Review

Ultra Street Fighter IV Review

  • Game release: June 7, 2011
  • Reviewed:

Indestructible.

With Ultra Street Fighter IV, the masterful Street Fighter IV series has reached its fifth, and possibly final, incarnation. Five years of tournaments, balance patches, and community input have coalesced to form the definitive version of a fighter that continues to evolve to this day. In his review, former GameSpot editor Dan Chiappini described Street Fighter IV as "undoubtedly one of the finest examples of the fighting genre in this generation." It's a worthy accolade, and one that still holds true today.

Ultra Street Fighter IV brings with it a whole host of changes and additions to the game's previous releases: Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition and its 2012 update. Six new stages, five new characters, and three new game mechanics are successfully integrated into an already feature-rich game and introduce new strategies that help keep this seasoned fighter feeling fresh.

Any major Street Fighter expansion wouldn't be complete without adding some new fighters to the fray. Poison, Rolento, Hugo, and Elena will be instantly recognizable to Street Fighter fans from their recent outing in Street Fighter X Tekken. However, these characters aren't just cut-and-paste copies from SFXT; instead, they have been reworked to fit naturally within SFIV's play style. Newcomer Decapre rounds out the roster. While she bears a striking resemblance to another world warrior, Decapre has her own distinct fighting style, which deftly mixes charge-based attacks with rushdown tactics, two fighting styles that traditionally do not mix.

Outside of the five new challengers, Ultra Street Fighter IV brings with it a myriad of tweaks and changes for the existing cast. None of the existing 39 characters have gone untouched in this expansion; however, the bulk of those changes will likely go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Increasing the damage of Rose's crouching light punch by 10 or reducing the startup of Dudley's medium kick by one frame may not sound like much on paper, but taken as a whole, these changes and dozens more combine to create a more equally balanced roster.

While the character-specific tweaks are not as apparent, ultra combo double, red focus attacks, and delayed wake-up are much more disruptive additions to the core mechanics of Street Fighter IV. The ultra combo double is a third ultra combo option that lets you go into battle armed with both of your character's ultra combos, but at reduced damage for both. This gives you more options in the fight, and is an especially effective addition for characters such as Zangief who have both antiair and close-range ultras.

You can now change your button layout on the character select screen.

A red focus attack functions in much the same way as the standard focus attack, except that it can absorb multiple hits at the cost of one energy block. This makes it a great tool for absorbing multi-hit attacks--looking at you, E. Honda--or for punishing a random ultra combo. Rounding out the trio is the delayed wake-up. Being able to delay when your character rises is a much more subtle addition, but an important one nonetheless. The delay does not last long, but it is enough to throw off the timing of a practiced opponent's next attack. Together, these three changes have a tremendous impact on the higher-level strategies of Street Fighter IV and offer new strategies for series veterans.

Ultra Street Fighter IV's updates don't stop at its characters. Online, you can compete in the new Elimination mode or work alongside distant friends in the Online Training mode. Elimination is a competitive mode where two teams of three duke it out to see which team is the best. When a player is defeated, the next one on his or her team swaps in until one side has no combatants left. To help prevent one player from steamrolling an entire team, Elimination mode does not restore health between rounds (naturally) or matches, similar in structure to the King of Fighters series.

A couple of new options for the truly dedicated round out Training mode. Save states let you take a snapshot of the current battle and return to it at any time with the push of a button. This is a handy addition for those who want to practice location-specific attacks or combos rapid-fire without having to reset the character blocking over and over again. Network simulation is the other upgrade, but it's really more of a novelty. This option lets you simulate increasingly severe levels of input lag to make you feel as if you're playing against someone with a poor Internet connection.

Edition Select lets you play different iterations of the same character, from vanilla Street Fighter IV to Ultra.

While so much of Street Fighter IV has been touched up in this new expansion, Trials mode continues to receive the cold shoulder. This mode is now horribly out of date and still uses character data from Super Street Fighter IV. It lacks trials for all five of Ultra's newcomers, as well as the previous batch of newcomers: Evil Ryu, Oni, Yun, and Yang. Since this mode is a good way to get acquainted with new characters, it's disappointing to see that developer Capcom has not yet updated it. Capcom has said it plans to release some sort of update later on down the line, but the absence of a fully realized Trials mode is certainly felt.

