you titles and avatars to decorate your online tag. You can also rack up points by playing online and arcade to purchase random figures to switch up and perfect your team for figure battle. The core appeal of this game is the multiplayer so you would have to be really fond of it to find any replay value in this title.
Super Street Fighter iV is a decent portable fighter but it comes with its fair share of problems. For the casual gamer this is a perfect pickup for those who want to get into fighters. For anyone that wants to really play competitively and learn the mechanics of the game should probably look elsewhere. That is not to say this game isn't fun to play online with friends or online but the touch screen and 3DS button layout really hinders any real chance of translating skill to an arcade stick.