Super Street Fighter IV (or, “

I spent a couple hours with Super Street Fighter IV this evening. I’ve never (ever) been good at fighting games, as is evidenced by the fact that I can’t perform a combo of any kind to save my life. I don’t know if I lack the hand-eye coordination, or the twitch reflexes, or what. If it can’t be button mashed, I can’t do anything with it.

The trick to making me enjoy a fighting game, then, is to give me easy-to-perform special moves that feel more awesome than they really are. For example, Ibuki’s EX Neck Breaker. With this move your little ninja girl dashes behind you, jumps up on your back, and cracks your neck three times while lifting you into the air.

So that’s the first thing I like about SSF4: they brought back Ibuki and her awesome EX Neck Breaker.

The second thing I like about SSF4 is that Easy Arcade Mode is really, really easy. Like, button-mash easy. Most of the time I spend with fighting games is in the various 1P modes, checking out the different characters and seeing their silly animations and what-have-you. Street Fighter 3 and Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix were both really awful for this, since their “Easy” difficulty was still incredibly difficult. I don’t even think I ever beat the last boss in SF3, come to think of it.

But SSF4: Neck Breaker, Neck Breaker, Neck Breaker. You win! Here’s your cheeseball ending. Doing this with all 35 characters, well… that’s a weekend’s worth of playing right there. $40 well spent.

The third thing I like about SSF4 is that the entire cast looks like they’re unlocked right out of the box. No “beat this on Hard” shenanigans, no “a new challenger approaches!” hornswaggle. 35 dudes, right there on the menu, ready to go. Bam, bam, bam. That’s what I like it see.

I need to re-up my Live subscription this weekend so I can hook up with all my pals and humiliate myself in an endless series of matches. I went through this process back when HD Remix came out — my idiotic “defensive crouch” strategy was the stuff of legends. And by “legends” I of course mean “I belong in a home”.

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