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Great Handheld Games: Street Fighter 4
At last! After years of anticipation, we finally have a true Street Fighter sequel that fans can be proud of. Sure, we have had plenty of spin off titles: Street Fighter Alpha, Marvel VS. Capcom, Street Fighter VS. Tekken. . . but not all of these entries were necessarily worthy of carrying the Street Fighter name.
Game play is the standard, tried and true mano y mano formula. Two opponents face of in an arena and battle full force until one fighter claims victory. There are no holds barred as fireballs, gravity defying aerial kicks, flaming fists and even superhuman killer combos can be utilized to topple the other fighter. However, if you would like to add a twist to the mix, you can activate the 3D match function of your Nintendo 3DS to make it seem like your looking through the eyes of your fighter. With the built in 3D option, fighters literally pop out from their gorgeous backgrounds. It's visually appealing and conceptually stunning. While it may seem out dated when you consider what games can do these days, but the simple formula is nothing short of addicting.
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Each character has received a hefty upgrade. Not only do you have several color choices for your fighter, each has received a very lethal upgrade to their arsenal. Classic characters such as Dhalsim, Guile and Balrog have gone from comically easy to beat, to devastating powerhouses in their own right. We are given a readily available roster of classic fighters including several new ones. We have Juri, a female assassin working for the S.I.N. corporation. Gouken, Ryu and Ken's martial arts teacher, finally steps into the ring. Hakan, a unique looking oil wrestler will surprise opponents with his interesting fighting style. Rufus is definitely the most diverse character to be introduced to the world of Street Fighter. You simply have to see him to believe. El Fuerte, an aspiring chef who has managed to fuse his fighting techniques with his cooking skills. C. Viper is an undercover CIA agent who has infiltrated to S.I.N. crime syndicate.
Juri, C.Viper, and Gouken fit in nicely with the rest of the cast, as if they've been battling since the beginning. While the others, most notoriously, El Fuerte and Rufus are just plain ridiculous. Granted, any fighter has the potential to be a champion given the skills of the player using them. I'm pretty deadly when I fight with Cammy, but if I try to use Zangief or Blanka it always results in a prompt ass kicking.
While each character has their own special ending, there isn't much by means of unlockables. The real star of the game is the online matches. So you've beat the game on the hardest level, without a single KO and you're feeling like a real bad ass right? Wrong! My first online battle put me in my place so fast it made my head spin. It is definitely a challenge, and it's interesting to be able to play others from all around the world. Watching how each individual player chooses their character and then studying the individual dynamics that make each character lethal is fascinating. I'm a long time fan of the series, so I'm no Street Fighter slouch, but I can't count ho many times E.Honda, Rose and even Dan have handed my head to me. It's really a humbling experience.
If you only buy one fighting title, or handheld for that matter, Street Fighter 4 should be at the top of your list for consideration.