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First Impressions: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition

Posted by James Newton


You have to go back a long time to find the last time a Street Fighter title appeared on a Nintendo console – Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the GameBoy Advance in 2002, in fact. Now Capcom is once again giving Nintendo fans a portable port of its famous fighter with Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition. We went toe-to-toe with the title and producer Yoshinori Ono at Nintendo's Discover 3DS event to bring you more details.

Ono was keen to stress during the roundtable discussion that he wants gamers to view SSFIV3DE in the same way they think about its home console brethren on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. All 35 characters make the leap to the small screen, complete with two extra DLC costumes each – included for free here – and all their moves, combos and charisma. Gameplay runs at 30fps whether 3D is on or off, and the animation is typically smooth, while characters appear crisper than early screenshots suggested.

Controls-wise the game naturally lacks the six face buttons seen on an arcade stick, with the four face buttons used for light and medium punches and kicks, with heavy attacks set to the shoulder buttons. This makes throws and focus attacks easy to execute, but executing Ultra combos requires two face and one shoulder button to be pressed simultaneously, something that might prove a sticking point for some.

There is a much easier way to execute Ultra and Super combos however in the form of touchscreen hotkeys. Automatically set to Ultra, Super and two special moves, these can be tapped at any relevant time to pull off the move in an eye-blink. Even for experienced fighters, having access to these moves instantly works very well, particularly in clutch situations where you absolutely, positively have to execute the move correctly.

Not everyone will like the touchscreen controls, of course, and Capcom realises this too. When playing online, you'll be able to filter out opponents who use the stylus shortcuts, with a special Pro mode available that can only be accessed by users who just use buttons.

Buttons and attacks are just one part of fighting of course; moving your character is just as important, and players can use the Circle Pad or D-Pad depending on preference. We felt the Circle Pad made it easier to execute the rolls and zig-zags necessary to succeed with many characters, as the D-Pad lacks diagonals that make these easier, though players who favour characters such as Guile, Vega and Balrog may prefer the D-Pad's digital precision. It's a matter of taste, but you can swap between them at any time depending on your mood.

Probably the biggest change to battles comes in the form of the optional Dynamic View, which places the camera at an angle behind your fighter and moves to track you and your opponent as you trade blows, leap around and pull off Supers. Having played Street Fighter games with the same viewing angle for the past 20 years switching to a dynamic camera is disorienting, and although it shows off the 3D effect well it will likely confuse veterans used to a strict 2D viewpoint, and we know which we prefer. Of course you can select whichever option suits you better, and can go into battle against a player using a different view to yours.

We were able to take advantage of the two-player local wireless mode, which was fast, smooth and as easy to set up as pressing 2P Start on an arcade machine. There were no online features available, though Ono mentioned in his presentation that Nintendo offices in America, Europe and Japan tested the game against each other with great success.

During Ono's roundtable he gave more information about the game's StreetPass mode, a cross between an RPG and a trading card game that sees players build a team of statues to battle against other players' teams automatically. The more you play, the better your statues will become, with more powerful figurines unlocked to boost your squad. Once you've picked your fighters, passing another 3DS owner who's done the same will see your teams battle automatically, with victory improving your statistics in an RPG-style. Like a lot of the StreetPass modes described at the event, its enjoyability hinges on how many gamers will be keen on taking their consoles with them, but it looks to be an interesting side mode all the same.

It's taken a long time for the series to come back to Nintendo, but based on our playtime, it's been worth the wait.

From the web

Game Screenshots

User Comments (40)



Conker3000 said:

What I want to know is...

Is the 3D just depth that goes "into" the screen? Or do the fighters actually jump out of the screen?



James said:

It's just depth, nothing on any game really feels as if it's popping out of the screen in my experience. Depth is phenomenal though - maybe not here, but in PilotWings for example it's really a sight to see!



irken004 said:

The extra free DLC costumes is a nice touch. I'd rather not have to use my thumb to quickly use the touchscreen, which could be a small problem, but otherwise I'LL BUY IT



James said:

Objects appearing to come out of the screen is only a trick of the mind anyway, it's not so much to do with the technology. I remember seeing a champagne cork video back in July and that looked brilliant, like the cork was coming at you, but every game/movie uses 3D differently.



The_Fox said:

Good, you can filter out those that use the stylus shortcuts. Anyone doing that online is a giant p**sy anyway.



Weskerb said:

@James So does the 3d make it more immersive? Do you feel like you aren't playing with a handheld and that you're more engaged in what's happening? You know, because of the added depth...



