The main fighting mode shows of the gorgeous visuals on the handheld in boring 2d. Courtesy of vg-reloaded.com

“Street Fighter IV” was one of the few games from the past generation that I really felt I missed out on as an Nintendo-only console player. Sure, the Wii was treated with the artsy “Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom,” but aside from that Nintendo has been hugely lacking in the fighting games department.

Luckily, Capcom stepped up with “Street Fighter IV: 3-D Edition” as a launch title for the Nintendo 3DS. Not only do I get to play “Street Fighter” on the go, but I get to experience it in glorious 3-D.

Capcom didn’t skimp on the portable edition of the game, either. All 35 playable characters return, complete with the single player campaign, online multiplayer and nearly all the bells and whistles of the original console while still including extras for the 3DS adopters.

One of my favorite new additions to the title is the power combo shortcuts that are assigned to the touch screen. Many die hard “Street Fighter” players may be upset at this ‘dumbing down’ of the game, but it allows people to have access to the more powerful moves without having to memorize complicated move inputs.

This can make online play a tad of a pain, though, with many new players simply spanning the shortcut menus. But if you are really good at the game, it won’t matter. I’ve faced players online spanning the gamut: There were some with whom I couldn’t even get a move in edgewise as they pummeled me to the ground, and others I could walk over as they spammed simple distance combos.

It was also great to see voice acting and a complete game experience on a portable. The game has voice acting, which you don’t see on many Wii, let alone DS, games. “Street Fighter IV” shows off the power of the 3DS. The added 3-D view mode also shifts the camera view slightly, making a 2D fighter look pretty damn good in 3-D. The 3-D effect isn’t as strong as some other current titles available, but it does do a very good job of balancing powerful graphics with illuminating 3-D.

The game does have several flaws, however. The intro cinematics and in-game cut scenes are strangely not rendered in 3-D, and the stage backgrounds are fairly boring. I’ve had frequent problems with online lag or errors connecting, but I expect as much from a game’s first launch and hope to see the problem balance out.

Capcom also added a fairly unique feature just for the 3DS, which takes full advantage of the new system’s StreetPass feature. The game has 500 collectible trophies, and you can assemble a team of them that will battle any other player’s team that you pass on the street. It is another nice little addition to an already fleshed out game.

I never thought I’d say that another company beat Nintendo out of the gate on their own system launch, but “Street Fighter IV” is not only the best launch title available, but a great example of a third party bringing their best effort to a Nintendo console. 4.0/5

Clark is a member of the class of 2012



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