Street Fighter 4: The Official Soundtrack, Artwork, and Merchandise
Street Fighter 4: A Fighting Game for the Ages
If you are a fan of fighting games, you have probably heard of Street Fighter 4, one of the most popular and influential games in the genre. Street Fighter 4 is a 2008 fighting game produced by Capcom, who also co-developed the game with Dimps. It is the first original main entry in the series since Street Fighter 3 in 1997, a hiatus of eleven years. The game brings back the classic gameplay and characters of Street Fighter 2, while adding new features and innovations that make it a modern masterpiece. In this article, we will explore the story, the gameplay, the reception, and the legacy of Street Fighter 4.
The Story of Street Fighter 4
The Setting and the Characters
Street Fighter 4 takes place after the events of Street Fighter 2 and before those of Street Fighter 3. The game features 25 fighters from different countries and backgrounds, each with their own unique fighting style and personality. Some of them are returning favorites from previous games, such as Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, and Guile. Others are new additions to the roster, such as Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, and Rufus. Each character has their own story mode that reveals their motivations and goals for entering the World Warrior tournament.
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The Plot and the Conflicts
The main antagonist of Street Fighter 4 is Seth, the leader of a mysterious organization called S.I.N., which is a subsidiary of Shadaloo. Seth is a genetically engineered human who can copy other fighters' moves and abilities. He is obsessed with finding and harnessing the power of the "Blece Project", a secret weapon that can create artificial living beings with immense destructive potential. He lures fighters from around the world to his secret base by hosting a new World Warrior tournament. However, he faces opposition from various factions, such as Interpol agents Chun-Li and Guile, who are investigating S.I.N.'s activities; Ryu's friends Ken and Sakura, who are worried about Ryu's dark side; Bison's loyalists Balrog, Vega, and Sagat, who are seeking revenge against Seth for betraying Shadaloo; Akuma's brother Gouken, who is seeking to stop Akuma's evil plans; and many others.The story of Street Fighter 4 is told through animated cutscenes that play before and after each character's story mode. The cutscenes are directed by Studio 4C, a renowned animation studio that also worked on other Capcom games such as Devil May Cry and Resident Evil. The cutscenes are voiced by both Japanese and English voice actors, and the player can choose which language to use in the game settings. The cutscenes add depth and humor to the characters and the plot, and are a highlight of the game.
The Gameplay of Street Fighter 4
The Basics and the Controls
Street Fighter 4 is a fighting game that uses a six-button layout: three punch buttons and three kick buttons. The game also uses an eight-directional joystick or a directional pad to move the characters and perform special moves. The game uses a 2.5D perspective, meaning that the characters and the stages are rendered in 3D graphics, but the gameplay is restricted to a 2D plane. The game also introduces new gameplay mechanics that enhance the combat system, such as Focus Attacks, Ultra Combos, and Revenge Meters.
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A Focus Attack is a special move that can be performed by pressing the medium punch and kick buttons simultaneously. A Focus Attack can absorb one hit from the opponent and then counterattack with a powerful blow that can stun the opponent. A Focus Attack can also be canceled by dashing forward or backward, allowing for more strategic options.
An Ultra Combo is a super move that can be performed by pressing a combination of buttons when the Revenge Meter is full. The Revenge Meter is a gauge that fills up when the character takes damage or performs a Focus Attack. An Ultra Combo is a flashy and devastating attack that can deal massive damage to the opponent.
The Modes and the Features
Street Fighter 4 offers various modes for different types of players, such as Arcade, Versus, Challenge, Online, and Training.
Arcade Mode is the main mode of the game, where the player chooses a character and fights against a series of opponents, ending with a boss fight against Seth. Arcade Mode also features character-specific rival battles and endings that reveal more about the story.
Versus Mode is where two players can fight against each other using either one console or two consoles connected via local or online multiplayer. Versus Mode allows players to customize their matches with various options such as time limit, rounds, handicap, stage, and music.
Challenge Mode is where the player can test their skills in various challenges, such as Time Attack, Survival, Trial, and Bonus Stage. Time Attack is where the player has to defeat as many opponents as possible within a time limit. Survival is where the player has to defeat as many opponents as possible without losing all their health. Trial is where the player has to perform specific combos with each character. Bonus Stage is where the player has to destroy various objects such as barrels, cars, and satellites within a time limit.
Online Mode is where the player can compete with other players from around the world via online multiplayer. Online Mode features various options such as Ranked Match, Player Match, Tournament Mode, Championship Mode, and Replay Channel. Ranked Match is where the player can earn points and rank up by winning matches against other players. Player Match is where the player can join or create lobbies with up to eight players and chat with them while waiting for their turn to fight.[ [assistant](#message) Player Match also allows players to spectate other matches in progress.  Tournament Mode is where the player can participate in online tournaments with up to eight players.  Championship Mode is where the player can enter a series of matches with different tiers of difficulty and rewards.  Replay Channel is where the player can watch replays of their own or other players' matches. 
Training Mode is where the player can practice their moves and combos with any character and stage.  Training Mode features various options such as dummy settings, display settings, record settings, and reset settings.  Training Mode also allows players to access a frame data guide that shows detailed information about each character's moves. 
The Reception and the Legacy of Street Fighter 4
The Critical and Commercial The Critical and Commercial Success
Street Fighter 4 was a huge success both critically and commercially. The game received universal acclaim from critics and fans alike, and sold over 9 million units across all platforms. The game was praised for its graphics, gameplay, sound, and replay value. The game also won several awards, such as the Best Fighting Game of 2009 by the Spike Video Game Awards, the Game of the Year by GameSpot, and the Fighting Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
The Updates and the Spin-offs
Street Fighter 4 was followed by several updated versions that added new characters, stages, modes, and features. The first update was Super Street Fighter 4, which was released in 2010 and added 10 new characters, including fan favorites such as T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Cody, and Guy. The second update was Arcade Edition, which was released in 2011 and added four new characters, including Yun, Yang, Evil Ryu, and Oni. The third update was Ultra Street Fighter 4, which was released in 2014 and added five new characters, including Hugo, Poison, Elena, Rolento, and Decapre. The fourth update was 3D Edition, which was released in 2011 for the Nintendo 3DS and added stereoscopic 3D effects and touch screen controls.
Street Fighter 4 also spawned several spin-off games that crossed over with other franchises. The first spin-off was Street Fighter X Tekken, which was released in 2012 and featured characters from both Street Fighter and Tekken in a tag-team fighting game. The second spin-off was Street Fighter X Mega Man, which was released in 2012 as a free download for the PC and featured Me