Street Fighter IV is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom. It is the first Street Fighter game in the main series released by Capcom since the arcade release of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike in 1999. The arcade version was released in Japan on July 18, 2008 and was given a limited release in North American arcades in August. Home versions were released for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on February 12, February 17, and February 20, 2009, in Japan, North America, and Europe respectively. Also, there's iPhone/iPod Touch version released lately in the U.S but had only around 8 characters until the fourth update; it now has 14: Ryu, Ken, Cammy, C. Viper, Zangief, E. Honda, Chun-Li, Guile, Blanka, M. Bison, Abel, Dhalsim, Sagat, and an unlockable character, Dee Jay. Another iPhone/iPod Touch game called Street Fighter IV Volt was released. All the characters from the original iOS game returned. Balrog, Vega, Cody, & an unlockable Akuma were added to the roster. An update added Sakura & Makoto to the roster. Another one added Fei Long and Yun.
While Street Fighter IV features fighters and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II than its sequels, and as such the parry system from Street Fighter III has been dropped. A new system called Focus Attacks (Saving Attack in the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.
The game has a very similar feel to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but also has several natures from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Pressing both light attack buttons is still for throwing, and both heavy attack buttons are for the personal action or taunts. Both medium attack buttons are for the focus strike. Dashes and quick standing are also in the game. Crimson Viper is the only character who can perform a high jump.
It was intended that the car-smashing bonus rounds from earlier Street Fighter games would return. Ono later stated that the bonus stages would not be in the arcade game, citing the reason to be that the time players spend on bonus stages takes money from arcade operators. This may also explain the option to skip the bonus stages in the arcade mode on the home console versions of the game.
The characters and environments in the game are rendered as 3D models with polygons but use a stylized effect to give them a hand-drawn look, with certain select attacks displaying ink sprays during the fights. The art director and character designer is Daigo Ikeno, who previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike, aims at staying true to the Street Fighter II style.
Focus Attacks, known as Saving System in the Japanese version, is a new system that is being introduced in Street Fighter IV. The focus attack is a move that allows the player to absorb an attack and launch a counter attack, and it is performed by pressing the medium punch and kick buttons simultaneously. There are two phases to the attack. In the first phase, the player will shift into a new stance, at which point he is able to absorb one attack from the opponent. The second phase is the counter attack. The longer the player holds down the medium punch and kick buttons the more powerful the attack will be. If the buttons are held for long enough the attack will cause the opponent to crumple slowly to the ground, allowing the player to follow up with a free hit. If the buttons are held for longer still the focus attack will become unblockable. Attacks that were absorbed during the first phase of the focus attack still cause damage to the player; however, life lost from the opponent's attack will be gained back afterward. In addition, during the first phase of the focus attack the player may perform a dash either forward or backward to cancel the focus attack. Finally, at the cost of half the super combo gauge, many special moves can be canceled into a focus attack. By executing a focus attack during the special move, the animation of the move will be cut short and go instantly into the focus attack animation. This allows players with precise timing to cancel special moves into focus attacks, and in turn cancel focus attacks into the forward dash, resulting in new combo possibilities. If a special move is blocked by the opponent, the new system allows players to cancel the blocked move with a focus attack, and then cancel the focus attack by dashing backward safely away from the opponent.
Ono has stated that this system was incorporated in order to shift the emphasis away from combos and toward a more realistic system he has compared to boxing, in which "the skill is in reading your opponent's move before he starts moving ... We haven't forgotten about combos and linked moves, but focus makes it so that you have to read your opponent." The system aims to make ground attacks as viable a way of approaching opponents as jumping was in previous games. The focus system is a core part of Street Fighter IV's gameplay.
Super Combos, the powered-up special moves that has been a series' mainstay since Super Street Fighter II Turbo, return in Street Fighter IV. Similar to Super Turbo, each character has one set super move. The game also features EX Moves, the powered-up versions of Special Moves from Street Fighter III 2nd Impact. In addition to Super Combos, the game also features Ultra Combos. Ultra Combos are performed similarly to the character's Super Combo but are executed with three attack buttons (much like the Lv. 3 Super Combos in the original Street Fighter Alpha and the Meteor Combos in Street Fighter EX2 Plus). Ultra Combos are long and cinematic moves featuring a lengthy combination of punches, kicks and other moves. Just as there is a Super Combo meter, there is also an Ultra Combo meter (officially known as the Revenge Gauge), but whereas the Super Combo meter fills as the player hits an opponent, the Revenge Gauge fills when one takes damage from the opponent. Along with Super Combos, Ultra Combos are one of the only times the camera breaks from its normal fixed position to show a more dynamic, or cinematic view of the gameplay. Additionally, when the camera shifts to this cinematic view, the opponent's facial expression will change to a look of surprise and panic. This is easier to see on some Ultra Combos than others, especially if the camera pans around the user in some way.
