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Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition Complete Pack

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PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Ultra Street Fighter 4 trailer unveils fifth new playable character">Ultra Street fighter 4

Capcom have released a new trailer for Hyper Mega Giga Ultra Street Fighter IV. As well as rounding up the four already-announced playable characters set to make an SF4 entrance through this upcoming upgraded edition, it also reveals the fifth, entirely new fighter: Decapre. She's a brainwashed member of creepy-ol' Bison's all-girl Dolls squad, and, as is traditional for the Street Fighter universe, is proficient at the punching.

As well as the new characters, Ultra Street Fighter 4 will re-jig the battle system slightly, and, perhaps more importantly, will K.O. Games for Windows Live in favour of Steamworks. Capcom also recently announced an edition select feature, letting players fight as pre-balance tweaked versions of each character.

Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be available for PC in August, both as a standalone game, and as an upgrade for the current Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition.
Announcement - Valve
Save up to 75% on select Capcom DLC during this week's Midweek Madness!* Click here to see all the deals.

Featuring additional game modes, costumes, weapons, and more from:

*Offer ends Friday at 10AM Pacific Time

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Games for Windows Live will soon be dead (hooray!), here’s a list of devs removing it from their games">Games for Windows Dead

RIP Games for Windows Live, we hardly knew ye. On second thoughts, we knew ye pretty well, and we hated your malodorous guts - good riddance. Of course, with Microsoft's hated games service going the way of the passenger pigeon (I was going to say dodo, but a load of animals have sadly been made extinct since then), there's the little matter of what's going to happen to all the games infested with GFWL. Will they be playable after July 1st, when the service is being taken out to the woodshed to be shot in the head? It's still unclear, but it doesn't seem likely - unless developers take it upon themselves to patch their games.

So far, only Fallout 3, Bioshock 2, the Arkham games, Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Toy Soldiers have extracted the service, leaving a few dozen games with the sword of DRMacles hanging over their heads. Thanks to Joystiq, we now at least know which developers and games are aiming to follow suit.

There's good news and bad news. Mostly bad, I'm afraid. The good news is that Super Street Fighter IV / SSFIV Arcade Edition, DiRT 3, F1 2010, F1 2011, Red Faction Guerrilla and Ms. Explosion Man will all replace GFWL with Steamworks (or in the case of RF:G, perhaps a DRM solution of its own), their respective developers have confirmed to Joystiq.

The sorta-good news is that Namco Bandai are "exploring options" to removing GFWL from Dark Souls and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon. If they don't remove it from the former at least, I imagine there'd be one hell of a stink come July 1st.

The bad news is that the Dead Rising and Lost Planet games, Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter X Tekken, Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising and Red River, Iron Brigade, Fable 3, Gears of War, Halo 2, Blacklight: Tango Down and quite a lot of other games currently have "no plans" to remove GFWL. See my 'one hell of a stink' comment from earlier and insert the word 'massive' in there somewhere.

Joystiq are "still awaiting response" about GTAIV, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War 2, Bulletstorm and a few other games. You can read the full list of games here. Thanks, Joystiq!
Community Announcements - CapcomUnity

If you're a Capcom super-fan, be sure to check out the Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia, available now on Amazon for less than nine bucks! 

The book celebrates Capcom's thirty-year legacy of brilliant character design with more than 200 pages of lush art, character facts, statistics, and historical information. Characters major and minor, current and classic, all have representation, so there's something for just about every Capcom fan ever. Check it out!

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Capcom looking into options to handle Games for Windows Live shutdown">residentevil5

With BioShock 2 and the Arkham games abandoning the quickly sinking Games for Windows Live ship for the SS Steamworks, players are asking publishers a common question: “Will I be able to play my games after Games for Windows Live is gone?” Capcom started getting the brunt of the attention last week, though it appears the company’s still mapping its escape route.

About a week ago, someone from the Steam forums said they emailed someone at Capcom about how the company will support its games that run on Games for Windows Live. According to the poster, a representative wrote back saying we'd still be able to play games after the service shut down, but didn’t go into specifics on how that’d happen.

I tried to confirm this information with Capcom, and was given the company’s official response:

“We are looking into what options are available to take care of users that purchased on GFWL, but will announce what will happen once we have something 100% confirmed."

Microsoft isn’t pulling the plug on GFWL until July 1, 2014, so Capcom still has some time to hash out a plan.
Announcement - Valve
The Capcom 30-Year Anniversary Sale kicks off today, with great deals on Capcom titles all weekend.

Today's Daily Deal is Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition at 75% off!* In addition, check out the Capcom Fighter Bundle at 66% off!

*Check back each day for new deals until Monday at 10AM.

PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Games for Windows Live to shut down July 2014 according to deleted support update">gfwl

An update to the Age of Empires Online support page revealed that Games for Windows Live will shut down July 1, 2014, and with it, at least some of AoE Online's features, if not the whole game. The announcement has been removed and replaced with the original text, but here's what it said:

"Games for Windows Live will be discontinued on July 1, 2014. Although it is available through Steam, Age of Empires Online requires features of the Games for Windows Live service. You can continue to enjoy all the features of Age of Empires Online as the service will remain 100% operational until July 1, 2014 when the server will shut down."

Microsoft announced last week that it's shutting down the Games for Windows Marketplace. Games for Windows Live is something else entirely, a DRM and multiplayer infrastructure formerly used by Microsoft, Rockstar, Capcom, WB Games, 2K Games, and others. If you've had to use it, you know why few will mourn the loss.

If this deleted update is accurate, however, there is one big concern: presumably, any game currently using GFWL will need to patch it out and replace it with Steamworks or its own system to continue working after the 2014 shut off date. That's Dark Souls, Street Fighter IV, BioShock 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, and more. Eep.

We'll let you know when Microsoft officially confirms or denies the news.

Thanks for the link, /r/Games.
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Ultra Street Fighter 4 announced – brings new characters and modes to the existing game">Ultra Street Fighter 4 thumb

At last weekend's EVO 2013 event, Capcom announced the next stage of their endlessly iterative fighting series, Ultra Street Fighter IV; planned as a DLC upgrade to the existing word jumble that is Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. It will add the returning characters Elena, Rolento, Hugo, and Poison - who to my untrained eyes are possibly the line up of an '80s New Wave band - along with a fifth mystery pugilist.

Ultra will also bring new modes and stages, as well as a series of balance tweaks to existing fighters. Here's the announcement video:

But where next for the inevitable upgraded upgraded edition? Possibilities include:

Hyper Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

Venti Street Fighter IV

Super Ultra Street Fighter IV: Family Size Edition

Super Giga Street Fighter IV: Jumbo Turbo HD Dubstep Remix Ultimate Frisbee X Tekken III Kart

Street Fighter IV: Origins

Until we learn what Capcom has in store for those fictional updates, you can see how they're changing the existing game's balance over at the announcement post. Ultra Street Fighter IV will be released at the start of next year, and will also be available as a standalone release.

Thanks, Joystiq.
Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends July 1st at 10AM Pacific Time
PC Gamer
title="Permanent Link to Street Fighter X Tekken review">Street Fighter X Tekken review thumb

Crossover fighting games are often just about the characters – WHAT will HAPPEN when TWO worlds COLLIDE and so on. Rarely are they true crossbreeds like Street Fighter X Tekken, a game that takes the peerless Street Fighter IV as its base but adds a huge Tekken character roster and key mechanics from Namco’s series.

Most Street Fighter games have eventually found their way to the PC, but we’ve been largely spared the winding history of Tekken. There are two key differences, which Street Fighter X Tekken has a real go at bringing together. The first is that in Tekken each button maps to a specific limb on the fighter, as opposed to Street Fighter’s six-button system of light, medium and heavy punches and kicks. The second is the importance of ‘juggling’. In Tekken, when an opponent has been hit and is in mid-air, you can follow-up with attacks that can’t be blocked and will end only when that victim hits the ground. Keeping your opponent in the air can be tricky, but it’s always possible to tag a few extra hits on.

It’s a more fluid system than Street Fighter’s more rigid hierarchy of combos. There, a snappy input pulls off a devastatingly smooth series of moves. In Tekken things are a bit messier: there are fixed high-damage combos, but it’s possible to interject other moves, especially when your opponent’s not fighting back.

This finds its way into X Tekken in a brilliant way, one of the game’s shining successes, as the ability to combo from any low-damage attack into any higher-damage attack. For example, light kick into medium punch into heavy kick will produce a combo using any character, providing you get the timing right. Not only that, but this system is the basis of tagging in and out properly – which we’ll come to in a second.

First, the rules. Street Fighter X Tekken is a 2 vs 2 fighting game, with two fighters on screen at once and the ability to tag your team members in and out. Both fighters have their own health bar, which recharges to a degree when they’re off-screen, but the first knockout on either team decides the round. Learning when to tag in and out is by far the most important trick in the early stages of SF X Tekken. Although there’s a button combination for a straight switch, it leaves the incoming fighter vulnerable for a split-second and usually means eating a mega-combo.

The name of the game is switching mid-combo, which sounds complex but is easy thanks to the ability to combo into higher-damage blows. If you execute a combo with the strength of blows ascending, the last blow will be a heavy launcher attack (fighting jargon for ‘knocks them into the air’) and after it hits the characters instantly switch out – and the incoming fighter, if swift enough, can start juggling the airborne opposition.

