Ultra Street Fighter IV
Publisher Capcom Developer In-house/Dimps Format 360, PC, PS3
It may be all the rage these days, but Capcom’s an old hand at the art of the annual upgrade, and Ultra’s finely crafted solutions to SFIV’s longrunning problems make this the publisher’s best incremental tart-up to date. Red Focus may have proven to be more useful in combos than as an escape tool, but the new Delayed Wakeup mechanic has helped make high-level play unpredictable again. Combined with a smartly considered rebalancing effort, it’s sent some of Arcade Edition’s most frequent wearying sights – Akuma, Cammy, Seth et al – down from the top of the tier list. That list’s been further shaken up by five thoroughly excellent additions to the already packed cast, all of whom continue to feature prominently on the tournament scene. Ultra is the best version of the best fighting game there’s ever been, refining what came before and adding more than enough to keep us ticking over until the inevitable Street Fighter V.