Street Fighter is no stranger to the portable market with multiple releases on hand-helds from the Gameboy through to the iPod touch. However, the goal of Street Fighter 4 3D was to bring the flawless console experience it’s so famous for to hand-held gamers. Personally I have never been very good at the game myself, so I was reluctant to even give it a chance (I get frustrated playing SF you see).
The new game features 35 playable characters, who are all unlocked right from the get go complete with all of their alternate costumes. There are no new challengers, in fact nothing about this game is really new, it’s just Street Fighter… again. Having said that, gamers don’t particularly mind the way Capcom re-releases, what is at it’s core, the same game over and over again. We will buy it anyway, and it never fails to impress.What they have done is given us some new vivid stages to fight in and some cinematic combos which give you a fresh experience in 3D. They have also added a new dynamic over-the-shoulder camera angle, which gives fights more depth (after all it would have been hard to showcase a 3D street fighter game without some changes of perspective). At first it’s a little weird; we’re not really comfortable playing fighting games at this angle, so fortunately you have to option to turn it off as well.
The new game also features wi-fi enabled multiplayer so you can engage in fisty-cuffs with people all over the world. That’s a first for portable fighting games but I think it’s a feature only hardcore fans of Street Fighter will appreciate.
Another first is the new “Street Pass” feature; Street Pass is basically constant wireless communication allowing the 3DS to play meta-games against other 3DS units nearby without the users even being aware it’s happening. In Street Fighter 4 3D you can collect figurines which gain experience points battling other peoples figurines as you pass them by at the book store, McDonald’s or even at work. It’s quaint, but you have to wonder if it’s even a necessity. Only time will tell.
For people like me who haven’t spent sizable portions of their lives mastering the combo sequences required to pull off the fabled special moves, Capcom have also simplified the entirety of the games core combat mechanics. Now all you need to do is tap the desired special move icon on the touch screen to perform the combo. The purpose of this new system is to essentially expand the fan base by making combat as simple as possible. It’s a no stress, streamlined version, which has got some hardcore fans feeling disgruntled, but if you want more of a challenge you can turn the one touch special move option off.
All of the game modes from the console version have transitioned nicely onto the portable, but where Street Fighter 4 3D stands out is in it’s online service. Capcom have catered for the hardcore fans well in that respect, after all it would seem unfair for people who are using the one touch special move option to be matched with hardcore fans who don’t. So if you so wish, you’ll be able to set your online preferences so that only people with the “easy mode” turned off can challenge you.
Worldwide Versus mode and local multiplayer is also available along with an impressive game sharing option which means you can now fight other people who don’t even have the game themselves. Sure, they’ll only be able to play as Ryu, but it’s still really cool. Should the host of a game sharing lobby drop-out, the remaining players can continue playing in the session without the cartridge as well. There’s even a ‘Channel Live’ feature that lets players spectate other live matches.
Using the same art style Capcom have managed to fit a vivid and really impressive game on a cartridge; it’s actually quite incredible how similar it looks to the console version on 360 + PS3, all be it with a few jagged edges here and there. Street Fighter 4 3D Edition is highly enjoyable and simple to pick up with an intuitive control scheme, the new circle pad may annoy street fighter purists, but otherwise Capcom have created the perfect version of street fighter 4 on the new portable system. If you like fighting games this is a must have for your new 3DS console.
- Adam Radcliffe