Trials aside, Ultra Street Fighter IV is a great expansion that smartly builds upon the core game. With all of its tweaks, new mechanics, and extra game modes, Ultra will definitely appeal to the diehard Street Fighter IV fans who still remember the tyranny of vanilla Sagat. Nearly every aspect of the game has received some sort of enhancement or upgrade, and the result is an expansion that makes a great game even better.

The Good
New characters all feel distinct from existing roster
New game mechanics deepen an already rich fighting system
Save states and online practice are welcome training tools
The Bad
Still no love for Trials mode
YouTube uploading doesn't currently function
8
Great
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Ultra Street Fighter IV

About the Author

While he may have more L's than W's in his logbook, Maxwell McGee is still a longtime fan of both fighting games and Street Fighter IV. Together, he and Cody face down the many rivals who stalk GameSpot's offices. And for some reason, they're all Ibuki players.

Discussion

141 comments
therealone717
therealone717

How about including some enhanced versions of the older street fighters.. maybe then.. meh. 

Deity_Dude
Deity_Dude

Upgrade to Ultra for $11.25? I'm sold on that. Everyone is complaining about this new update, but if you don't like it, don't buy it! The servers for the old versions are still up. But the rest of us in the community are moving forward. 


What happened to when people got excited for their game getting improvements?

Anteares
Anteares

The terrible terrible damage from the ultimates ruined SFIV for me.  They need to stop putting that crap in unless they're going to make it a fatality/finishing move.   Maybe only let it work after character is under 25% health.  Too much damage for too little skill usually.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Is this really worth more money? I bought the game a long time ago.

snessnes
snessnes

ultra mega hyper super amazing incredible ex plus alpha street fighter!!!!

OkRaider88
OkRaider88

I'm not paying good money for this. You basically get ONE, count it, ONE character that we haven't seen before - and she is a Cammy re-skin. Sorry, but that is a Cash Grab. I'm waiting for the PC version to be on sale on Steam for $14.99 a year from now. That's when I MIGHT buy it. Already have Street Fighter X Tekken and Super SF4, so I'm passing on this DLC-like retread.

Tranula
Tranula

People still play fighting games?  Last one I bought was MK Komplete on P.C., played it for 30 minutes, and stopped.  With all these amazingly deep RPG's out and other thought prevoking games, fighting games seem so dull now.

fadersdream
fadersdream

I miss the days before everyone did the exact same game play pattern. There is no real difference between playing humans versus the computer, except the computer may accidentally do something original.

ahmad996
ahmad996

Is Akuma in this one? I remember that guy screws you over.

timthegem
timthegem

There must be over fifty Street Fighter games by this point. People must really love tying their fingers into a knot to pull off those sixteen-button combos just to see a blue fireball fly across the screen.

TheGreatGhoul
TheGreatGhoul

When Street Fighters Super-Duper-Ultra-Giga-Omega IV thats is exactly the same boring and ugly S*** than the standard IV will come out?

Damn I hate this serie of games.

Its always the same crap and peoples still buy it.

Capcom don't you think you have squeezed this lemon enough?

They did the same thing on the super nintendo with Street Fighters 2, what a joke.

Capcom please die, you can't even do a good Resident Evil anymore and it was your only good trick.

NTM23
NTM23

Meh. Please be done with this.

Sniggih
Sniggih

Came out in 2011...why so long for the review though? 

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

I guess Capcom isn't the high-profile game producer it used to be. I mean they let Mortal Kombat get the jump on them for next gen. It's really nice they are supporting this game for the older consoles, but couldn't they have also made an enhanced version for next gen?

darktruth007
darktruth007

Looks like a great game - for the bargain bin.

daveg1
daveg1

turbo on the snes yet to be beat...this is crap

juza82
juza82

Darkstalkers please

MigGui
MigGui

the only thing I still hate about it is that I am a die hard fan of street fighter but the game isn't a fan of me. it still caters only to online competitive players, and I'm an offline single player :(

Silverline62
Silverline62

What SF IV lacks are interesting game modes and incentives to keep on playing offline.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

ok.. once you have THIS version, it has more characters than you ever need, it has tons of stages.. you wont need a street fighter game ever again...What more can you possible do with this game?


I suppose you could make it super photo realistic or something.

tastemycobra
tastemycobra

What I don't get is why this is reviewed 3 years after release...

Raxyman
Raxyman

Meh, i'll wait for USSFIV:AE Turbo anyway...

