After waiting what seems like an eternity, I finally found myself playing Street Fighter IV over the past few days. I got the Xbox 360 version ‘cause I know more people on that network if I decide to play it online (sorry Dilip). I would’ve gotten both versions, but it’s cold out there and I like having a roof over my head.

The game is beautiful, graphically and musically. I was a little concerned for the music after the trainwrecks that were the Capcom vs SNK 2 soundtrack and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 soundtrack, but Capcom pulled this one out (although Sarah thinks the SFIV opening song is gay, you be the judge)...

It has a unique artistic style, as you can tell by the opening movie above, it also has anime openings and endings for each character, all 12 original SFII characters are present, plus Fei Long and Cammy from Super SFII (where’s Dee Jay?). They even busted out Sakura from SF Zero. Each character doesn’t have their own stage; you just fight in one of the available stages it seems. But there are a lot of stages; they’re all really nice, with their own unique soundtracks (unless you’re fighting your rival, then the music switches to the theme song of whatever character you’re fighting).

It’s a bit frustrating playing a new Street Fighter game, you tend to get used to knowing all the moves and timing, now when I try to do a combo, I don’t know on which frame of animation I’m supposed to start executing the next move, the combo doesn’t work… Bleh. I went through the same thing when SFIII came out though. It comes with the territory. This game actually reminds me of SFIII a bit. Some of the innovations from that game made it to SFIV. EX moves and dashes. At least parries and air blocks aren’t in it. I always thought that took a lot of the fun out of it.

It’s a bit too slow and floaty for my tastes, not as bad as Virtua Fighter, where you jump and don’t land for five minutes, but a little. After coming off playing a marathon of SFII for the past few days, this game is definitely slower, hopefully there’s a way to make it faster. This is starting to sound like a negative review, it’s not. It’s just a few hang-ups I have with playing a new version of Street Fighter. I’m definitely finding myself having to change down my timing from SFII. SPEED IT UP! I’m sure SFIV Champion Edition will come out and be faster, and cost me another $60, or $80 if they do a special edition again, JERKS!

Overall I’m really happy with the game; I already like it a lot more than SFIII, which I never really got into. Playing it with the Madcatz Street Fighter Fightpad is HIGHLY recommended if you can find one. I was even brave enough to play it online last night; I did horribly, as my timing still isn’t there yet. Apparently Dilip sucks at it too:

STREET FIGHTER IV. It’s out. Quit reading this and go get it. If you already have it, you should be playing it.

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