OK, let’s not get too smug about it – we all knew it was going to happen. After all, Capcom have proven themselves to be nothing if not masters of recycling over the years. Their re-releases with “Super”, “Plus”, “Max”, “EX” and so on in the titles and a sprinkle of new content have been the source of many industry in-jokes over the years. The question is: Does Super Street Fighter IV have enough new stuff in it to qualify for another purchase?
The first highlight is the inclusion of 10, that’s right, 10 new characters. By Capcom’s usual standards, that’s a pretty big increase. Well, only two of them are actually “new” in the truest sense of the word, the rest are returning characters from previous Street Fighter titles. Guy, an agile ninja with a Vega-like stick-and-move style, and Cody, a close- to mid-range hard-hitter, join us from Final Fight. Adon, the spry kickboxer from Street Fighter I is also in there. T. Hawk and Dee Jay, from Super Street Fighter II make an appearance, bringing their Indian wrestling and rhythmic kick-boxing styles to SSFIV. And finally we have three characters from Street Fighter III joining the fray, including Dudley, a quick-hitting English boxer; Ibuki, a stereotypical anime schoolgirl ninja with plenty of moves, mixups and combos; and Makoto, a pint-sized karate chick who is difficult to use effectively because of her technical play style, but worth persevering with for her incredible power.
The two all news characters are Hakan and Juri. Hakan hails from Turkey and is an oil wrestler. That’s a real sport, by the way, oil wrestling – did you know that? I sure didn’t. Hakan is aimed at mid to advanced skill players, and as a wrestler, he has two 360 degree spin moves – meaning that Zangief experts would probably be ideal Hakan candidates. He also has a move where he slides across the ground, knocking his opponent down before jumping on them with a body-press to deal more damage. He looks pretty mean and angry with his red skin and all, but he’s actually one of the friendlier characters in the game. Juri, on the other hand, is pure, sadistic evil. She’s a Taekwondo expert from Korea and is aimed at beginner players. Because of this she has many fast, multi-hitting moves without too much penalty for missing and plenty of easy combos.
In addition to this, every returning character has received a new Ultra attack and an entirely new intro and ending sequence. There are also a few new arenas to fight in and some remixed tunes to enjoy. The bonus stages where players have a limited time to destroy an SUV and break 20 defenceless barrels are also back… again. With all of this new content, Super Street Fighter IV is definitely one of Capcom’s better upgrades, but I still can’t see too many people aside from the avid Street Fighter fans forking out for it again.