When I sat down to write this review, I originally thought that the first release of Ultra Street Fighter IV for PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PC came out a few months ago. In reality, the game launched nearly a full year ago. With their new partnership to develop Street Fighter V exclusively for PlayStation 4 in full swing, Capcom and Sony Computer Entertainment decided to offer a stop-gap release in the form of a new Ultra.
Ultra Street Fighter IV is still largely the same game I played and reviewed last year. If you want to get the basic overview of the game, you can read last year's review.
I would call this a "Remastered" or "Definitive Edition", it's more of a "Game of the Year" Edition. Ultra Street Fighter IV for PS4 is a port, not an upgrade. Visually, the assets themselves haven't been improved or changed, but the entire game is presented in 1080p resolution at a silky-smooth 60 fps. That said, there's still a bit of aliasing to be found here and there. If you were rocking the PC version already there's not much here for you, but for owners of the previous console versions, it's a welcome improvement.
I say this is a "Game of the Year" version because it comes with all the content released for the game to date. Every mode (Arcade, Online, Practice, and Challenge Modes), every character (44 in total), every stage, and every bit of content from all released DLC. This means a wide variety of crazy costumes for every character: if you want to see Chun-Li in her Alpha look, Sakura in a sun dress, or Hakan as an octopus man, this game has you covered. As someone who would've never paid for these costume packs otherwise, I'm glad that they're included in this package. They add a bit of visual flair to the fights.
One big addition is found in Ultra's Edition Select option. If you played Ultra Street Fighter IV at launch and never came back, you missed out on the all-new Omega modes that were released with patch 1.04. The Omega versions of each character are tuned and play a bit differently from their normal counterparts, in many cases calling back to previous Street Fighter titles.
This includes new focuses and new moves for certain characters. As an example, Ken becomes a kick-based fighter like he was in the Alpha series. This means the Shippu Jinraikyaku returns as one of his Ultras and he gains the new Reppu Hadoken, where he releases fireballs from his feet. Cammy becomes a more airborne fighter, while Sagat gains a few more pressure moves and the Tiger Raid special from Alpha. Even new characters like Hakan see some changes: he gains the option of expanded move cancels and feints for his grapples. Omega is isn't for tournament or ranked play, but it does expand the number of matchups you can expect when going against your friends or randoms online.
Ultra Street Fighter IV for PS4 is simply all of the content previously available for the game and an improved presentation versus the previous console releases. If you've already paid for that content - especially if you've paid for it on PC - there's not much here that's new. This is for people that left the series after one of the earlier releases or those looking for another fighter for their shiny PlayStation 4. I would not be surprised to see it as the version of the game available at this year's EVO Championship series, seeing as it supports PS3 fight sticks. Ultra Street Fighter IV still stands alongside the best and the $24.99 price tag is hard to beat from a first-timer's or lapsed player's perspective. Ultra Street Fighter IV for PlayStation 4 is probably the best console version available and should keep players satisfied until Street Fighter V makes its debut on the platform.
The menus seem slightly slower than previous releases?
It's a fighting game. With 44 characters, multiple versions of each character, challenge modes, and extensive online play, you'll be playing until SFV launches.
Ultra Street Fighter IV running at 60 fps in 1080p resolution is a worthwhile upgrade, even if jaggies appear here and there.
If you haven't played Ultra Street Fighter IV yet, this Game of the Year-style edition for PlayStation 4 is what you've been waiting for. SF4 gets kicked up to 1080p at 60 fps and includes all of the available DLC for a mere $24.99. If you already own all the content on PC, skip it, but it's a solid upgrade for console players.