Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Review (3DS)

Posted by Jim Cook, Apr 19, 2011 04:30

2D screenshots of 3D-capable game: Due to technical limitations, the screenshot shown in this review is a 2D image of a game that can display its graphics in 3D. The game is fully playable in either form, but only the 2D method can be shown here.

Fighting games seem like a great fit for portable systems. Almost anyone can grab one and complete a match within just a few minutes, and it’s always fun to play against a friend. While there is the problem that portable systems rarely have their controls laid out in an ideal fashion for this genre, that can be overcome with some player practice and clever design choices by the developer. With this in mind, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition brings the series’ fighting action to the 3DS in a surprisingly intact way, and it serves as a strong launch title.

Like its console version, this game pits two fighters against one another in a 2D arena (despite the 3D graphics), trading punches and kicks, throws and energy fireballs, and so on until one of them is defeated. The d-pad or circle pad are used to move your character around, the four face buttons and two shoulder buttons do various attacks, and the touch screen offers a few ’button macro’ equivalents depending on what control mode you use. Each of the thirty-five characters can be played in ’Pro’ or ’Lite’ modes, with Pro playing more closely to how it does on the console versions (with your touch screen macros being mapped to things like "throw", "focus attack", "simultaneous three punches or kicks", etc.) while Lite allows players to do their special attacks with a single tap of the screen.

While both modes work well enough, they have distinct problems. Pro mode does its best to fit arcade fighting controls onto the 3DS, which is a little unnatural and requires practice to get used to. That said, it does work and most combos or techniques from the console version are intact in this mode. Lite mode on the other hand significantly shakes up how the game is normally played, as it allows characters to do various techniques when they normally wouldn’t. For example, they can ignore charge times for Guile’s Flash Kick and Sonic Boom, or walk up and do a 720-motion throw with Zangief. These sort of things break how the characters were designed to be played and balanced against one another, making Lite a very frustrating mode for purists to play. Fortunately, filters will let you play against only those using the same control mode you have.

Encouragingly, Capcom has tried to make use of virtually every feature the 3DS offers. The 3D display is the most obvious and does well enough, though it’s hardly necessary in this kind of game. Wireless play, both local and over the internet, is also supported and provided both players have a decent connection the online play is reasonably enjoyable. StreetPass battles happen automatically between collections of Street Fighter themed figures if you walk by another person that owns this game, which is a cute little touch to add over the console release. A ’dynamic view’ has also been added to work with the 3D display, offering an over-the-shoulder view of your character. It’s an interesting idea, though one that makes most characters harder to use effectively since the camera angle throws off your perception of distance. Nonetheless, efforts like these are worth applauding; Capcom could have gotten away with a very lazy and simple port, but opted to try to make use of the 3DS’ features as best they could.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is definitely a good port of a enjoyable fighting game, and it faces little competition in its genre on the 3DS at present. Nonetheless, it is a port of the previous edition of the game; Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition has since been announced for release on consoles, meaning 3D Edition now fills a niche value. If you don’t have a console version or aren’t planning to get the Arcade Edition release, then this is clearly a great game and well worth adding to your 3DS library. Yet if you insist on playing only the latest edition of Street Fighter IV, this isn’t it; you may want to wait until June for Arcade Edition.

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Our Rating for Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Review (3DS)
7.0 Replay
Playing against the AI gets old quickly yet going up against humans on the same control mode as you is very enjoyable. How often you come back to this one will thus depend on how many friends you have to play with.
8.0 Graphics
Characters are well animated and most of the visuals have been ported faithfully, with the exception of the backgrounds; they are unfortunately very static compared to the originals.
8.0 Sound
Most of the excellent music, voice work, and sound effects from the console version are intact here.
8.0 Gameplay
The classic fighting game action has been faithfully ported to the 3DS, with touch-screen macros making up for the unavoidably odd button layout.
7.5 Multiplayer/Online Content
Competent if somewhat barebones online play is offered, along with automatic StreetPass battles and local wireless play. Others can demo SSF4 3D Edition without their own game card via local download play, though you’ll both be limited to using Ryu.
7.5 Overall
A fine port of an enjoyable fighting game, the only significant problem with 3D Edition is that Arcade Edition is coming out in just a few months for consoles. If you don’t have a console or don’t plan to acquire Arcade Edition for them, then 3D Edition is a very good addition to your 3DS library.

Rating: 2.0, votes: 1

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