Street Fighter IV
February 27, 2009

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was the first game that ever prompted me to swear at the television screen. I don't know how many hundreds of times M. Bison kicked my butt back in the day, but it wouldn't surprise me to learn that the number lies somewhere in the thousands. When my parents and sister were out of earshot, I called him nearly every nasty word I knew. Those uncharacteristic bursts of profanity didn't help me to beat him but they sure did make me feel better when I lost!

Years later, I would remember Street Fighter II and the first thing that came to mind wasn't the way that Bison mopped the floor with me. It was Ryu vomiting gold after a fierce punch to the gut, Chun-Li's flip kick (made better by the 'pause' button), elephants in a temple, graffiti in a bath house, a statue lying on her side in Thailand and factory workers in Russia. These things and many more lingered in my mind, larger than life and demanding that I revisit them. Unfortunately, my attempts to relive those glory days often left me disappointed. The graphics weren't as good as I thought. The fights were cheap and shallow.

Eventually, I cam to a realization: the real problem lay in the fact that while games have evolved, Street Fighter II never really did. There were updates to the series, certainly, but they never really felt like a proper extension of everything I loved about those early games. Street Fighter Alpha 2 and its sequel were great games, for instance, but somehow they didn't feel quite right. The crossover games don't work for me, either, and Street Fighter III felt so different that aside from the inclusion of Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li, it might as well have been an entirely new franchise. It began to look like I would never be able to enjoy Street Fighter II again.

Street Fighter IV had the potential to change that. Instead of evolving from the point where things were left with Street Fighter III, it stepped backward and used Super Street Fighter II as its template. It was a risky move that alienated some people who demand a new lineup and combat system with each numerical upgrade to the series, but for me the revival offered hope that I could once again experience the magic of Street Fighter II as I remembered it.

My review is coming soon.

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pickhut pickhut - February 27, 2009 (03:39 PM)
I loved Street Fighter III back when it was still in arcades. I'm amazed I have yet to own a console version.

I need to pick up Street Fighter Anniversary Collection...
honestgamer honestgamer - February 27, 2009 (03:57 PM)
Street Fighter III wasn't a bad game or even a bad fighter. It was just a bad Street Fighter. I own it on the Dreamcast and PS2 both. :-)
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - February 27, 2009 (04:08 PM)
Street Fighter III was awesome. It took a lot of guts to introduce a new line-up, something that seems to be sorely lacking in Street Fighter IV. (Haven't played it, don't care to.)
bluberry bluberry - February 27, 2009 (08:32 PM)
yeah, I've never understood why some people ragged on SFIII. if you want to play the same characters and shit again, just... play SFII. especially so now that there's a version that's not old and moldy.
zigfried zigfried - February 27, 2009 (08:59 PM)
I have fond memories of the first Street Fighter. Street Fighter 2 was much better -- but I was never a fan of Blanka (and to an extent, Dhalsim). The problem with part 3 is that an even substantially higher amount of characters were "freaks". I know it was a sign of the times -- freaks were the in thing -- but it didn't feel like a Street Fighter to me. Whereas I had no problem with Fatal Fury's near-total reinvention as Garou, because it still felt "right".

The Alpha series was fantastic, up until part 3 when Capcom got stupid again and started including dumb characters. (Plus I didn't care for the ridiculously ornate -ism mechanic)

jiggs jiggs - February 27, 2009 (10:47 PM)
street fighter 2....20+ people huddling around the arcade cabinet. that was quite the spectacle..

i lost interest after Super Street Fighter 2. the only other game i've played from that time up 'til now is Capcom vs SNK 2
bluberry bluberry - February 28, 2009 (01:03 AM)

in your face
disco1960 disco1960 - February 28, 2009 (03:10 AM)
Street Fighter 2 is a shark/cockroach.

It has no need to evolve!
Masters Masters - March 02, 2009 (03:40 AM)
My thoughts:

I've been playing SFIV and I'm impressed with Capcom's passion, but not blown away by the results. I love Abel, but some of the new characters are... strange. I could have used MORE new characters too, or at least a better ratio of new to old. (We could have done without Dan's inclusion in order to help facilitate this.)

I'm not sure of the balance between characters yet -- Sagat still seems incredibly overpowering, and guys like Vega and Cammy are pathetic now. And for some reason, they've made Ryu markedly better than Ken in this installment, which of course pisses me off. I will also add that Seth is an unbelievably cheap final boss. The heavy emphasis on nonsensical feats to unlock characters is irritating as well.

And so last night I played SFII Turbo on my friend's Wii and came away feeling more 'right' about how it played. It could be that the way those characters worked in that game that long ago was the best they could work. I like to think that when Capcom remixed them for Alpha 2/3, they got it right one more time with the same cast, and that now... maybe I'm bored with them. Maybe SFIII had it right all along -- new game = new cast.

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