I’ve only owned my 3DS for a month and a half, and I’ve only been able to buy two games for it. Therefore, I don’t have much history with the system, and I can’t tell you what the must-have titles are. However, I very much enjoy SSIV, and I would say that if you’re looking for a third-party title for your 3DS, this is the way to go. Coming from me, this is quite the compliment because I don’t particularly have an interest in the fighter genre, yet this game has captivated me for hours.
There are a lot of positive points to speak of in this game. One of which is the 3D. Initially, it hurt my eyes to look at the 3D of any game for more than a few minutes, but after spending enough time playing in short 3D sessions, my eyes have adjusted. Now that it doesn’t pain me to play in 3D, I can tell you that the 3D is a great feature; they do an amazing job at making actions and backgrounds have depth. For example, one of Zangief’s moves causes him to smash his opponent headfirst into the ground, and the legs of this person go splayed out in either direction; one pops straight at my face, and it looks like it’s really coming out of the screen.
I mentioned that the backgrounds have depth; the fighters look as though they are closer to the camera than the environment, and it fades into the horizon well. I really like the fact that playing in 3D seems to give a clearer picture of whatever I’m doing. Maybe it’s just me, but the game looks better in 3D than 2D.
I also like the fact that there are so many different fighters to choose from. I’m not familiar with any of the other Street Fighter games (or any fighting game) aside from Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, so I don’t know how this cast compares to others. I like the fact that there are so many fighting styles to choose from, from the sluggish but strong Zangief, to the flimsy but agile Chun-Li, to the balanced Ryu and Ken. Each character has a ton of costume and color variations, so one can find a preferred skin for each character, further mixing things up.
The gameplay feels tight; I was not expecting this. Playing Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 felt hectic, yet it was controllable; I found it easy to learn but hard to master. SSIV 3D is the same way; I can pick up on the basic controls and do decently on a medium difficulty level, (by the way, there are 8 difficulty levels, which is amazing) but without plenty of practice, I won’t be pulling off any amazing combos. This makes it easy for newcomers to enjoy, yet it presents a challenge for the ones who want it; it appeals to all skill levels.
The great thing is, combos are accessible through hotkeys on the touchscreen; learning specific button sequences is an advantage, but these hotkey combos are great for me, as I don’t plan on learning the legitimate combos, even if they are better in a battle. Overall, I feel as though I can easily manage my fighter, and directional movement can be controlled by either the circle pad or the d-pad, which is a great feature. I thought, initially, that the d-pad would be a better fit, but I slowly learned that the circle pad is actually a great tool.
The arcade mode is typical; fight other warriors in sequence until you reach the boss. This, in itself, is alright, but after going through this mode with several fighters, it feels a bit boring; there are short cutscenes to set the stage as to why each fighter is battling, but these don’t really create a storyline. I didn’t expect a storyline, and this feeble attempt is just that; an attempt and nothing more. This is probably the only major setback I’ve found in this game so far; the main game mode can get boring quickly.
Online play is great as well, and lag is infrequent. The only problem occurs when an insanely good player (who seems like they’re cheating) absolutely destroys me, and this happens often enough, but that’s not Capcom’s fault. SSIV also includes training modes and tutorials, which would be great teachers if I decided I wanted to get decent at the game… which I don’t. However, I do appreciate their inclusion, because they help train crappy fighters like me. The fighting genre can be brutally difficult, as it requires one to see ahead to prepare for an incoming move, and it takes reflexes, agility, and timing.
Whereas I felt that this was out of place in Rayman Origins, (you can read the article here) it’s right at home in a fighting game; a real fight would require all of these attributes, and SSIV makes one feel epic after a good victory. The difference between the difficulty in Rayman and SSIV is that in SSIV, the difficulty can be altered, and defeating a difficult portion actually feels rewarding. In Rayman, clearing a difficult stage brought no joy, and there was no option to make this stage any easier; that’s why I did not enjoy the difficulty in that game. I wanted to clear the air there, as I’m praising the difficulty here but trashed it in Rayman.
In the end I feel as though Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition will have a permanent place in my game library, because it provides bite sized fun when I’m in the mood for a good fight. It also provides the ability to go more in depth if I were to want that option. I like that diversity and especially in a title like this (being handheld, and considering the genre). I definitely recommend it regardless of skill at playing a fighting game, whether or not you’ve played a Street Fighter title before, or any other factor. This is a 3DS must have.
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