Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition - Yun

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Review

Comes free with a one-year subscription to Street Fighter IV Elite (not really)

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition - Yang
Yang's anti-air kick will catch most newcomers by surprise.

The slices of life we learn about the characters in the Street Fighter ethos often raise troubling questions about what they’re up to when not mauling each other into oblivion. Yun and Yang, two of four characters added in the latest iteration of Street Fighter IV, are apparently teenaged brothers with no concern for their education or a stable social life. They set out to find Chun-Li, an Interpol agent chasing a global terrorist organization, in the hopes of finding challenging and exhilarating fights. I guess that’s what two boys raised by a former assassin aspire to, instead of, say, going to college.

How they plan on their room and board while traveling is beyond me. Ryu gets it done, but it’s well-established that he’s a vagrant. But given the twins’ seemingly expensive, trendy clothing and totally sweet skateboard and rollerblades, it’s safe to say that they’re sitting on a family fortune without a care.

Regardless of their future employment viability, the twins are still as fearsome as their appearances in the Street Fighter III series. Newcomers will love their simple and damaging special moves while the more advanced players will use their Super Combos – which alter the properties of all their other moves, like increasing damage output and juggle properties – to absolutely waste an unsuspecting opponent. Personally, I’m excited that it’s another colourful way to destroy those cars in the bonus stage.

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Evil Ryu (a raging, glowing Ryu) and Oni (a raging, glowing Akuma) round out the roster expansion, seemingly to attract the teenage male demographic that even Cammy’s leotard hasn’t reeled in before. They gnash their teeth and pulverize their opponents with Ultra moves straight out of a Shonen Jump manga. These four newcomers will interest those with an appreciation for the Street Fighter lore, but expect most to fall back to their favourite characters in online competition.

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition - Evil Ryu
Evil Ryu (above) and Oni turn the Ultra Combo theatrics up to 11.

All the existing characters have undergone changes in specific, under-the-hood ways that only veterans will notice or fully appreciate. Most will be able to jump back into the competition with only minor tweaks to their strategies, such as trying to cope with the almost too-powerful and versatile Yun and Yang. The ranking points system is revamped, but it’s generally unimportant book-keeping. The replay database does, however, include a new section that includes matches by some of the top ranked players in the world for perusal. It’s probably one of the best ways a fighting game has ever taught players how to play competitively, simply by showcasing the best in the world at what they do.

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is flowery language for a satisfactory DLC release. It won’t get new players interested in the fighting game scene any more than the latest map pack will for the Call of Duty franchise. But anyone who’s sunk dozens of hours into the game over the past three years would do well to upgrade for roughly the price of two pints.

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is available as a digital download upgrade to Super Street Fighter IV for $14.99 on PSN and 1200 MSP on the Xbox Live Marketplace, or a stand-alone disc for $39.99 on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.

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