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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Fighting games generally don't have positive messages as the goal is to physically defeat your opponents before they can defeat you, and this game is no different. Players spend virtually all of their time engaged in hand-to-hand combat. Plus, many of the women in this game are dressed suggestively and the camera sometimes zooms in on their breasts or buttocks.
Positive Role Models
This is a fighting game. Consequently, you won't find out much about the personalities and motives of its 39 playable characters. Instead, you'll simply see them fight. Some -- such as the two new characters -- outwardly profess to be evil.
Ease of Play
These games aren't easy to pick up for beginners, but at least there are varying difficulty levels when playing against computer-controlled opponents. This "Arcade Edition" is more of an enthusiast purchase for players looking for a competitive, arcade experience.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is the core gameplay mechanic, but there isn't any blood or gore -- unlike games in a series like Mortal Kombat. Players use punches and kicks to defeat enemies, as well as some special powers, like fireballs and over-the-top aerial moves. Characters sometimes groan or yell when struck.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many of the female fighters are dressed suggestively and show a lot of skin. The camera often focuses on overly large and bouncing breasts and there are close-up shots of female buttocks. Male fighters are often topless, too, and show exaggerated muscles.
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There is some mild language in the game, such as "damn" and "hell." Players may hear more when playing online and chatting with others. We didn't hear any online opponents using profanity during our evaluation.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
One scene is in a distillery, of sorts, and there are casks and crates of alcohol labeled as "scotch" and "whiskey."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition has content that might be deemed inappropriate for young eyes and ears. Expect violence in the form of fierce hand-to-hand fighting, though without blood or gore. Women and men often show a lot of skin, and the camera sometimes zooms up close on female fighters' body parts. There is one visual reference to alcohol and some mild profanity, too. Parents should note that gamers who play online can verbally chat with other players, a feature Common Sense Media does not recommend for pre-teens.
Is It Any Good?
This is a great buy -- assuming you like fighting games and don't own a previous version of Super Street Fighter IV. If you do, just download one of the updates rather than buying it again on a disc for $40. The new characters will be a treat for long-time Street Fighter fans. Plus, the balancing issues discussed (and debated) in online forums should be addressed in this version. Those who like to play online will find a new Replay Follower (follow up to five separate player replays) and you can now distribute your recorded replays to up to 50 players. On a related note, the new Elite Channel lets you watch replays from elite players who have a rating of 3000PP or higher. Be sure to also read our Super Street Fighter IV review, which discusses the more fundamental elements of this classic fighter.
The game plays the same on all three platforms, but the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 version might be more comfortable than a PC because of their controllers (unless you have a gamepad for your computer). Alternatively, you can pick up a licensed Street Fighter controller to make it feel like you're in the arcades.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.