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Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV

Street Fighter IV is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom, which co-developed the game with Dimps. It was the first numbered Street Fighter game released by Capcom since 1999, a hiatus of nine years.

The coin-operated arcade game version was released in Japan on July 18, 2008, with North American arcades importing the machines by August. The console versions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 were released in Japan on February 12, 2009, and were sold in North American stores as early as February 16, with a February 18 intended release date. The official European release was on February 20. A Windows version was released on July 2, 2009 in Japan, July 3, 2009 in Europe and July 7, 2009 in the United States. A version for iOS was released on March 10, 2010. By March 31, 2009, Street Fighter IV had sold over 3 million copies worldwide. An updated version, Super Street Fighter IV, was released as a standalone title in April 2010.

Street Fighter IV has sold 3.3 million units by September 2013. Super Street Fighter IV has sold 1.9 million units, in addition to 400,000 of the Arcade Edition, by December 2011. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition sold an additional 1 million copies by April 2011, and 1.1 million as of December 2011. This adds up to sales of 6.7 million copies in total. Upon its release, the game received universal critical acclaim; receiving universally high scores from many gaming websites and magazines.

Street Fighter IV Plot

Street Fighter IV takes place several months after the events of Street Fighter II (thus is chronologically set between Street Fighter II and III). After M.Bison's survival from his encounter with Akuma, the S.I.N. corporation began another fighting tournament in order to draw out the most powerful fighters on Earth to complete the BLECE project. Each character has their own reasons for entering this tournament, but S.I.N.'s real desire is to lure Ryu to them in order to analyze the Satsui no Hadō, believed to be the last piece of data needed to complete BLECE.

Street Fighter IV Gameplay

Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II. A new system called Focus Attacks (Saving Attack for the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra Moves. The traditional six-button control scheme has returned, with new features and Special Moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.

Stephen Kleckner of 1UP.com has stated the game has a similar feel to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but also has a few features from Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. As in Street Fighter III, throwing is performed by pressing both light attack buttons, while pressing both heavy attack buttons performs the character's personal action or taunt. Pressing both medium attack buttons performs a character's Focus Attack. Dashes and quick standing are also in the game. C. Viper and Dan (with the air taunt) are the only characters who can perform a high jump.

It was intended that bonus rounds such as the car-smashing stage from earlier Street Fighter games would return. Ono later stated that the bonus stages would not be in the arcade game, citing the reason to be that the time players spend on bonus stages is time during which they have no chance of losing, which ultimately takes money from arcade operators.

Focus Attacks, known as Saving Attack in the Japanese version, is a new system introduced in Street Fighter IV. The Focus Attack is a move that allows the player to absorb an attack and launch a counterattack, and it is performed by pressing the medium punch and medium kick buttons simultaneously. There are two phases to the attack. In the first phase, the player will shift into a new stance, at which point he or she is able to absorb a single hit from the opponent. The second phase is the counterattack. The longer the player holds down the medium punch and kick buttons, the more powerful the attack will be. If the buttons are held for long enough the attack will be unblockable and cause the opponent to crumple slowly to the ground, allowing the player to follow up with a free hit. Attacks that were absorbed during the first phase of a Focus Attack still cause damage to the player; however, life lost from the opponent's attack will be quickly regenerated afterward. In addition, during the first phase of the Focus Attack, the player may perform a dash either forward or backward to cancel the Focus Attack. Finally, at the cost of two bars of the Super Combo gauge, many Special Moves can be canceled into a Focus Attack. By executing a Focus Attack during the Special Move, the animation of the move will be cut short and go instantly into the Focus Attack animation. This allows players with precise timing to cancel Special Moves into Focus Attacks, and in turn cancel Focus Attacks into the forward dash, resulting in new combo possibilities. If a Special Move is blocked by the opponent, the new system allows players to cancel the blocked move with a Focus Attack, and then cancel the Focus Attack by dashing backward safely away from the opponent. Ono has stated that this system was incorporated in order to shift the emphasis away from combos and toward a more realistic system he has compared to boxing, in which "the skill is in reading your opponent's move before he or she starts moving ... We haven't forgotten about combos and linked moves, but focus makes it so that you have to read your opponent." The system aims to make ground attacks as viable a way of approaching opponents as jumping was in previous games. The focus system is a core part of Street Fighter IV's gameplay.

In addition to the powered-up versions of Special Moves introduced in previous Street Fighter games such as Super Combos and EX Special Moves, the game also introduces a new type of powered-up Special Move officially dubbed the Ultra Combo. Ultra Combos are long and cinematic moves featuring a lengthy combination of punches, kicks and other fighting techniques. Just as there is a Super Combo gauge, there is also an Ultra Combo gauge (officially known as the Revenge Gauge or Revenge Meter), but whereas the Super Combo gauge fills up when the player hits their opponent or performs a Special Move, the Revenge Gauge fills when one takes damage from their opponent (similar to the K Groove featured in Capcom vs. SNK 2). Along with the Super Combos, Ultra Combos are one of the only times (besides Zangief, E. Honda, Seth and Abel's command throws) the camera breaks from its normal fixed position to show a more dynamic, cinematic view of the gameplay.

Reception
Both the arcade and home versions of Street Fighter IV have received universal critical acclaim. The game received an aggregated score of 94 from Metacritic for its PlayStation 3 version, 93 for its Xbox 360 version, and 91 for its PC version.

The arcade version of Street Fighter IV was voted Best Game of 2008 in Japan by the editorial staff of Arcadia magazine in the February 2009 issue of the publication. The game also won in the categories of "Best Graphics", "Best Production", and the "Reader's Choice Award". The character Ryu took the No. 1 spot in the magazine's "Top 20 Characters of 2008" in the same issue. The February 2009 issue of PlayStation: The Official Magazine has rated the game 5/5, while the February 2009 issue of the Official Xbox Magazine has given Street Fighter IV a score of 9.5/10. IGN gave the game a 9.3/10, calling it an "irrevocably deep fighting game", but said that the anime cutscenes are "so poorly animated and tell you almost nothing about the story or the context for each character's participation in the tournament." GameSpot gave it the best Fighting Game of 2009 in the Editor's Choice and Reader's Choice areas. Additionally, GameTrailers named the title as the Best Fighting Game of 2009. Street Fighter IV also won "Fighting Game of the Year" at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards.

Giant Bomb gave the game 5 out of 5 stars stating that "Street Fighter IV combines old and new in powerful ways, resulting in a game familiar enough to bring retired fans back into the fold while being different enough to appeal to the players who have stuck with the genre since day one." Eurogamer gave the game 10/10 stating that "after over a month of playing Street Fighter IV almost daily, what has become quite clear is that it manages to appeal to a huge range of abilities and tastes without ever compromising its fidelity". Planet Xbox 360 was similar in its praise for the game, awarding it 9.1/10 and only finding fault with the Xbox 360's controller.

The iOS version has been critically acclaimed as well. Gameplayershub.com gave the game a 97% score, indicating that the game had such polish it should lead the way for future games on the platform.

The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions have sold 3.3 million copies.

Edge ranked the game #14 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "SFIV opens up the genre to all-comers without ever compromising the system's depth or fidelity."


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