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Street Fighter IV

There are a variety of gameplay modes, including skill-based challenges, that work to unlock bonus content, but the story based Arcade mode will probably get first attention since it's the only way to unlock extra characters. Players start with access to the core characters from Street Fighter II, along with a handful of new ones like Abel and Crimson Viper, to fight their way to the top. The 2D animated cinematics for each character are fun to watch, even though the plots generally vary between simplistic, befuddling, over-the-top absurd or some combination of each. The game's new boss, Seth, gives players a major challenge even on easy setting, since his moves are devastating and he has access to a variety of special abilities.

Then again, Street Fighter games aren't exactly renowned for their stories, it's all about fast paced fighting action and in this respect, Street Fighter IV delivers. The game has the performance and response players demand from an arcade fighting game. At the same time, the wrong settings can slow the game to a crawl. There's no automatic feature to adjust the game for optimal performance, so players will have to tinker with the settings to figure out what works best. Controls are simple enough for newcomers (and button mashers) to execute most of the special moves, including the devastating combat energy fueled Super and Ultra combos, without an extraordinary amount of memorization. So, players can spend less time in the practice room learning moves and more time in the actual game.

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