I'm one of the biggest Street Fighter fans I know. I owned all the major installments of the franchise, all the vs serious, and I've watched just about every anime of the game good and bad (American version was crap). Therefore, I expected Street Fighter 4 to be an instant purchase for me, but I played it safe and rented the game first. And that was the right thing to do. Street Fighter 4 is a great game, however, it has MANY problems that no one wants to admit.
1) The game is lacking characters. Even though T. Hawk and Dee Jay may not be everyone's favorite it would have been nice to include them as well as more of the Alpha series characters to give gamers a broader cast of fighters. It would have also been nice to have more new additions to the roster (the 4 we have are good, but more would of been nice), as well as some characters from Street Fighter 3. I'm fully aware Street Fighter 4 takes place before Street Fighter 3, but that doesn't mean some of those characters couldn't be integrated, this could have been their first tournament or something.
2) I wasn't going into this expecting a great story, but what's there is completely awful. The anime cutscenes are acceptable, but they're a boring uninspired mess that ends abruptly, causing more grief than excitement.
3) Dropped matches. I've played hundreds of matches and every so often I or my opponent gets dropped from a match regardless of the connection strength. It's more annoying than a problem especially when you're about to win, however, fixing this would be nice especially in ranked matches.
3) Finally the most annoying part of the game. Street Fighter 4 is one of the most unbalance games I've ever played. While playing through practice I noticed some characters were tweaked to be balanced, but at the same time the developers increased the strength of some characters as well making them overpowered in the process. And they are Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Gouken, and Sagat are all overpowered, and who do think everyone uses online. You literally have to be one of these characters in order to defeat them or fight your hardest. I fought Akuma so many times and he would barely beat my main characters, but as soon as I pick Ken I wipe the floor with him every time. This is ridiculous. You have to fight your hardest to defeat them with any other character and that's ridiculous.
Overall Street Fighter is a great game especially when you play with friends. But the overall game is very unbalanced, and suffers from lack of characters. However, not all is gloom. Street Fighter 4 is very true to the original, plays like a dream, brings back the good time in the arcade, and looks absolutely amazing. I have been disappointed by every fighting game this generation, and Street Fighter 4 didn't do much to bring my hopes back up, but in the end it's a great game for what it's worth.
Only thing in your "Downs" I see a big contradiction bud. More Characters = even less balance... It's just plain math... You can only "paper rock scissors" so much and in so many ways before some people get a stronger rock or sharper scissors or a big damn piece of paper...
overall the online lag is horrid. but all in all the game is playable and fun =D i expect some serious patchwork.
Good review I agree with everything you said.
it is a very good game but not amazing.
is that you said characters are over powered in all honesty sagat ken and ryu... all those characters they are not over powered.. they are just easier to use ... if u master someone like lets say.. dahlsim, u will be very hard to beat for dsim has almost total map control ,also another good character is abel and rufus
Good review. I buyed the game and can't believe this is a 9.5 in most sites. I only play the game with friends because of the ken people, i jus't can barely win with zangief or any other character