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

Big release titles that are competent without any glaring flaws? 8. For reference see Watch Dogs, Mario Kart, ect. Big release titles that are near perfect? 9. See Dark Souls 2, Gta 5, ect. 1-7? Garbage you shouldn't waste your time on. I LOVE this system, it's much more accurate and well thought out than the older .5's or that dumb Ign 100 point scale:)

And this game looks pretty fun, although ONE of the Streetfighter FOUR's (lol) is available for free later this month on xblive sooo yeah. Whatever happened to Mega Man Capcom? Give us one of those, I think we have enough fighters for a bit.

thunderborne
thunderborne

It's misleading to say that they are releasing the same game over and over -- this is an expansion DLC.  If you already have the recent version SSFIV: Arcade Edition (via updates or by disc), this update costs $15, which comes with new stages, balance changes, and 5 new characters.  The physical copy ($40) of this game is for those who never own SSFIV:AE.  But, personally, I suggest you buy SSFIV:AE for cheap (Amazon has it for $17 on PS3 or $15 for 360... limited stock) and then just upgrade it to Ultra for $15 to save a few bucks. 

ThreeVo
ThreeVo

@Tranula The level of ignorance in this comment blows my mind

PlasmaBeam44
PlasmaBeam44

@Tranula Because when I want to play games I always want it to be a 70+ hour RPG, not something I can sit down with my friends and play.

SnakekillerX
SnakekillerX

@TheGreatGhoul Why bother commenting on reviews for game series you don't even like?  A Trolls gotta troll I guess.

MattPeters
MattPeters

@TheGreatGhoul Good one, Carlos Mencia. I never heard this joke before.

Actually, you're right. What a joke, ha ha ha. Super Nintendo's Street Fighter 2 was such a fluke. It gave no precedence to fighting games and never struck popularity again after that. It is THE fighting game. The best series in it's genre.

They ruined Resident Evil, I'll give you that but clearly you never played Street Fighter IV or were terrible at it. It's easily recognized as not only the best in it's series, but will be the best of all time.


You're a detriment to this gaming society. I hate everyone these days. Nobody knows what they are talking about.

NTM23
NTM23

@Sniggih It didn't, it came out this year. I don't know why it says that.

MattPeters
MattPeters

@Alucard_Prime Oh and Castlevania, that's making a huge comeback. Pfft. The biggest fighting game tournament of the year will have Ultra on the Main Stage. You're dumb.

majere613
majere613

@nyran125tk There's still plenty of characters with strong followings they could potentially add, like Q, Karin, Oro, or Rainbow Mika. Not that they necessarily will, but they could.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@nyran125tk "you wont need a street fighter game ever again"
And still Capcom will release a new version next year.

snk0610
snk0610

@rickphoenixxx


It's not accurate at all.


IGN rating system is much more accurate.


Game Spot score system used to be.the same as IGN.


Which is much better.


I have no idea why they changed it.


They should go back to that score system.


It's much more accurate.

Raxyman
Raxyman

@thunderborne Street Fighter IV

Super Street Fighter IV

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition
Ultra Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (it's basically that)

I fail to see how it's misleading to say it's a re-release everytime. "new stages, balance changes, and new characters" sums up every single "expansion" we've had so far. No update on trials, the game fail to explain itself from new players, no new single-player modes, not a single change that actually should be done. There are FOUR different SFIV, and to anyone who bought it since the first edition had to shell out more cash to every update. Bear in mind, I'm not questioning SF quality, i'm questioning Capcom's method of handling a franchise.

Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@Bgrngod @tastemycobra  i've wondered about the date mentioned as well. it says the game has been released in 2011 but in the review it says the original game has been out for 5 years now. maybe 2011 was when they released the Super version

d3chu
d3chu

@Raxyman @thunderborne I play SF at a casual lvl at best. Every iteration looks and plays the same to me at my level. Now there's new stuff on top of what I played before, so guess what? When I look at it, it just looks like an expansion. Like even I can tell that when they say "new game", they mean new metagame at high levels. Those changes you're asking for, that's what I would expect for an actual new game, like SFV, not in lowly dlc.

thunderborne
thunderborne

@Raxyman @thunderborne Personally, the only one that felt like a money grab for me was the leap from SFIV to SSFIV since you had to purchase the game separately at retail price.  That felt like a bit of a rip off.  However, SSFIV:Arcade Edition was just a $15 DLC expansion to SSFIV.  And, Ultra is also a $15 DLC expansion to that game.  I am okay with spending $15 for this update.  With that said, it's rather lame that new characters will not have Trials.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@chev93489 @angeloponekad @timthegem People used to complain about street fighter just recycling itself over and over a couple of decades ago - back in the Street fighter 2 days. I think people are just so used to it now they've stopped complaining.