Street Fighter IV takes place several months after the events of Street Fighter II. After Seth's escape, the S.I.N. corporation began another fighting tournament in order to draw out the most powerful fighters on Earth to complete the BLECE project. Each character has their own reasons for entering this tournament, but S.I.N.'s real desire is to lure Ryu to them in order to analyze the Satsui no Hadō, believed to be the last piece of data needed to complete BLECE.
The tournament is publicly organized by S.I.N., apparently using preliminary matches and a point system to determine who is allowed to enter (as shown by the conversation between Seth and his lackey about how Dan Hibiki was able to "squeak by with just enough points to qualify"). It can be assumed that the only participants in the tournament are the playable characters in SFIV not including Seth.
Chronologically set between the Street Fighter II series and the Street Fighter III series, Street Fighter IV was initially meant as a return to the series' roots, i.e. Super Street Fighter II Turbo, which Ono considers to be "the king of Street Fighter games." Thus, the experience provided by Super Street Fighter II Turbo became the main influence for the Street Fighter IV development team, and all its characters were intended to be in the game. However, the four characters introduced in Super Street Fighter II were dropped for the arcade version of the game, so the final playable character roster became that of Street Fighter II' - Champion Edition, along with four additional characters, new to the series.
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Ryu||Hiroki Takahashi||Kyle Hebert|
|Ken||Yūji Kishi||Reuben Langdon|
|Chun-Li||Fumiko Orikasa||Laura Bailey|
|E. Honda||Yoshikazu Nagano||Joe DiMucci|
|Blanka||Yūji Ueda||Taliesin Jaffe|
|Zangief||Kenta Miyake||Anthony Landor|
|Guile||Hiroki Yasumoto||Travis Willingham|
|Dhalsim||Daisuke Egawa||Christopher Bevins|
|Balrog (M. Bison in Japan)||Satoshi Tsuruoka||Bob Carter|
|Vega (Balrog in Japan)||Junichi Suwabe||Doug Erholtz|
|Sagat||Daisuke Endou||Isaac C. Singleton Jr.|
|M. Bison (Vega in Japan)||Norio Wakamoto||Gerald C. Rivers|
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor||Notes|
|Abel||Kenji Takahashi||Jason Liebrecht||Abel is a French mixed martial artist. He is described as an amnesiac, a "man with no past" looking to defeat surviving members of Shadaloo.|
|Crimson Viper||Mie Sonozaki||Michelle Ruff||Crimson Viper is a female American spy wearing sunglasses, leather gloves and a form-fitting suit.|
|Rufus||Wataru Hatano||Chris Kent||Rufus is a fighter bearing Kung Fu moves and a rotund appearance, who seeks to fight Ken to prove himself as the best fighter in the United States.|
|El Fuerte||Daisuke Ono||J. B. Blanc||El Fuerte (Spanish for "The Strong One") is a Mexican luchador and aspiring gourmet cook.|
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor||Notes|
|Seth||Akio Ohtsuka||Michael McConnohie||Seth, also known as "The Puppet Master", is the new boss character. He is the CEO of S.I.N., the weapons division of Shadaloo. His body has been modified using advanced technology. His Special Moves are techniques used by other characters. His name is some what of a double reference, to the third son of Adam and Eve, after Cain and Abel and secondly, Seth Killian of Capcom and Seth Rodriguez, considered to be one of the best Street Fighters in America.|
|Akuma (Gouki in Japan)||Taketora||Dave Mallow||Akuma appears in the arcade version as a secret final boss in the single-player mode as well as a secret time-release playable character.|
|Gouken||Tōru Ōkawa||Rod Clarke||Gouken, Ryu and Ken's sensei and the elder brother of Akuma, appears in the arcade version as a secret computer-controlled challenger in the end of the single-player mode, making his very first, albeit highly anticipated debut in a fighting game. The character was featured in the game as a tribute to the "Sheng Long" hoax initiated by the original Street Fighter II.|
Home version additions
The home versions of Street Fighter IV feature additional characters not included in the arcade version of the game. They are Cammy (the top voted character suggested for the home version of the game in an online poll posted on Capcom's English site) and Fei-Long from Super Street Fighter II, Dan and Rose from Street Fighter Alpha, and Sakura from Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Gen from the original Street Fighter.
