Yes the legendary Street Fighter franchise is back once more after having been revived on all formats from the PS3 to the PC (ahh the nostalgia!). So if like me you remember smashing the buttons of your SNES or ZX Spectrum until they were practically imprinted onto your thumb, then great news. Copies of Street Fighter IV are being offered by on coolshop for £14.98 which adds up to a saving of almost £3 when compared to the next best price offered by The Hut.
The great thing about SFIV is that rather than totally reinventing the format, Capcom are more or less keeping the classic beat - um - up faithfully true to its roots. The game has all of the original characters and still uses the classic 2D six button control system. However that is not to say that it looks anything like its predecessors. Visually it's had a total make over with the introduction of - what the designers call - ‘3D flourishes’.
This basically means that when you pull off a particular combo, the camera will wheel its way in and give you an all view of the action from different angles. However what's also good about Street Fighter IV on PC, is that it looks far better than on a PS3 or Xbox 360. Especially if you crank up the graphic settings which (as it’s not a very demanding game) can be set to full even if you don’t have some beasty £1000 XPS.
However as you would expect, Street Fighter IV is not simply a clone of the retro classic with better graphics as, although basically the same format, Capcom have made changes. Not only have four more characters been added to the Street Fighter pantheon but there are several new gameplay features. The most significant is the ability to counter an opponent’s moves with a focus attack. This lets you be a bit more creative when fighting as it’s no longer all about memorising a load of button sequences to pull off lengthy combos.
So Street Fighter IV has everything which made you love the old games; great characters, really intense competitive gameplay and a shed load of special moves. But Capcom have also brought just the right balance of innovation to spice things up without completely redefining the old format we all know and love so well.
If you have a PC you’re not going to find a better beat - um - up than this, however, do bear in mind (before you totally destroy your keyboard) it may be wise to invest in a PC controller!