Back when the first footage of Street Fighter IV appeared on the internet and screenshots were unveiled many months ago in an issue of EGM, I had pretty much written this game off, turned off by what I considered a poor art style. I wasn’t the only one who cried out in despair, as many Street Fighter fans flooded message boards to express their distaste of the new character designs and general disdain with the look of the game.
Well, my opinion on the game has changed significantly having watched the video you see above. Everything I had complained about has been thrown out of the window and I can now say with confidence that I like the new art style. Everything looks incredibly polished and smooth. Animations are fluid, the many graphical effects such as Ken’s Shoryuken and Crimson Viper’s various elemental blows look great, the backgrounds appear well detailed and the characters themselves look better than ever. While they still appear a tiny bit bulky, the fluidity of their movements and attacks make them look great in action.
It’s amazing the difference a few months of polish can do for a game, because compared to its earlier showing, this version of the game looks worlds better. The inkblot and exaggerated paintbrush style used in the cutscenes and smattered here and there during actual gameplay seems to have worked out well and is visually striking. Needless to say, I’ll be keeping my eyes on this one until it drops this fall for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC.
New character screenshots (including a few of the final boss) after the break.