In full flow Street Fighter X Tekken can turn up some incredible fights. There are back-and-forth grudge matches ending in Super combos, blood-and-thunder offensives that bully opponents to death, and knockdown- drag-out wars of attrition where the final blow is a light tap on the ankle. Sometimes whole flurries are exchanged without anything breaking at all, both fighters pirouetting away from the maelstrom in a brief second of calm before charging headlong back in.

More than anything else, it’s about team play, with the fights constantly punctuated by character switches. At its simplest this means launching an enemy when low on health, and storming in with a charged-up dragon punch. Often it can be used mid-combo, if you can manage some extremely tight timings, to pull off ridiculously long strings. At its most complex, or so it seems initially, switching can mean health-bar chomping multitasking where the victim doesn’t touch the ground.

It’s the most eye-catching aspect of Street Fighter X Tekken, and it also ends up as its Achilles’ Heel. When two fighters are facing each other, poking away and looking for an opening, it plays in a similar manner to Street Fighter IV. But as soon as that first hit lands all bets are off – you could be in for a few smacks around the chops, or 30 seconds of watching your guy get battered from pillar to post without a chance of intervening.

It doesn’t sound like fun because it’s not fun. The chaining aspect of Street Fighter X Tekken’s system is implemented with a huge amount of skill, but it badly needed the brakes put on it beyond a certain stage. As it is, almost half of the online fights I have degenerate into watching my poor saps get pummelled in the corner. Rolento and Rufus are among the worst offenders, capable of turning a landed jab into an endless string of blows that regularly removes over half your health bar – and these strings are not particularly difficult to execute, which makes them incredibly common.

This is not sour grapes. I’m not amazing at Street Fighter IV, but have sunk over 200 hours into it and am well-versed in the art of losing graciously. In Street Fighter X Tekken you’re often just left watching a fight rather than participating in one. Everyone would accept that if an opponent breaches your defences, they should have the opportunity to deal some heavy damage – but here the skill ceiling is so low that almost every combo can end up being a huge one. This is a fighting game where you’re often reduced to the status of punching bag.

It’s a tremendously sad misstep, because in other ways Street Fighter X Tekken is a magnificent beast. Visually it’s an astounding achievement, with more detailed versions of Street Fighter IV’s chunky brush-textured models alongside definitive treatments of the Tekken cast. The marquee characters are superb, and Namco are going to have a difficult time topping Capcom’s Heihachi and Kazuya, never mind the sensitive transformations of characters like Hwoarang. The latter is a Tae Kwon Do expert whose style pivots on the ability to change stance in an instant, which in Street Fighter X Tekken manifests in a fluid range of combo attacks and stunning midchain switches. These characters feel worth learning, worth investing your time in.

The tragedy is that the game lets them down. There are extensive singleplayer modes to practise and refine every single technique for every character, as well as an arcade mode and countless ways to customise fighters. But if the online matches aren’t fun for us to play then all the tournaments, ranking points and video channels are just so much fluff. It’s an impressive creation, but who cares?

Don’t take that to imply this is a particularly good PC version, either. Street Fighter X Tekken is, as Capcom cheerfully admit, a functionally identical port of the Xbox 360 version. Bad enough, but the 360 version was inferior to the PlayStation 3’s in the first place, lacking local co-op play (in a team fighting game!), and your five gigabyte download includes a bevvy of characters locked until Capcom graciously allow you to buy them at some point in the future. Regardless of whether Street Fighter X Tekken is the best game in the world or not, that’s a scummy tactic – and Capcom’s money-obsessed form with Street Fighter IV suggests there’s a lot more to come.

None of this would matter if the fighting was better. There are stretches of X Tekken where it seems to work perfectly, with the right combinations of characters and similarly skilled players resulting in tense standoffs where every hit counts. But it’s never too long before the loading screen shows your opponent has picked Poison and Hugo, and you know before the fight starts that they’ve memorised these characters’ simple back-and-forth chains of combos. Those low expectations are duly realised. You should be excited when a fight’s starting, not resigned.

It feels almost incredible to say it, but Street Fighter X Tekken is a bad game. It doesn’t seem like a bad game, because everything looks amazing and in your hands the controls are fluid and punchy. But as soon as you start playing online, patterns are quickly spotted, and soon they become dominant themes. Such is the time you spend unable to influence the on-screen action that Street Fighter X Tekken just feels like a big drag.

Played offline or with a mate, this is a decent scrapper. But going beyond casual play is impossible, because Street Fighter X Tekken’s clearly deep combat system is riven by an all-consuming flaw that rapidly smothers your interest. This game was given an easy ride on consoles, but don’t be taken in. That’s not a gi Ryu’s wearing – it’s the emperor’s new clothes.

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