Street Fighter. Everyone knows it. Many love it. When Street Fighter IV released, it rejuvenated the fighting game scene. A year later, Super Street Fighter IV came out as a decently priced expansion that added new characters, modes, and online capabilities. Now, another year later, a newer, yet smaller, expansion is released called Arcade Edition. It’s available both on disc and download to piggyback onto your existing copy of Super Street Fighter IV. Is it worth the price of admission? Let’s find out.
Arcade Edition (AE) comes in a variety of flavors. As said above, you can download the expansion for 1200 MS points or $15 on the PSN. This will allow you to get all the benefits of the new expansion without having to go out and buy a new disc. The game also comes in disc form. It has both SSFIV and AE in the same package. The disc version is $39.99. Let’s not forget about our PC gamers. They finally get their hands on SSFIV by way of AE from Steam and other sources. Since they never got SSFIV back when it was released, this is a must have for the PC players out there. The PC version is also $39.99.
Now to the good stuff, what do you get for picking up AE? Well, you get 4 new characters, a new replay channel devoted to watching replays of the best players in the world, and a new balancing structure to fix a few characters via buffs and nerfs. That’s about it.
The new characters added to the roster are Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu, and Oni. Yun and Yang play identically to their Street Fighter 3 (SF3) incarnations. They’re fast, powerful and, I feel, almost break the game. They control like SF3 characters in a SSFIV game. This feels very different compared to the other characters in the game. I feel that because of their speed and power, they have an advantage over all the other characters. Evil Ryu plays like standard Ryu with a little Akuma mixed in, and Oni plays a lot like Akuma with a little Gouken mixed in. The characters are really nothing too special, to be honest. They each have a story mode to play through, but the thing that got me was there is no rival cut scene that the rest of the characters have.
The new replay channel is nice, but is basically just a channel devoted to players that have a higher rank than most, so you can watch their strategies with certain characters. The hardcore players would get more use out of this than others.
The biggest change is the character balancing included with AE. They nerfed and buffed certain characters and tried to even the playing field. Guile, El Fuerte, and E. Honda players, I’m sorry. They were nerfed most out of them all. From what I have seen and played of the game, many veteran players are not too happy with the new balancing.
The big problem with AE is the fact that you can only play AE with other AE owners. If you have a friend that has SSFIV and you have AE, you can’t use ANY of the new characters or rebalancing patches from AE. You’re basically stuck playing SSFIV. So it begs the question, do you really need AE? Well, that depends on how you play, who you want to play with, and if you’re happy with the buffs and nerfs. Granted, if you just want to play SSFIV, you absolutely can. Even in ranked matches, you can choose to search SSFIV or AE players. It just feels like the integration of AE with SSFIV is shoddy.
You can’t use the new characters in Trial Mode. That is a big let down for me. The best way to learn characters is to do suggested combos and moves that were placed in the trial mode. You’re stuck having to learn the new AE characters either in training or playing against bots or human opponents. I feel that Capcom dropped the ball with this expansion. There is no reason why I couldn’t use my new characters against my friend that only has SSFIV. They could have released a compatibility patch to allow SSFIV players to play against AE players. It’s almost like you’re being punished for getting AE.
As a downloadable expansion, for $15 you can get a few nice things, but will be limited in what you can do with them. As a full disc game, if you own SSFIV there is no reason to buy this. Just download it, and for our PC gamers who never got to play SSFIV, I’d suggest picking this up. You’re getting a ton of content, as well as the AE stuff. Overall, if you’re the casual Street Fighter player, you don’t need this expansion. I’d even go as far to say that most hardcore players will find this expansion a little lacking with only 4 new characters and a rebalancing structure that hinders more than it helps.
Review copy provided by publisher.