Capcom hass updated their Street Fighter franchise once again with Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition.  This update will be released as both a stand alone in store game and as a current download via Xbox Live Marketplace for 1200 Microsoft Points.  What this update brings to the table is another 4 characters, bringing the grand total to 39 playable characters in game.  This update also brings us a new Elite Replay Channel and various balancing tweaks to game play.  But is it all worth it?  Let’s take a look at what this update brings and I’ll let you know.

The New Challengers:

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition gives us four more challengers to the already impressive roster.  In this update we get Evil Ryu, Oni, Yun and Yang.  Both Evil Ryu and Oni are very flashy and well animated characters, though feel a little reused.  Evil Ryu plays like a combination of Ryu and Akuma, though Evil Ryu is missing the air fireball.  He looks impressive, with the dark swirls of energy around him, but in the end feels like something we already had.  Oni, on the other hand, feels a little less played out.  Oni is a combination of Akuma and Gouken, but also has his own moves list.  Oni is, like Evil Ryu, very visually impressive and feels like a powerhouse.  The other two additions, Yun and Yang, however are the ones to watch out for.  Both Yun and Yang made their debut in Street Fighter III and are both very offensively orientated.

Watching how this game played in Japan, Yun and Yang are going to be a force to be reckoned with.  They are fast, able to cancel and even dodge under fireballs, and seem to have a very large hit box when it comes to their normal attacks and combos.  Both fighters can also set up massive juggles by using their EX palm strikes near the edges of the stage.  For hardcore Super Street Fighter IV fans, this update with these characters is a must for you to own.  For others out there that are not excited about having two more Ryu and Akuma clones, then you are getting short changed with just two new fighters in Yun and Yang.

Elite Replay Channel:

This addition to Super Street Fighter IV is interesting, but completely unnecessary for me.  This addition allows you to watch replays of some of the top players across Xbox Live.  It also allows you to follow certain fighters as they play games around the world.  This is really only useful for those of you that can’t seem to find the top Street Fighter players on Youtube, or just want to have the replays from your favorite player brought straight to you as you log into the game through Live.  This was interesting to look at, and there was an achievement for following a player in the Elite Replay Channel, but other then that not all that impressive.

Tweaks and Balances:

The Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition update also brought along a ton of tweaks and balances that has helped bring the game to a much higher level of competition.  These tweaks and balances are numerous and lengthy, too lengthy to post here, but are valuable if you are a very competitive Street Fighter IV player.  Just some random types of tweaks and balances here so that you can get an idea of what I’m talking about.

  • Ryu’s Air Hurricane Kicks are no longer as effective for escaping bad situations. If it’s done in the air before hitting the peak of the jump, it’ll become floaty and go nowhere.
    Balrog’s Dirty Bull Ultra 2 is now a double half-circle back motion instead of a 720.
  • Fei Long’s Hard Kick Chicken Wing no longer has any invincibility.
  • Dan’s Standing Medium Kick is slower and he gets more height off of his air taunt.
  • Makoto’s EX Dash Punch (Hayate) breaks armor now.

For the casual player, these balances and tweaks mean nothing, but for the hard core out there, some of these are vital and really make the Super Street Fighter IV experience that much better.

Final Thoughts:

Well, that is what you get with the Arcade Edition update for Super Street Fighter IV, but is it worth it?  If you are a hard core Super Street Fighter IV player, you already have this update and don’t need me to convince you otherwise.  If you haven’t yet bought Super Street Fighter IV, then buying the Arcade Edition when it hits stores will update you with the best fighting game on the market.  Other then that, it is a great update, but ultimately unnecessary for many players out there.  You get two flashy characters (Evil Ryu and Oni) with two subtle, offensive powerhouses (Yun and Yang), an unnecessary Elite Replay Channel, and a set of tweaks and balances that will only be noticed by the most hardcore of us.  In the end, whether this update is necessary to you completely depends on where you are in the Super Street Fighter IV camp and whether or not you have to have the extra four challengers.  For me, it was a good update that made the Super Street Fighter IV experience that much more complete.



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John "Judgeman" Dugan is a long time contributor and Gaming Shogun's resident fighting game expert. Judgeman has appeared on G4's Arena, including season 1's Tournament of Champions, and was a regular in the early days of Street Fighter 2 tournaments.