Super Street Fighter IV 3D Review

Super Street Fighter IV 3D [Available in 3D only on Nintendo 3DS]
ESRB Rating: T
Players: 1-2
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: March 27, 2011

Parent TalkSuper Street Fighter IV 3D, a flashy, colorful fighter, contains all the content from the console versions. The controls are accessible and the features make excellent use of the 3DS’s capabilities. Also, unlike Mortal Kombat, SSFIV isn’t hyper-violent.

Review Basis: Completed Arcade mode with all characters. Participated in dozens of local and online matches, and filled figure album.

*Note: Capcom has released the “Arcade Edition” DLC for SSFIV on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. It is not available for the 3DS version at this time.

The Great:

An excellent port. SSFIV raised the bar for console fighting games. The original SFIV was fantastic, winning over critics and fans thanks to its simple, yet masterful gameplay. Super improved on the package with better gameplay balancing, additional characters and modes, and more. The 3DS port both retains that content (Arcade Edition DLC notwithstanding) and includes some extras for good measure. The game was transferred with the utmost care, so it runs extraordinary well and was adjusted to best suit the 3DS. It never feels like a “console-lite” experience. All 35 fighters made the jump.

The Good:

+ Visuals. Capcom employed nifty sleight of hand tactics in the conversion to 3DS. Small frames of animation are removed and backgrounds are static, but the downturn is minimal. The game is still bright and vibrant, and runs well. There are few instances of frame rate stutter when the action becomes intense. The menus and interface are reminiscent of the console versions and look slick.

+ 3D effect. SSIV3D shows off a diorama effect for its presentation, visible in standard play and in the specially-designed 3D mode. The 3D effect, though nominal, gives the plane of movement greater depth, and the game more appeal. The 3D especially stands out during the car smashing bonus stage. The 3D-specific versus mode adjusts the camera for added wow factor, centering the perspective behind your fighter’s shoulders. It’s a tad disorienting, but a neat addition to the game. The traditional view is preferred for standard play.

+ All of the modes are back. Challenge and Training modes, as well as the bonus games, have made the jump to 3DS. The Challenge Mode acts a tutorial for the Street Fighter experience and eases the player into learning the intricacies of combat. Online play has also made the transition, and runs quite well.

+ Seamless online play. Battling friends locally or over the Internet is simple and intuitive. Friend codes take a backseat to your enjoying a quick fight; searching for opponents is nice. Unfortunately, tournaments and team battles aren’t available in the 3DS version, but at least the game supports single-card multiplayer. Only one player needs a copy for others to join. Gamers can send a demo to friends, and two  who have the demo can battle each other.

+ Simple interface. SSFIV features traditional controls via the face buttons and a setup via the touch screen. Can’t execute an Ultra combo? Just use the touch screen! This opens up SF to those who’ve never mastered the art of quarter circles. The hardcore gamers may fear that this sissifies the experience…and well, it does. However, it’s only to recognize that the touch controls are optional. When playing online, you can set the match rules to exclude “Lite” control players.

+ Street Pass. Two of the 3DS’s attractions are Street Pass and Spot Pass, which allow for a new level of connectivity. By just passing other 3DS owners who have SSFIV3D save data, you can engage in “figure battles.” The 3DS must be on and in sleep mode for this. Figures are collected either by spending accumulated points or entering passwords, and afterwards can be designated to “teams.” There are hundreds of figures, with varied levels and statistics. Though this feature isn’t the game’s meat, it’s a good idea. Figures can also be purchased using the 3DS’s internal “currency,” Play Coins.

The Bad:

– Figure battles. How can this be good AND bad? The implementation of Street Pass features into the game is great, but the execution (Figure battles) isn’t very fun.

– Less lively action.  The static backgrounds do hurt the SF experience. It’s not as noticeable in the heat of battle, but it is more so after repeat play.

– No Japanese voice option.

The Lowdown:

Super Street Fighter IV 3D isn’t just a great fighting game, it’s the best launch title for the 3DS. This solid port integrates some cool features. Nintendo fans should especially be pleased to have access to one of the best fighting games from any generation.

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