After the months and months of waiting for a PC version of Ultra Street Fighter 4 it is finally in my grubby hands. Was the wait worth it? That’s what I intend to reveal in this review.
PLATFORMS: Arcade, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
RELEASE DATE: June 3rd/4th (PSN / XBL), August 4th (retail) August 8th (Steam)
PRICE: $14.99 (Upgrade) / $29.99 (Steam)
This is Street Fighter at it’s finest
This is the tried and true Street Fighter experience, which is a fantastic thing. If you’re a Street Fighter veteran, or if you’re new to the game or even the series, you’ll find it pretty easy to jump in and get a few rounds under your belt. And now that this version is on Steam, and not the ill-fated Microsoft Games for Windows Live, it’s a breeze to invite all your friends on Steam to a session or a lobby. Just send the invite to their steam avatar, and away you go.
On top of that, USF4 introduces several changes to the game; Red Focus / EX Red Focus (Useful for absorbing hits at the cost of meter), Ultra Combo Double which lets you use both of your ultra moves at the cost of them doing less damage, and Delay Standing, which lets you lay on the ground longer after knockdown attacks, as well as a huge slew of character changes in an attempt to make the roster balanced. Trust me folks, learn how to use Delay Standing as it will save your asses.
There’s also the ability to use more over powered characters like vanilla-Street Fighter IV Sagat, by turning back the clock and selecting their previous incarnations using the Edition Select Mode. This mode basically lets you choose specific versions of characters from previous iterations of Street Fighter IV (Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition 2012 or Ultra Street Fighter 4). Keep in mind however, that this feature is reserved for local game-play only. With the release of a new version, also comes new characters; and this time around we’re treated to 5 new faces to the Street Fighter IV series: Decapre, Hugo, Rolento, Poison, and Elena. The only truly “New” character being Decapre as she looks very similar to Cammy, but plays quite differently.
Another feature that Capcom added to Ultra Street Fighter 4, was the ability to upload matches to Youtube directly, however on the consoles it was limited to 480p (yuck). But thankfully this time around the PC version has an option for both 480p (Low) and 720p (high). Keep in mind that recording does introduce lag, as reported by members on the USF4 Steam forums. I’m not sure how many people would actually use this as there are better alternatives out there such as Nvidia’s Shadowplay, OBS or AMD’s Gaming Evolved. I’d also say FRAPs but that application while once a fan favorite simply adds way to much overhead during gameplay, and you simply wouldn’t want that in a fighting game.
So, one could say Ultra Street Fighter 4 is perhaps the ultimate fighting game for the PC – however, the game has it’s share of problems. Sadly, there is a current issue with the netcode that affects the quality of online game play. Typically you would expect players with good bandwidth connections to have smooth lag-free matches, recently however, that has proven incorrect. In fact, the last few matches I played had issues with the latency; definitely not something I’d expect from a decent connection. Going further I’ve also encountered a few dropped games in both random match-making, or when in a lobby with a few friends. While it’s a pain, it’s far from game-breaking, and thankfully Capcom is aware of the issues so we’ll hopefully see a patch for the issue sooner than later.
It’s pretty oh so pretty
This is definitely the best looking version Ultra Street Fighter 4, hands down and thankfully this wasn’t just a straight port. I’m actually pretty impressed, as I was half expecting the game to be a port but instead we ended up getting the options PC gamers expect in a PC game. It’s all there, from V-SYNC, to setting a fixed or variable (Smooth) frame rate, Anti-alisasing (up to C16xQ), shadow adjustments, particle effects, and it all maxes out to the native resolution of you monitor.
Everything is very fluid, and the game runs like a champ on my PC and laptop (which is a far cry from a gaming laptop with it’s Intel HD 4400 integrated GPU ran the game decently). From what I can tell, this isn’t a resource hog, and scales very well – which is a huge plus.
And with typical Capcom flair, with a new version of Street Fighter comes new costumes and boy are they are something. Between the Summer Vacation, Alternate, and pre-order bonus costume sets, there are plenty of styles to choose from. And, if you upgraded from Super Street Fighter 4:AE to Ultra; any costumes you had will transfer over as well.
Though truth be told, some of those costumes are pretty wacky while others are damned cool.
Like I said I’m very impressed.
The sounds of being knocked out
The background music for each stage has a catchy theme that gets you into the action, well other than the training stage room (I hate that stage). The soundtrack in USF4 is perhaps one of the best soundtracks that can be found in a fighting game today. Way before I had access to the game I was bumping the soundtrack, it’s that good. In fact, there’s just one other fighting game that I say rivals this game but I won’t mention it……. nah, I’ll say it; Killer Instinct 2013. Thankfully I didn’t hear that awful “Indestructible” tune anywhere, so hopefully Capcom wised up and removed it.
Gamepad players may want to think about upgrading to a joystick this time around; here’s a few suggestions to check out.
Definitely a reason to get that joystick out of the closet
Ultra Street Fighter 4 is the hands down best version of the entry to date and the best fighter currently available for the PC. This is the pinnacle of fighting games and Street Fighter 4 has been refined to the point where I highly doubt Capcom can outdue themselves again. PC gamers, this is the game to get if you like fighting games, doesn’t matter if you’re a casual or you complete in fighting game tournaments.
You would be doing a huge disservice yourself if you didn’t pick up this game. And while you’re picking up the game, make sure you pick up a decent gamepad or fightstick. The Xbox 360 or Dual Shock 4 controller just doesn’t cut it.
Honestly in my opinion if other than the netcode issues this game is a perfect fighter on the PC. Capcom fix the damned netcode, this game is pure gold otherwise!
- Huge roster with 44 characters to choose from; 5 of them being new to the game (Decapre, Hugo, Rolento, Poison and Elena.
- Additional game play functions such as Red Focus and Ultra Combo Double help spice up the game.
- Thanks to the character balancing the tiers aren’t as high as they were in SF4 or Super SF4.
- Tons of replay-ability.
- Edition Select Mode gives gamers a reason to bring their friends over to settle the score on who was the most overpowered character.
- Ability to upload game-play footage directly to Youtube in 720p
- 28 stages
- That damned netcode
- Youtube upload quality is restricted to 720p
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