PREVIEW: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (Nintendo 3DS)

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There has been a Street Fighter game on pretty much every major games console since the breakthrough SNES hit Street Fighter II back in 1992. Looking to capitalise on the renewed interest in the series after the success of Street Fighter IV, Capcom are throwing a 3D enabled version onto the Nintendo 3DS that’s looking every much the match of its big screen stable-mates.

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition’s slick cell-chaded visuals make it one of the best-looking launch titles on Ninty’s new console. The excellent, chunky anime stylings of the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have been faithfully ported to the handheld, but have the added benefit of 3D effects to lend each attack some extra crunch.

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In order to emphasise the strike of every Haduken or Spinning Bird Kick in 3D, Capcom have introduced a new “Dynamic Camera” option. While fights still take place on a 2D plane, the camera here is more active, swinging in behind characters throughout fights for regular over the shoulder and birds-eye views. It’s a fluid transition that doesn’t interfere with battles, but those who prefer to scrap the old fashioned way can still choose to use a static camera mode instead.

Fighting games always suffer on handhelds for a number of reasons; a lack of characters on the roster, a lack of buttons to carry out more complicated attacks, and the disorientating physical screen shake caused by button-mashing special move commands in. Capcom have addressed all three issues. The roster is a well rounded mix of new greats and old faves, numbering some 35 fighters. And while the 3DS doesn’t lack buttons, Capcom have made novel use of the touchscreen in order to trigger special attacks, mapping four special moves to each corner of the lower display.

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As well as negating the screen shake, the use of the touchscreen is in some ways the perfect democratising move to encourage the traditionally “casual” DS gamer into the Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition fold. You no longer have to memorise an endless list of button combinations to stand-toe-to-toe with the competition, with a simple screen tap putting you both on equal footing. It’s a wise move, considering the complexity of some of Super Street Fighter IV’s moves on console editions.

Another strong title in Capcom’s 3DS launch portfolio, they’re looking like the most adept third party developer for the platform so far.

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Gerald Lynch