Street Fighter IV: Arcade Mode

Street Fighter IV

I got Street Fighter IV a few weeks ago on sale for $20. I like the Street Fighter series, and I’ve just been waiting for a price drop to get the most recent installment.

I wouldn’t call myself skilled at fighting games by any stretch at all, nor am I competitive enough to maintain the discipline required to acquire actual skill. I just enjoy fighting games. So for me, the boss fights in Street Fighter IV are kind of hard, and I’m playing on the Easiest difficulty level. I started on Medium, but I found Seth, the final boss, unbeatable. Because I suck at fighting games, I turned off the online play option. In Street Fighter IV you have the option to allow others to challenge you over the PlayStation Network, but I ain’t having none of that shit.

This is probably stupid, but the main reason I’m playing on Easist right now is because I want to see all the endings, and it’s just faster this way. I’ve unlocked two new characters so far: Cammy and Fei Long. I’m not sure whether I can unlock more characters at this difficulty level. Even at the Easiest difficulty level, I think new or unskilled players will find it challenging, especially after you’ve won a few matches on the route to the final boss.

I prefer playing as Blanka, although I’m probably more proficient with Ken/Ryu than Blanka. Of the new-ish characters, I like Sakura. I’m familiar with all the moves of the classic Street Fighter characters. I spent so much time as a kid playing Super Street Fighter II Turbo Champion Edition on the SNES. I’d get into these intense sessions with my brother, where neither of us would quit until one of us got a really long winning streak or got fed up after the other got a really long winning streak. We’d play probably 40 or 50 matches before getting frustrated, bored, tired or a combination of all of that.

Of the characters introduced in Street Fighter IV, I like Abel and Crimson Viper the most. I haven’t looked at a moves list for either, so I’m not familiar with either of the fighters’ full potential. Abel is the easiest for me to do special moves with, and with Crimson Viper, I’m just a pure button masher.

One of the consistent frustrations for me is fighting Zangief with close-combat characters like El Furerte, or any characters whose moves I’m not super familiar with. The CPU is just so fucking cheap with him. Knocks you down, then BOOM—Spinning Pile Driver. When you get up, you shouldn’t block, as blocking leaves you open to your opponent grabbing you. So you try to hit him, yet somehow Zangief can still grab you when you try to punch him. Anywhere you turn—Spinning Pile Driver IN YOUR FACE. Zangief is easy when you have characters that use projectiles like Guile or Ken. I’m sure my frustrations with Zangief are due more to my skill level than anything else.

Another annoyance is the way Seth gets exponentially more challenging after you’ve defeated him in one round. I feel like the second round with Seth is super hard, and I would rather Seth be consistently difficult than trick you into thinking you can beat him relatively easily.

Apart from that, I’m enjoying Arcade Mode (in between the times I gnash my teeth at the game because I lack skillz). I haven’t tried the other game modes, and generally I rarely play much more than Arcade Mode in fighting games, anyway. For me, fighting games serve as one way to relieve stress and to do something interactive, but not too taxing on the brain.

When I saw preview videos of Street Fighter IV, I was not so enthusiastic about the art style, but after playing Street Fighter IV and seeing the opening video a few times, I’ve completely changed my mind. I love the art style. I think it’s awesome and different and just refreshing in a world where fighting games these days are just full of sparkles and trying to one-up each other with flashy 3D graphics. Street Fighter IV is definitely flashy in terms of art direction, but it’s in a bold and different way compared to other fighting games on the market right now, like Tekken and Soul Calibur. It was a good call to retain the general feel of 2D graphics, but update it for the HD generation. Personally, though, I prefer the more anime type art style of the Alpha series and Street Fighter III than the more Western-style art of Street Fighter IV.

I consider Street Fighter IV to be a worthy purchase, and I think people who enjoy fighting games should check it out.

  5 comments for “Street Fighter IV: Arcade Mode

  1. AJ
    1 September 2009 at 10:33

    Great to see another woman playing. I’ve really been enjoying it too, though I’m finding the online play much more compelling than the single-player stuff.

    One tip for seeing the movies / unlocking stuff more rapidly is to set the arcade mode to easiest / one round / 30 seconds. You should blast through matches much quicker, then, and you need only beat Seth one round. And by beat I mean injure him and then run away until time expires.

    If worse comes to worst you can power through the game with Zangief, spamming his lariat (PPP), as the AI simply cannot block it consistently. Then when you get to Seth you can switch to the character you really want to finish with.

    Zangief is my main so I know how scary he can be. Wouldn’t have it any other way. :D

    I like Abel too, though I still suck with him. Crimson Viper is way too tricky and aggressive for me to play, so I’ve been avoiding her.

  2. geist
    1 September 2009 at 20:28

    played that at a friends house. looks good and it was fun to see so many characters back again but i’ve gotten alot older and slower at those games and i took such a beating from his 14yo daughter i feel scarred for life…

  3. 3 September 2009 at 09:38

    You call Sakura a new-ish character? Her first appearance dates back to 1996. I don’t think you can call a character “new-ish” when she’s been around already thirteen years.

    I’m a fan of fighting games too. I should get SFIV for the Xbox 360, but I’m not too exacited because I like SFIII: 3rd Impact better. Of the old characters it only keeps Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Gouki. And the previous SFIII installments didn’t even include the two latter. It was a daring game, with new and original characters and a mean fighting system. SFIV is just “let’s go back to SFII and to Hell with innovation”. On the other hand, SFIV’s visuals are awesome.

    By the way, great blog. Keep up the good work.


  4. 3 September 2009 at 10:04

    I classify Sakura as “new-ish” because she arrived in the subsequent waves of expansion characters in Alpha and Alpha 2. Remember, the first Street Fighter game was released in 1987. So in that context, yes I consider her to be relatively new, compared to the original half dozen or so.

  5. eklypze
    4 September 2009 at 00:37

    As a Street Fighter IV player, I certainly agree that Seth has come out to be a bit more difficult than he should be. He does not seem to even be “hard” like Gill from 3rd strike, but rather cheap and responsive to your inputs. In fact, there has been an article where the Japanese Producer of Street Fighter IV openly admit that Seth in Arcade Mode did come out “a bit stronger than expected” (as well as Sagat in general).

    There is one trick that will help to beat Seth even on the hardest difficulty, however, and that is to continually block low to all of his attacks and fit in a combo string or low sweep after he misses to punish him. He will land some hits/throws while you do this tactic, but keep at it and you should win. It is incredibly repetitive and boring, but it works. I wish I knew this before I had beaten Seth with every character fairly, but only recently figured out this trick.

    I hope you’re enjoying the game however, as I really love the gameplay and mechanics for SFIV besides the broken last boss.


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