Street Fighter IV has been on consoles in various incarnations for over six years beginning with its PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 releases in February 2009. Naturally, Capcom released several fresher editions of the game, and here we have arrived at Ultra Street Fighter IV, finally unleashed on the PS4.
Ultra Street Fighter IV Review (PS4) - PSLS
USFIV includes five new characters, though most of them are new as a technicality only. Rolento, Elena, Hugo and Poison all made appearances in Street Fighter X Tekken, and Decapre is a completely new playable character. She is a member of M. Bison’s Dolls, an elite fighting group. There are 44 characters in all to master, and they are all available from the start. You can learn their moveset by entering the challenges, or Ultra Challenges, which task you with performing ever more complicated combos against the CPU, which may or may not be taking your punishment while standing still.
Graphically, USFIV looks much the same as the previous generation entry, with an incredibly colorful palette. However, the frame rate this time around is almost always locked to 60fps, with one glaring exception that we’ll get to in a few paragraphs. But with this kind of fluid action, the game appears as smooth as butter. Watching replays is incredibly satisfying as well.
The same drop-in arcade-style multiplayer is here, and I am happy to report that the netcode is solid. Playing on a 30 mbps down/5 mpbs up connection, I was able to play against online opponents without a hiccup. I was on a wired connection, as anyone playing a fighting game online should be. I did have an issue trying to find a ranked match manually, but keeping my Arcade playthrough open to challengers proved to be the smoothest way to get a match going.
Controls are unforgivingly tight, as the series is known for. This is a technical fighter, which means that veteran players are far more likely to win against newbies than the other way around. However, running through the challenges and utilizing the training modes (a LOT) will do wonders to help improve your game. USFIV also includes an in-game manual that helps to clear up what all the symbols mean on the combo screens, which is great because without some explanation many players would likely be lost.
Not all is well in the land of the re-release, however. In our play-throughs, USFIV had one major issue, which is that the game would randomly freeze for a fraction of a second. In a fighting game, that is unacceptable. Such a glitch can and will completely screw up a player’s rhythm, and since it happens randomly it’s hard to deal with. Thankfully, a launch-day patch appears to have cleared this up, however if you have no or limited access to the internet then you’ll have to live with the issue.
What more can be said about Ultra Street Fighter IV? If by some act of (insert deity here) you’ve never played a Street Fighter game, this is a great place to start. It’s the best fighter you can get on the new generation of consoles. With the PS4 in its second year, it’s about time the series showed up! For $25, you can nab the most definitive version of Street Fighter IV released to date, including all DLC. If you’re a fighting game fan, this is a no-brainer. Just be sure you update.
Review copy was provided by the publisher. For information on scoring, please read our Review Policy here.