Street Fighter 4 is quite arguably the most anticipated fighting game to have come out in a while. Capcom hasn't come out with a main branch Street Fighter since Third Strike, and that has been out for quite a while now. I was optimistic about this fighter though I wouldn't be surprised if it was a complete disaster given that something as cool sounding as Capcom Fighting Evolution turned out to be garbage. Thank goodness it wasn't close to being a disaster.
As a fighting game fan, I really like this game. I think that this game is worthy of being a main branch Street Fighter game. While I would have preferred the combo system to be a tad tighter in this game, SF4 doesn't get too loose to the point where its actually detracts from the playing experience. The revenge gauge is also a nice touch, always having that "great equalizer" effect on a lot of matches and can really provide a player of lesser skill too actually make a comeback. The revenge gauge is also not as broken as the Guilty Gear Instant Kills are, but not as irrelevant as Soul Calibur's. The Focus Attacks are also a pretty cool addition since you can treat them as unblockables or as parries given the situation.
Street Fighter 4 also has the prerequisite modes every fighter should have by now: Arcade, Versus, Online, and Training. It also comes with challenge mode which is basically just a mission mode that has time attack, survival, and trial mode which just has you making combos. While it also has Gallery mode, the amount of modes is kind of disappointing and they really could have done some really interesting with challenge mode (like showing you how to use focus attacks to parry more than one attack). While the developer wanted to go back to the simplicity of Street Fighter 2, this is not that much more inviting of newcomers to fighting games than Street Fighter 3 was.
Online is…both good and bad at the same time. The actual online fighting is pretty much good. Most matches are lag free to my knowledge but you of course run into the few people that lag like crazy and make you wanna punch a puppy. There are a few questionable decisions made with online, like making online lobbies limited to two people and being able to see who you fight in ranked matches; but if you’re here for just the fight, these shouldn't bother you too much. Aside from online, there is also a tad bit of replayability left with some unlockables. While unlockable characters are always a plus with most people, your mileage with unlockable titles and tiles may vary.
Overall, I was satisfied with Street Fighter 4. SF4 by no means astounded me though. Then again, I don't think a fighter has done that since the original Guilty Gear X2 for PS2. It is by all means still a fun fighting game that shouldn't be missed by Street Fighter fans, or fans of the genre for that matter.
I also want to issue an open challenge to the fine people here. Tired of fighting the endless legion of Ken users online? I'm taking on all challengers. I have a somewhat competent Rose and a BP of about 2100 if that matters much to you. Just send me an invite on PSN. And with that I leave you with an image of my SF4 stuff.