Super Street Fighter IV Update: New Online Modes

Capcom unveils some cool new modes for the latest entry in the Street Fighter series.

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While we've had a pretty good idea of what to expect from Super Street Fighter IV, Capcom managed to surprise us at its recent press event. Producer Yoshinori Ono showed off some new modes that will be available on disc when the game launches and unveiled a cool Tournament mode that will be made available free of charge this June. He also finally took the wraps off of the special perk Street Fighter IV owners get for picking up the game.

The first part of the presentation ran us through Team Battle mode that supports two-on-two, three-on-three, and four-on-four player fights. The nice touch to the mode is the level of control over group brawls and the amount of customizable options available. You'll be able to designate a leader who can pick the order and makeup of the team to keep things balanced, as well as set various options for the matches.

The nice touch here is that, while the leader is setting things up, the rest of the group can kill time playing in Arcade mode (you'll still be able to receive fight requests while you're waiting as well). When everything is sorted, the leader can summon everyone to the match. The matches play out a bit differently from the last game, thanks to the ability for everyone to spectate and, in perhaps the coolest twist to the mode, save replays of any match you watch by hitting the select button at any point during a match. The replay is saved to the new replay channel, where you'll be able to watch it.

The channel itself will feature several different categories focusing on different character groupings, such as the classic street fighters or the alpha characters. What's especially cool about this is that you'll have two very important options when rewatching matches that are perfect for helping out anyone hungry to improve their game. The first option is pretty basic--a slow-motion option for the replay. But the second--the option to have controller input data shown--is incredibly useful for anyone looking to hone their skills. A nice extra perk to the replay mode is the ability to invite friends to watch the replay and chat with them--which would be perfect for some online schooling.

The latter part of the presentation showcased the upcoming Super Tournament mode, which is a free piece of downloadable content set to hit on June 15. The mode will support up to eight players with a ninth player serving as the overall host and a staggering amount of customization options that lets anyone set up a proper tournament. What's especially cool is that you'll actually be able have custom titles created that people can earn as a prize for your tournament.

Finally, Ono took the wraps off the perk original Street Fighter IV owners get for picking up Super Street Fighter IV: two unique graphical filters for your character. If you have saved data from Street Fighter IV, the filters will show up in your costume selection. The first is a pencil shader that adds cross hatching to your fighter's model. The second is an ink shader that adds an ink wash. The effects are cool but seem a little thin as perks go.

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From the look of things, Super Street Fighter IV should come packing a good amount of content out of the gate that's nicely balanced to newcomers and veterans. The replay mode and the options it presents as a learning resource are excellent for those trying to ease into Street Fighter. On the other hand, the free downloadable Tournament mode is a nice bonus that adds another dimension to online play for veteran street fighters. While we'd like to have seen a better perk for owners of the original Street Fighter IV, there's still a pretty great array of content between the modes we touched on, as well as the new characters and balancing. Super Street Fighter IV is set to ship next week for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

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