In addition, the two computer-only boss characters from the arcade version, Seth and Gouken, are also both playable in the home versions, and Akuma is a hidden character.
|Character||Japanese voice actor||English voice actor|
|Dan||Toshiyuki Kusuda||Ted Sroka|
|Fei Long||Yuuichi Nakamura||Matthew Mercer|
|Sakura||Misato Fukuen||Brittney Harvey|
|Cammy||Miyuki Sawashiro||Caitlin Glass|
|Gen||Youhei Tadano||Michael Sorich|
Dee Jay Character - Unlockable when Arcade is finished 1 time (in the most recent updates)
North America: Skyscraper Under Construction - A construction site set in Metro City from Final Fight featuring cameos from Hugo of Street Fighter III fame and Mike Haggar in the form of a large statue that appears in the background.
Dojo Mode - Similar as Trials Mode
Comic Books Reading - Read some SSFIV Comic Books
Super Street Fighter IV Trailers
East Asia: Old Temple - A sacred temple in Japan.
South Africa: Small Airfield - A Shadaloo secret airport.
South America: Inland Jungle - Amazon Forest at morning, where Blanka lives.
East Asia: Overpass - A street next to a river and under a Highway.
East Asia: Deserted Temple - The Old temple destroyed.
East Asia: Crowded Downtown - A number of restaurants in China at afternoon.
Europe: Cruise Ship Stern - A fighting stage at a Shadaloo Cruise.
Europe: Snowy Rail Yard - A train station in Russia.
U.S.A.: Drive - In At Night - A crowded street car.
Europe: Historic Distillery - An old textile factory.
Unknow: Secret Laboratory - The S.I.N's secret laboratory in the Bermuda Triangle.
East Asia: Run-Down Back Alley - A number of restaurants in China at night.
South Asia: Morning Mist Bay - A fish boat in the China Sea at morning.
Oceania: Volcanic Rim - Oni's refuge after the sinking of the Goukuento Insland.
South Asia: Beautiful Bay - A fishing boat in the Thailand at sundown.
South America: Pitch-Black Jungle - Amazon Forest at night, where Blanka lives.
Before producer Yoshinori Ono pitched the idea to Capcom R&D head Keiji Inafune, the prevailing attitude around Capcom was that a new numeric entry to the Street Fighter series would not be made. Initially, there was much resistance to Ono's pitch for a new Street Fighter game for many years. However, in light of fan demand plus the positive reaction to Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting on Xbox Live Arcade, Inafune eventually allowed the project to begin. This was Ono's first take on a new entry for the Street Fighter series as a producer, although he had previously worked on Street Fighter III 3rd Strike as a "sound management director" and previously produced Capcom Fighting Jam.
The game runs on the Taito Type X2 arcade board inside a Taito Vewlix cabinet and takes advantage of the Type X2's network capabilities and allows players in separate arcades to play against each other.
Street Fighter IV has been released for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Microsoft Windows. The home releases features additional playable characters and online play functionality. The North American and European localizations of the home ports features English voice acting for all the characters, as well as fully animated ending sequences.
The North American, European, and Japanese releases are available in standard packaging and in a Collector's Edition variant. The Collector's Edition is available only to the console versions of the game, and comes with a figurine (Crimson Viper for Xbox 360 owners; Ryu for PS3 owners), the animated short Aratanaru Kizuna, (Renewed Bonds) called The Ties That Bind, in North America, produced by Studio 4°C, game soundtrack, and a Prima hint guide. Collector's Edition retails at $79.99 USD.
