Ultra Street Ultra Fighter Ultra IV Ultra!

I think I know what hell will be like. It will be someone demanding you put all the Street Fighter games in order on a shelf. The latest entry to the entirely garbled series will be Ultra Street Fighter IV, come August next year. It evolves to the next level!

So here I could read around the subject and bluff my way through the new features in this latest version of the 2008 game. Or I could entirely make them up. But which is it?!

Ultra O.K. K.O. System: Ultra Street Fighter IV is to take the classic and well-loved K.O.s from the original game, and gives them a significant boost. Now players can store up O.K. points during the fight, sacrificing power during the main combat to deliver a more spectacular finishing move, with the potential to unlock a new moustache.

Online Bathing: Favourite characters can now be taken online in an all-new multiplayer ablutions system. One of SFIV’s most popular additions to the series was the addition of character sweating, allowing B.O. attacks. In this update, that sweat can lead to fungal infections, so you have to weigh up the advantages against that, and choose whether to take them to the online baths. Those who play as Rufus are especially advised to take advantage of this.

New special moves: Joining Crimson Viper’s Ultra Combo Death Drill Practice Drill Of Death is The Sit Down. Meanwhile Seth will get a new spin, and Chun-Li adds hammers to her arsenal.

Groins: Ever more groins.

You can find out much more in the trailer below. Please take your Ritalin now:


  1. mukuste says:

    I would venture a guess that the writer isn’t interested in fighting games?

    • welverin says:

      I would say so, I however am looking forward to this. I thank John for posting this even if he doesn’t have any particular interest himself.

      I much appreciate capcom making the updates add-ons instead standalone releases (though they make those available as well).

    • FlyingScotsmanZA says:


    • wilynumber13 says:

      None of the writers on this website do, I almost wish they’d just not write about them at all than write this drivel. If you’re actually interested in fighting games, stick to Shoryuken and IPlayWinner.

    • Apocalypse says:

      I would guess the write is not interested in his readers.
      See you in August or so John.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I want to play John’s game :(.

  3. Jupiah says:

    I’m just a casual fighting game fan and I quickly got tired of the dozens of revisions and releases most fighting game series get so I usually wait until a “definitive” version of a particular game is released before I pick it up. So I might pick up Street Fighter 4 when Street Fighter 5 is announced and I can be reasonably sure that the latest SF4 is the last one. Based on their past SF games though I’m not confident that Ultra Street Fighter 4 is going to be the last one. Until then I’ll stick with Skullgirls and Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend.

    • welverin says:

      Ono has stated he doesn’t have the staff for a new game, and with Capcom’s apparent fininacial troubles it could be some time before there’s a SF5.

      I think it’s a bit silly to wait for a definitive edition when you can always add the updates separately, especially since dlc for PC games reliably goes on sale as well, unlike consoles.

      • Moraven says:

        Their first half of the year seemed fine.
        “For the six months ended September 30, 2013, Capcom’s Digital Content division posted revenues of 37.5 billion yen ($381.7 million), up from 35.0 billion yen ($356.2 million), and profits of 5.4 billion yen ($54.9 million), down from 5.8 billion ($59.0 million) year-over-year.

        Overall, the company posted revenues of 53.2 billion yen ($541.0 million), up from 45.5 billion yen ($462.7 million) year-over-year, and profits of 5.0 billion yen ($50.9 million), up from 4.1 billion yen ($41.7 million) year-over-year.”

        While the games division has flat growth they are not in a financial freefall.

        • welverin says:

          That’s good, with the under performing of some of their recent releases and the news of how much money the had coming out I saw a lot of comments about their poor financial situation. I thought a lot of it was overblown, so I didn’t look into much myself.

        • Wedge says:

          The problem is they have very little in cash reserves right now, so anything that doesn’t bring in a profit could bring them down hard (they probably burned through a lot on the RE6 disaster).

