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Street Fighter IV (4)
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Since the original Street Fighter 2 on the Sega Mega Drive many years ago, I have not been able to find a fighting game that takes its crown. Sure there were plenty of great ones and I did like a lot of them but every one of them was missing that special X factor that made Street Fighter 2 so great.
Street Fighter 4 returns to the fighting to back to basics. The original characters (minus T Hawk from Super Street Fighter 2) are back plus new additions, each of the fighter still feels as if they never left the scene. All of the original moves are still their trademarks, so Hadokens, Yoga fires and Sonic Booms are still present and just the same to pull off in a fight. The graphics are brilliant, sound is brilliant (though music is a little cheesy), character roster is impressive, it is balanced, but most importantly, the gameplay is just perfect.
If I had to nitpick, it's just that the XBox 360 controller is a bit fiddly for fighting games at this intensity, it may be worth forking out for a 6 button controller but it depends how you feel about it really.
Street Fighter 4 is by far the best fighting game I have ever played. I have been a fan of the series from when I was a wee lad and am definitely happy with this purchase. I would recommend it to any fan or anyone who loves beat 'em ups.