The Nintendo 3DS, the true successor to the original Nintendo DS, has finally arrived and although it lacks a marquee Nintendo game during launch, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition stands tall and proud as the title that 3DS owners can gladly show off their new system with. The funny thing is, it isn’t even the 3D effect that makes this game so awesome, it’s everything else.
I should explain why I marginalized the 3D effect in Street Fighter. Anyone who owns a 3DS knows that by tilting the system and naturally the screen along with it, it’s easy to
Aside from losing the 3D effect, I personally don’t find it that attractive. Or in other words, it looks better with the 3D off. This might seem like a knock against the capability of the system to handle 3D but on the contrary, it says a lot more about the pure power of the hardware. Sure, you get some depth to the backgrounds with 3D on, but simply turning the 3D effect off appears to offer smoother and more detailed visuals without the potential of losing the 3D which lends itself better to a fighting game. Either way, 3D on or off, the game looks incredible and rivals the console versions in every way save for the backgrounds. In the console versions the backgrounds have dynamic people and objects, in the 3DS versions the backgrounds are static.
The controls translate to the 3DS version very well, all things considered. The analog stick is very dexterous and accurate allowing you to pull off most moves flawlessly (or, about as flawlessly as can be without a full-fledged arcade pad) and a really neat utilization of the touch screen handles the rest. The shoulder buttons serve as the high punch and high kick buttons, these buttons in particular won’t win the 3DS any ergonomics awards but they are fairly serviceable. Where the touch screen comes in is that you can actually assign up to four attacks/button combinations to the touch screen, this goes a long way to offering a remedy to difficult button combinations. On the other hand, this could also potentially pose a problem because moves which you typically have to charge up, such as Guile’s flash kick, could become an instant move.
I suppose it depends on which side of the fence you are on regarding strict adherence to the original control scheme. If you are a less serious player, like myself (that’s why I’m playing it on the 3DS, duh!), the touch screen is a blessing. If you are a hardcore Street Fighter 3DS player who practices hours a day and aspires to be the reigning multi-player champion, you probably won’t be very warm to the idea.
Street Fighter 3DS is one hell of a package, as a single player game there are a huge selection of characters to choose from and each of them have their own short stories accompanied by animated cutscenes. You could consider this the story mode. Once you’ve gotten a bit of experience under your belt, you can take the fights online in a matchmaking service that is second to none. Assuming you have a decent wifi connection, you’ll be taking hadoukens to the face with minimal effort and lag. Don’t worry, there’s also local multi-player if you just want to play with a nearby friend. The game also utilizes street pass (one of the 3DS’ proprietary features) to allow you to put together a virtual team of fighters based on the amount of points you accumulate. If you’re walking around with your 3DS in sleep mode and this feature is enabled in the game, your virtual team will go up against another person’s team that is detected in the vicinity and based on their stats you’ll either win or lose the fight. You might ask yourself how often you would even use this since it’s not like everyone who owns a 3DS carries theirs around, but wait until you attend a show like PAX. There will be blood.