As one of the bigger name launch titles, Super Street Fighter 4 may well be one of the best titles on offer for the machine, particularly if you wish to try out the full capabilities of the device. SteetPass, SpotPass, Download Play and internet play are among the bullet point of features available which make SSF4 attractive to all gamers, whether they are new to the series or seasoned veterans.
This is a near exact replica of the XBox360 and PS3 versions available, with graphics almost on par with its home console brothers. Every character and feature are present here, the only one big concession made is to the backgrounds which are static, albeit with the same amount of detail as before. It’s not really a problem and is something that will be largely unnoticed.
Capcom could have just stopped there, choosing to simply port the game over straight with no added extras. As mentioned earlier however, there are several 3Ds extras which are definitely worth a look. The obvious one is of course the fact that the game is now displayed in 3D. Despite the background being static, the 3D creates a good sense of depth in some levels, with the fighters popping out more prominently towards the screen. It looks nice and is just enough to have an effect that makes a difference, but not too much that it distract, even on the highest 3D setting. There is also a ‘Dynamic View’ which shifts the perspective into an over the shoulder, resident evil style viewing mode. The controls remain the same and so it can feel a little strange, but the 3D is much more prominent in this mode. I can’t see many people using it but it’s a nice addition nonetheless, even to show off the machines 3D capabilities to others.
Next up is the figure collection which utilises the StreetPass functionality of the machine. As you play you earn Fighter Points which can then be cashed in to buy figures which all come with their own set of stats. The figures you obtain are randomly chosen and therefore its very much like a card trading game, sans the shiny‘s. From the figures that you have, you pick a 5 person team which will battle others on the street as you pass them. At first it can be a bit daunting trying to work out how it all works, but once you get your head around the system, it can become quite addictive. Beating other teams earns you more fighter points, and so the cycle of fighting and evolving your team continues. The game contains an album that lets you view the figures in 3D, and your album can consist of up to 500 different figures.
Capcom will occasionally send you messages via Spotpass which contain news and information and even special codes which when entered in the game unlock a special figure ready for your StreetPass team. Got 2 machines but only one copy of the game? Not a problem as Download Play is also present as well. It is however very restrictive, both players can only play as Ryu and only the training stage is available. It acts more as a demo mode in this respect but its good for a quick blast. With 2 copies of the game, bouts can take place locally, and others with a machine and a copy of the game can watch the fighters battle in the ‘Channel Live!’ area.
Internet play is also supported and whilst sometimes connection errors can rear their ugly heard, I’m yet to suffer any lag in my matches and it’s been a fairly smooth experience thus far. The main point of contention from the hardcore fan base however may lie in the controls. The analogue nub works very well but can be tricky to use at first, particularly on charge moves. Capcom have realised this, and therefore the bottom screen is dedicated to easing this burdon by allowing up to four moves to be allocated to one of the four quarters of the screen. For example, for Ryu you may chose to map his fireball and dragon punch, as well as the super combo and ultra combo moves. Or you might prefer to have all light, medium and heavy fireballs present, leaving the last slot for the ultra combo. This of course means that pulling off those more tricky moves becomes extremely simple, making even complete beginners much more dangerous than they would be otherwise. There is however a ‘Pro’ option, which restricts these buttons to just normal moves, and online games can be restricted to just Pro users only.
This flexibility means that more gamers can fully enjoy the SSF4 experience and as a result makes it more accessible and attractive to all gamers of any level that have an interest in the fighting genre. Indeed, one of our staffers here in 7outof10 towers bought the game after seeing first hand via download play how good he could be on this version due to the ease of pulling off ultra combos and the like.
It is this reason why I would recommend SSF4 to everyone, newcomers and long time Street Fighter fans alike. There is a ton of content to chew through and the pickup and play nature of the game suit’s the platform perfectly. Factor in the 3Ds exclusive elements as well and you have a fully featured package that really does look and play every bit as good as the home console versions. See you on the street.