This is the version of Street Fighter IV the original should have been. With Super Street Fighter IV, Capcom has listened to their fans and has delivered on a game that is worth the $40 price tag. If you never owned the original, then this is worth the $40 price tag, even more so. I consider Super Street Fighter IV more of a sequel than an expansion, because it can run on its own. With that said, it is very very very difficult to find a game sequel that makes it worthwhile to sell its predecessor in every aspect.
Usually when a sequel or updated version of a game releases, there is always something lost in between the games. It’s usually something along the lines of “now we have voice over and online, but now we also have less multiplayer options.” An example of this is with fellow fighting games, Mortal Kombat: Deception to Mortal Kombat: Armageddon. Armageddon had many more characters, new modes and new mini-games. What did it lose from Deception? Individual fatalities, and two-fighting styles for each character instead of three. Adding more, but also losing some along the way.
Thankfully, Super Street Fighter IV doesn’t fall victim to this sequel trend. Instead, it takes everything and throws all it can on top. It makes the original Street Fighter IV unplayable. Five new stages are added to this upgraded version, and all the characters return with 10 more added on top. Each character has two ultra combos instead of the previous title’s one. There are also more costumes this time around, and the costume DLC from the original is transferable to SSFIV. There is also a new set of costume DLC releasing for SSFIV one pack at a time, but if you plan on buying them, I suggest waiting. The costume packs for the original title eventually came together as one big packaged deal at a cheaper price. Just looking out for all of you.
Bonus stages that the Street Fighter series is known for have returned this time around after going noticeably missing in the original. Breaking a car and smashing barrels have never looked more gorgeous. Another upgrade that catered to the fans were the return of character specific music. Now, as you fight in versus matches, the music of your opponent’s character plays during the match. It’s great to hear Balrog’s theme play in all of its new techno glory.
The biggest upgrade for SSFIV are the online features. You have so many more options. The original only had 1 vs. 1 matches, that’s it. In SSFIV, there are 1 vs. 1 ranked matches, and lobbies for up to eight people in both endless and team battles. The lobbies with more than two people have the winner continue playing, and if you’re waiting for your turn, you can watch the match and chat with all those in the lobby. This makes the online aspect of the game a lot more social.
Super Street Fighter IV has everything else from the original intact. You have your training mode, your options to change the character’s voices from English to Japanese, and several unlockable taunts. The boss battle is still cheesy, maybe even a bit more difficult. Lastly, challenges for each character are back to unlock emblems and titles.
At the end of the day SSFIV merely points out what was wrong with Street Fighter IV. New characters are great, but everything else that came new with this version should have and could have already been in the original, maybe even as a downloadable upgrade (not DLC). The inclusion of character specific music should have been a no-brainer. Bonus stages again, should have been a no-brainer. And the new online modes in SSFIV are already a fighting game standard that should have been in the original. Great game? Absolutely. Is it anything to go crazy about? No.