Street Fighter 4, was originally released in 2008, but back then it has solely existed within the interiors of an arcade cabinet. Seventh iteration of Capcom’s renowned fighting franchise, spent nearly a year within the solitary confinement of arcades around the world before making its way to home environment. It was initially released in United States of America on 17th of February 2009, on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Personal Computers.
Since its original release, Street Fighter 4 has sold over 8 million copies worldwide. Majority of its commercial success was generated on the back of the original, however, multiple rereleases and ports have only further popularized the giant of the genre.
Worry Not, as Ultra Street fighter 4 PlayStation 4 edition, will support your old fight-stick from the previous generation!
As of today, 26th of May 2015, Ultra Street Fighter 4, is available for download from PlayStation Store for $24.99 in US, and £19.99 in UK. PlayStation 4’s version weights 14GB, and features 44 playable characters, multitude of stages, and all previously released DLC packs.
Mechanically, Capcom’s newest remaster is impeccable. Just as it was promised, Ultra Street Fighter 4 is displayed in native 1080p and runs smoothly at 60 frames per second. I tried everything to make the game crumble, but no matter what I did, frame rate didn’t drop for a single second. Veterans of the franchise will be satisfied with the most with the technical upgrades as the previously dreaded input lag has been finally take care of.
Ultra Street Fighter 4 is a great game, however, it’s not for the ones of faint-heart. Opponents controlled by the Artificial Intelligence are vicious, and even on the lower difficulty settings can be a challenge that will test the ability of most newcomers. More than once, I have found myself defending in a corner, waiting for an opportunity to escape as my virtual opponent was unleashing a barrage of deadly strikes. It took me some time before I have fully accustomed myself again to Street Fighter, but once I did I found joy in everything I did. All more complex moves will require you to not only input the correct combination of buttons, but also to time it perfectly, as a single millisecond can botch your ultra-combo, and place you in uncomfortable situation, to say the least.
Yes, Ultra Street Fighter 4 is punishing, but it makes you learn everything there is about its combat. Most games of the genre concentrate on offense and put defense aside, however, Ultra Street Fighter 4 is different. Ultra-combos are extremely powerful and can easily displace any opponent, but a single well-timed block can do exactly the same, as it will save your precious health and will ultimately deplete your opponent’s arsenal of brutal manoeuvres.
Skill progression in Ultra Street Fighter 4 is spectacular. It exposes how deep the game truly is, however, no matter how many moves you learn or how good you’ll become at defending, the game will always found a way to get you. A way that is not always fair. I had my fair share of fights where the first round was a walk in the park, as I would displace my foe within mere seconds. But then, there would always come a moment where no matter how hard I’ve tried, my virtual nemesis would take care of me flawlessly. I tried throwing everything I had in my arsenal, but each and every one of my moves would be blocked like it was nothing, and before I knew I would get a single combo that would take most, if not all of my health bar.
Capcom’s ‘newest’ title can be extremely infuriating at times, and will make you feel like you’ve been simply cheated, but the feeling of fury can be positive at times. Occasional losses, while not always up to your skill, put you back in your place, and not for minute nor a second, will you feel like your invincible, like you’re in control. Depending on your level of commitment, Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be either an extensive endeavour that’ll steal hours of your life, or a short rendezvous which will leave you with bitter memories.
Each of the 44 available characters has its own ‘story mode’, a short 20 to 30 minutes series of fights and challenges. Each starts and ends with a short cut scene that elaborates on a life period of each of the available fighters. And this is where the game will separate most of its fan base. While some will find the far eastern humour and storytelling through anime interesting, others will not find it as appealing, and thus will leave the ‘arcade mode’ alone, and abandon majority of game’s content.
Ultra Street Fighter 4 is surely the definitive edition of the now 6-year-old game, and will tide most until 2016, when its direct sequel is bound to arrive. However, if you’re approaching the title expecting a graphical masterpiece, you might be barking at the wrong tree. The cell-shaded design has shown its age with the execution being inconsistent across the board. Selected arenas look rather flat, as details such as grass, are nothing more but a single texture. And once you’ll add partially pixellated character models to the mix, the game loses some of its appeal.
Ultimately, Street Fighter 4’s newest re-embodiment is surely worth the money that Capcom is asking for it. It has a limited appeal, and unforgiving combat that many will find not easy to learn. If you are ready for a challenge, and arguably one of the best games of its genre, then Ultimate Street Fighter 4 is surely a game for you.