Street Fighter 4 brought the most famous 2D fighting series into the modern era. Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and co were created with glorious 3D graphics whilst maintaining the 2D one on one gameplay the series has come to master.
This made Street Fighter 4 one of the most sought after fighting games of our time and man was it good! New fighters were also brought to the series like a greasy wrestler, a French kick boxer and Ryu and Ken’s teacher amongst others, it was refreshing and it revitalized the 2 dimensional fighting genre. Since its first outing, Developers and publishers Capcom have gradually added more features and balancing tweaks to the game with major updates making Capcom add to the games title, Super Street Fighter 4 brought old favourite characters back to the series like Guy and Cody as well as adding more stages and online modes. After that Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition added Third Strike fighters Yun and Yang to the roster as well as Evil Ryu and Oni (or super Akuma) with more character tweaks. Now though, we now have another major update, this time called Ultra Street Fighter 4.....but what does it add to the already fabulous fighter?
Well Ultra Street Fighter 4 doesn’t really add anything new to the overall plot with S.I.N. Corporation organizing a fighting tournament to draw fighters from all over the world to compete so that they can analyse their characteristics, their main target of course being the famous wanderer, Ryu. The main focus however is each and every characters reasons for entering the tournament which is told by a unique introduction cut scene, a fight with that characters rival competitor before the final battle which has its own in game engine rendered cut scene. It’s easy to get lost in Ultra Street Fighter 4’s Arcade Mode as completing one characters story makes you immediately want to move onto the next. Of course this direction in storytelling is fully intact from the initial release with Ultra adding a few more characters and their stories to the traditional Arcade Mode.
As well as more character balancing tweaks like making certain fighters moves less damaging, making others more damaging, animation speed tweaks etc., Ultra Street Fighter 4’s main attraction is its new batch of fighters. Rolento, Elena, Hugo and Poison whom have all featured in Street Fighter X Tekken make their debut here although their mechanics have changed to fit the games pace. Each character has their own story and own move-set and each of them fit nicely into the roster and all of them are fun to play. There is a fifth fighter who has been completely designed for this game from the ground up, Decapre is one of M.Bison’s dolls and plays similarly to Cammy but is more difficult to play as due to her special moves being those that require holding a direction then moving in the opposite direction and pressing a button. She is a great addition to the line-up with her mysterious masked appearance and is definitely a fighter for the pros.
A major addition to the gameplay is the W-Ultra which enables you to be able to choose to perform either one of a characters Ultra Combo at the cost of decreased damage; of course this is completely optional. All unblockable setups have been removed due to fans requests and now you can perform a Red Focus move which is similar to the old Focus move but with a few more hits. The coolest feature in Ultra however is “Edition Select” which allows players to choose a previous iteration of a character based on how they appeared and played in previous versions of Street Fighter 4.
Ultra Street Fighter 4 is the best version of one of the best fighters on the market. Balancing tweaks are welcome and the option to choose to use either Ultra Combo in a single match gives more depth to bouts. All the visuals are well preserved and still as great as ever and of course the new fighters are welcomed with open arms and fit in nicely. One of the finest fighters in gaming just got finer.
Story - 5/5
Graphics - 5/5
Gameplay - 5/5
Overall - 5/5
Version Reviewed - PlayStation 3