Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition DLCby Adam Dileva
It seems just like yesterday we were given Super Street Fighter IV (SSF4) along with the 10 new characters, moves and Ultras back in April. Here we are a short few months later and now we have Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (Arcade Edition for short). Capcom has given gamers two different ways to purchase and / or upgrade their existing Super Street Fighter IV to the new Arcade Edition. Firstly, you can buy the disc that has all the newest characters and gameplay tweaks for $39.99, or if you already own SSF4 you can purchase the Arcade Edition add-on for a mere $15 in Microsoft Points. This review is simply going to inform you on what is new in Arcade Edition so you can decide if it's needed or warranted for your liking.
Now, about purchasing Arcade Edition, like I said, there are two ways to get it. If you don't already own SSF4 then obviously the simple way would to be to go buy the disc version of Arcade Edition. But hang on there. First, if you do some searching around you can now find SSF4 pretty cheap now that arcade is released. Look hard enough and it'll actually be much cheaper to buy SSF4 and then purchase the Arcade Edition DLC online rather than buying the disc. If you already own SSF4 then it's a no brainer as owning the disc has no extra incentives unless you're a collector or a really huge fan.
At first glance you aren't really going to notice much different once you pop the disc in. It's got the same intro videos, same menus and soundtrack. The biggest addition to Arcade Edition is the four new characters (Evil Ryu, Oni, Yun, and Yang), new online options and a whole slew of tweaks that have been done to rebalance the game by 'fixing' some of the characters strengths and weaknesses. If you are buying Arcade Edition you are most likely someone who never got around to playing Street Fighter IV or have a pair of fight sticks for when your buddies come over, know every Ultra Move by heart and every hit box for all the characters.
For the hardcore fan you're going to notice a whole bunch of changes with almost every character in regards to their move sets, damage and hit boxes. The new characters are also going to be a welcome addition for new characters to master as I think some casual players will also gravitate to the new guys as well as they are quite powerful. Evil Ryu is not a simple pallet swap of regular Ryu as he's much more aggressive and has some Akuma-like abilities now. Oni feels completely unique and seems to be a very precise character that will take a long time to master. Yun and Yang (who you may recognize from Street Fighter III) return and are completely overpowered and already labeled as top tier characters due to their strength and speed. I'll go a little more in depth into each of the new characters as that is really what's going to pull most people into Arcade Edition more than anything else.
Evil Ryu is who you might gravitate towards first simply because, well, it's Ryu and he's evil. He seems like a mix of regular Ryu and Akuma but with a badass visual to him. He retains his standard fireballs and shoryuken's but now has Akuma's ability to teleport across the fighting platform if needed. He's got a few abilities to quickly close distance like a lunging kick, dive kicks and a few others. You're even given a few tools to help against defensive players and you'll need to make use of your fireballs quite often if you're more of a defensive player. With another Ultra Fireball (though now chargable) I tended to play him much like standard Ryu but he definitely has some more mobility to him with his Akuma-like abilities.
Oni has a visual style much like Evil Ryu as they both have an ominous and intimidating look to them. He looks like a Gouken but is also a mixture of some Akuma similarities. Oni has some amazing choices for his Ultra as he can do a powerful fireball but it's able to be fire horizontally, vertically or even mid-air making it very versatile. Oni is also able to charge in almost any direction mid-air as well making him very elusive to hit against if done properly. Multiple types of fireballs will allow him to control where fights take place though his furthest fireballs are easily avoidable and you really need to learn some combos to do massive damage with your meters and to put on the offensive pressure.
Yun is the brother with the hat and is extremely quick for movement, can easily travel across the screen and has easy multi-hit combos. Yun is a completely offensive character that with the right amount of pressure; easily overwhelm opponents with his selection of high damage combos. Because of this his defense obviously lacks to try and keep balance but because you need to use his dive kicks to quickly close distance you might find fighting uppercut characters very difficult. You'll need to play a very quick and offensive game to become well versed with Yun but his extreme power will reward you for learning the combos.
Yang is the one with the funky hair and is also a very quick offensive based character. Yang is a beast when it comes to damage like his brother, but it felt like he was much more counter and punish based rather than all out offence. His Ultras are great and has a move set that can make players pay for missing a move against them. He is also a pressure character but I found his combos to be much more difficult to pull off than Yun's. Just like his brother, he also has low defense but is still in the top tier of character selection due to the tradeoff.
So what else is new in Arcade Edition other than the four new characters? Online play has gotten some minor upgrades and seemed much smoother than I remember in SSF4. There's also a revamp of the Replay channel that now add and Elite version to watch the broadcasts from the best players (those over 3000PP). You can now easily follow a player and see their replays as well as access to new titles and icons. Battle Points and Player Points will be reset if you upgrade to Arcade Edition due to them being 'different' games on the leaderboards. Unless you play online quite deeply this won't matter to some but to others that closely watch their PP this might be a little upsetting.
When you update your game you'll be able to swap between SSF4 and Arcade Edition which allows for both communities to 'play together' and not segregating players who may not pick up Arcade Edition. With Arcade Edition only bringing four new characters whereas Super brought 10, the casual fan might not see it as an essential purchase or 'upgrade' as the bulk of improvements are also in the back end with the character tweaks. If you don't own SSF4 then obviously this is the way to go but if you don't own a fight stick or watch the pro leagues then you could probably live without this 'update' even if you already own SSF4. You're going to have to be a pretty hardcore player to notice all the backend changes and make use of the new characters with huge success. If you're a casual fan and already own SSF4 I'd really only suggest it if you play quite often and online as the new characters are quite fun to learn. It's like dessert, it's not needed but it's enjoyable.