Originally released back in 2008 Street Fighter IV marked the first numbered title to the series since 1999 but also the massive return to power for the once trend-setting fighting title. Since taking its rightful place on top of the Arcade fighting throne, we’ve seen the release of expansions in the same vein as the Street Fighter series originals, with each improvement being released alongside an edition of a new word being added to the title to emphasise the gravity of each release. Following on from the familiar Super and Arcade editions comes Ultra Street Fighter IV, but does the inclusion of a new word signify a necessary update worthy of EVO, or just another bloated and pricey DLC pack?
Of course, the most stand out of changes from the last title release is its slightly enlarged roster and by that I mean the addition of five new characters. A handful of familiar faces in the form of the first four fighters; Hugo, Poison, Elena and Rolento – who have been featured in various Street Fighter (and Final Fight) titles in the past. The last new fighter comes from the Street Fighter comic books – the Shadowloo Doll member Decapre. Looking like a differently dressed clone of Cammy (and even played by the same voice actor), this new character brings a new fighting style that makes her much more than another generic palate-swap.
All in all, these new editions to the title fit in perfectly when compared to that of Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, but it’s not just shiny fighters that have come on-board for this party. Older roster participants such as Ryu and Akuma have been given some pretty big balance changes, like the ability to cancel the EX Shoryuken into nearly anything, increased walk speeds, lowered stun times and other tweaks to ensure this is a fluid fighter that’s as fun to play as it is to watch.
Aside the new character tweaks comes a range of new powered attack styles -Red Focus Attack, Ultra Combo Double, and Delayed Standing. Red Focus Attack gives players more opportunities to make epic comebacks and create new combo strings, while the Delayed Standing mechanic helps players deal with their more rush-down focused opponents. Then there’s the Ultra Combo Double, which changes things up dramatically for some characters and allows the player to use both of their fighters’ Ultra Combos in battle and executed in the very same manner.
New modes and features have been included in Ultra Street Fighter IV that will give some replay value to the game – Online Training, Fight Request during Offline Training, Offline Battle Log and an Elimination Mode. Another new feature brings the ability to upload replays via YouTube, which is a handy little feature that’s usually reserved for some of the market’s more recent (and pricier) console releases.