The Street Fighter series is the grand-daddy of all those games that fall into the combo-tastic world of the fighting game. Much as generations of gamers owe a debt to iD and their Doom/Wolfenstein introduction to first-person shooters, those same gamers also need to bow at the feet of Capcom and Street Fighter II.
A revolution in the early-nineties despite launching with a scant roster of only seven characters, Street Fighter II laid the foundation for almost every fighting game that followed and made Capcom squillions of dollars. April 1992 saw the release of Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition which started another trend in the esteemed franchise, milking every single release like there’s no tomorrow.
This trend continues now, almost twenty years after the release of Champion Edition with the latest update to Street Fighter IV, Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. For those who have already tasted the Street Fighter IV world, there isn’t much here, apart from the introduction of four new characters and the re-balancing of all the old ones, that would intice anyone but the most hardcore; but the overall package is stunning value for someone who hasn’t picked up the game before.
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition is simply the best edition possible of the fourth entry in the fabled franchise. Packed with memorable and interesting characters, series favourites and several surprising appearances, Arcade Edition is a goldmine for fighting game fans that have yet to experience the gorgeous new graphics style and thumb-destroying new combos.
Four characters are new to the Arcade Edition but the one that most fighting fans will instantly flock to is Evil Ryu, the bastard version of Ryu. With some amazing animation and a very, very distinctive look, Evil Ryu certainly sets himself apart from the regular, plain, boring Ryu. He also plays more like Akuma than Ryu including a more substantial feel to his ultra-combos.
Next out of the box for new characters are Yun and Yang. First introduced in Street Fighter III, Yun and Yang are now two separate (but reasonably similar) characters. Both play extremely quickly and as a result can be hard to master, with weaker regular attacks, but very effective when in the hands of a skillful player.
The final new addition is Oni, who, again, plays a little like Akuma but has a whole set of new attacks, ultra’s, combos and options that make him incredibly fun to play and very difficult to beat. With the four new characters bringing the full roster to 39 different characters, Arcade Edition has potentially hundreds of hours of play for the dedicated fight fans.
Capcom has also added a lot to the replay channel, which might not seem like a big deal to NORMAL people, but the changes now allow gamers to follow their favourite Street Fighter IV player and get constant updates through replays of his or her most wicked matches. While that might not seem like a big deal to regular folks, the detail and depth of the replay channel says a lot about Capcom’s commitment to the Street Fighter community at large.
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition is a no-brainer for anyone who is a fan of the genre and hasn’t picked the game up yet. Couple it with an authentic Street Fighter IV Fight Stick and you’ve got a winter’s full of gaming ahead of you. What was already one of the best fighting games on the planet just got a little bit better! 
Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360