244 Reviews

Street Fighter IV

Review: Street Fighter at its best

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If you absorb a hit your fighter instantly launches a counter attack, hitting the opponent and opening them up for a combo opportunity. The Focus attack's lethal blow will also be unleashed if you hold the buttons for about a second, with charged up force that makes your opponent fall to the ground.

Focus attacks will be used by advanced players mid-combo to extend the number of hits they can get off in a single chain. It takes silly skill, but it's possible.

There are also new Ultra Combo moves. Taking a blow charges up your Revenge gauge. When it's full, performing an Ultra combo (by pressing a number of directions followed by either all three kicks or punches) can turn the fight around.

Although there's not much story to the game (except for an intro and ending video for each character's Arcade run), it's still just as fun as it's ever been to work through the arcade mode with every character to get all the unlockables.


Outside of Arcade mode, and the Challenge mode we spoke about earlier, you've also got a Survival mode, which challenges you to take on a set number of fighters without your vitality depleting.

Different challenges change the rules a little - earlier ones are easy because your health recharges, enemies can't block and your attack power is boosted. In later rounds, these effects are reversed against you, and it's bloody nails.

Similar rule-bending tricks are done in the Time Attack mode, which has you fighting to defeat a specified number of enemies within time limit. It's great because you're rushing, and you have a tendency to throw all technique out the window, so it's a real test of patience and discipline. It adds a little variety to a game that, in all honesty, doesn't need it.

Surely SF has always been about one-on-one versus play. Nothing else matters. And it's online offerings take care of that. Ranked matches give you the chance to earn battle points - which you'll be obsessed with building up. There's even the option to play through the arcade mode with access open to online players, who can interrupt and jump in.

And there's loads more to come in the online department via a post release patch - read all about that here.

This is a strong contender for best fighting game of all time. It's not everyone's cup of tea - if you know nothing about fighters you should hold off for Tekken 6. This is hardcore.

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The verdict

Street Fighter at its best.

  • Fantastic art direction
  • Return to classic gameplay
  • Best one-on-one fighter out there
  • Tough on complete beginners
  • No proper training mode
PlayStation 3
Beat 'em Up, Action