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I kind of feel bad for this game. It's a ton of fun, looks pretty decent, and is far easier to play and enjoy than Street Fighter IV. However, Capcom only has plans to release the game on the Wii where it will probably never have the respect (from the lager fighting game community) or sales it deserves. That said, it is too bad for all the people who will miss out on the game.
The Controls. The game offers 3 ways to play: the Wiimote, the Classic or Gamecube controllers, or an arcade stick. My preference is the arcade stick. On top of these options, the game uses a simple but effective 3 button (weak, medium, strong) attack system plus one button for tagging and one for taunting (yay taunting). This keeps things simple and straight forward, it even opens the game up for being a little bit more masher friendly, for newer players. Another cool aspect of the controls is the magic combo system, which means that anyone can pull off a combo by hitting the buttons in order. It's a good way to understand the basics of Capcom's fighting game combo system. The ease of the combo system makes the game a lot of fun to play; moves can be easily canceled into each other leading to some huge and fun to watch combos.
The Cast. The game has a great mix of characters from well known and obscure Capcom titles and they are all fun to play. I'm a little sad because Ken isn't in the game, but Ryu also has a shoryuken, so I can't complain too much (it's always fun to mash out shoryuken). The Tatsunoko characters are all new to me and this adds a lot to their charm. It's pretty fun to try and figure out how they fight and what types of moves they have; Capcom did a good job of making sure that the Tatsunoko characters are not overshadowed by their own.
The Graphics. While this game does not look as crisp as Capcom's Xbox360 and PS3 offerings, it gets the job done. The special moves are well animated and detailed, and each of the characters has plenty of life put into their animation as well. The game never stutters or slows down, and as far as Wii games are concerned, this is one of the better looking games on the console.
The Damage. I love watching all the moves quickly build into billions of damage. All games from this point on should count everything in billions.
The Cost. The game it's self is a good deal, but if you want to seriously play you need to have either a classic controller or an arcade stick which can range any where from $20 to $80 and if you want a friend to have a nice set up to play with you, you have to double those prices.
The Unlocking. Some people love this and some people hate it. In Street Fighter IV, I didn't mind at all, but with this game I really wanted to explore everything without having to play through the game 14 times. It's not a huge deal, but having some of the coolest characters (Zero) locked away really slows down the fun local multiplayer matches that many players are anxious to have.
The Online. Terrible. The best way to play this is with a ethernet cord plugged into your Wii, but it won't help if your opponent has a terrible connection. If you're lucky you might find a good connection, but really Nintendo's sales beast of a system is not really up to the rigors of online play.
The Final Verdict:
Buy it, play it, love it. This is the game you want to use to get your friends, siblings, or girlfriend to play Street Fighter with you. If you're lucky this will work like a gateway drug and you'll be able to get them on other games in the series, like the upcoming Super Street Fighter IV. Like I said in the beginning, this is a great game and I kind of feel sorry because it would have a far larger community on all three systems or if it had been released the year before Street Fighter IV. This game is the mainstream fighter that Capcom hoped Street Fighter IV would be, but it's never going to have the sales to prove it.