        • Baines says:

          Capcom is the company that (about a decade ago) saw Nintendo-system games meeting and exceeding sales expectations while its Sony and Microsoft games were coming up far short of expectations, and decided the best way to make up for the losses was to slash their Nintendo game development roughly in half.

          Companies, even financially driven ones, don’t always appear to be run by reasonable logic. (Note the old Japanese developer trend of continuing to sink money into a money hole project for years instead of admitting to failure. Sometimes it pays off, most of the time it doesn’t.)

    • Steven Hutton says:

      You don’t like constant revisions but you do like Blazblue? What?

    • Baines says:

      Four of Ultra’s five characters are being ported from SFxT, which runs on almost the same engine. A fan had already modded SFxT Rolento into SSF4AE some time before Capcom ever announced Ultra. At the time, it felt a bit like Capcom either got the idea from modders, or rushed the announcement before modders finished the job first. (The work Capcom put into Ultra may best be shown by the fifth character.)

      Combine that with the at the time still secret information that Microsoft was shutting down GFWL, and Capcom has reason to announce another expansion/upgrade to SF4. They do some easy porting for new characters. Do some more difficult balance work. Scrap GFWL. And keep their most popular 3D fighter that does *not* involve a licensing deal with another party active for the future. (SFxT was not well received, never recovered from its negative reception, certainly wasn’t the blockbuster that Capcom hoped, and involves a license deal with Namco. From Capcom’s side, it has been dead for a while. MvC3 had a somewhat split reception and involves a license deal with Marvel that is apparently about to end. It has been dead from Capcom’s side since UMvC3.)

      The odds of another “big” paid expansion to SF4 are pretty low. On the other hand, they aren’t zero, simply because Capcom doesn’t really have anything else to push. Capcom buried Darkstalkers because not enough people bought the nth re-release of the original arcade games yet again and SFxT dampened Capcom’s attitude towards 3D fighters in general. Capcom can’t afford SF5, and the Marvel deal is ending so there won’t be more on that front. The Tatsunoko deal was probably just a one-off throwaway test to see if they could do a 3D Marvel. So what else is there other than for Ono to try to scrape up another addition to SF4?

  4. Volcanu says:

    That’s a most groin-tacular image that second one.

    I have to say the bright, cartoony style of SFII looks much more attractive than these rather drab 3d type visuals. But then my opinion scarcely matters as I’ve lways been atrocious at beat-em-ups….

  5. SkittleDiddler says:

    Excuse me please, Mr. Capcom, I’m still waiting for an update for my copy of Street Fighter IV. What’s that, Capcom? I have to pay $29.99 for it while console owners get a discount? And you’re calling it Ultra Street Fighter IV? Oh. Well, never mind then. I’ll just keep waiting.

    • welverin says:

      No one gets a discount or ability to upgrade SF4, Super SF4 was stand alone fore everyone, and that’s what is upgradeable.

      I believe it’s the reaction and uproar over SSF4 and particularly UMvC3 that sent capcom down the upgrade path they’re on now, instead of the new standalone release that had done up to that point. I just wish other companies had learned from them (I’m looking at you Team Ninja).

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        All true (maybe, I’ve seen conflicting reports as to whether just the last version or all the versions are attached to the DLC). Still, the end result is the same for me: if I want an upgraded Street Fighter experience, I am first forced to pay full price for a separate release, then I’m forced to pay for an extension for the release I just bought.

        Since Street Fighter IV is the only Capcom game I can stomach, the whole process is disappointing.

    • Dominare says:

      You could’ve grabbed it for $7 during the last sale, had you really wanted it. Of course, that’s not very edgy.

  6. Totally heterosexual says:

    The “upgrades” for fighting games are largely for the tournament crowd. I can see how they would tick off more casual buyers.

  7. iainl says:

    I take it there’s still no news on whether it will be possible to de-LIVE and so carry on playing SSFIVAE after the server turnoff without buying this? Because while it looks like there’s some good changes in here, I kind of resent being forced to upgrade just to stay with a working game.

