If you know Capcom and the Street Fighter franchise, then you know that they will typically release updated versions to their games over time. In the past, if you wanted to play the newer version you would have to purchase each edition that hit the market for the full price of a new game. However, in the day of digital distribution we are treated to Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition without having to shell out an additional $70 to play it!
You may ask however, “Is this expansion worth my hard earned $15 or 1200 Microsoft Points?” Let’s find out.
First off, the add-on for SSFIV comes with an additional four characters to have in your arsenal. Evil Ryu, SFIII characters Yun and Yang, and Oni, who isn’t Street Fighter II’s Akuma (but looks a lot like him). Additionally, there are an additional 30 titles and icons to proudly display while you're taking on the competition.
Also, SSFIV comes a ton of enhancements for the existing Super Street Fighter online component. But first off there are two concerns to put aside; Yes, there will be the ability to switch back and forth between regular mode (a silver icon denotes this on the main menu) and Arcade Edition mode shown by a gold icon. The second is that yes, you will be able to play with both Arcade Edition players and regular version players. All that is needed is for the regular edition folks to download a free update that will allow them to do so. You simply select whether you would like to play with just SSFIV players, Arcade Edition players, or both. As long as either the SSFIV or Both options are selected when you create a match you won’t have to leave your friends behind.
In matchmaking, you’ll find some additional functions such as what’s found in the Replay Channel. The most notable of these features is the Replay Follower. Follower gives you the ability to track five of your favorite leader board players and save their replays for you to view them on demand. Also notable is the Elite Channel where you can watch replays of the best of the best of Street Fighters players. Furthermore, my Channel Advanced has a new feature that allows you to save your best replays and share them with up to fifty of your friends. So now you'll be able to brag about your greatest conquests and have the videos to back them up!
Given Capcom's history with how they re-release games with different tuned versions, it's no surprise that many people (myself included) will often wait until they are pretty sure that Capcom has released the absolute last version of a Street Fighter title before purchasing it. However, with the availability of digital distributions through Xbox Live and the PlayStation network, Capcom is showing that they're placing an importance on the player by allowing them to purchase a single title, and then get the new versions via a purchasable pack at a lower cost to them.
However, if you haven't yet purchased Super Street Fighter IV, Capcom does have a retail version of SSFIV Arcade Edition slated to release on Tuesday, June 28th for $39.99. Considering that you're getting a new disc with the latest content for $10 more than what a new copy of SSFIV goes for currently, it's really not a bad investment.
So it begs the question, is it really worth shelling out the cash for the Arcade Edition expansion? The answer is simple: For the competitive player that's constantly fighting their way to the top of the leader boards and looking for bragging rights along the way? It is most definitely a worthy purchase. More casual players may find $15 a little hard to choke down. However, you are getting an additional four players to choose from, and an additional six achievements/trophies to add to your repertoire for an additional 160 Gamer Score.