Street Fighter IV is an update that has been in long need after all those "SUPER ALPHA ULTRA MIX" tag along names they had going. I have the game on the PS3, but I can't imagine it is that much different on the 360. I have yet to play it in the arcade for lack of time, but I want to.
Most of you readers must know that the game is a pseudo 3D-2D mix. The game plays like the old classic games, but is rendered in 3D. So, no more sprites to copy into gifs and use for your rather abnormal creative mixes. What this means is that when you win, or unleash certain attacks, the camera can rotate easily to give better views of the faces or action without need for thousands of hand-drawn sprites. The camera movement is fluid, so don't worry about it disrupting play; it is always reset to the default side position by the time you get control again. There is only one attack that really is annoying to watch, and that is Seth's spin-washing machine thing of death. The camera angle, I think, is a little overkill and shouldn't be so long.
Back on topic now, the graphics are pretty good. The faces the characters make are funny at times, with eyes popping and fear. My favorites are Blanka and Chun-Li, they both make laughable expressions when on the receiving end of revenge attacks. For those who don't want to play because of the 3D graphics, don't let them bother you. If you hate 2D fighters because you can't dodge on the 3rd plane, don't play it. (Well give it a shot, its a good game.)
Street Fighter is most known, I think, for the mechanics. Being able to juggle or not is and still a big deal for fighters these days. Take Tekken or Super Smash Bros., you can juggle pretty easy or pick people up off the ground. It alters the play doesn't it? SFIV stays true to its old mechanics of juggling, but they have allowed it in some cases, mainly reserved for Ultra/Super attacks. Because of the push back on hits it makes it harder to stay close when landing attacks, but it is possible. I've found that crossovers are a little easier to pull in this game than others, maybe its just me though. I've also come across that playing the computer can be disheartening when attempting to pull off Revenge meter moves since the computer can unleash there's during yours. (Which by human means is impossible. By 'during' I mean that they have already been hit by the first attack.)
Speaking of all these different attacks, I should clarify them since they are different.
- Normal attacks - normal, hit just X or just L1. etc
- Unique attacks - an attack unique to the character that does something extra, but not super. (Such as Ryu's forward+med punch)
- Special attacks - SHORYUKEN, enough said.
- Super attacks - At the bottom of your screen there are 4 blue bars, you can unleash charged special attacks with each bar, they fill from getting attacked, attacking, and missing attacks. Such as pushing two punches together when doing a hadoken will unleash a larger one. When all 4 are full you can unleash an ever larger super attack.
- Ultra attack - This is new to SFIV, well maybe kinda in SFIII, but III sucked so we ignore this. The revenge bar is more of a circle attached to your special bar at the bottom. This fills by getting attacked, the rate you get attacked, and how much you are getting raped by your opponent. When this passes a certain point you can unleash your ultra attack for massive damage. They are usually similar to your Super attack, but do more damage.
Because of all the new super attacks and such, playing old school style tends to throw people off because they expect you to unleash something. Although, they are fun to unleash on a computer when you are losing and bringing it to a level playing field. Akuma's is a tad overpowered, but hey, what can you do. Ryu's is a giant hadoken, which I think is crappy since they are so easy to dodge/block.
No. Just no. They failed on this part. My experience with the online has been foul at best. The lobby is flawed and just doesn't work most of the time. When you finally get to play its laggy and doesn't operate correctly. I can't block when I play, which is kinda important. Of course, my opponent can't either... I pay an arm and a leg for fast internet, so it ain't my end.
Overall I think the game is worth getting if you like fighters, you'll be seeing it for awhile. Getting all the characters is annoying, and should have just been allowed from the get go. Online is disappointing, but the offline makes up for it. The stories are just as ridiculous as ever, but we don't care anyway, we just want to see the computer get raped by El Fuerte's slap attack. Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap. Slap.
Fighter's score: 9/10
Non-Fighter's score: 7/10
Overall Score: 8/10