Street Fighter's rebirth is an instant KO.

User Rating: 9 | Street Fighter IV (Collector's Edition) PS3
Graphics: 93/100
Gameplay: 90/100
Sounds: 90/100
Longevity: 91/100
Tilt: 90/100

Street Fighter is one of the most known fighting game franchises and the second game of the series is often called "the one that started it all". After two main games, there were lots of spin-offs like Alphas and collections and then came Third Strike. It was the same hard 2D fighting as the previous ones. Now with Street Fighter IV, the series finally rebirths with new stylish, unique looking 3D graphics, better gameplay and lots of new mechanics.

Once again Shadaloo has it's hand on all the chaos and a new project called BLECE. To complete the project, they need the strongest fighters in the world so a tournament is announced. There are a total of 25 fighters including old favorites like Ryu, Ken, Guile, M.Bison (Yes yes yes!), Sagat, Zangief, Balrog, Vega, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Chun-Li and more and new ones: Crimson Viper, a long haired sexy female agent, Rufus, a fat arrogant American meatball, El Fuerte, a luchador wrestler who is also a cook, Abel, a mystery grappling machine, Gouken, Akuma's big brother and the game's annoying boss, Seth. Seth is a cheap fighter who copies others moves like Guile's Sonic Boom and Ryu's Hadouken. He also teleports around the arenas and can "suck" opponents into himself. Weird and Seth is a really annoying boss enemy, even on easiest difficulty.

The graphics are really stylish cartoonish 3D. The characters look really sharp and great and the backgrounds are marvelous. Stages are all new and they include jungles, crowded downtowns, drive-ins at night, cities, volcanoes and airports. Street Fighter IV is really one great looking fighting game.

The gameplay is pretty much classic Street Fighter with light punches and kicks, medium punches and kicks and heavy attacks. There is also new additions like the effective Super and Ultra combos and Focus attacks, but they require a use of a SF veteran to work correctly and effective. Every character has unique moves and Zangief is a good grappling machine to be used near the opponent and Dhalsim is good used far away from the opponent since he can stretch his arms and create fireballs. It is useful to make different strategies and tactics for every character like moving fastly and hitting rapidly with Vega and attacking all the time with Balrog since he can do really powerful punch combos.

The soundtrack include new "cool" techno remixes of old SF2 themes. They sound really good, but the old ones are a lot more memorable and of course too nostalgic to be remixed. And some techno pump really doesn't fit a villain like M.Bison. The remixed classic themes only appear at rival stages and otherwise there are just some new tracks that work fine, but are rather forgettable. The main menu music is scary catchy, though.

The story mode is fun, but the main boss Seth may turn some players away from single player. The cutscenes are anime-style cartoons that are pretty stiff, but they get the job done. There are lots of other game modes as well like survival, time attack, training, practice and of course, online.

OVERALL: Street Fighter IV is an instant classic, or should I say instant KO. The new stylish 3D graphics, better and faster gameplay and working new characters make it a really great experience for SF veterans and while it may be at bit harsh for new players, it's definitely still worth a try for them, too.

+ Pros: Stylish graphics, classic SF gameplay, classic characters, good sounds
- Cons: Seth is one annoying main boss, a bit too harsh for new players, remixed classic themes take away the nostalgia.