Although the fighting genre never got often releases when compared to shooters or sport simulators, we can say that 2008 was a relatively rich year in this regard. We enjoyed Soul Calibur IV, a really good 3D fighter, or Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, meant to bring a well deserved breath of fresh air to Mortal Kombat fans, who already felt neglected by the producers, who didn’t show any sign that they would work on a new game in the series.
In addition, we got Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, released with the intent to keep all the Street Fighter II fans busy until the completion of the long-awaited Street Fighter IV. There is no secret that this series is the most well-known and the most appreciated among fighting afficionados or that there are still players who didn’t let it go for some years, although the graphics engine, the animations and the sound have become very old. Then why this continuity? The seemingly simple but complex game system, the fact that many characters have remained unchanged, so they deeply entered in the hearts of the fans, but the most important reason is that the series doesn’t stop to impress by its spectacular combos or by the new strategies discovered the over time.
Compared with the rest, although it has its strong points, I always considered Street Fighter III a little disappointing, especially because of the absence of some important fighters, including E. Honda, Blanka or Guile, but also because of a bizarre guard mechanics called the Parry System.
On the other hand, Street Fighter IV doesn’t want to be just a better game, but an entirely new one, in which the important elements from the past have been preserved and brought to current standards. Moreover, the producers stated that they wanted to attract both begginers and fans of the series alike.
From 16 to 25 characters
I’ll start with something that made me a very happy gamer. T. Hawk and Dee Jay African have disappeared from the roster of the Street Fighter IV. The reason being that a couple of months ago, on the game’s official website there was a call to vote the characters from the old universe which will make a comeback in the new one. And it seems that T. Hawk and Dee Jay didn’t make it. Fei Long and Cammy on the other hand, did.
So far everything is clear, we have the same fighters from Street Fighter II Turbo, with the exception of those two. In addition to the list, picked from the series’ oldest titles, there is Dan (a comical and an embarrassing character at the same time, whose style resembles that of Ken and Ryu), Rose (a very elegant female presence who uses a long scarf as a weapon), Sakura (a girl dressed in school clothes, with an infantile but dangerous technique) and Gen (an old assassin with two distinct styles of combat).
Gouken, the master of Ryu and, Ken, is also present, as well as the well-known Akuma, a character forbidden in many professional tournaments. Here it’s interesting to note that some of Gouken’s moves are in Ryu’s arsenal from Street Fighter III, a game whose action takes place before this new version, chronologically speaking.
The boss that you will be facing is Seth, the head of SIN (Shadaloo’s weapons division, led by M. Bison). Seth is not a normal guy, but a mutant, after Shadaloo did some genetic experiments on him. He uses borrowed moves from other characters, along with some unique ones, very dangerous also. However, I disliked a lot this evil Seth, because he gave me the impression that he doesn’t fit at all in this universe that I love so much.
Continuing with the list of new characters, my favorite has to be Abel, a Frenchman who suffers from amnesia and who likes close combat very much, like the gigantic Russian Zangief. Rufus is an American obsessed with food, who decides to seek out and defeat Ken, so he can prove that he is the best fighter in the U.S., and whose tactics rely on agility, despite his bodyweight. As a sidenote, I tend to think that the Japanese producers wanted to make fun on the Americans in this regard, seeing that Namco also added a new fatty American to their own Tekken 6, named Bob.
Next on the list is El Fuerte, the flying Mexican who loves lucha libre, by far the most fascinating character, taking in consideration his spectacular attack techniques. It is a delight to use him, because his speed and agility can overtake without too much effort the other opponents. Last but not least is Crimson Viper, a sexy lady with long hair, sunglasses and a tight suit. Her strikes are based on hi-tech technologies (electricity, flames), therefore I have the same opinion about her as about Seth. I think C. Viper would fit more in a King of Fighters titles (series from which rumors state Capcom took a peek at), and not here.