Ultra Street Fighter IV Review

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.
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.
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

More Platform Reviews

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.
139 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

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therealone717

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

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Deity_Dude

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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?

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Anteares

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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.

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Toysoldier34

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

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Nev3rtime

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@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.)

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snessnes

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

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OkRaider88

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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.

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Tranula

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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.

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ThreeVo

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

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PlasmaBeam44

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@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.

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fadersdream

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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.

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ahmad996

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

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timthegem

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timthegem  Online

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.

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SnakekillerX

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Edited By SnakekillerX  Online

@timthegem If it takes you 16 button presses to do a hadoken.. you are doing it wrong..

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angeloponekad

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@timthegem keep playing your COD and shut the fvck up !!!

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TheGreatGhoul

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Edited By 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.

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SnakekillerX

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Edited By SnakekillerX  Online

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

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MattPeters

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@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.

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NTM23

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Meh. Please be done with this.

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Sniggih

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

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NTM23

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

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Alucard_Prime

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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?

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MattPeters

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@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.

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darktruth007

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Looks like a great game - for the bargain bin.

2 • 
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daveg1

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

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deactivated-58b21a0c82f81

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Darkstalkers please

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MigGui

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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 :(

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Silverline62

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

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abcdefgabcdefgz

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@Silverline62 yeah i agree. They could do so much with game modes or stories.

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Raxyman

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@Silverline62 ^ THIS

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nyran125tk

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Edited By 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.

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majere613

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@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.

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Warlord_Irochi

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

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tastemycobra

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

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Bgrngod

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@tastemycobra ULTRA did not come out 3 years ago.

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Atzenkiller

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@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

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Raxyman

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Edited By Raxyman

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

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RickPhoenixxx

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Edited By 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.

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snk0610

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@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.

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Warlord_Irochi

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@snk0610 @rickphoenixxx

Writing like this

Why you do it?

Are you trying to call people's attention?

I don't see the need of it.
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snk0610

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@Warlord_Irochi @snk0610 @rickphoenixxx


Because that's how i want to write :)


And i'm sure you agree with me about the rating system.

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Atzenkiller

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@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.

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snk0610

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@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.



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Atzenkiller

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@snk0610 @Atzenkiller @Warlord_Irochi @rickphoenixxx thanks for proving my point

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snk0610

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Edited By 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.

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Ultra Street Fighter IV

First Released Jun 7, 2011
released
  • Arcade Games
  • PC
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox 360

Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition features a roster of 39 characters, with four new characters added.

8
Great

Average Rating

784 Rating(s)

8.3
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
Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Violence