mandag 23. mars 2009

On Street Fighter 4

After I had played Samurai Shodown and some other SNK fighter classics, it was pretty funny that a reworked blast from the past got released not long after, Street Fighter 4. It seems to something akin to Street Fighter 2 - A Polished Fighting Game - the game that somewhat hooked everyone (including me) on fighter games some 15 years ago or something like that. Compared to Samurai Shodown I never got to play it much however, as it was never on an arcade near me, and I only had one friend that was allowed to own it (LOLZ) and he wasnt even interested in playing it.

The first think I noticed after turning it on however, was THE MOST horrible title screen music EVER in a game I have heard. So before I even played I was looking at a way to remove it from the track the game played without turning the rest of the music off... Though I wasn't successfull there.

When I did start playing, the first thing I noticed was how good the controls immediately felt. Playing and how it looked really made one "feel" the impact. Of course the xbox controller's pad is horrible, and the stick isn't fantastic either for these types of games, so it made me wish I had a snes controller or an arcade stick, but that wasn't SF4's fault. And it looks are.. fantastic. And they took away all the irrelevant things for a 1v1 fighting game, all the rubble, random things that happen and so on,it's amazing how well such a 2d game looks.. It was pretty hard though; I started on normal without really knowing tactics or any moves besides the classic 3 for Ken, and I had to struggle to win the two first matches and it took a while to get past the third opponent. So I ended up playing at the lower difficulties (pretty nice to have such a vast variation of difficulties so scrubs like me can go up at a nicer pace than go from super duper easy to excessively hard), and even then the last boss was a bit evil.

The biggest strength and biggest weakness are both how shallow the game is; the story you have to play through the game with at least 10 characters to even start to understand what is going on, and the last boss is so incredibly typical of such games (he doesnt play fair, is annoying and so on), but he looks incredibly dull and uninspired. And you have to unlock something like 9 or 10 characters to get a full roster, making you have to play through the game repeatedly on single player to be able to choose everyone. I suppose it helps single player modus have more appeal, as the comp isn't really that fun to play against in the long run, so one needs to put in more carrots than some small bits of anime before and after the single player is done with each character. And there isn't much variation of modes or anything; besides the standard story/arcade mode there is time attack and survival and some training, but that's it. And it doesn't change the formula of how it is played; 1v1 without any proper interference.

Multiplayer is where it shines, obviously. Having just played some of that, it makes me crave for more. I can't even remember any game ever being as fun as it in versus mode, even the PES games comes up short. Obviously it is at it's best against comparable opponents, but handicaps and playing the annoying characters can always even the odds. And besides, one can just keep playing versus without having to suffer the main menu music..

Rated: 9/10

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