The best thing about Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition
—outside of Ken's facial expression as he smashes into the wall due to being launched like a hotdog from between the oily thighs of Hakan—is that it is Super Street Fighter IV.
thing about Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is probably just that it's still Super Street Fighter IV, which by default creates a fantastic but frequently meandering portable experience. On occasion I am left simply wondering "what to do," mainly because it's simply not possible to play the game online from a train. Online and competitive play being the main reason I play fighting games, this lends SSFIV3D a bit of a complex, the same one that has plagued portable fighters forever: ready to take on the world, all I can do is fight the AI, over and over.
Cut off from the portable version's fabulously-implemented Internet battles, away from my wireless router, sometimes I wish just for some new modes, any kind of modes would be fine. The only fighting-related mode is just straight up fighting, either through your set of arcade fighters or against other people. Normally I hate them, but some modes like a survival mode, a time attack mode, something aping Alpha 3
's world tour mode where you have to defeat enemies using particular tactics... anything would have been nice. But since we have nothing like that here, this means "what to do" for me usually comes down to one thing: play through arcade mode with a character I haven't finished it with yet.
There's other stuff that will distract you slightly, but is ultimately of little purpose when it comes to the actual fighting: one mode gives you a different camera angle, and there is a somewhat interesting figure-collection sub-game that I've been dumping points into for a month in an effort to catch 'em all (the 200-plus unique figures ensure my chances on any given slot-machine try are about .5% for the one I need, which is not promising). Automatic StreetPass battles between these figures are exciting at first, and there is plenty of strategy required to tweak the stats and your team's order, but after forty StreetPass battles I find myself fatigued of it (and the points it gives you for a victory are only used to acquire more figures, which I've already stated I'm having a hard time gettin' lucky with).
When you get down to the actual play, the biggest obvious difference between this version and any others is that you will be playing it on the 3DS, with its tiny buttons and slightly oddly-placed d-pad. The circle pad works well enough but is virtually impossible to double-tap with, so I often find myself switching between the two mid-match depending on how leisurely I am feeling. The "lite mode" automatic special moves that the game adds to the bottom of the screen are fun if you want to take the game autopilot through arcade mode using a character you don't know, but even with the option to search for online matches with players using only the original controls, the lite-mode-always-included matchups in quick match and arcade request Internet battles ensure you will frequently succumb to the wrath of no-charge charge characters busting flash kicks and sumo headbutts repeatedly, forcing you into offensive action even with defensive characters.
Easily the greatest addition to the game over the original is the option to instantly rematch the opponent you just fought online on the same stage and with the same characters, and failing that to switch characters and go at it again with minimal downtime. This is a feature the console edition could use badly.
Really, it's almost hard to say anything Earth-shatteringly notable about this game, which is really just further evidence of its excellence—as a port of the home and arcade versions of SFIV it is virtually identical, with the only deviations coming from a halved framerate with 3D enabled or when fighting online (with or without 3D enabled). I turned the 3D off (this is done via a menu option) to enable 60FPS play about fifteen minutes after firing it up the first time, and have not missed it. The only negative visual differences between this and the original are a couple dropped frames during complex ultra combo animations and some cardboard cut-out backgrounds, both having zero effect on the actual game. As an added bonus, the extra costumes up to the first alternate round of duds for the Super SFIV characters are included, for cheapskates like me who haven't bought them on the console version.
I've put 23 hours on this thing since getting it at launch, which isn't quite the hundred I already have on my home version. But one thing's for sure—it is rarely a bad value proposition to be presented with the opportunity to focus attack Guile and then karate chop his man's item without needing to wait until I get home.