It’s 2018 which means the critically acclaimed Street Fighter IV is officially 10 years old. SF IV was a landmark game for Capcom and the series as a whole, with a lot of players saying it’s the best one yet. While II remains to be the nostalgic favourite, and III being a little too technical, Street Fighter IV struck a balance and was fun for casual and hardcore fans. Here are 10 cool things SF IV brought to the legacy of Street Fighter:
Despite the massive IV in the title, story-wise it was not the latest in the series. Even right now, Street Fighter V is not the latest game chronologically either. That honour goes to Street Fighter III. Instead, Street Fighter IV takes place right after the highly popular Street Fighter II. The story kicks off a few months after II, with Shadaloo starting another World tournament to draw out the world’s best fighters in one place.
2.First Street Fighter on Smartphones
Street Fighter has always been an arcade and console staple. With Street Fighter II’s heyday making waves in arcades and Super Nintendo’s of the 90s, its successor Street Fighter IV sought to do the same thing on modern hardware. Not only was Street Fighter IV was on arcade machines, PS3, and Xbox 360, it was also available on IOS and Android. It was a faithful port without the trappings of current mobile games like lootboxes and the like.
3.A Return to Nintendo
Not only was it on smartphones, it was also on the hottest handheld of the time. A glorious return to Nintendo consoles, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Version was the first mainline game to be on a Nintendo handheld since a Gameboy Advance port of Street Fighter II. It was a faithful rendition of the arcade and console versions, just on a smaller, dual-screen with full 3D depth. Street Fighter has since become a staple on the Nintendo Switch, with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary compilation being available on the system, and Ryu being a fighter in Smash Bros.
4.Characters Old and New
Characters from every corner of the Street Fighter universe makes an appearance in Street Fighter IV. From returning characters that weren’t in III like Blanka or Guile, new fan favorites like C. Viper and Juri, Alpha characters like Gen and Adon, to even characters from Final Fight like Cody or Poison. Even new final boss Seth was a fresh new antagonist, providing a whole new challenge for players old or new.
5.A Rumor Brought To Life
The infamous “Sheng Long” rumour from Street Fighter II’s heyday was brought to life in Street Fighter IV. What started off as a mistranslated quote from Ryu in the game, to an elaborate April Fool’s Day hoax by Electronic Gaming Monthly magazine, “Sheng Long” was supposedly a secret unlockable character, who was also Ken and Ryu’s master.
In SFIV, he finally made his debut as Gouken, a playable fighter and brother to series villain, Akuma.
6.Version After Version
Street Fighter II may hold the title for having the most version for any fighting game, Street Fighter IV kept it simple by only having 4 main versions. Just like Street Fighter III’s 2 main expansions, the newer versions of Street Fighter IV made sure to bring in new characters, new stages, balances and even new combos and Super moves. It made an already robust game even more packed with content and were a treat to fans with every new iteration.
7.Awards and Accolades
With all the different versions and expansions to the game, Street Fighter IV as a whole has sold over 8.8 million copies in total. That's one of the highest totals for a fighting game. It has also received numerous awards like “Game of The Year 2018”, “Best Fighting Game”, “Best Graphics”, “Best Production”. It has also been regarded as one of the greatest video games of all time. Right now, we can’t say for sure if Street Fighter V will live up to its predecessor's legacy and only time will tell.
The often forgotten Street Fighter EX series was actually the series’ first foray into full 3D graphics. EX and III were both released around the same time, with Street Fighter III opting for 32-bit sprites instead of 3D rendered models. The EX series was an experiment to see how well Street Fighter would play in a 3D plane.
It took about 10 years for the series to make a full jump into 3D with IV. And it worked out well. The graphics are gorgeous, the environments look great, and all the special effects that come with the character animations just bring them all to life.
9. Largest Roster to Date
Ultra Street Fighter IV, the last full expansion of the game, has the largest roster of any Street Fighter game to date. With 44 characters on the roster, the matchup possibilities are near endless, not to mention all the individual Arcade stories each character has. It’s robust and fantastic, full of variety. No 2 fighters play exactly the same, even though there are about 8 characters who can use the Hadoken. Nonetheless, it is a landmark for the series that Street Fighter V is hoping to beat in 2020.
10. It Was Almost an Entirely Different Game
The Street Fighter we all know and love today has very much become embedded as the definitive Street Fighter with its roster, playstyle, and mechanics. But back when it was being pitched, a different idea was being proposed. Titled “Street Fighter IV Flashback”, the game would have still been a 2D fighting game, with a twist. Players could rewind time as they’re fighting, whether to gain the upper hand or regain life. It was an out of this world concept that has never been done before. It would also be shipped with every Street Fighter game on the disc, similar to today’s 30th Anniversary collection. Read more about the development of Flashback here.
Happy 10th anniversary Street Fighter IV, out of the 30 years of Street Fighter, you will always be the benchmark for Street Fighters of the future. If you’ve been a fan of Street Fighter IV for the past 10 years, do yourself a favour and play a round or two to commemorate this momentous occasion.