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OXM: Street Fighter IV Review

At first, Capcom thought it was a bad idea. Street Fighter IV? Why mess with the legacy? But producer Yoshinori Ono eventually convinced his bosses that this game could do it all - live up to its legacy, reconnect Street Fighter with its passionate past, and be a fantastic fighting game in its own right. Capcom eventually agreed, resulting in the rebirth of an entire franchise.

It wasn't easy. Ono went back to Street Fighter II and built everything around the simple joy of beating the living snot out of someone else. In an industry dominated by 3D graphics, Street Fighter IV is definitely 2D - in its gameplay, at least. The characters and arenas are all polygonal, but you never have to worry about sidestepping or a rotating camera. It's pure, and that's part of why SFIV feels so right. If you're a fan of the older games, you'll drop right in and enjoy yourself; the classic six-button controls feel perfect, and as you take different characters through Arcade mode, you'll unlock alumni who didn't appear in the coin-op edition, like Cammy, Rose, and Dan. Everyone looks as you remember them, only better. Exaggerated new facial animations make every attack look like it really hurts, and the game's distinctive painted graphic style gives it the classy look of an interactive work of art.

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