    • RedViv says:

      Capcom? Doing upgrades for free? Bahahaha.

      • iainl says:

        I guess I should be happy that this can at least be made to carry on working by spending money on the patch. No news yet on whether Dark Souls will carry on at all…

        • Beernut says:

          Could lead to nice precedences though. Multiplayer-servers being taken offline is something we’re used to and understandable in ways (costs money to maintain). But single-player-games are different. It doesn’t matter what they write in their EULAs, half of the stuff in those don’t hold up in a court (at least in Germany, but afaik UK has quite strong consumer-rights as well). If they sell you a software with offline-functionality and one day cut off your ability to use it, they’ve depreciated the product. you bought.

          And since it’s not the only game being “disabled” in the course of GFWLs retirement, I guess we’ll see some shitstorms in the course of the next year. I hope that it’ll lead pubs/devs to the realisation, that it’s less damaging to patch out the GFWL-requirements of their games, than to have customers flooding their forums with complaints.

          • Baines says:

            Companies happily continue to sell games that are in non-functional states on modern systems, seemingly without any real consequence. GFWL going down will likely be seen as little different.

            Capcom continues to sell, and put on sale, eXceed, which only runs properly on modern machines if the user downloads an application from Microsoft in order to manually set custom compatibility settings (after doing some forum searching). Bioware’s Steam version of Jade Empire requires a few hours of forum searching and trial and error to get it running, and even then it allegedly remains buggier than the non-Steam version. Yet BioWare continues to sell it, and to put it on sale, without a care towards fixing it. None of THQ, Volition, nor CD Projekt (maker of the port) ever bothered to fix the timing issue that affects the PC port of Saints Row 2 on Windows 7.

            But for the best comparison, there is (unfortunately) DarkSpore.

            EA continued to sell DarkSpore months *after* the game was abandoned in a broken state, and after a server issue prevented new owners from being able to play at all. EA continued selling the game on Origin even after Valve pulled the Steam version. The final result was that the game was eventually pulled from sale on Origin as well. It was never fixed.

          • HadToLogin says:

            Well, they will do that as long as somebody takes them to court.

            So, are you planning to go to court over $50? Knowing they pay so-called-$100k to their lawyers per day, whether there’s case or not?

          • Emeraude says:

            So, are you planning to go to court over $50?

            That’s specifically the kind of cases class action lawsuits were created to address.
            Sadly, people don’t get a right to those anymore those days.

          • Baines says:

            Lawyers realized class action suits were money farms, and people realized that they only received chump change even if the case was won. I’ve received a few things by mail over the years saying I was due a payout from class action lawsuits (that I didn’t opt out of, and often didn’t even know existed), and generally it isn’t even worth the time or hassle to get the dollar or two in payment that trickled down that far. Of course the lawyers involved probably bought new vacation homes with their cuts.

            When John Grisham, a writer who has made a career of writing novels where the heroes are lawyers, has nothing positive to say about your particular branch of law, then you probably aren’t well perceived. (Grisham flat out trashed both class action lawyers and the whole class action lawsuit system when he did cover them in a book.)

      • Ringwraith says:

        The Arcade Edition part of the Super was free insofar that you could play with with Super players if you had AE. So basically, you couldn’t play the new characters unless you owned AE.
        Sounds like they are doing a similar thing with this, so you won’t get the shiny new features if you haven’t got the new version’s upgrade, but can still play with those people.
        The PC version might be a bit fuzzier, if only because it skipped straight to AE so it hasn’t got the cross-play precedent, and it’s still shackled to Games for Winarrgh.

    • Baines says:

      Capcom refuses to speak about it, other than a quick message on the Capcom-Unity forum that they were looking at removing GFWL requirements in other games.

      Capcom no longer really answers questions in their “Ask Capcom” section of the Capcom-Unity forums. I’m not the biggest fan of Seth, but at least you’d sometimes see information when he was still working there.