The console versions of Street Fighter IV has received downloadable content following its release, which is available for download via Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network. The first expansion pack, titled "Championship Mode", is free of charge and provide players with a replay mode, a new points system and an enhanced tournament matching system. Also, five alternate costume packs has become available for purchase via Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. The costume packs includes the alternate costumes included in the arcade versions of the game.
|Downloadable Content||Release Date||Descriptions|
|Brawler Pack||February 17, 2009||This pack includes alternate costumes for: Zangief, E. Honda, Rufus, El Fuerte, and Abel.|
|Femme Fatale Pack||February 24, 2009||This pack includes alternate costumes for: Chun-Li, Cammy, Sakura, Rose, and Crimson Viper.|
|Shoryuken Pack||March 3, 2009||This pack includes alternate costumes for: Ryu, Ken, Akuma, Gouken, and Dan.|
|Shadaloo Pack||March 10, 2009||This pack includes alternate costumes for: Seth, M. Bison, Sagat, Balrog, and Vega.|
|Classic Pack||March 17, 2009||This pack includes alternate costumes for: Guile, Dhalsim, Fei-Long, Blanka, and Gen.|
|Championship Mode||April 24, 2009||Championship mode is a game mode where a series compete against each other for ranking points.|
- In the iPod Touch/iPhone version of the game, Abel, Blanka, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Guile, M. Bison, Ken, and Ryu were the only 8 characters that were playable, prior to an update adding Cammy and Zangief, and then another update came, adding E. Honda and C. Viper. The most recent update includes Sagat and an unlockable Dee Jay.
- Interestingly, there are no playable fighters in this game who made their first appearance in Street Fighter 3. In the next version however, three fighters from the said game were added in, as well as 2 more for the upcoming arcade version.
- Another iPod Touch/iPhone game called Street Fighter IV Volt Battle Protocol would be made. All the characters from the original iOS version would be here. Balrog, Vega, Cody, and a hidden character, Akuma, would also be added to the roster. An update added Sakura & Makoto to the roster. Another Update added Yun and Fei Long.
|Official Xbox Magazine||9.5|
Reception for the game has been overwhelmingly positive, with scores appearing in reviewer's top rankings. Joe Juba from Game Informer's stated that the game, "...is a distillation of everything the genre does right. It delivers the intensity of competition...all through elegant techniques that are easy to learn and difficult to master."
James Meilke of 1up.com wrote that, "It's a bold, confident fighter that celebrates its heritage while bringing fresh, new ideas to the table, arriving in a remarkably complete package..." while Dan Amrich of Official Xbox Magazine stated that, "If you’re a novice, a training mode and eight levels of difficulty will help you find your way. If you’re a pro, SFIV contains all the depth you’ve ever loved about the series, without compromise." In the Plus section of the review, he states that it, "Does the impossible: Preserves the past, embraces the future."
Criticism came to the anime-style scenes, "...these cutscenes are almost a disgrace to anime as they are so poorly animated and tell you almost nothing about the story or the context for each character's participation in the tournament," wrote Ryan Clements of IGN. James Mielke also added words about the featured stages in the game, stating that, "Sure, Drive-in at Night, Crowded Downtown, Pitch-black Jungle, Deserted Temple, Cruise Ship Stern, and Small Airfield are nice enough, but anyone longing for E. Honda's onsen hot spring will be left wanting."
Street Fighter IV is also rated on Gamestats.com. The Xbox 360 version has an overall score of 9.0 and the PlayStation 3 version has an overall score of 9.1.
MadCatz has released two licensed FightSticks and five wireless GamePads to coincide with the game's release. The Tournament Edition FightStick features a Sanwa joystick and 30mm buttons, as well as various modification abilities. GamePro's official review of the stick(s) state that the Tournament Edition also comes with a compartment to store the sticks' cord, along with rubber feet located on the underside. The Tournament Edition will retail at $150.00 USD, however only 3000 are being produced with MadCatz receiving over 20,000 pre-orders.
The basic FightStick is considerably smaller in size, but has been reviewed to be for intermediate players, and has the capability to be rested comfortably on a player's lap. The face of the controller is marked with a graphic displaying the original seven fighters from Street Fighter II, but it is clear the stick can be modded. The model retails at $79.99 USD for the Xbox 360, and $69.98 for the PS3.
Both FightSticks position the Start/Select buttons on the rear side of the model. Turbo, Home (PS3) and Guide (360) buttons are located on the upper left corner of the models, as well as a lock switch to keep from accidental initiation during play.
Also both FightSticks ships with detachable wires, for easier switching out buttons and joystickmodding example
The GamePads features graphics of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Blanka, and Akuma, and retails at $39.99 USD. The pads feature an 8-Way floating D-Pad, along with the trigger (R1 and R2 for PS3) buttons located directly onto the face. The button layout is similar to the FightSticks, with the Guide (Home) button located on the lower area of the controller.