It’s unanimous among the gaming community that the 2011 class of Nintendo 3DS launch titles were (how can I say this nicely) lame. As a day one consumer of Nintendo’s latest handheld I can honestly say half of the four games I purchased (Pilotwings and Steel Diver) have become dust collectors with eBay written all over them. Nevertheless there were two gems out the bunch that I still enjoy to this day. One title being Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars (I’m a closet turn based strategy freak) and the other jewel to no surprise is Capcom’s Super Street Fighter 4 3D.
The phrase, if you’ve played one Street Fighter game you’ve played them all need not apply to this title. Super Street Fighter 4 3D (SSF43D) offers a unique visual experience that separates this game from its predecessors. When I turned this game on for the first time I was honestly stunned by the look of it. The menus have a flare of depth that only enhances the art style and the characters didn’t lose any quality in their conversion to handheld. A comparison I often use to describe this game that always seems to get a chuckle (though it’s the God honest truth) is SSF43D looks like two little people fighting for their lives in a shoebox. The 3D makes you feel as though you’re a voyeur in a small world of fisticuffs that few others are privy to. Capcom really took advantage of the 3DS’ ability to add depth to gaming environments using layer after layer of art to build virtual worlds unimaginable on a 2D plane.
What is truly epic about this portable 3D version of Super Street Fighter 4 is how little was lost in translation. The developers of this title did a great job ensuring its core gameplay remained on par with that of its predecessors. The 3DS’ analog stick operates flawlessly allowing for smooth button inputs unheard of on prior portable devices (sorry PSP). The buttons, though small still feel okay. Occasionally I had issues trying to hit the left bumper but to be frank I always have issues hitting the left bumper on every fighting game I play, portable or console (I’m a fighting pad kind of guy). To compensate for this potential issue and to make the game more accessible to casual gamers Capcom implemented 4 customizable combo buttons on the 3DS’ touch screen allowing players with the press of a button to activate both super and ultra combos along with special moves. Street Fighter purist may balk at the idea of cheap combo inputs but I promise you using them while enlisting your lesser-played characters (El Fuerte anyone?) opens
the game up making it fun and manageable.
In an attempt to weigh both the pros and cons of SSF43D title and to not seem like I’m totally jocking Capcom on creating the perfect portable fighter I’ve identified one flaw for your reading pleasure. The volcano in the background on the lava stage doesn’t explode at the end of each round. Actually all of the formerly animated backgrounds are now static. I hope that’s not a deal breaker for anyone seeing as how they are all redesigned in 3D. On a scale of 5 stars I give this game a 4, taking away a star because I really liked watching that volcano explode. If you have a 3DS you need to own this game.