      And no games journalism sites appear to be willing to press the issue, or even to raise it at all. (My guess is that most games sites just copy Capcom’s PR releases anyway, without ever trying to ask anything. Not that I’d expect Capcom to give game sites real answers any more than I’d expect them to give individual people.)

  8. jackass00 says:

    John, why do you write about games if you hate them so much?

  9. Lord_Santa says:

    there’s one fighting game and one fighting game alone. Way of the Exploding Fist by Melbourne House (no, I don’t mind the International Karate series, but I think they’re too much hype and too little challenge in comparison (especially if you play Way of the Exploding Fist ‘tournament edition’ with ‘turbo mode’))

    • Kefren says:

      I found SF4 to be confusing and stressful to play. For me the fighting games I actually enjoyed were:
      – IK+ (C64/Amiga: I loved the ‘three fighters at one’ chaos)
      – Body Blows (Amiga)
      – Street Fighter 2 (arcade)

      For co-op fighting, I’d say Target Renegade (Spectrum) and Bubble Bobble (C64/Amiga).

      • tumbleworld says:

        Man, IK+ was incredible. So many hours sunk into that…

      • Lord_Santa says:

        yeah, don’t get me wrong; I consider IK+ a great game as well (preferably the C64 version, due to Rob Hubbard’s musical masterpiece), but in the end System 3 completely ripped off the sprites from Melbourne House’s Way of the Exploding Fist in International Karate and IK+
        although one could always argue that Way of the Exploding Fist (in terms of gameplay) was a ripoff from Karate Champ, I think that it’s the one game which has the most ‘challenge’ to it

        there’s also Fist+ (C64) which (ironically) ripped off IK+ (three fighters), but with Fist 2 characters instead (and of course some different moves)

        IK+ is still the game I spent the most time with, but as I’ve grown older I’ve started to prefer Way of the Exploding Fist, since it feels like it ‘packs more of a punch’ (no pun intended), while I’ll always love IK+ (and apparently these days there’s the option to control all three characters (International Karate + Gold), I feel that whenever I want to get really challenged, I’ll play Way of the Exploding Fist
        subsequently the ‘tournament edition’ which I’ve mentioned (I’ve no idea how I found it, but I do have it on cassette tape for the C64) is slightly faster than the original, which was always the one issue I had with Way of the Exploding Fist back in the days

      • Slazia says:

        I think the ATD music and voiceover does nothing to help it in that respect. It feels like I’m trapped in an 8 year old’s idea of what game music should be like.
        “Faster, faster, faster, lounder, louder, faster, louder, faster, louder, faster.. .”

  10. Scumbag says:

    Groins? Close-ups of Poison’s groin? It may not be what you think.

  11. JohnIsADick says:

    I don’t think you work in the right field for you, John.

  12. Geebs says:

    When did Dante and Dhalsim have a kid?

    • Steven Hutton says:

      They didn’t but someone at Capcom is clearly an x-men fan

  13. tumbleworld says:

    Even! More! Dick-punches!

  14. bit_crusherrr says:

    Can’t wait to play as Hugo and just wobble my head all round.

  15. Steven Hutton says:

    Lets see how I manage off the top of my head:

    Street Fighter 2: World Warrior (Base game)
    Street Fighter 2: Championship Edition (You can play as the four bosses)
    Street Fighter 2: Turbo – Hyper Fighting (Slightly faster gameplay)
    Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers (Adds Cammy, Fei Long, T-Hawk and Dee Jay)
    Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo
    Street Fighter Alpha (Prequel game)
    Street Fighter Alpha 2
    Street Fighter Alpha 3
    Street Fighter 3 (First true sequel to SF2)
    Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact
    Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike (Hugely popular game)
    Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo: HD: Remix (Major rebalance and graphical update. Longest Title and therefore best game)
    Street Fighter 4 (Recent game, huge cast 3d engine with 2d gameplay)
    Super Street Fighter 4 (Sequel with ten new characters)
    Super Street Fighter 4 AE (Arcade Edition, rebalance of Super with four new characters)
    Ultra Street Fighter 4 (Another sequel, adding more characters, modes, a major rebalance and some new gameplay features)

    • Wedge says:

      Ignoring all the home variants, still missing Street Fighter EX 1-3!

