I’m not a huge fighting game fan. In fact, with the exception of a childhood infatuation with Primal Rage and then a brief bout with addiction to Dead or Alive and Tekken 4, I’ve never even played many fighting games that weren’t Super Smash Bros. That is why I am perhaps completely underqualified to review a game such as Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. I mean heck, I’ve never even played Street Fighter II, and I had no idea there was even a Street Fighter 3.
What I can tell you is that I have bought or rented nearly every game that has released for the 3DS since its release day, and while I can’t tell you how this game stacks up against Marvel VS Capcom 3 or the new Mortal Kombat (or its console counterpart, for that matter), I can tell you how well this game holds up when sat next to any other launch window game for Nintendo’s innovative new system.
I’m going to save you a lot of time with this review since it is so late to the press and so many other reputable sites have already reviewed it. Super Street Fighter IV is easily the best game available for the 3DS at this moment. And that’s coming from someone who, before this game, had little to no interest in any fighting game that didn’t feature Mario, Link, Pikachu and the handfuls of other Nintendo mascots. Or dinosaurs, which are effing awesome. However with that being said, it is certainly not perfect and it does have a few things I would like to gripe about real quick.
For starters, the opening cinematic runs strictly in 2D, as do all of the game’s many (boring) anime-inspired cut scenes. What? C’mon, Capcom. Surely it isn’t that hard to convert videos into glorious 3D, even if that means simply adding a few layers of depth to different 2D objects to jazz the package up a little bit. This is a very minor gripe, but I was just very disappointed when I saw the opener and the subsequent cut scenes that attempt to tell the inept and impossible to follow story.
Secondly, all of the backdrops in SSFIV:3D are completely void of motion. It is certainly cool to see the levels with a bit of depth added to them, it is very disappointing that no background has any animation whatsoever. No only this, but it takes away what could have been a very impressive visual selling point. This isn’t a huge miss since the game is easily one of the system’s most graphically-impressive titles (released or announced), but it’s still a bit of a bummer. I understand cuts had to be made somewhere, but if Dead or Alive: Dimensions can manage to look as fantastic as it does while existing in a fully three dimensional realm, then SSFIV could probably at least have some kind of animated backgrounds.
Everything else about the game is fantastic, though. The controls are tight and responsive, and though the thought of ever being good at this game is a bit daunting the first time you play it, a bit of play time both online, in arcade mode, against friends, and especially in Trials mode and you will be a force to reckon with in no time at all. There are tons of fighters to choose from, and each one has its own insufferable story. Everyone seems relatively well-balanced, though the addition of touchscreen combo executions really makes spamming attacks way too easy when playing online against characters like Guile or Ryu.
Despite the shortcomings, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is an absolutely solid fighting game that helped ignite an admiration for the genre that I’ve not really felt before. I’m still not going to go out and play every fighter that hits the shelf, nor am I ever going to play any fighting game with anything more than a simple casual attitude, but I can say that it is very easy to get loads of enjoyment from Street Fighter IV. It’s the best launch window game for the 3DS, and while that isn’t saying much it doesn’t take away from SSIV’s appeal.
Score: 8.75/10 (Great)