I had a chance to play the complete build of streetfighter 4 at the battle of destiny event in north London today and I came off rather impressed.

The first thing which hits you is the speed. Despite being a 3d game, it plays fast, really fast! I’d say it’s just a little slower than streetfighter 3.

I played as Ryu, Ken and Chun Li and they all felt very much like their 2D counterparts (Chun Li was more SF2 though as her moves were charge based and not rotation based) and the moves all felt just “right”. I also played as crimson viper and she was a bit of an odd one with a mix of both long and short distance moves. She’s one who could do with some more playtime.
Not all of it was good though, I still disagree with the removal of the parry system. It’s replacement, the “focus attack” isn’t as intuitive and requires a fair amount of preplanning to gain any kind of advantage while the parry system, while harder, can be more reactive and done at a moments notice.

Other things I noticed was a large decrease in charge times for special moves. Super and ultra moves (ultra moves were done using 3 attack buttons instead of 1 and used up the new revenge bar) were ridiculously hard to pull off though, for some reason and some ultra moves seemed too powerful. In almost every case, seeing an ultra combo signalled the end of the round regardless of how much energy the opponent had.

Overall I was left feeling impressed but not blown away. Everything felt just a little less than SF3, which in itself isn’t neccessarily a bad thing. It certainly feels more accessible than SF3 did but it remains to be seen if it can match it’s predecessors depth and/or produce it’s own memorable daigo moment.