E3 2008: Street Fighter IV Updated Hands-On - Single-Player in Easy Mode and Boss Seth

We get our hands on Street Fighter IV--which is already available in Japanese arcades--at E3 2008.

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It's the final day of E3 2008, and we took the opportunity to duck into Capcom's booth to try out Street Fighter IV, which is apparently already available in Japanese arcades and will soon be making its way stateside. We had a chance to try out the arcade version of the game in a few head-to-head matches as well as to run through the single-player game and take on the final boss, Seth.

When you're playing the game for the first time, it's easy to draw comparisons between it and the Street Fighter III line of games and the Street Fighter EX line of games. The game's pacing seems to resemble a cross between the later EX games and a slightly slower version of the Street Fighter III series (namely the last one, Third Strike), while it also has forward dashes that move a preset distance (rather than free-running) and it uses counter-able two-button throws using the jab (light punch) and short (light kick) buttons, like Third Strike. However, as we've mentioned previously, Street Fighter IV does not have Street Fighter III's parry system, but rather, a new "focus" system that is activated by pressing the strong (medium punch) and forward (medium kick) buttons simultaneously, which can be used to execute a focus attack. The starting animation on the focus attack lets your character withstand a single incoming hit from your enemy without flinching, but your character can't withstand multiple attacks--instead, the attack is intended as a quick counter for a careless one-hit attack, though you can also press and hold the buttons to fully charge your focus attack to make it unblockable. Though we primarily played against other players who, like us, were unfamiliar with the game, and against computer-controlled opponents set on easy difficulty, we can imagine that the focus system, like Street Fighter III's parrying system, will encourage cautious gameplay with plenty of one-off tentative poking attacks to avoid being countered, rather than rampant, full-on offense.

While we unfortunately didn't have a chance to try out any of the new characters, we did have a few runs with returning characters Guile and M. Bison (also known in the American version of Street Fighter II as "Barlog," and better known to Street Fighter faithful simply as "Boxer"). While Guile has all the bits and pieces of his classic Street Fighter II arsenal--sonic boom projectiles, the flash kick, the poking low forward kick, the hopping knee kick that can move him forward even while charging back for another sonic boom, and the standing forward sobat kick--he, like every other version in every other game after Street Fighter II, seems slower and doesn't have the tight, devastating offense of his Street Fighter II version that diehard Guile fans continue to long for, though considering how powerful he once was, that may be just as well. M. Bison also has his classic arsenal from the Super Street Fighter II Turbo days, including his chargeable dashing punches, his dashing ground punch (which must be blocked "low"), his leaping headbutt attack, and his turning punches, which can be executed by pressing and holding all three punch buttons or all three kick buttons--and which, if timed properly, can be used to sneak through certain incoming attacks from your enemies, such as projectile attacks. M. Bison's crouching strong (medium punch) is an excellent close-range poke that can easily be turned into a combination attack, and by getting in close and mixing up jabs with other attacks, he seems to be able to take the sting out of poorly timed focus attacks, which may counter one of his early pokes but will then get torn apart by the follow-up. However, carelessly tossing out turn punches, which still have a brief recovery time after you perform them, seems like a great way to get plastered by an opponent making smart use of focus attacks to counter.

Fortunately, we spent the majority of our time playing against rather dumb opponents in the single-player arcade mode, which was apparently set to "easy." We were able to run through the computerized opponents fairly quickly without much trouble as you'd expect from an arcade game, with only minor resistance from Chun-Li, who was billed as our "rival," though since we were playing against computer-controlled opponents, it was generally easy enough to crush her too. We reached Seth, who, despite his mundane-sounding name, was a tall, nearly naked muscle-man with pale blue skin and a shimmering, glassy orb in place of his abdomen whose fighting stance is reminiscent of Gill (the boss of the Street Fighter III series). When you fight him, he appears in a brief cinematic sequence sitting on a throne before descending to the floor to take you on. Seth apparently has the power to use certain abilities of other characters, such as the stretchy limbs of the Indian warrior Dhalsim and an exaggerated version of Ken's fiery dragon punch attack. However, Seth also has his own unique powers, such as the ability to create a localized air vacuum that sucks you in closer to him before he pummels you. Unfortunately, Seth beat us down and we didn't have a chance to go after a rematch, but in case you were wondering, it's probably safe to expect a single-player game with a bunch of pushover opponents once you hit the boss...much like in most modern arcade fighting games. In Street Fighter IV, like in any good fighting game, two-player competition will still be where it's at.