James said:

I'm a big SF fan anyway so I was always going to be into it, but it's every bit as engaging as ever it was - it's a full Street Fighter experience that travels anywhere. The depth is a nice addition - the life and Super bars are right at the front, then characters, then the background, so it's really nice and layered - but the gameplay is rock solid with or without it. It's just as good in 2D, which I think is the mark of the best 3DS games.



thanos316 said:

Looks like this will be a big seller and a must have game for anyone. I think nintendo is actually learning and i also think developers don't wanna miss out again on a hot selling system like they did with the wii before.



Ristar42 said:

I've only played Street Fighter 4 a couple of times, thought it was ok. I'm as yet not sold on the 3DS, but Resident Evil and some decent racing games might do it.
@James yeah, the '3D visuals' aspect of the console seems less important to me than the possibilities offered by the much improved graphics and analogue control in addition to the exisiting features of the DS. A Game Gear VC would also be good...




I like the sound of all the features including the touch screen usage. Probably further affirmed as an insta-buy. Thanks for the impressions



MasterGraveheart said:

I'm SO looking forward to this. Now if only we can get that Street Fighter 3 Collection on Wii and maybe a Vs. Capcom collection to boot... then we'll have made up for lost time.



James said:

@Arcanum Jon and I will be bringing you more impressions of the machine itself, but the shoulder buttons feel a bit sturdier than those of the DSi, with a nice solid click to them. Face buttons are squishier, like the DS Lite's.



Crunc said:

Did you get headaches like was reported by Engadget? Also, did you have to hold your arms stiff in order to keep the 3D effect from flickering away, again as reported by Engadget. Both were pretty disappointing reports to see. Hopefully it was just them....



pikku said:

@James If I get this when it comes out it'll be my first Street Fighter game. first fighting game, really (unless Brawl/Melee count ). do you think it's a good game to start with?



James said:

@Crunc No headaches for me, thankfully. And I didn't really have to have my arms "stiff", just hold them still enough to not drop the console, which is a skill many gamers have learnt from playing consoles before

@pikmaniac02 It's a great game but I'd maybe recommend Dead or Alive as a starter's fighter as it's a bit more accessible in my opinion. Others may disagree but they're both great games so it's your choice!



Z_Bone said:

I'm just not sure I want to play this after playing the awesome TvC. The gameplay in SF just seems boring by comparison. I know there's a lot to the game I don't understand, but every time I play it at Wal-Mart, I don't like it at all. With that said, I still want it.



astarisborn94 said:

Really looking forward to seeing this game on the Nintendo 3DS. Must be incredibly impressive for Capcom to fit in everything in the PS3/360 version into the Nintendo 3DS version.



SwerdMurd said:

yup--as expected, controls are the killer. Will not be buying this version--more than twice as expensive as the Super version for PS3...just not worth it imo.

@Limelight - the actual game was originally an arcade game on much, much worse hardware than a 360 or a PS3. The PS3 and 360 versions barely have to break a sweat to make it work...and given the smaller resolution (and worse framerate) it really isn't too monumental an achievement.



IronMan28 said:

I hope this comes out at or soon after launch like Nintendo is claiming will happen, this looks awesome!



MDee14 said:

Can anyone confirm that you can change the voices to either Japanese or English like the game consoles. Some of the English Voice Actors are not my favourite



liammiller18 said:


I'm not going to disagree with the controls being inferior to using an arcade stick, but I don't understand why you'd say the game is more than twice the price. Capcom confirmed today that it will be 39.99$, which is the same MSRP as SSF4.




SwerdMurd said:

@liam - I was referring to the price most people charge for it...current demand (and Amazon ) puts it at around $18....sorry I didn't make that apparent. That is a good point though--I forget sometimes that some people don't waste their days scouring for internet prices on games they already own



FluttershyGuy said:

HADOKEN!!! Maybe with the hotkeys, after the almost 20 years I've been playing Street Fighter (a little more if you count the couple of times I played the very first one in the late 80s), I'll finally be able to pull off Zangief's spinning piledriver without it being by sheer luck! Love to do it from like SIX FRIGGIN FEET AWAY, vacuuming opponents in like the computer does me!



retro_player_22 said:

"You have to go back a long time to find the last time a Street Fighter title appeared on a Nintendo console – Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival on the GameBoy Advance in 2001, in fact."

Umm.. the last time a Street Fighter title appeared on a Nintendo handheld console was in 2002 with Street Fighter Alpha 3 for Game Boy Advance, not Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival. For home console though, it's still the Super NES with Street Fighter Alpha 2, no other Street Fighter game has had a home console appearance since those times.



James said:

How right you are! Thanks for pointing that out, I'll rectify that immediately



MrMagpie said:

Wow, this looks the online random matchups, or will it be restricted only to friends?



James said:

You can play online against anyone through a matchmaking mode or play with friend codes. Totally up to you!

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