To say that many have been waiting for Ultra Street Fighter 4 on the PlayStation 4 would be an understatement.
I had friends who owned a different last-gen consoles and therefore we never could play against each other. This generation most of us have ended up getting Sony’s console, thus making Ultra Street Fighter 4 on the PS4 (a console exclusive), our only chance at sparring in Capcom’s finest fighting game.
In modern times though, fighting games are the worst culprits in employing DLC and – let’s be honest – releasing insignificant re-releases (Mortal Kombat’s doing it, as is Persona 4 Arena and JoJo’s All Stars too, niche or not it’s a norm). Capcom, having done the same with Street Fighter 4 and Marvel vs Capcom 3, seemed confident in calling the PS4 version ‘the ultimate’ edition of the game. It was poised to be the definitive Street Fighter 4 for competitive play: a feature-packed version with all changes, characters, costumes, stages from all previous entries including Super, Arcade Edition and Ultra.
Also true in modern times are buggy games. Games that are released in an unplayable state due to a variety of issues such as glitches, lag, framerate dips. One could argue that a few issues can mar an experience but may not necessarily deem a game ‘unplayable’. Notice the last two things on the list of issues. Ask any fighting game enthusiast and the primary thing that renders a game unplayable – competitively or otherwise – is the slightest hint of input lag or a framerate dip. Ultra Street Fighter 4 on the PS4 has all those issues at launch and more.
Users are reporting input lag in the game’s menus, where the selection takes a fraction of a second to register. The video below shows this in action
You can also notice, how at the start of the video the game prompts to ‘Press Start’, which is funny because the Dualshock 4 hasn’t got any such button. It’s got the new Options button which is pretty convenient and resourceful, but somehow this version of the game sloppily chooses to ignore it.
Moving on, there are several technical glitches, like Guile’s iconic Sonic Boom. This is how Guile’s Sonic Boom is supposed to look like
And this is how it looks
Primarily, its starts off weird and Guile could be seen inside the projectile for a split second, secondly it never takes the disc shape that Guile’s attack is known for.
Then there are several others like characters glitching-out amidst battle, Dudley gaining weird back-step and forward-step sound effects, Juri’s Fuhajins becoming invisible, Guile’s ultra combo going invisible and many more things like that. This video highlights most of them.
Upon release of this version Capcom was supposed to replace the current hardware setup on its on-going 2015 Capcom ProTour in favour of the PS4 setup. But in light of such sub-par performance, it was forced to go back on this decision. This proves that Capcom itself doesn’t deem the new version fit for competitive play. Capcom promises amends in this regard and that SCEA and Capcom are currently looking into these issues as the game was published and developed by SCEA’s Third Party Production group.
When thinking about it, it makes sense that the PS4 port was outsourced to third party developer Other Ocean Interactive. Firstly it’s only a next-gen compilation, not an extended edition, as all assets have already been created. Secondly it’s a game exclusive to the PS4 (not much financial incentive for in-house development there) and lastly Capcom’s has no doubt got its hands full with Street Fighter 5. Then again, Capcom recently came out and said ‘remasters’ are going to be a big part of its product portfolio moving forward. This faltering release doesn’t paint a pretty precedent.