Thursday, 14 April 2011

First Impressions: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

As you guys and gals probably know, I got my aqua blue 3DS a few days back and I'm pretty chuffed with it to say the least. I posted a rather long First Impressions piece on the new system yesterday, detailing my opinion on the brilliantly innovative built-in software and the hardware itself, but in the end the 3DS is a games console - You need to buy a retail game for it to get the most out of it in the long run. And guess what? That's exactly what I did. Along with my 3DS system, I grabbed a copy of Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition for just under £30 and it's truly brilliant. After playing the game extensively and wiping the floor with my fighting skills online (or maybe not), I've decided to do yet another First Impressions post this month on the excellent handheld fighter. "It's the battle of the century... FIGHT!"

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is not just a simple port of the great Xbox 360 and PS3 fighting game. In fact, it's much more than that. Yoshiniro Ono, the creator of Street Fighter IV has been calling the 3DS edition of the game the very best iteration, and he's not wrong. Sure, the graphics aren't quite up to scratch with the console versions and a few online modes have been taken out, but aside from that all you can find is improvements. The main thing is that this is obviously a handheld title, and since it has quite a big focus on online play that's a definite plus point. 3D edition also adds several new features to the game, mainly the inclusion of the Figure Collection system. When you win fights in the game you earn Figure Points, or FP for short. FP can then be spent on figurines of the Super Street Fighter IV cast, each with their own statistics and unique variations on design and colour. A rather large 500 figures can be found in the game through the use of the Figure Slots minigame and more exctingly, SpotPass. We're all aware of SpotPass now, surely? Anywho, I happened to receive a notification from Capcom a few days ago saying they hope I'm enjoying the game (definitely, thanks for asking!) and ended their message with a code to enter in the game. I entered the code and voila, a level 7 golden Blanka figurine only available through the code was mine just for owning the game. If that isn't awesome, the whole world has officially gone insane.

Of course, fighting is where the heart is in Street Fighter, and it's essentially the same as the console versions here. However, a function has been implemented called the 3D Dynamic View, which provides an over the shoulder angle during fights to make use of the brilliant 3D effects. It certainly does make better use of the 3D in comparison to the standard view, and is worth playing about with for a bit. However, I still prefer the regular camera angle and use that more often than not. Still, it's a cool addition and it achieves its goals. Nice work Capcom! Another new edition is the new touch-screen attack buttons, which allow you to perform special moves, Hyper Combos and Super Combos at the touch of a button. Being a bit of a newbie to Street Fighter, I couldn't help but use the touch screen controls when I started out. However, I soon became better and better at the game and eventually found my main, Sakura. I usually wipe the floor with her online now and have a respectable 50% win rate (which is pretty high, trust me). This shows that the touch-screen combos definitely do work and are great for people who are unfamiliar with the Street Fighter games. However, this new addition will undoubtedly annoy the pros, but it can be turned off and filtered out online. Speaking of the online...

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is the only online game on the 3DS at this moment in time, so it'd be pretty annoying if Capcom messed up this aspect. Thankfully, they haven't. Even when fighting folks over in Japan, I've experiences very few connection issues and very little amounts of lag. The game does play up here and there, but very rarely. I mentioned before that some of the modes have been taken out, namely the tournament and replay options from the console versions, but you can still play good old regular fights using either the standard or dynamic camera angles. And who knows, we might just get the extra modes through SpotPass sometime in the future...

There you have it, my first impressions of the excellent 3DS launch title known only as Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. It's a truly ace game that I'd recommend even to those not familiar with the series or fighting games in general, thanks to the brilliant touch-screen buttons. Capcom have successfully ported over the console versions of the game and might just have made the definitive Street Fighter IV release (it all depends on your views on graphics and controls). Next up on my blog is my review of the hardcore racing spectacular, F-Zero GX. Until then, ta-ta.

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