Ultra Street Fighter IV (PlayStation 4)

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PlayStation 4) Game Poster Image
Robust fighter has constant melee combat, technical issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Brief, often unclear story lines contain themes of friendship, courage, honor, anger, hatred, betrayal. Action glamorizes fantastical martial-arts combat.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A mix of good, evil characters, many with rivalries. The cast is ethnically diverse, representative of both genders; some fighters are noble, loyal friends. All seem capable of settling disagreements only through hand-to-hand combat.

Ease of Play

Wide range of difficulty, from computer opponents barely fighting back to one that's nearly undefeatable. Success depends on skill of human opponents, and many are extremely good.

Violence

Characters employ highly stylized martial-arts moves to punch, kick, throw each other, peppering attacks with energy blasts. Some fighters wield simple weapons, such as claws or knives. Plenty of grunts, screams, flashes of light when characters connect, but no blood or gore.

Sex

Female characters wear provocative clothing, including thongs and skimpy bras, revealing deep cleavage, exposing most of their buttocks.    

Language

Infrequent mild language, including "hell" and "damn."

Consumerism

Part of Capcom's sprawling Street Fighter series, which players may want to explore further after playing this game.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some fights take place in a whisky factory. One character appears drunk.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ultra Street Fighter IV for PlayStation 4 is a downloadable two-dimensional fighting game starring cartoon-like martial artists. They attack each other with punches, kicks, throws, and the occasional energy or small-weapon attack. Grunts, cries of pain, and colorful flashes of light accompany successful strikes, but there's no blood or gore. Characters hail from all over the world and include both men and women, though the women are frequently clad in very skimpy costumes revealing deep cleavage and most of their buttocks. Characters range from purely good to wholly evil, but all seem to crave combat and use violence as a solution to their problems. Note, too, that online play supports open voice chat with strangers, which could expose players to inappropriate commentary.

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What's it about?

ULTRA STREET FIGHTER IV for PlayStation 4 is designed to be the definitive edition of a game that has been released in varying versions on multiple platforms. It collects all the characters and features released across previous editions and includes all prior modes. Players can fight against computer opponents while working through individual character stories or completing challenges. They also can jump online to engage human opponents in one-off ranked matches and multiple-player tournaments. Outside competitive play, a traditional training mode provides an avenue to practice and master each character's large catalog of offensive and defensive moves. The PlayStation 4 edition also upgrades the game's resolution (without adding any new visual detail), delivers a faster frame rate for smoother animations, and is supposed to reduce control latency to empower skilled players to input commands even more quickly. 

Is it any good?

Ultra Street Fighter IV for PlayStation 4 will be a familiar experience to fans of Capcom's storied fighting franchise. It doesn't add new characters, stages, modes, or features but instead simply gives players pretty much everything related to previous versions of the game on other systems -- and at a pretty good price. For $24.99 you'll get the base game plus all downloadable content released for earlier editions, all running at a higher resolution and at 60 frames per second. It sounds like a pretty good deal for the latest edition of perhaps the most popular of all modern fighting games.

But Ultra Street Fighter IV on PlayStation 4 has been plagued by technical problems. Some players have complained of visual hitches and input lag -- big issues for a game that's all about timing. Multiple updates correcting these problems were released in the weeks following launch, yet some players continue to cite issues as of this review. But not everyone is running into or reporting problems, which means the experience may be different for each player -- or even for players of varying skills who demand and expect different degrees of performance. Either way, there's not a lot here for anyone who's already played the game on another platform -- something to keep in mind before downloading.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. When, if ever, should violence be used to remedy a problem? Do the fighters in this game ever try to solve their problems with means other than violence? What happens if or when they do?

  • Discuss the depiction of female characters in this game. What do you think of their personalities? Their costumes? 

Game details

  • Platforms: PlayStation 4
  • Price: $29.99
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online? Available online
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Release date: May 26, 2015
  • Genre: Fighting
  • ESRB rating: T for Violence, Suggestive Themes, Alcohol Reference, Mild Language

For kids who love action

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