'Ultra Street Fighter 4' News: First Reviews Praise Capcom's Upgraded Brawler, Best Version Yet? [VIDEO]

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jun 03, 2014 01:21 PM EDT

Ultra Street Fighter IV is out today as a digital upgrade for those who already have Super Street Fighter IV or Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition on PC, PS3, and/or Xbox 360, and the reviews have started rolling in. For most of you, the decision to upgrade goes without saying, but just for poops 'n giggles, here's what the critics are saying.

Capcom Explains Logic For Ultra Street Fighter 4 Character Balances and Changes

Eurogamer, 8 - "From an outsider's perspective, the differences between Street Fighter 4 and its three existing sequels must look marginal at best. The first game made its console debut back in 2009 and helped revitalise the fighting game genre. Super Street Fighter 4 surfaced a year later and added 10 new characters to the roster, but since then, the game-to-game differences have been tailored more towards the dedicated fans. Ultra Street Fighter 4 continues this tradition with five new characters, a trio of fundamental system changes and not so much as a story mode in sight. If you're not the kind of player who spends hours learning combos in the training room, discusses the finer points of character match-ups on a regular basis and stays up till the crack of dawn watching the Top 8 duke it out at the yearly Evolution Championship Series, then the Street Fighter 4 series' consistent lack of single-player content will be a tough pill to swallow. But for those who view Street Fighter as a competitive fighting game that only truly makes sense when two minds are trying to outsmart each other, then Ultra can be seen as both curtain call from Capcom and the most substantial sequel since Super...The only thing that holds this sequel back is the sense that it was made on a fairly tight budget. It's the little things, like the meagre choice of 'new' characters and the way that some of the new Ultra animations lack the dramatic flair of their predecessors. But with the development team's passion taking up most of the slack, the digital upgrade feels like a fair price. It's not the Street Fighter 5 that we've all been hankering for, but as the fifth (and reportedly final) version of Street Fighter 4, Ultra is an ultimate end in more ways than one."

IGN, 9 - "The wants and needs of competitive fighting game players have warrented increasingly meaningful consideration from developers in the past few years, but Ultra Street Fighter 4 is a clear example of how a fighting game can address those needs without alienating more casual players. A substantial cast-wide rebalance, combined with features like the long-requested offline match recording and the insanely fun edition-select make Ultra the most complete, refined version of Street Fighter 4 yet. It’s an experience that feels custom-made for everyone from the weekend warrior to the intermediate or advanced-level tournament hound...Ultra Street Fighter 4 takes an already incredible, content-rich fighting game, and builds upon it in ways that fighting enthusiasts can get lost in and casual fans can enjoy. Every addition and refinement, both big and small, works. The new characters feel like they've been here all along, and the rebalancing gives old characters a fresh lease on life, making Ultra a must-have for anyone who's enjoyed any version of Street Fighter 4."

Everything You Need to Know About Ultra Street Fighter IV

CVG, 8 - "Of all its iterations, Ultra Street Fighter 4 represents arguably the most significant revision the game has undertaken since its release in 2009. With new characters and refreshed gameplay mechanics, new online features and numerous balance tweaks, this fifth iteration is a comprehensive upgrade that delivers the definitive Street Fighter experience. For the casual player, the differences may be hard to appreciate, and an upgrade or repurchase is more difficult to justify. On the surface, it feels like the same game, yet students of its gameplay intricacies will find their understanding of Street Fighter 4's fundamentals challenged...For casual players or newcomers, Ultra Street Fighter IV is the same thrilling, deep, and accessible fighting game it always has been. And with the retail release featuring all previously released costume DLC content, it's a game that every Xbox 360, PS3 or PC owner should have in their collection."

We've already shown you quite a few openers of Ultra Street Fighter IV, mostly from the arcade, but below you'll find the launch trailer specifically for the digital upgrade that's available as of today.

Players can get the upgrade for $14.99, provided they already have the proper versions of Super Street Fighter IV. With it, they'll gain access to five new fighters - Four are Capcom favorites who've appeared in quite a few games before -- Hugo, Rolento, and the gender bending Poison all made their debut in the arcade classic beat 'em up Final Fight. Rolento would cross over into the Street Fighter world alongside fellow Final Fight alumni Sodom, Cody, and Guy in the Alpha series, and Hugo and Elena would appear in Street Fighter III. In Ultra, they'll all be joined by newcomer Decapre, a Shadowloo Doll along the lines of Cammy, and Juni and Juli from Street Fighter Alpha 3. More info on each fighter at their respective links.

Each of the characters have also undergone a bunch of upgrades, for whom Capcom has made the most requested adjustments. Apart from the new characters and balances, players will also get new stages, all of which featured in Street Fighter X Tekken: Cosmic Elevator, Mad Gear Hideout, Jurassic Era Research Facility, Blast Furnace, and Pitstop 109.

A full disc / full digital bundle will release on consoles on August 5 for $39.99. PC gamers get access to the same bundle on August 8 for the reduced price of $29.99.

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