Let’s start with the bad news: the 3D is very nice, but does absolutely nothing for the gameplay. The “3D Mode” is an over the shoulder diagonal view to make the 3D pop out a bit more, but it’s confusing as to where you need to hit or block despite looking pretty sweet. And some graphical touches have taken a hit, but that is to be expected (and I’m really talking about the now static backgrounds vs. the ones that moved before).
I haven’t taken a fighting game seriously since the late 90s with Tekken 2. It’s been forever. But this game is perfect for lapsed or beginning players — about four variations on “Easy” exist, and the touch screen is implemented in a way that makes pulling off “Super” and “Ultra” combos a breeze by simply pressing your thumb on the according button on the screen. Purists will and have been crying foul, but they can play without the combos on the touch screen, and can only play against people of their skill type online.
Speaking of online, it is the best I’ve experienced on any Nintendo system. You can fight people who suck or are as good as you and only those people. You can painlessly battle your 3DS friends if they also have the game. And best of all, you can have the online set up so whenever someone of your skill type is online, you will be immediately transported from the single player game to an online match. It’s fast, easy, addictive, and amazing.
It also uses the Streetpass for a feature that I have yet to experience — you can use Play Coins or in game points and purchase little figurines that are given to you randomly. With these, you can battle other passersby’s team of figurines, and it all happens automatically. It seems like a neat, simple feature, one I am excited to see happen.
Aside from some graphical hiccups, the game looks and plays amazing. As previously mentioned, the 3D does virtually nothing to enhance anything although it looks pretty nice. Sometimes the viewing angle is lost when you’re the middle of an intense match and makes the 3DS limitations a bit more obvious — for a fighting game this intense, you need as few distractions as possible, and suddenly seeing two images instead of one because you moved your head an inch could be the difference between winning or losing.
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition is definitely the game to get if you’re not into puppies or kitties. It’s perfect for beginners and those who haven’t touched them in awhile — I’ve been wanting to get back into the genre for a long time but have been put off but the insane difficulty of online play, which is for the most part remedied. Totally worth your $40.