      • Steven Hutton says:

        Damn! I really, liked those games aswell! Akuma’s Super just outright kills from full health. It’s the best.

    • Mo says:

      That’s Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers

    • SuicideKing says:


    • Premium User Badge

      Phasma Felis says:

      You left out Street Fighter! You know, the first one!

      And who could forgot Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight, the NES game in which Ken is an interdimensional cyborg cop in the distant future of 2010?

    • Baines says:

      No mention of Zero 2 Alpha or Zero 3 Upper? Sure, they were Japanese releases, but they get into some of the sillier named releases.

      (“Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper” was pretty much a port to the arcade of the Dreamcast home version of Zero/Alpha 3. “Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha” was just fun naming because the US had changed “Zero” to “Alpha” for the series, and then Capcom released a Japanese upgraded version that tacked “Alpha” onto the end of Zero/Alpha 2. It never saw a US arcade release, so Capcom of America didn’t have to choose between calling the US version “Alpha 2 Alpha,” “Alpha 2 Zero,” or something else entirely. (The closest home version of that title to see a US name was “Alpha 2 Gold”.))

    • Shieldmaiden says:

      There’s also the games based on the awful live action movie and the brilliant animated movie.

  16. int says:

    Need more fighting games with weapons. Namco, where be the Soul Caliburs for PC?

    • FullMetalMonkey says:

      I too would like some Souls to Calibrate.

      I also need to get my Mitsurugi fix.

    • dE says:

      I must have spent way over 300 hours with Soul Calibur V. Although truth be told: About 280 of those must have been in the character editor.

  17. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    Capcom is the most lazy and shameless company ever. They are just copy-pasting 4 characters from SFvsT into SSF4 and relaunching the whole goddamn thing as a brand new game. Now come on…

    • Wedge says:

      It’s DLC with an optional retail copy just like the AE release was. There’s a fifth character they haven’t shown yet either. Yeah it is still pretty lazy, but I’m not really surprised given this is only for hardcore players, they wouldn’t be putting much money into it either.

    • acidlacedpenguin says:

      did you even watch the video, they did more than simply add 4 characters. They added a bunch of stuff and are launching it as DLC and you can upgrade from any previous version of street fighter 4.

    • dahonga says:

      Fighting games like Street Fighter take an immense amount of testing to balance out the characters. In many cases, small changes like shortening the start up of a normal move by 1 frame can mean the difference between a balanced character vs one that dominates the rest of the cast. Then you have to balance the character against all/most of the other characters. Introducing 4 new characters (even with existing art assets) require a lot of work in the back. The movesets for each will change substantially since the game engines are different and the pacing is different.

      Now Mortal Kombat is a series with crappy balancing and see if there are people that still play Mortal Kombat II and look at how many still play Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

  18. 12inchPlasticToy says:

    I lost 1000 calories watching that trailer. Gotta start stretching now to get ready for the next edition: Ultra Super Street Fighter IV XL.
    I say “edition” because calling this a DLC seems taboo… though at one point they may have to change the way they name games. In the history of locomotion, from the invention of the wheel to the space rocket, we call it just that in layman’s terms: a space rocket, not a Wheel-now-made-of-wood v.12.0(a.k.a. titanium)-combustion-powered-selfpropelled-aerospatial-autoguided-basically-not-a-wheel-anymore.

    And that’s how the NASA started developping games.

  19. EvaUnit02 says:

    The release will be worth picking up solely on the merits that it doesn’t use GfWL (it has the far less irritating Steamworks).

    Of course if you already own a previous iteration I’d recommend waiting for a digital store sale on it.

  20. SuicideKing says:

    I really just want Tekken on the PC.

  21. Gap Gen says:

    I too am excited to interact with Bikini Fighter #Number. I shall commence queuing for its release shortly. Please place Game Product in Hand Receptacle.

