Street Fighter IV Preview

Ha-dou-again-ken.

(Editor's Note: Only the arcade version was available at E3, but we expect the console versions to play more or less the same.)

[image1]The classic tale of those who fight in the streets is back. I’m sure it’s not necessary to delve deeper into this, but just to be thorough, here’s a list of just some of what’s been added to the game. They’ve taken the good ideas from Street Fighter III and brought back the gameplay from Street Fighter II (and a tad from Street Fighter Alpha) that made it the biggest fighting game franchise of all time.

The parry system has been replaced with the new "focus" system, allowing you to block and counter any standard melee moves. Instead of just a single super gauge you get two now: one that fills by being hit and one that fills by kicking ass. Each gauge - never mind each character - provides their own array of super moves. Even the story has taken a back step, taking place some time after Street Fighter II and some time before Street Fighter III ever happened... ever happened... ever happened.

[image2]Beyond that, everything has been redesigned from the ground up. Both the character models and levels have been 3D-rendered and have been tweaked for a new generation of gamers. As always, some new fighters are thrown into the ring to mix things up, including an assassin (Crimson Viper), a French martial artist (Abel), a new grappler (El Fuerte), and some fat guy (Rufus). Will Street Fighter reclaim the title as the ultimate in one-on-one fighting? It remains to be seen, but their odds are looking pretty good.