Platform: PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Hours Played: 15 – 20 hours
Best Part: Potatoes (Hugo’s storyline – you just have to watch it) and multiplayer.
Ultra Street Fighter IV is the 46th entry into the Street Fighter IV series.
Okay, I’m exaggerating, but only slightly.
Ultra Street Fighter IV is actually an expansion to Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, which originally released in late 2010. Right now, Ultra Street Fighter IV is only available as a digital upgrade on PS3 and Xbox 360, meaning you need Super Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition to play it. However, it will also be available on PC and as a stand-alone disc this coming August.
USFIV comes with a host of new features and improvements. Most notable is the addition of five new fighters: four of them returning from previous games, and another who is brand new to the franchise. The four returning fighters are Rolento, Hugo, Poison, and Elena – with Decapre, one of the Bison Dolls, joining the cast for the first time.
The latter, who seems to borrow her look from Cammy (another Bison Doll), has a fairly unique moveset. I was personally a bit worried that Decapre would be a Cammy clone with slight property changes, but this isn’t the case. Decapre has a unique flavor, as well as an interesting alternate costume, and Capcom has proven that she is worthy of the roster spot.
Hugo, Rolento, Poison, and Elena all made an appearance in Street Fighter X Tekken, as well as prior Street Fighter titles, and their respective movesets seem to be the same, with changes for the USFIV core gameplay.
The returning characters have been given the full Street Fighter IV treatment, including new costumes, challenges, and single player modes. Each of these characters has his or her own storyline in single player, which are animated and voiced-over quite well. The Hugo story in particular is, well – interesting.
The core of Ultra Street Fighter IV hasn’t changed much since the vanilla version of the game. However, as with past updates, many characters have had a few adjustments – a list of which can be found here.
In the original SFIV, for instance, there was only one Ultra technique available for each character. When Super Street Fighter IV rolled around, each character got two Ultras to choose from.
In Ultra Street Fighter IV, you can now choose to use Ultra 1, Ultra 2, or Ultra Double. Choosing the Ultra Double gives you the ability to use either technique, with the penalty of reduced power. While the average Street Fighter player may not find this to be a huge change, I think it will prove to shake up the competitive scene and make some characters more viable.
Several stages from Street Fighter X Tekken have also been ported over to Ultra Street Fighter IV. While not much has changed, the stages look excellent and fit in perfectly with existing selection.
A new technique called Red Focus has been added as well, which is similar to a regular Focus Attack, except it’s red. Okay, okay – it has other properties, but I’m terrible at Street Fighter. Players who are actually good at fighters will find Red Focus useful for absorbing multiple, non-armor-breaking hits during a focus attack.
Finally, two new modes of play have also been added: Elimination and Online Training. Elimination is basically like King of Fighters, where you have a three-fighter team in a tournament. Online Training allows you to play the Training mode online with a friend.
The Definitive Street Fighter IV Experience – Buy it!
For $15, the digital upgrade to Ultra Street Fighter IV is well worth the investment. With five additional characters, as well as a slew of improvements and features, any Street Fighter fan will be hard pressed to not snatch this up.
If you don’t own the previous iteration, $40 will net you a disc with the full game come August, which is available for pre-order on Amazon