Street Fighter 4 does nothing to recreate the wheel, but still manages to be one of the most satisfying fighting games.

I played about twelve hours of SF4 until I hit the massive boredom point where i'm not seeing the reason to play it again in a long time. The game has some shining qualities, and some displeasing flaws. Read on.

The graphics of the game are a mixed bag of amazing artistic features and unimpressive technical display. The fighters looks quite good and move in an impressive way, with tons of great animations, yet the backgrounds arent that great. Some of them are good, but the other half looks like if they were ripped off a PS2 game, most importantly on NPC's in the background wich looks kinda blocky. The hand drawn lines that modify some combats effect like focus hits are nice looking, even more during the finish pose of your fighters.

The gameplay is rock-solid, with enough stuff to keep the newcomer entertained, as long as they don't try the ultra macho online competition where every tactic works, cheap or less cheap,, since you see, people want to win. I myself tested some cheap tactics, and managed to get my 10 win streak achievement with a neat focus strike when my opponent would stand on his feet, locking him on the ground until the KO. There's some good fun to be had if you've got the skills, and the thrills of kicks and fists exchange can be amazing.

A fighting game is as good as its fighting system and its fighters, right? Well, Street Fighter doesnt bear the flame so well in 2009 than it did in the 90. You see, some of them wear tight outfits with plastic spaulders ( m.bison, it used to be cool, but now, not so well) some others have extremely ugly design ( chun li, guile, zangief ) and so on. I understand its good for nostalgia, but newcomers may just laugh at some of the characters and get turned off by them. I, for myself, used to play the old SF's and I kinda hoped they'd change some of the character design, wich smells too much of the 90' galore and fashion that is now pretty much dead.

That said, unless you're a SF fan already or a fighting game lover, this game won't hold much of your attention, as i'm already bored with it, yet I've played tons of fighting games wich held my attention a lot longer than this one. It may be because it has a '' I overplayed this 14 years ago'' feel and that 1/3 of the characters are a Ryu variant ( Akuma, Ken, Sakura, Dan, Gouken) with some slightly different move palette.

The game is easily recommendable, but for me it didnt make it very far. Oddly enough, the game ditched my attention due to the fact that half of the cast of characters are down-right ugly or uninteresting to play has. When I'm certain this game is not worthy of all the big website 9.5-ish scores, I give it an 8.5 out of 10. Recycling ideas is sometimes good, but after a decade, it doesnt work as well for me.