Street Fighter IV was and still is a smash hit button-masher fighting game that was released way back when on February 17, 2009. Since that time the game has gone through several updated versions, including Super Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. Now, more than 5 years after its initial release, the game gets yet another makeover in Ultra Street Fighter IV, which is available now. I should clarify that this game is only available for owners of Super Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. As of right now it is only a digital upgrade for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for the cost of $15. For gamers who have not purchased any of the Street Fighter IV titles, retail versions of this edition will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on August 5th for $40. I personally would recommend waiting because the retail version will include all previous costume DLC released for the series, making this the definitive version of Street Fighter IV to own. In other words, you will get everything related to Street Fighter IV on one disc.
The official press release states:
“The Street Fighter® IV series evolves to a whole new level with Ultra Street Fighter® IV for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Continuing the tradition of excellence the series is known for, five new characters and six new stages have been added for even more fighting mayhem, with rebalanced gameplay and original modes topping off this ultimate offering”.
If you’re a fan of the Street Fighter IV series, you will be delighted to learn of the 5 new characters, expanding the roster to 44 playable fighters. That’s a lot of buttons to mash and master. The 5 new characters are Poison, Hugo, Elena, Rolento, and Decapre. I’m a huge fan of these new character additions, but perhaps I’m most excited about Decapre, a clone of the popular character Cammy that has never before been in a Street Fighter game, only lore. Elena is back and was last seen in Street Fighter III: Third Strike. She is sure to be a fan favorite. The other 3 new characters are from the Capcom classic game Final Fight, joining Cody and Guy as characters from that game now taking the fight to the street. Speaking of Final Fight, some of the 6 new stages in this game were inspired by that very side-scrolling beat ’em up. The new stages look gorgeous and fit right in with the previously existing environments. The new stages are Pitstop 109, Mad Gear Hideout, Cosmic Elevator, Blast Furnace, Half Pipe, and Jurassic Era Research Facility. I have to say, the Jurassic Era stage is hands down the coolest new addition.
Ultra Street Fighter IV has new characters and stages but that’s not all. In addition, new gameplay and features have been added. A new team battle mode has been introduced and now enables fighters to battle online in 3 vs 3 elimination matches. This adds a whole new level to the experience, match-ups and strategy. Also, there is a new online training mode and something called “delayed standing” that lets fighters work on their timing, crucial to success in any Street Fighter game. However, my favorite new addition is called Edition Select. This lets you select your favorite version of any character, ultimately creating dream matches. Finally, there is also now an Ultra Combo Double, which lets you utilize both Ultra combos during a match, dealing massive amounts of damage, hence the name Ultra Street Fighter IV. If that’s not enough to get you in the mood, check out the official launch trailer below:
Now, I have heard grumblings from fanboys essentially stating, “Enough of Street Fighter IV! Why are they still updating a game over 5 years old?” Well, history repeats itself and I’m not surprised by what Capcom is doing here. Perhaps the most successful Street Fighter game of all-time is Street Fighter II. That game was released in 1991 and went through several updated versions, just like its predecessor. Street Fighter II was followed by SF II: Championship Edition and later on by SF II: Hyper Fighting. That wasn’t the end though, as shortly after came probably the best version of SF II in Super Street Fighter II. In that game, like in Ultra, 5 new characters were introduced: Akuma, Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long, and T-Hawk. The updated game was met with huge success and was well received by fans, even though it was just a souped version, coming nearly 3 years after SF II was released. Furthermore, that wasn’t even the end as another update came out in Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
Street Fighter II seemed like it lasted forever in the golden age of arcades, and now the same thing is going on again. I’m fine with all of this but can definitely see how it can be confusing to newer fans of the series. Regardless of what version of Street Fighter IV you decide to play, know that it is a fantastic fighting game that still manages to be relevant even though it is over 5 years old. Let’s just hope this is the last version of part 4 and that the developing teams can finally start working on Street Fighter V. Unless they decide to update Street Fighter X Tekken.
Check out the Street Fighter website for more information: