"I don't care WHAT the critics say, violence is a beautiful thing!"
Street Fighter IV is the sixth series in the Street Fighter franchise (counting the sole original, and the Alpha and EX games). It consists of three main installments so far: Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV and Ultra Street Fighter IV.The namesake game, Street Fighter IV, was announced in late 2007 (the series was 20 years old at the time, essentially making this a SUPER late Milestone Celebration), and the game was released in 2008 for arcades and in early 2009 for home consoles. Having been almost 11 years since the last numerical title's initial announcement, very few fans saw this coming, and jokes are still making the rounds about Hell's temperature having dropped to -3º Kelvin.The title is 3D in graphic style, but continues the traditional staple of playing on a 2D frame. The producer Yoshinori Ono notes in interviews that he deliberately kept the game closer in style to Street Fighter II than its sequels.The original twelve characters from the original Street Fighter II and Akuma returned, along with six new warriors: American spy Crimson Viper, French martial artist Abel, Mexican luchador El Fuerte, American acrofatic Rufus, Ryu and Ken's master and Akuma's brother Gouken, and the big bad Seth. The home console versions additionally included more returning characters from Super Street Fighter II (Cammy and Fei Long) and Alpha, (namely Gen, Dan, Sakura, and Rose) along with the bosses being made playable. Gouken, Ryu and Ken's mysterious master, finally appears on-screen for the first time in the series.In April 24, 2009, Capcom released an update for the game known as the "Power Pack" (a.k.a. the Champion Edition patch), which introduced the ability to save and upload replays to the Xbox Live or PlayStation Network leaderboards, and a brand-new online-exclusive "Championship Mode," which allows players to participate in tournament battles.In September 28, 2009, Capcom announced an update called Super Street Fighter IV (formerly Street Fighter IV Dash). The updated game features ten additional characters: Thunder Hawk and Dee Jay (from Super Street Fighter II, completing the Super Street Fighter II Turbo roster Capcom ran out of time to finish the first time), Adon (from the original Street Fighter but based on his Street Fighter Alpha incarnation). Cody and Guy (from Final Fight, and also based on their Alpha appearances), Dudley, Ibuki, and Makoto (from the Street Fighter III series), and two new characters: Juri Han, a South Korean Taekwondo practitioner who works for S.I.N.; and Hakan, a red-skinned Turkish corporate heavyweight who specializes in yağlı güreş or "Turkish oil wrestling."The gameplay and character balance was also tweaked. It was released as a standalone title for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in late April 2010 as well as for Japanese arcades later, during the summer. The console release comes at a lower price than its predecessor, and there was a promise of "special features" for those who own the original Street Fighter IV, which turned out to be two alternate colors; a "heavy ink outline" color and a "sketch" color pattern both based on each characters' default color.In addition, a port to the Nintendo 3DS titled Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition was released at the same time as the system; it contains the same roster as the console version of Super in addition to several features that take advantage of many of the device's new features.Another port, this time to iOS, was released in March 2010, featuring a reduced character list which grew steadily with several updates, as well as a simplified control system that removed the light/medium/heavy attacks, replacing them with a four button system of punch, kick, focus and special. A followup named Street Fighter IV Volt was released in June 2011, further expanding the character roster and adding online play over Wi-fi.An arcade version of the game, aptly named Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, was released in late 2010; it features several balance tweaks and four new characters: the Lee Brothers, Yun & Yang, from Street Fighter III (who originally had a cameo in Chun-Li's intro cutscene for the original version and her ending in Super), Evil Ryu, and Oni. These four characters, plus numerous new features, were released as a DLC update for the console versions on June 7, 2011. A PC version of AE was released in 2011; as the PC did not get a regular release of Super, it marks the first time PC gamers could get their hands on all of the new fighters. In December 2011, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Ver. 2012 was released as a free patch, updating the balance of the game even further. On January 23, 2013, Ono himself teased a possibility for a new version, and on March 22 said new version was officially green-lit by Capcom. They were taking suggestions from the community on balance changes for each character, as well as system changes.At Evo 2013, Capcom revealed at their panel that the new version will include new balance updates, 6 new stages, and the four characters introduced in Street Fighter X Tekken: Rolento, Hugo, Poison, and Elena. They also mentioned one new character who, they say, has never been seen in a Street Fighter game before, and will making their fighting game debut the update - who would later be revealed to be Decapre, the 12th member of M. Bison's Dolls. The debut trailer was shown before the Grand Finals for the Street Fighter IV tournament, revealing that the name for the new version would be Ultra Street Fighter IV. Like Arcade Edition, this is available as a download or a physical disc. The $40 disc version includes all DLC costumes, and downloaders can pay either $15 for just the upgradenote which is compatible with discs for both Super and Arcade Edition or $40 for the same content as the disc version. UDON Comics also designed new alternate costumes for every character. The costumes for the 5 new characters were a Pre-Order Bonus for those who reserve the retail version of the new game. Ultra would get a staggered release with the upgrades for PS3 and 360 released on June 3, 2014 (the early release date announced to allow Ultra to be used at Evo 2014); the console retail versions were later released on August 5, 2014; and PC version (both full and upgrade versions) was released on Steam on August 8, 2014. Come October, this version will be getting free DLC in the form of Omega Mode, which gives damn near everybody Rainbow Edition levels of brokenness and insanity. This mode is, according to Word of God, Just for Fun.
To make up for the half-year delay between the original coin-op release and the console ports, Capcom added six extra characters specifically for the console port (Cammy, Fei Long, Rose, Dan, Gen and Sakura).
Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition for the 3DS, in order to make up for some lost stuff, also has new features that take advantage of several of the console's unique capabilities, such as a new camera angle that shows off the 3D effect and the trophy collecting minigame based around wireless console-to-console interactions.
Until the DLC version was announced, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition had four extra characters (Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu and Oni).
Ultra Street Fighter IV added in several assets from Street Fighter X Tekken (4 characters and 6 stages) plus one new character.
Art Evolution: The character select artwork for the new characters in Ultra Street Fighter IV are noticeably different from the first pieces of artwork made back in 2008.
Bonus Boss: Completing certain requirements gives players a new opponent after beating Seth: in order of increasing difficulty, hidden bosses include (Shin) Akuma, Gouken, Evil Ryu and Oni.
Boss Banter: The "Rival Battles," where you fight a character who, in most cases, has some significant ties to the story of your character. During the fight, both combatants converse, ranging from taunts to more friendly words of advice and support. The soundbites for Supers and Ultras are also changed to something pertaining to the battle at hand. Usually, these matches give you a pretty good look at the dynamics between certain characters. Characters added from Arcade Edition onward have the soundbites, but absolutely no pre-battle cutscenes, much to the ire of fans.
Bootstrapped Theme: For the first time in the series' history, this trope is mostly averted. All of the brand new fighters in IV have themes made specifically for them, not the stage you fight them on. For the rest of the cast, however, this trope is played straight as they are stuck with their iconic themes, but with new arrangements for everyone.
Cel Shading: Used along with highly detailed textures, creating a look that's more "stylized" than it is "cartoony."
Comeback Mechanic: The Revenge Meter fills up the more damage one takes. Once it's filled halfway, an Ultra Combo becomes possible and when filled all the way, the Ultra Combo does more damage. Like Super Combos in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Ultra Combos only lasts one round.
The game also has a very subtle mechanic in that characters receive less damage depending on how much life they have left. With less than half their life remaining, they take slightly less damage from each attack. With less than a quarter of their life remaining, they take significantly less damage from each attack.
Continuity Nod: One of Bison's win quotes is reminiscent of Street Fighter I:
"There are countless fighters like you around the world! You are not special!"
Convection Schmonvection: The Volcanic Rim stage takes place in the shadow of an erupting volcano; the fighters are standing on solidified lava while lava bursts out in the background behind them. Many of them even barefoot.
Country Switch: If you try to play the Japanese version of the game on an North American PS3, the game will switch M. Bison, Balrog and Vega's name around so that it matches the North American version of the game.
Crushing Handshake: In Super Street Fighter IV, Turkish oil wrestler Hakan does this to sumo wrestler E. Honda before his rival battle after they disagree on which style of wrestling is the best.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The Small Airfield stage is a secret Shadaloo/S.I.N. base in South Africa. During the match, a black S.I.N. plane will land and its door will open, revealing Balrog (boxer) watching the combatants from afar. If Balrog himself is present, Vega (claw) will instead appear in Balrog's place. In a Balrog vs. Vega match, Bison (dictator) shows up in the plane in their stead. This is a nod to the naming history behind these three individuals.
If there's a Cody mirror match, only one of the two can pick up his knife. The loser displays a shocked expression when the other Cody retrieves it.
In AE, the boss incarnations of Evil Ryu and Oni also have specific intros for every member of the cast, including themselves. The Ultra characters get reused intros, though.
In the Construction Site in North America, Hugo can be seen on the right side of the stage in a crowd of construction workers. If Hugo is one of the fighters, a similarly huge man takes his place in the onlookers. Similarly, Yun and Yang vanish from their background spots in the Half Pipe stage if they are part of the fight.
Like in the Alpha series, Dhalsim's wife Sally can be seen on the left end of the Exciting Street Scene. Unless you get her attention, she's usually the least interested in the fight of the three women there. If her husband is fighting, however, she'll cheer him on when he's winning and look away with a sympathetic wince whenever he's on the receiving end of a strong hit. She can even be seeing crying if the other player beats Dhalsim instead of applauding like she usually does.
Difficult but Awesome: Hugo, added in Ultra. He is incredible slow and has a massive hitbox, and all of his moves are as slow as he is. However, if you are actually able to get close with him, he will melt your opponent's health bar to nothing in the blink of an eye.
Downloadable Content: The Arcade Edition DLC pack for Super. Adds all of the features that AE introduced, including the expanded online services, the four new characters, and the rebalancing of every other character. Also, the many costume packs released for both versions of the game.
Ultra stacks on top of the Arcade Edition. It adds 5 new characters, 6 new stages, and multiple rebalances.
Many fangirls wanted to see the tall dark and handsomeRyushirtless. They got their wish with his first alternate costume in IV which has him shirtless...albeit dirty and and beat up. Then Arcade Edition's version of Evil Ryu granted it again, with him being a walking shirtless scene dude. However, he has a horrifying hole-shaped scar on his chest and a kanji carved on his back. AUGH.
Floating Timeline: The birthdates of the returning characters no longer give their years of birth and while plotwise the IV series is set between II (1991-1993) and III (1997-1999), ideally placing it between 1994-1996, the characters are seen using laptops and cellphones that wouldn't have existed until the mid-to-late 2000s.
Gets more hairy when characters from the late '80s/early '90s era Alpha series can co-mingle with those from the late '90s era III series but with no visible signs of aging (or lack thereof) between any of them (the main culprit being Sakura, who still wears her high school uniform even though she should be in her twenties by this point; this is handwaved by her insistence that her uniform is easier to fight in). IV has a very hazy place in the overall timeline, almost to the point of being in its own continuity (the only other game with more continuity snarls being Alpha 3).
Gainaxing: Averted for the most part even with the bustier female fighters, but surprisingly played straight with Makoto in her pre-fight cutscene.
And for the PC version of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, we have SSFIVAE Remix, which aims to make the game faster paced... whilst also making most of the moves and characters balls out insane. Ryu's Metsu Hadouken Ultra, for one thing, is swapped out with a Ranbu-type super ending in a semi-invisible Hadouken at point blank range.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: Comparing the tier listings to the power relation of characters in-game makes for interesting reading. Ryu is several tiers higher than Ken and Sagat, and virtually always above Gouken, but Sakura is higher than him. Akuma trumps all of them, and indeed everyone (with the possible exception of Cammy), and is indeed higher tier than Oni. The three teenage girl characters (Sakura, Makoto, Ibuki) are all A-tier or above. Normal Ryu is consistently above his Evil self, despite Evil Ryu's power being greater in theory (Ultra seemingly rectifies this). Seth is higher tier than Bison, so maybe he really has exceeded his creator. Rufus is considerably higher tier than Ken and Balrog is above Dudley by some distance.
Some of the Rival battles, in that case, should be over before they start. Seth is rarely below A+ tier while Hakan is rarely above B tier (bearing in mind that Dan is a C tier character). Similarly, there should be no reason that C. Viper should ever lose to Chun-Li, and neither for that matter should Gen. Rose and Yang's Rival matches against Ryu, however, should be incredibly hard to win on high difficulties. The hardest one, though, would be Dan against Sakura - requiring you to beat a top-tier character with a bottom tier one.
Ultra has, purposefully or not, rectified this extensively. Ryu is now as average in-game as he is storywise, and Gouken is just barely above Akuma (in the eyes of most). Still present to a degree, as Evil Ryu is still miles above most other characters, and Yun is far more powerful then he should be. It's much harder to say for the rest of the cast since characters' power has never been well defined outside of the Ansatsuken users, and the playable versions of Gouken, Akuma, and Evil Ryu are all purposefully holding back, and playable Bison and Oni are both constrained from utilizing their full strength.
Iconic Outfit: Many of the alternate costumes in IV fall into this category. Some are nods to a character and/or the franchise's history (e.g. Cammy having a M. Bison/Dictator outfit, Cody having an updated version of his original Final Fight clothes, Blanka having Dan's outfit, Zangief having both Mike Haggar's outfit and his "Mecha Zangief" form from Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom), while others are nods to celebrities (e.g., all of Fei Long's outfits come from Bruce Lee's works, Dudley has an outfit playing tribute to Freddie Mercury's legendary 1986 Wembley Stadium concert outfit).
Immune to Flinching: Every character has a Focus Attack, which allows them to endure one hit without flinching while it is charging; they will also recover the damage taken during the charge if they don't receive another. Ultra's new Red Focus Attack gives players more resistance and return damage in exchange for 2 EX Bars.
Lag Cancel: Certain special moves can be cancelled with the IV series' ubiquitous Focus Attacks, these then can be cancelled by dashing forward or backwards at the cost of some meter. These "Focus Attack Dash Cancels" are an important part of high level play.
Mondegreen: A rather sad example, the first "One two, one two" after "Turn the beat back!" in Cody's theme is sometimes heard as a very forlorn "Want to, want to..."
Never Trust a Trailer: The Super Street Fighter IV trailers implied that the majority of new characters would have fast-paced techno remixes of their theme songs, especially for the Final Fight and 3rd Strike characters.
The first trailer for Super implied that Cody (the vigilante former hero of Metro City) would be facing Chun-Li (Interpol agent). Later trailers instead showed him and his somewhat-estranged best bud Guy.
The trailers and the videos showing all of the cast's Ultras could fall under this. The Ultra videos implied that all the fighters would be getting a new rival in Super. When the game came out, only a select few (Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile, Cammy, C. Viper, and Seth) received a second Rival Battle, and some of ones shown in the trailers ended up in different locales.
Off Model: Some characters use their Street Fighter II designs in the animated cutscenes from the home console versions, rather than the updated designs they use in actual gameplay. This is most noticeable with Dhalsim (his shorts have completely different designs in cutscenes and gameplay), Sagat (the label on his trunks is conspicuously blank in cutscenes but says "TIGER" in gameplay), and E. Honda (his mawashi has a gap in the front in gameplay but not cutscenes).
Oh, Crap: Ultra Combos in IV begin with a short animation, during which the opponent's expression changes to pure, wide-eyed terror - except for Guy and Cody, who barely react at all.
To put this in perspective, almost all the roster (most of whom are street fighting veterans with years of experience) look shocked or scared. Even characters like Bison, Akuma and Oni, who are more or less walking demons, have the decency to at least look grimly apprehensive. Guy just dials his look of grim determination back down to Ten, while Cody looks to be a second away from asking "Is that it?".
Old Save Bonus: A save file from the original Street Fighter IV will unlock heavy ink and sketch color patterns for every character in subsequent updates.
Furthermore, a save file from Street Fighter X Tekken will unlock alternate costumes for Decapre, Elena, Hugo, Poison, and Rolento in Ultra, with the latter 4's costumes being their costumes from said game and Decapre's being Cammy's alt.
"Rashomon"-Style: Four sets of rival battles in IV; namely, Ryu/Sagat, Guile/Abel, Ken/Rufus and Chun-Li/C. Viper.
Separate Scene Storytelling: IV's story mode for some characters. Ryu defeats Seth and is slowly being consumed by the Satsui no Hado. Sakura finds him and gets him out of it and helps him leave the Crumbling Laboratory after being saved by Ryu from falling Debris. Meanwhile, Dan is at the same lab running away from an explosion and runs into Blanka and both are about to be consumed by the fire, only to be saved by Ryu and Sakura's combined Hadouken. After parting ways with Ryu and Sakura, Blanka is shown at Hong Kong with Dan and his mother drops by to see him. Later, Ryu encounters Gouken, who defeats him and seals the Satsui no Hado. Akuma finds him and they engage in a match over Ryu's fate. Meanwhile, Chun-Li is searching for data on S.I.N and tries contacting Guile, only to be trapped in the room by Vega(Claw) as it is collapsing. Guile is trying to get to Chun-li while Abel holds Seth off and they both retrieved the data. Before Chun-Li is rescued by Guile, Gen got her out of the room she was trapped in, having witnessed the aforementioned battle between Akuma and Gouken. After all of the above events, Blanka, Sakura and Dan return to Hong Kong to continue their training journey where he reunites with his mother. Each of these moments is told in separate scenes in each of the mentioned characters'(sans Abel)ending cutscenes. The Plot Hole in this, however, is that some of these ending scenes (Akuma and Guile's) show Seth defeated or being defeated. Although if Bison's ending is anything to go by, they may have been fighting one of Seth's clones.
Rose's story all the way from IV is told like this when merged with her story in Super. In IV, after defeating Seth, she is ambushed by Bison and knocked out unconscious. In Super, she's in a dark void wondering if she's dead or not and where she is, when she opens her eyes and sees Guy trying to wake her up. Guy's story mode reveals he was the one that took out Bison and saved Rose, leading to the aforementioned waking up scene.
Soundtrack Dissonance: Rival matches begin with a dramatic piece of music combined with some Ominous Latin Chanting. This goes for every rival match, even those that aren't serious (Dee Jay vs. Rufus, Ibuki vs. Sakura, etc).
Played fully straight in Super. Whoever you're fighting as, that's the character whose theme you're gonna hear. Especially good since everyone has their distinctive themes, unlike in IV. Unless you're playing online, in which case you will always hear the theme music of whoever you are fighting. You'll be hearing their music while they will be hearing yours. You only ever hear your own theme music if you fight against yourself or watch your character on the replay channels.
Still subverted in the case of Akuma and Gouken; during their Rival Battles or when playing against them online, their respective themes when faced as a boss are instead swapped out for a remix of Ryu's theme (Ryu serves as their rival in Arcade Mode). Their themes will only play when they are fought as hidden bosses, unless you're on the 3DS.
Third Is 3D: Sort of; the third revision of the home console version is Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition for the Nintendo 3DS.
Turns Red: Red Focus. When used defensively, you absorb an infinite amount of hits (sans armor breaking moves) and build Ultra meter at an increased rate for the cost of 2 bars. When used offensively, it costs an extra bar for a total of 3, but crumples on Level 1, allowing for extended combos or confirms from far reaching pokes into combos.
A Winner Is You: In the iPhone version of SFIV, winning the tournament results in a stylized picture of your character and the word "Congratulations!" And an advertising movie for SSFIV. Which isn't available on the iPhone anyway.
This is mitigated in Volt in which winning nets you a short video of your character, along with achievements.
You Are Number Six: The super soldiers engineered by the Shadaloo Intimidation Network (S.I.N.). There's at least twenty-six of them, with Seth being #15. note in Seth's Arcade Mode, he instead faces #21.