The Latest

Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition Review

With constrained graphical capabilities and a cramped control scheme, handheld fighting games have valiantly struggled to compete with their arcade and home-console brethren. While a few PSP titles- such as BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Portable, Tekken 6, and Guilty Gear Judgment have performed commendably, the DS hasn’t been as fortunate. After seven years, gamers still haven’t been provided with a laudable pugilistic entry on Nintendo’s aging portable.

Despite a few concerns arising from control issues, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition aptly demonstrates that the 3DS is capable of delivering first-rate fisticuffs. With every Focus Attack, EX Special, as well as Super and Ultra Combos fastidiously recreated for the system, SSF IV 3D is a miniature marvel, delivering a remarkably faithful recreation of the arcade/Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 title. While hardcore fighting enthusiasts may bemoan the forfeiture of animated backdrops and the ability to map advanced combos to the touchscreen, they’ll inevitably be gratified by the game’s full 35 character roster. The game even surrenders most of the alternate costume variations which console owners had to pay for. Personally, I’m hopeful that this a harbinger of Nintendo’s attitude toward micro-transactions.

Capcom’s even found space on the cartridge to include a handful of supplemental content. While the game’s new dynamic view is merely cosmetic- placing the perpetually sidelined camera behind your fighter’s shoulder, it is a marvelous way to show off the 3DS’s graphical potential. More interesting is the game’s StreetPass-powered stat battles, where players can build teams of Street Fighter statues to furtively brawl with a passerby. Both match victories and play coins reward gamers with in-game currency, which is used to spin a wheel, thereby winning additional figurines for the clandestine clashes. Anyone who caught the collecting bug in Super Smash Bros. Brawl will appreciate this diversion, as they capture the game’s combatants in 500 different poses. Ideally, there’s a developer expanding the concept- fostering large-scale, impromptu street fights which erupt as we go about our daily duties.

Utilizing four face buttons and a pair of shoulder triggers, SSF IV 3D‘s control scheme should be familiar to players without a dedicated fighting stick. Although both the analog nub and direction pad allow players to launch sonic booms and hadoukens with intermittent success, neither feels idyllic. I ended up switching between the two, performing circular movements on the analog stick and charges on the d-pad. To remedy the situation, Capcom has divided the touchscreen into four squares, optionally allowing players to assign their favorite advanced strikes to each quadrant. Using this control method (dubbed the ‘lite’ mode) infallibly felt deceitful, as players can bypass the interval required for charge attacks, and throw a ceaseless succession of rapid flash kicks at opponents. Fortunately, Pro mode limits the lower-screen assignments to triple button presses, thereby preserving Super Street Fighter‘s extensively cultivated balance. 

Unexpectedly, SSF IV 3D delivers one of the most visually striking demonstrations of 3D gameplay on Nintendo’s hardware. While fighters can appear diminutive on the 3DS’s restricted screen real estate, in action competitors resembles tiny action figures come to life. When coupled with some of the game’s skillfully rendered backdrops, individual pixels become difficult to distinguish, making the game resemble a holograph projected a half inch inside the top display. Sadly, the game’s victory cinema’s haven’t been retrofitted for three dimensional viewing. As such, winning the title’s tournament can be a bit anticlimactic. One of the chronic troubles I had with the PS3 version of Super Street Fighter IV was being able to join a competition; with the 3DS, wi-fi matchmaking was mercifully effortless and speedy.

Often playing a fighter on a handheld system involves making a few sacrifices for portability’s sake. Adeptly, Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition minimizes the number of player concessions, delivering an amazingly accurate version of the popular game that occasionally bests the home console version. Come launch day, this title maybe be as unstoppable as a world-class Edmond Honda player.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.


  1. Sounds like Capcom delivered the goods.

  2. You need a good d-pad to play fighting games. The PS3 is the only system with one of those.

  3. This and Pilotwings Resort will be mine tomorrow.

  4. since I suck at fighting games, this is perfect for me.

  5. “making the game resemble a holograph projected a half inch inside the top display.”

    I’m calling bullshit.

  6. Wait the E in E Honda stands for Edmond? Thats not very Japanese! Link or it’s shenanigans.

  7. What’s the “Download play option” can you exchange AI bots?

  8. Here comes a new challenger.

  9. DesertEagle you are becoming one of my favorite reviewers.

  10. This is the one game that makes me want a 3DS.

  11. They put a copy in the Nintendo 3DS display at Best Buy. If you get at the right angle, the game does look incredible, but you have to have it close to your eyes.

  12. How did you play online Deagle? The system isn’t out yet, unless you killed Cresente’s ass.

    If you did, good job.

  13. Whats up with Bison’s eyes in the top pic. Looks like he’s pulling faces.

  14. Cool, but I already have the PS3 version. I want new games.

  15. Yep it does.

    Good review.

  16. I hope there’s some copies left over tomorrow.

  17. Have you seen the game? I saw a demo of it and it WAS very impressive looking. It did look like tine action figures at times.

  18. This or Shadow Wars. Which do you guys recommend?

  19. How many step you need to take to spin the wheel?

  20. My grandpa has eyebrows like Ryu.

  21. Good review as always, Deagle.

  22. “I’ll never forget my first time for Ryu’s sake”

    Cammie, is that you?

  23. Can he throw fireballs though?

  24. Grabbing this right now. just waiting in line.

  25. Wow, better that I would have expected for a portable game.

  26. Just got my copy.

  27. Maybe I should have got this instead of Pilotwings.

  28. You think 3DS will get the new MK? That would make me buy one.

  29. The round ended in 60 seconds.

  30. It’s worldwide. He probably played Japanese players and got his ass handed to him.

  31. I heard the game is not perfect. Theres slot of differences with the arcade version.

  32. Its so highly informative things are posted here. These things are the fresh and having good information are posted here, and also am seeking for this kind of information thanks for updated. soin.

  33. Just got this one today. Great version of SSFIV. I can’t wait for more 3DS fighters.