  22. Radiant says:

    Nice lol.

    Btw the Capcom cup tournament was this past weekend and with NEC the weekend before.

    I know there’s cries of “shameless!” but they’re doing this mostly for existing players and community so it’s actually a really great thing for us.

  23. Pow pow LAZERS! says:

    Why cant they just make a violent fighting game without sexist characters!?

  24. Tuco says:

    This was embarrassing to read.

  25. Skiddywinks says:

    Marvel Vs Capcom forever

  26. Mooglepies says:

    I actually found John’s writeup fairly amusing, assuming it was a tongue in cheek way of saying “I have absolutely no idea what all the fuss is about, but apprently this is a Thing That Is Happening.”

    Very much looking forward to this. While a lot of people will sneer at the fact it’s the third iteration of the same game, people who play it seriously (and it is those people that this is being made for) will understand that these updates are really important to keep the game fresh. It’ll get written off by its detractors as a cynical cash grab, but (and it’s in addition to being that) it’s also something that the dedicated community of the game asked for. This is mostly in response to the maturation of the game; the longer the community has with it, the more they break it, finding such delights as infinite combos, game-freeze glitches and unblockable combo setups (the latter being particularly harmful to the long-term prospects of the game). It’s refreshing to see Capcom so engaged, particularly after SFxT was (comparatively) so poorly received. Perhaps they’ve realised it’s their golden egg laying goose, and have rushed to its defence to keep it that way.

    It’s hard to convey to an outside observer or a casual player just how much difference even the smallest changes can make to people that play the game seriously – just a few frames nipped and tucked on different moves can radically change how someone plays their character, and how they engage other characters. And this is happening to all the characters, with input from the people that play them at frequent location tests all over the world.

    As it’s not a full-price release (unless you get the retail version with all of the old costume DLC), it’s squarely aimed at those people, rather than getting new people in (although I’m sure that it will do that to a limited extent). Add that to the extra 5 characters being ported in from SFxT and it looks like it’s going to be a very solid package.

    My personal wishlist for the game (outside the stuff already announced) would be for a rematch option in two player lobbies online (rather than being shoved back to the lobby and having to select character again) and for a more in depth tutorial that actually teaches you the fundamentals of the game, rather than simple combo trials (which don’t really make you any better at the game, they’re just there to give you a sample of what the character can do).

  27. porps says:

    You dont have to have a dislike of fighting games to be utterly bored of capcom endlessly releasing the same game year after year, with only the addition of an extra word or 2 in the title to set it apart from it’s predecessors.

  28. MithrilWomble says:

    I just watched the trailer and now need to have a lie down.

  29. Crudzilla says:

    Can anyone tell me if the online part of this is cross platform? I had a blast playing the original SFIV on it’s release on Xbox and would love to pick up this version for PC.

    It seems like there wouldn’t be much of an audience for this game on PC though (especially given the dismissive drivel spat out in this article). So could I play with xbox or PS3 players? Or is there any kind of community for this game on PC?

    • Baines says:

      No, it is not cross platform.

      Microsoft has traditionally been against cross platform play, even between the Xbox and a Windows PC. Sony has supposedly been more open, but Capcom has (at least until Microsoft decided to shut it down) chosen to use GFWL for its PC ports.

      Best bet for judging it might be to check on fighting game sites like Shoryuken. I haven’t tried to play SSF4AE online in a while. Honestly, I can’t speak to how well the PS3 or 360 versions have held up online either.

  30. shyguy badman says:

    I can’t wait! The best fighting game ever gets a new iteration!

    It always upsets me that there is a lot of hate for SF4 and especially its iterations, which I can’t really understand.

    If you are just a casual gamer, just buy any version of the game and enjoy it! If you then go on to become a master and love the game I doubt you will mind spending a bit more cash on the latest version. Like anything, usually, if you want the very best you buy the latest version, so why not the same with Street Fighter? This will delight thousands of hardcore fans.

