Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition adds a lot of content without tinkering with the formula that made the game such a tremendous success.
When Street Fighter IV came out in 2008, the fighting game revitalized the genre in a profound way. Not only did the fourth entry in the Street Fighter franchise delivered an accessible yet deep fighting experience, but it also paved the way to other unconventional fighters that wouldn’t have happened otherwise, such as Persona 4 Ultimax, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken. With the advent of digital games and the possibility of downloading patches and expansions in consoles, it was only a matter of time before we saw an upgrade to the base game and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition adds a lot of content without tinkering with the formula that made the game such a tremendous success.
Before mentioning the new content this upgrade brings, let’s focus on what’s still here. The arcade, versus, online multiplayer, challenge and training have suffered some changes, but they are here in all their glory. Of course, all the features from Super are also here and that includes ten new fighters (Adon, Cody, Dee Jay, Dudley, Guy, Hakan, Ibuki, Juri, Makoto and T. Hawk,) four new stages, new modes (Team Battle, Endless Battle, the Replay Channel, Bonus Stages and a reworked Tournament,) additional costumes and you can select between two ultras.
So what’s new? Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition features balance changes for all the existing characters. In addition, there are four new characters for a total of 39. These include an evil variation of Ryu known as Evil Ryu, twin brothers Yun and Yang from Street Fighter 3 and Oni. Note that Yun and Yang are the new characters, since Oni and Ryu were in the previous version but they were locked. Overall, these characters are a great addition to the roster and they come with their unique attacks and intricacies that will take you some time to learn.
The game also lets you change between Super Street Fighter IV and Arcade Edition from the settings. Although purists will certainly enjoy the possibility of alternating, most players will be right at home with the latest version of the game. It’s worth mentioning that this option is possible in both single-player and multiplayer so you can fight against players who have both versions of the game or your preferred one.
Another change from the multiplayer is that you can choose a name for your Endless battle lobby which is helpful to let other people know what you’re looking for, so you can allow players with a specific range of BP or PP or you can play against beginners and so on. Also, replays are viewable from the leaderboards once uploaded which is a nice addition for those interested in seeing what some of the best Street Fighter players on the planet are doing. There’s a new replay channel called Elite that only focuses on some of the top players so you can easily find their videos. Finally, you can follow people so watching replays from certain players has never been easier. The last addition comes in the form of titles and icons for the new characters which you can display in online mode.
So that’s everything this update brings to the table, but there are some missteps as well. In trial mode, you complete a series of challenges that teaches you how (and when) you should perform certain combos and moves. This is easily one of the best parts about Street Fighter IV because fighting games are hard to learn and they typically lack comprehensive tutorials. Sadly, the four new characters included in Arcade Edition don’t have their own trials, so the only way to learn how to play those characters is in practice mode or watching YouTube videos which isn’t nearly as didactic and gratifying.
Despite some issues, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition expands upon the concepts of its predecessor in every meaningful way: the online modes feel more robust, there are brand new characters and the gameplay is solid. Fighting game fans or people who want to get into the genre should definitely check out this version and newcomers will be hard pressed to find a fighting game as robust and accessible out there.