Decapre is an aggressive charge character, she’s really fun to play with her teleports. Those blades make a nice touch too. Capcom’s latest iteration of the 2.5d fighter creates what some may call one of the most complete editions of the game. Ultra Street Fighter 4 features 5 new characters, and a few new tricks up its sleeve to make it feel like a brand new iteration to the series. Currently it’s available as a downloadable expansion for both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Later in August a retail version will become available, and the PC expansion’s release is very near. For now let’s take a look at the changes that are inside USF4 and the new characters that make an appearance to finish the roster count to a whopping 43 characters in all. Rolento performing an ultra combo on Guile. The new characters mostly look familiar to Capcom fighting fans that have been following each game release out there. Four of the new characters are almost near ports of their Street Fighter x Tekken iterations. So we have Rolento, Elena, Poison, and Hugo to start out. Capcom had stated that the fifth character would be new to the series, never before seen in any Street Fighter game. While Decapre may be a brand new character to the game, on the outside she simply looks like a Cammy clone. But when you breakdown her mechanics and play style she is in a league all of her own. Decapre features some tricky mixups in the form of her dash/teleport ability. She is an aggressive charge character and has plenty of options to attack or bait the opponent into doing something that opens them up for a good punish. Rolento and Elena are both some tricky characters as well. Rolento utilizes his baton to his advantage creating some confusing setups if you’re not careful. Elena’s Capoeira fighting style is also a pretty fun mechanic, her ability creates plenty of opportunities for overheads, and her Ultra has the ability to heal back some health. Hugo is the largest character in the entire roster, taking up a really large chunk of the screen. His hitboxes are extremely large, which might have you thinking hes at a disadvantage over the other characters. This might be true in some regard, but Hugo is quite capable of handling fighters above his tier, it just might take some extra precision and timing to get him just right though. Lastly, Poison, is an interesting character featuring good reach with her whip. She has the ability to keep her opponents at bay, but one wrong mistake gains her a great punish opportunity. Poison has some attacks that are very… brutal and humiliating to her opponents. One feature in particular helps to create dream matchups of fighters throughout the SF4 series. Edition select allows players to use a particular version of a character from the entire SF4 series. So for example you can play as Sagat from Street Fighter 4 and have him face off against Ken from Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. The significance of this is that each version has a different build of the characters. Some characters may have been top tier in a previous iteration of the series, where as others got improved stats in more recent iterations, for example Ken’s walk speed was significantly increased for USF4. Elena relies on her normals to create opportunities, and her healing ability is nice to have in a pinch. Three new mechanics change the way that you might approach a battle in USF4. There is now the Red Focus Attack, Delayed Wakeup, and Ultra Double. The Red Focus attack allows you, at the cost of three bars of super, to absorb a large amount of hits (capable of absorbing Ryu’s Ultra 1 Metsu Hadouken) before releasing a crumbling attack. Many characters have some massive options with this new ability making them stronger, but again at the cost of 3 bars of meter. The Red Focus can still utilize FADC, so there is no need to fire off an attack if it’s an unsafe move. The delayed wakeup creates new wakeup opportunities if you get knocked down. So opponents will need to keep guessing as to when to properly attack aggressively on you. Defensively this is a great option to avoid taking hits on wakeup and mess with your opponent’s timing. Lastly the Ultra Double will let you use both ultra combos in the same match at the cost of them dealing less damage. It’s great to have both ultras to use depending upon the situation; it keeps the opponent guessing and more wary of your Ultra meter because of it. However, the cost being less damage to be dealt to your opponent makes these options slightly less effective. Again it all depends upon how you utilize the new feature. The Red Focus Attack allows for Ken to absorb the entirety of this Metsu Hadouken! Ultra Street Fighter 4 has many features that keep it a fresh fighting game. With the release of the expansion, everyone was reset back to 0 in their rankings. USF4 made you feel like you had a clean slate and a fresh start to a new game. Capcom made it clear that USF4 was a brand new iteration to the series, and did a great job of making it feel that way. Remember the retail version releases August 5th in America, and August 7th in Japan, with the PC expansion releasing August 8th! It’s also a great place to start if you haven’t played before and have wanted to get into it. The retail version has all DLC costumes for the 43 characters, featuring over 100 costumes to choose from. When you pre-order you get the additional costume pack for the 5 new characters. Hopefully we see you fighting upon the game’s retail release, remember guys you gotta go for broke this August. When someone is bigger than Zangief, like Hugo, you know this guy spells trouble.