Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition Review
This game was reviewed on the Nintendo 3DS.
Capcom’s iconic arcade beat-‘em-up, Super Street Fighter IV, makes its début on Nintendo’s 3DS, but does this remake of a two year old title make the grade?
It’s safe to say that the launch line-up for 3DS was lacklustre at best. The only real stand-out title was Capcom’s remake of its most recent entry into the much loved Street Fighter franchise. Don’t be fooled though, being a handheld re-creation of a robust console fighting game doesn’t mean that it’s a watered down title. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition throws in new elements to the mix and makes the transition to handheld far smoother than you might expect.
Nintendo’s newest handheld is immensely more powerful than its predecessors, and is well suited to fighting games – mainly because of the graphics it is able to produce. With Super Street Fighters IV: 3D Edition, the 3DS brings visuals that are akin to home consoles to its smaller screen. The character models are vibrant and detailed, with each of the costumes available for the 31 characters (who are unlocked from the outset) being beautifully rendered.
To show off the stereoscopic 3D, Capcom has developed an over-the-shoulder view (which can be toggled on and off through the ‘dynamic’ camera option) that works magnificently and demonstrates just how far games can be enhanced through the inclusion of a third dimension. However, a minor setback is that whilst in 3D mode, the framerate is effectively halved. This unfortunately is very notable and detracts from playing in 3D mode somewhat. You have to give Capcom credit though; they’ve produced a launch title that performs like a second or third generation release.
Graphics, regardless of how well presented they are, always play second fiddle to Control in Street Fighter games. Thankfully, the 3DS rises to the challenge and provides an intuitive and tight control scheme that is much silkier than those we’ve seen in other fighting games for previous Nintendo handhelds. The button layout is much more balanced than the ones available in the console versions, making it as accessible to first time players as it is for hard-core veterans of the series. Capcom has achieved this by splitting the lower touchscreen into four quarters and mapping one-touch combos to each section. Two of these are standard combos, whereas the other two are the Super and Ultra combos that require the revenge bars to be filled before they can be used. Whilst this new addition may infuriate veterans of the series, it ensures that people who don’t have the superhuman finger skills of the Street Fighter elite can still get the most out of their chosen characters. However, Capcom hasn’t forgotten about the die-hard players. The developers have included the option to turn off the touchscreen combos for head to head play and, of course, still perform special moves in the conventional manner using the analogue circle and d-pads.
So, what does Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition offer to make use of its superior graphics and control scheme?
Single player is the standard fare for Street Fighter, with the Arcade mode getting the most of the player’s time. As mentioned, the game comes with all 35 characters made available to you from the onset. Although this provides a welcome amount of variety in character selection, it would have been ideal to have more unlockables without which makes the game feel less rewarding. Classic Arcade mode in 3D Edition is augmented by a number of other single player options. An incredibly customisable Training mode lets you hone your skills, while Challenge mode measures your ability to produce specified combos at will and includes the return of the classic barrel busting and car smashing.
Away from single player, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition has a sizeable multi-player section to offer both locally and online. Interestingly, it also offers a feature called Channel Live which enables you to view other players whilst they battle it out. The real feather in the cap for local multi-player is download play. This function allows owners of the game to play against their friends who don’t own the cartridge. Whilst character selection is limited to Ryu, it’s still a great feature that lets owners of the game share the experience with their friends. Multi-player online is exactly what you expect. It offers standard versus and 3D versus modes, both of which are fluid, responsive, and generally lag free.
Furthermore, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition makes use of 3DS’s StreetPass feature to offer a rather unique multi-player experience with the Figurine Mode. This mode uses the thousands of collectable figures to assemble a team of five to take on other players’ teams. It’s an addition that shows Capcom, whilst recycling the majority of its assets, was thinking of ways to ensure that Street Fighter on 3DS was as fresh as possible. Overall the multi-player experience is an enjoyable one, and in general, as entertaining as it is on the home console.
It’s clear that Capcom refused to do anything halfway for Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, and the game makes very good use of the 3DS’s distinctive abilities. Even those hard-core fans who worry that it has been dumbed down will find that, in practice, it hasn’t. It proves to be an impressive feat for a launch title.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is an excellent example of what can be achieved on the 3DS. High quality graphics, a tight and intuitive control scheme coupled with a complete character roster, and extensive online and single player game modes prove that it is possible to replicate a console standard gaming experience onto handhelds. Throw in Capcom’s great use of 3D and some of the 3DS’s lesser used features and you’ve got the very best version of an already amazing game. However, there are a couple of minor drawbacks, being the halved frame-rate in 3D mode and the lack of unlockables in Arcade mode. Overall, I would rate Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition at 4.5/5, as it’s a fine example of what can be achieved on the 3DS. In short, this game is an essential purchase for all 3DS owners.
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