Discussion

248 comments
monlosez
monlosez

Seth is hard even on easiest.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

It's good to have an easy boss to defeat. Cause as someone already mentioned, the main competition is in 2 player game mode. After beating the hell out of 8-10 characters, it is really frustrating to meet a cheap @$$ boss like Gill. So It's all good....

10679
10679

street fighter iv is in nz and seth is the easiest boss to beat in fighting game history and if you get few perfects you get to fight akuma after seth and he is also easy to beat and i ain't a street fighter expert.

slejeivw
slejeivw

Seth sounds tough to beat.

Hunger4mo
Hunger4mo

sounds/looks pretty damn good.

danwarecritic
danwarecritic

This game is going to be awesome. I wonder if it'll be like Alpha.

nhortn
nhortn

haha i completely agree chefstubbies and thank you for clarifying the names up for us 69Kameleon69

69Kameleon69
69Kameleon69

In America, we know Balrog as the boxer, Sagat as the Thai fighter, Vega as the spainard and M. Bison as the final boss. In Japan, M. Bison was the boxer, Sagat is the Thai fighter, Balrog is the spainard and Vega is the final boss. They thought there was too much of a resembalence between M. Bison(Japanese boxer) and real life boxer Mike Tyson, so they changed the names around for the American game.

petervaht
petervaht

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

chefstubbies
chefstubbies

Uh, I thought it was "Balrog" not "Barlog"...and aren't M.Bison and Balrog two different guys? I'm confused after reading this...who the hell wrote this and what are they on?

toyota23
toyota23

im waiting for this game! its will be awsome!

Warghost2k
Warghost2k

Pretty sure they messed up. Balrog was NOT M. Bison. M. Bison was the final boss in SF2, and Balrog was a boxer who came into the game later.

dantevonruthven
dantevonruthven

has anyone noticed they have mentioned M.Bison and Balrog as the same person in this review, am i wrong or hve they **** up?

R3DN1N3
R3DN1N3

I resent the fact that they didn't use hand-drawn 2d graphics.

sj420
sj420

plz, for the love of god, stop making lame bosses that take on the styles of other characters... so lazy.

ps3pauly
ps3pauly

Those who think SF4 will fail, you simply have not played it back when Nintendo 64's rulled the console gaming platform. As for me i cant wait to have a graphically enhanced version on SF4 to play on my ps3 :D it should be excellent !

Ash2X
Ash2X

I hope it´s great...we will see...after all we get a total 2D-SFII as well

PerZiaNPriNce
PerZiaNPriNce

it looks like they did a good job with he whole 3D for SF BUT made the characters look UGLY. Ryus face is just plain old disgusting, nd his nd kens fightin stance looks gay since thos two r ma favorite nd i always use them it makes me not want to buy this game. Now its between this and soul caliber 4, cant decide what ever gets the best ratingd will do it i guess...

Sharvie
Sharvie

I hope it lives up to the hype.

princesslawless
princesslawless

street fighter is a classic game and i think they will do it justice

XXNBXX
XXNBXX

all the ppl that are saying that 3d is better then 2d should like this game cause the characters are full 3d modles. And all the 2d fans will like it cause it still has hit boxes like all 2d fighting games. O the new MK game is said to be more 2d, like the Mks of old

Zonelezz
Zonelezz

lol i think the peopel complaining that the game sucks.. is becasuse you suck youreslf.. deal with it.. noobs..

kittineater
kittineater

I think SF4 will work don't be so dismissive

Xcaliber26
Xcaliber26

This game sounds boring LOL sorry the Street Fighter franchise will prolly never be as exciting as the Street Fighter II Turbo days. I'll stick to Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe and Soul Caliber iV :D.

