Sunday, February 22, 2009

Street Fighter 4 First Impressions

I spent a good half a day playing street fighter 4 over a friend’s house this past weekend and all the good memories of my street fighter days of the past in arcades came rushing back to me. This game is really well put together and I had a blast. They did a really good job of making the action fast enough to be fun, yet slow enough to not get overwhelmed by button mashing. I was able to quickly pick up the game and at least with the original cast of characters get right into things and perform their moves. Here are some of my initial impressions of the game.

The move sets and combinations are great. Ex Moves (more powerful versions of your characters special moves) are awesome twists adding a lot more variety into the game. Also focus moves make for some very interesting mix up as well, and of course the ultra and super moves make for some nice come backs and entertaining cut scenes. There is a lot of playing to be done by players far better than me to determine what is and isn’t balanced in this game but it has a great base I think to make it one of the better tournament games for the ages. Its simple enough to pick up and play, but has some very nice detailed strategy to make players that master it far and away better. This kind of blend makes it over all an amazing game, A+.

Now on to my thoughts on some of the characters. Ken and Ryu seem a little more difficult to do the commands for their fireballs and hurricane kick (if that’s what it is called hehe). I used to be able to easily perform these and they used to be some of my better fighters in the original. Granted, I didn’t play a long time and did try a lot of different characters, but I was thinking these guys would be in my rotation for sure. After a few matches of moves not going off, I decided to leave them be. Maybe if I end up buying the game later I’ll see if I can pick em back up, but I’m not too keen on playing or mastering the characters that the majority of people like to play so I’m not too worried about it.

Sagat seems a little overpowered to me. Not only does he have a great arsenal of moves including low and high fireballs, tiger uppercut, and tiger knee, but he also has high priority on his attacks that always seem to out hit whomever I am fighting him with. He has a high life bar and hits really hard, I’d often find myself getting hit 4-5 times from my opponent then hitting them with one fireball and an uppercut or something and being ahead of them in the match. Also his ultra does massive damage, many matches I was losing pretty good only to pull of the ultra and win. I enjoyed playing him for sure, but I felt a little bit of an advantage when doing so. Again with so many people probably picking him up I won’t try to master him, but he is definitely going to be one to be reckoned with in the tournaments.

I didn’t get time to play with everyone nor try out everything I would have liked but I settled in on Guile as my favorite this time around. He suits my play style well and he had a good arsenal of moves to keep the enemy off him. I typically don’t enjoy the charge up moves (such as his sonic boom and axe kick) but for some reason in street fighter 4 they seem easier to pull off and not such a chore. For that reason I also really enjoyed Balrog as well and have always liked Blanka. I hope this game comes out for computer so I can get it, I wonder if I’ll be able to play against others who have xbox 360 like my friend. That would be awesome if so.

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