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Comments on the Playstation 3 Version of Street Fighter IV

I had to get a copy of Street Fighter IV for the Playstation 3 the other day (the reason why that happened is a very long story, so maybe I'll just save that for another time.). So now I have both the Xbox 360 version and the Playstation 3 version of Street Fighter IV. Anyhow, gave the game a spin today and just a few frustrations came along the way....

Online play seems to not work as well as the Xbox 360 version. I've had about 600+ matches on Xbox Live and I don't recall too many bad experiences playing online with it. Sure, there are probably those few matches where things didn't go that well on Xbox Live, but for the most part, the lag is minimal and I generally had a good experience on it. The best way to play on XBL is to just choose Arcade Mode and let the game take care of the rest (finding matches, etcetera.)

With the PS3, I've had my share of issues. For one thing, the game gets stuck on the VERSUS screen (the one before the actual match) for quite a long time. I read online that some players don't know that you can install Street Fighter IV on your PS3, and that's probably the reason why it takes so long to load a match. The thing is, this happens with practically every opponent on PSN.

Now that I mentioned it, if you don't know how to install Street Fighter IV on your PS3, simply go to the OPTIONS menu of the game and you'll find the option there. It shouldn't take too long to install, and the convenience of having matches start quickly is just priceless.

I've also had problems trying to play with someone who actually lives nearby. I get a message 'Unable to participate in session' more often than I'd like. I don't understand why this happens, considering that the guy I'm trying to play against isn't in a different country. Anyway, it could be ISP issues, so I'll give it a try again later.

Overall, SF4 on the PS3 is on par with the Xbox 360 version...mostly. The jaggies are really visible on the PS3 version, and if you don't set up your PS3 correctly, you can get a 'grainy' looking effect on the graphics. But if you do set it up right, they do look practically the same. Capcom could have avoided these hassles if they put more instructions on the manual to let players optimize the game for their home entertainment setup. But then, maybe the console should take care of issues like that.

Nonetheless, there's no getting around the fact that, around here, in my country, the Playstation is pretty much king with most of the local players when it comes to fighting games. Everyone is just so used to the Playstation controller. I recall Ozine Fest 09 and there were really a lot of players who'd pick the PS3 version over the Xbox 360 version, simply because they were used to the pad of the PS3. For most people it doesn't matter if the PS3 version has a lot of jaggies here and there; they pick the PS3 version because of the Playstation controller, which they're used to using.

Oh, and while I'm talking about that an arcade stick guy (when it comes to fighting games, anyway)....the PS3 pad is pretty manageable. I can see why most people like it for fighting games; the diagonal directions are more apparent when you play. But honestly, it suffers from the same issues as the Xbox 360 pad. Doing charge + motions for the Ultra for charge characters like Guile, etc., is still very hard on the PS3 D-pad (just as hard as it is on the Xbox 360 controller).

The only thing I don't like about playing on the Xbox 360 default controller for fighting games is using the D-Pad. I actually started learning Virtua Fighter 5 before with the 360 controller; and you can imagine just how hard it was because, like everyone else, I started using that damned 360 D-Pad. At some point, I just gave up on using the D-pad and settled for the analog stick on the 360 controller. It became so much easier to play VF5 when i switched to the analog stick. Later on, when Ozine Fest 09 rolled around, I had to use the Xbox 360 pad at the booth. I ended up using the analog stick and was able to win some games.

Ocassionally during Ozine I'd hear someone ask, so which version is better for Street Fighter IV? Despite the issues I have with the Playstation 3 version, I still think they're practically the same. If you really, REALLY like the PS3 controller over the Xbox 360 controller, I'd recommend getting the PS3 version. But if you want to get the version that offers a better online play experience, and slightly sharper/more colorful graphics, get the Xbox 360 version. You just have to deal with the 360 pad's problems if you do so; I do recommend switching up to the analog stick on the 360 for playing fighting games. With practice, it does become easier.

In either case, Street Fighter IV is best experienced with an arcade stick. Playing with pads does help for getting ready to play at a venue which won't have arcade sticks, though.

For the most part, I'll still be playing more with the Xbox 360 version because I'm more used to the Xbox online experience. I will occasionally play the PS3 version because most of my friends here in the Philippines just prefer the Playstation version (again, because they're used to the pad, and because it's Playstation....ehh, brand loyalty.). The only way people's minds will ever change about the Xbox 360 is if Microsoft decides to bring the console officially to this country....Maybe one day, who knows.

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