    Please remember the original iteration of this game (SF4) was released in 2008! It will be 2014 very soon…. Many games don’t get support for 6 months let alone 6 years!… and if you consider the original game, Street Fighter, and it’s colossally successful sequel, Street Fighter 2 (which SF4 is based on) were released in 1987 and 1991 respectively you should realise this game franchise is extremely solid and has done more for gaming than many other games or game franchises ever have.

    I am glad they have decided to concentrate on this game for a bit longer because I can’t see what real benefits atm the latest round of consoles would bring in offering a new iteration ie. Street Fighter 5. I’m sure this will happen eventually, but I would rather wait for this console generation to be more mature. (I do realise that the technological limits of this game have usually been defined by arcade machines rather than home consoles but I can imagine the large consumer revenue stream created by consoles provides a lot of impetus to Capcom)

    anyway rant over lol….
    Roll on Ultra Street Fighter 4!

    I wanna smash someone with Hugo, stick the shit out of someone with Rolento, crush some little b***h between Poison Ivy’s thighs and dance around someone with Elena….and….whatever the new character does….

    • lucky jim says:

      It’s not the WORST game ever, but I think it gets a deserving amount of hate due to some really poor design decisions.

      -lots of relatively safe moves with invincibility
      -Ultras.. just their existence. a high damage move getting unlocked just for getting beaten, that’s great.
      -crouch-teching resulting in a low attack. O/S a low and a throw-tech is fairly annoying. At least with 3rd strike you’d get a low punch which doesn’t count as a low.
      -tight links designed just to appeal to the hardcore gamer, but there was no real reason other than adding an arbitrary difficulty barrier
      -massive reversal window, making reversals a little too easy.
      -tons of hitstun of jump-in attacks, making it super easy to combo off jump-in attacks

      I’m also not a fan of the slow pace and low damage, but that’s more of an opinion.

      I would honestly be shocked if anyone legitimately thinks SF4 is the best fighting game ever if they had spent a solid amount of time trying other recent fighters such as Tekken, King of Fighters, Virtua Fighter or Guilty Gear.

      • Mooglepies says:

        SF4 gets a pass as far as I’m concerned because, outside of Focus and Ultra (and all things related to them), it’s pretty much the 2D Fighting game reduced to its fundamentals. No assist nonsense, no gems, no (or at least, very few) juggles, they aimed to recreate SF2 and to my mind they succeeded; the game is easy to get into (although it could do more to teach new players fundamentals) and has enough variety in the cast and depth to last for pretty much however long you’d want it to. That’s not to say that the other games in your list are bad, or even not better technically than SF4, but so many fighting games bulk themselves out with additional mechanics and suchlike (combo breakers, combos that go on forever, roman cancels, HD combo loops, etc) which aren’t necessarily bad in themselves but act as a very daunting prospect to people trying to get into the game.

        I also disagree with a number of your points; there aren’t a lot of invulnerable moves that are safe on block (or whiff, for that matter). There are some that are safe, true, there are a fair amount that are safe when spaced perfectly (which is fine), there are some which are safe when meter is expended (also fine, most of the time, depending on risk/reward). There are far, far more that are really unsafe in the same situations. Some characters don’t even get any invulnerable moves at all.

        Considering the amount of decent anti-air moves in the game, you shouldn’t be getting jumped in on for free anyway. When a jump in does connect into a big juicy combo, that’s entirely the fault of the defender for not having blocked or anti-aired. The only time this really falls apart in SF4 is with the sheer power of vortex characters, who will, by necessity, land them more than anyone else in ambiguous or unblockable setups. I also don’t quite understand how it’s a complaint when you also go on to complain about the slow pace and low damage of the game; high damage and combo potential off heavy jump ins means that the game goes quicker, surely?

        Ultras also work to speed a match up and open up additional options midway through the match. It charges with absorbed damage (through focus or armour moves) as well as being beaten. While I don’t always like the idea of being rewarded for taking damage, it makes sense, if only to speed up the match and add some more high damage choices for the players.