Perhaps in 20 year people will have stop complaining about COD and just accept it barely innovates. (Cod is nowhere near as bad as Street fighter in term of lack of innovation and change.)

Raxyman
Raxyman

@d3chu @thunderborne Then tell me how's this DLC different from CoD's one. New characters/skins, new maps and a few new tricks. 15$ is a lot for small changes. When you look at some other DLCs, take Skyrim for example, they add a lot more content for more or less the same price tag. TLoU Left Behind campaign. Among other examples.


Skullgirls adds metagame changes and new characters for free, and it's already a 15$ game. Of course SF has way many characters and a more refined artwork, but my point is that indie developers could do more with less, understand? Skullgirls practice mode is fully outfitted with all tools you could want, there's a full tutorial explaning the whole game and each character individually, and every new character gets a new trial/story mode.

I've played SSFIV:AE only because of my plus subscription, i didn't liked much, too many frame links, spamming is safe, combos doesn't do much damage, i'd rather BlazBlue or Skullgirls for that matter, but i can understand that you're willing to pay the price for a game you like, hell, i've paid for BB:CT Extended and it wasn't that much different from SF, few characters, maps and balancing (although new characters got trials and story). Regardless of taste, on both cases i think the price tag it's unjustified.

Let's suppose that from SFIV to SSFIV was also a 15$ DLC, if you followed SF from the beggining now you spent almost 100$ on a fighting game, you really think the price is fair? At least IMO i don't think so.

Atzenkiller
Atzenkiller

@snk0610 @Warlord_Irochi @rickphoenixxx  i don't. your opinion of a game will always vary from that of a reviewer. what does it matter if some reviewer gave the game an 85 or an 87? in your opinion it might be an 82 or even worse. do you only read reviews to argue about such slight variations? which are always subjective anyway.


the more precise a rating system is the more subjectivity is involved, which leads to more people arguing about it. but of course that's the intention of some sites.

d3chu
d3chu

@Raxyman @d3chu @thunderborne I was saying I think it's DLC, not a re-release like you said in your original post. Lol I think you just flipped around and agreed with me that it's DLC and not a re-release too, so high five? As far as the amount of DLC content vs. price argument you're bring up now, that's different. I think the price is fair considering generally 1 character DLC is $5 for fighting games. You're getting 5 arguably "new" ones here. I originally balked at it since 4 of the chars are from another game, but plus the new modes and stuff I've since changed my mind. And just googling it now, Skullgirl dlc chars were free for only a limited time. Seems like they're at $5 too now.

snk0610
snk0610

@Atzenkiller @snk0610 @Warlord_Irochi @rickphoenixxx


It matters a lot!


Game Spot rating system is very inaccurate.


This is why so many games get almost every time the same score -  8


If the reviewer like the game less a 7 and if he likes the game more then 9


Look at the latest review section - six games got the same score - 7.


With this rating system you give almost every game the same score


Or very inaccurate scores.


If one game deserves 83 score and another 86 score


Instead of just giving  them both 85 which makes a lot more sense


With game spot rating either both will get 80 which is inaccurate


or the 83 game will get 80 the 86 score game will get 90


That's a very bad rating system.


As i said before with Game Spot rating system almost every good game 


Get the same score!


Sometimes a game is not 80 and not 90 it's somewhere in the middle.


And sometimes a game is not 90 and not 100.


It's somewhere in the middle.


They should go back to the IGN rating system they used to have.


That's a much more detailed and accurate rating system.



snk0610
snk0610

@Atzenkiller @snk0610 @Warlord_Irochi @rickphoenixxx


Sure  :)


I am very happy you agree with me :)


Game Spot should change their rating system to the rating system as IGN.


It's much more detailed and accurate rating system.


It was obvious to me you would see things logically eventually .


It's great to see we agree about the rating system.

Ultra Street Fighter IV More Info

  • First Released
    • Arcade Games
    • PC
    • + 2 more
    • PlayStation 3
    • Xbox 360
    Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition features a roster of 39 characters, with four new characters added.
    8.3
    Average User RatingOut of 743 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Ultra Street Fighter IV
    Developed by:
    Capcom
    Published by:
    Capcom, Taito Corporation
    Genres:
    Fighting, 3D, Action
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence