The 3DS's button layout isn't exactly ideal the Street Fighter six-button control scheme. Sure, you can get by with four face buttons and the two shoulder buttons on the 3DS if you're so inclined, but it can be a bit of a struggle to execute the moves as proficiently as you would with a stick or fight pad. Therefore, Capcom is introducing a few different control options that should not only appease Street Fighter vets, but also make the Street Fighter experience a bit more accessible to those previously intimidated by its control scheme.
For starters, there are two different control schemes to choose from--light and pro. The difference between these two setups is based around what you can map to individual buttons. In light mode, you can map both controller movement and button presses, so in theory, you could map a dragon punch or a fireball to a single button. Conversely, pro mode only lets you map multiple buttons to a single button, so an example would be mapping all three punch buttons to the Y button on the 3DS. If that isn't enough, you'll be happy to know that you can also customize and save moves into each of the four panels on the 3DS's touch-screen display that already has supers mapped to it.
Though we didn't get to multiplayer matches, you might think that offering such control schemes to players would inevitably make things a little unbalanced. Fortunately, Capcom will be including a feature that lets you filter out opponents based on your preferences, so if you don't want to play against players using the light option, then you don't have to. As for more details on multiplayer matches, there will be both local and global multiplayer matches, and like in the console games, you can set everything up in such a way that other players can challenge you while you're playing solo in the arcade mode of the game. Additionally, there will be a ranking mode similar to the one found in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, based on battle points. Up to six people within a local area can also watch multiplayer matches and can do so in either the standard view or the new 3D view.
3D view in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D edition places the camera high over the shoulder of your selected character. This view does a really nice job of showing off the great character models as well as the 3DS's 3D effect. That being said, in the brief time we spent with 3D view, it takes some time to get used to. We had a little trouble measuring the distance of fireballs (in other words, we jumped into them--often), but we'll be interested to see if we get more acclimated to the new perspective with a little extra time.
When playing multiplayer matches, you can use the camera perspective you prefer, so one player might be using the 3D view, while the other can use the standard view. It's worth mentioning that both perspectives use the 3DS's 3D effect, which can be turned off completely for both views by using the slider. If you do turn off the 3D effect, the frame rate will get a little extra boost, but even with 3D turned on, the frame rate is fine.
In addition to arcade, versus, training, and challenge modes, Super Street Fighter IV contains a StreetPass-specific mode where figurines do battle. There are approximately 500 figurines in the game that can be found either by grinding for them in various modes or by entering a lottery option. Each figurine has its own unique set of stats that come into play when you come across someone else with the game and figurine data. When you're not actively playing the game, your figurines will do battle with another player (via StreetPass), and you can find out the results of these matches when you start playing the game again.
A few more extra details: It seems all of the costumes from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game will be available in the 3DS version from the start. There's also a game-sharing feature where you can send a limited number of characters and levels to other people without the game so they can give it a try until they turn the system off. But overall, the game plays just like the console versions, and while there are some slight changes to the backgrounds (some objects don't animate like they do in the console versions, and there's some detail missing), the game looks great. We'll bring you more on Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition as it becomes available.