        I also don’t quite understand how you can say that tight links are a bad thing while on the next line saying that the window for reversals is too large, making it too easy. What does tightening that window add, if not an arbitrary execution difficulty wall? Or did you mean that the window was so large that you’re accidentally getting reversals when you don’t want them? In either case, the tight links are usually alternative, riskier but more damaging options than a character’s simpler, less execution-heavy combos. They’re there for people that want to put more time into the game (learning how to pull off the links correctly) to get more out of it. I don’t think that’s something to criticise, particularly when combos don’t go on for days like in other fighters.

        That’s not to say I think the game is without fault though. Personally I’d like to see throws have greater recovery because it’s so, so easy to just through it out and hope for the best, particularly when they reward you with decent damage and a hard knockdown (by which I mean a setup). The Focus Attack has effectively neutered the effectiveness of the neutral (footsies) game, which I’m not overly fond of. I also don’t like option selects at all. I realise it’s part and parcel of the way the game works mechanically (and, in fact, on how 2D fighters work full stop), but, on principle, I’d prefer to win or lose because of good reads and decision making/execution of the player, rather than being able to do multiple things at the same time and have the game decide which option is the better one. I don’t think that’s going to go away though, so I’ll just have to take it.

        • lucky jim says:

          I agree that the game is more fundamentals-based than a lot of new fighters with all their subsystems, but it still didn’t capture the essence of SF2. And in an age where you can still PLAY SF2 with rollback-based netcode on GGPO, I prefer just to stick with that. As you say, with focus attacks ruining the footsie game, along with single hits doing such poor damage compared to combos and combos into ultra, have reduced the fundamentals aspect of the game.

          Extended hitstun off jump-ins reduces the footsies element quite a bit, imo. If you’re close enough to get a jump-in, you’re close enough to get a full combo. if you compare that to Super Turbo or KoF, where a jump-in attack will get you some damage and positioning, but then you have further mindgames to play after the attack. It makes the overall game more interesting. On top of that, the jump-in hitstun makes crossup combos so.. easy. Too easy. You can hit someone on the top of their head with a light attack and go into a full combo when you touch the ground. I find crossup factors interesting, but always leading to a full combo no matter how shallow the crossup, again, just makes the gameplay a little less interesting.

          Regarding combo timing vs reversal timing, considering that the game is fairly low damage and requires combos to get a lot of your damage in, having them difficult when they are a staple part of the gameplay, and only difficult because the developers tried to add some arbitrary depth to the game, seems unnecessary. Whereas reversals SHOULD be more difficult to pull off. When you compare the system in SF4 to SF2 or especially Injustice pre-patch (I played that one on console), it meant that reversals had more risk associated with them just due to the small input window. Sometimes it may not be worth to try to reversal due to the risk of missing and it may just be better to attempt to defend the incoming mixup. It seems that some of that mindgame is also lost when the reversal window is so large.

          In general, I just think the pace of the game is ruined compared to more fundamentals-based fighters that we’ve had in the past. It’s a lot of light attacks into hitconfirm combo, knockdown setups, crossup combos, that sort of thing. Whereas in SF2 you can play a solid game without learning a combo at all, because they’re mostly just used if you land a dizzy. Walk up throws and tick throws aren’t such a big deal due to the slower walkspeed, you can fairly easily see them coming, throws are comparatively low damage, and the defending player can mash crouch-tech.. It’s a slow, defensive game as a result.

          Anyway, I’ve tried to get into the game numerous times but I just find things to complain about. I’m just waiting for SF5 where they will hopefully build it from the ground up into something really good and not borrow any mechanics from SF4.

  31. AlphaCentauri says:

    I bet you’re one of those people who complained when you didn’t get a discount on Blade Runner: The Final Cut because you owned another edition already on dvd.

  32. zaik says:

    This looks like the kind of garbage Ben Kuchera used to write before he got fired for being awful.