Guile got shafted in Street Fighter IV. Crap hair, crap wishy-washy colours, no 'go home and be a family man', and a crap Ultra
with wrist-cranking execution which made it so much less-than-useful that it went around the horn and became useful again as a humiliating finish to one-sided fights. Super SFIV fixes none of these massively important faults but that doesn't matter because now Guile can fight with his shades on. Aw yeah.
Down + HP + HK is the trigger to whip those shades out and fight in style, and the same again will whip 'em off for less style. Its awesomeness is only trumped by his awesome new Flash Kicks which actually work as semi-decent air defence and his awesome new Ultra which fills half the screen with a gigantic whirling Sonic Boom for idiots to land on while you're
backing away. It even dishes out decent chip damage if you're shit and don't whack it on the end of a little combo. Thanks, Capcom!
In Super Street Fighter IV everything is more awesome. El Fuerte gets better and more awesome, Sagat gets worse and more awesome, Dan is suddenly a viable character and more awesome, and Ryu's new Ultra Combo punches jaws over noses and makes him even more awesome. Tiny tweaks on SFIV's 25 characters have given almost everyone the tools they need to be contenders, and that was more than enough to earn SSFIV a 95 from us. But Capcom didn't stop there.
It's still the same game of one-on-one, best-out-of-three, fist-on-face, boot-on-balls, ultra-competitive Street Fighting you'd remember from last year, and very much the same game you'd remember from 1991 if you weren't such a youthful young buck filled with vim and vigour and the bullets of a dozen Xbox 360 shooters.
Those were the glory days when every night was spent fighting elbow-to-elbow and every day was spent arguing about who was the best. There were other fighters - Mortal Kombat, Samurai Shodown - but it was the annual Street Fighter update which gave every school playground on Earth something new to argue about for the next twelve months. Super
Street Fighter IV is one of those updates for a generation which has porn on e-tap and doesn't care if you can see Chun Li's pants when you pause the game, and one that takes 'arcade perfect' for granted. Today's gamer cares about bigger things - can you play with groups of friends online? Can you save and share replays? Can you enter online tournaments? Can you fight in teams? Can you play winner-stays-on fights with seven other players like it's 1991 and you're smoking with the big kids in the arcade instead of it being 2010 with your wife telling you to lay the table?
Yes, you can. Sure, SSFIV rebalances most of the bits you hated and gives new players ten more chances to not be Ken, but take the game online and it's a whole new world. Where SFIV offered up on-on-one fisticuffs, simple tournaments, and replays for the top thousand players, SSFIV is the game every online fighter should be.
Turn on the new Replay Channel and you can browse replays shared by your Friends List or by the best players in the world. You can browse by character and keyword and even put down your controller and leave the channel running while it selects fights for you to enjoy. SSFIV still does the traditional piss-poor job of explaining itself to new players endemic to all fighters, but in the replay channel you have the best tutorial imaginable. Pick your favourite characters and you'll see what they should look like when played by the world's best. You watch, you learn, you go online and batter your friends.