BleakCorner
BleakCorner

Oh - I also agree with Elyoss on the 2D versus 3D thing. :P

BleakCorner
BleakCorner

Apart from looking forward to this game, I have a question for mr. Vasot: what benchmarks exactly? Since I don't feel like typing in all this crap I'll just quote someone else from a different board regarding the whole nonsense 360-PS3 discussion: "There's not really any simple answer to which system is more powerful. The PS3 has more raw floating point horsepower on the CPU side thanks to the SPUs but is arguably bottlenecked by the single PPU core which is pretty similar in performance to one of the 3 360 cores. It also takes a lot more effort to get the most out of the PS3 CPU due to the unusual asymmetric architecture and the better tools available for the 360. On the GPU side of things the RSX has a slight theoretical edge in pixel shader performance but the ATI GPU is a more modern design and is in some respects more efficient so it's hard to draw accurate conclusions from the paper specs. The 360 has the EDRAM which gives it a significant advantage when it comes to fill rate and helps make up for the lower memory bandwidth of it's unified memory compared to the two separate memory banks on the PS3. The general consensus is that the PS3 may have a slight edge on the CPU side of things in the long term but it will take a while for people to really take advantage of that power. The 360 has the edge on the GPU side but there's not a huge amount in it. Overall the systems are a lot closer in performance than the PS2 and the Xbox and it probably be the case that the real standout titles on both systems will be the exclusives where a talented team of developers really gets the most out of the quite different hardware architectures."

elyoss
elyoss

Saying the 3D fighters are better than 2D is irrelevant, they are completely different types of games. Soulcalibur and Tekken are awesome, and so are the street fighter series, and the other 2D fighters, like KOF, and guilty gear.

Vasot
Vasot

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

sub-raid
sub-raid

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

strawberryheart
strawberryheart

Classic is just that, CLASSIC. Holy whert you all, "3-d better" my butt. I would have to say more 2-d games are and were still played then 3-d for several reasons. Go play a few to find out. I`m sorry, maybe I am just to old, but thats what I grew up on and its still one of the best ways to play certain games. Period. Megaman is case in point. Also look at Worms. 2-d will ALWAYS be apart of gaming, and once that ends, then you know that gaming will soon lose its flavor for a long time. All classic players know what I am talking about, its not about graphics, its about gameplay and story. And sometimes music.

sub-raid
sub-raid

You guys like 2-d more then 3-d ? I mean what is so special about 2-d fighting games !? i played those games on ps2 but on ps3? It is not worth it! 3-d is way better than that like tekken 6 or mortal kombat vs. dc universe !

robbie_sla
robbie_sla

2d fighters are where its at... 3d fighters usually have a slightly more free roaming approach which simply ruins the e-sport side of it =/

Aries03
Aries03

can't wait for this to hit the console's..... it's gonna be crazy. long live STREET FIGHTER.

supra2jzgte
supra2jzgte

While we unfortunately didn't have a chance to try out any of the new characters, we did have a few runs with returning characters Guile and M. Bison (also known in the American version of Street Fighter II as "Barlog," and better known to Street Fighter faithful simply as "Boxer"). Barlog is the Boxer and M. Bison is M. Bison in SF2. What kind of business?

kromeronese12
kromeronese12

who ever says dis dont look good is a larry da game looks heavy and i cant wait for it to be on da shelves and in my collection

sub-raid
sub-raid

strider_ATI a lot of people like 2-d fighting games ! mabe u don't and i don't either but there are a lot of people who like 2-d games !!!!!!!!!!!

K1ng5tud
K1ng5tud

This game is going to be off the chain.... * Hopefully *.

jake-lutze
jake-lutze

I cant wait for this game... I hope you can unlock Seth when you beat him, that would rock.

voidmind
voidmind

Is it just me or the graphics and character models look kind of crappy for a next gen game?