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.