The hotly anticipated PlayStation 4 port of Ultra Street Fighter IV has been chastised by the fighting game community ever since its release earlier in the week. This has resulted in the release being pulled from both the Capcom Pro Tour and Evo 2015 – events which Sony is sponsoring. It's an embarrassing state of affairs for both the platform holder and developer Other Ocean Interactive, then – but just how bad is the game for the average person?
As non-competitive players, we've been giving it a whirl in the Push Square office for the past few days, and the menu issue is a very real problem. Digital Foundry's analysis explains that every frame is being rendered at half-rate, which results in the navigation feeling slow and cumbersome. While this doesn't affect gameplay, it's insane that an issue of this kind made it into the final release – and it will surely be fixed as part of next week's patch.
In the ring, things do fare a little better. We're yet to notice any performance drops during bouts, and Digital Foundry reports similar results. The problem is the input lag, which is hard to measure to the naked eye, but sits at around 100ms according to the aforementioned site. This is comparable to the PlayStation 3 version of the game, and, while it's fine for casual consumption, is not suitable for pro-level play. The fact that Sony said it had been erased is the most troubling aspect here.
Visually, the game looks fine, though it doesn't offer many improvements over its previous generation counterpart. Despite running in 1080p, the graphics can look jagged, grainy, or blurry in places, perhaps due to a lack of anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering. It does "pop" a little more than its predecessor, although Digital Foundry puts this down to a saturation bug, which is artificially boosting some of the colours. Not exactly a positive, then.
Other than that, professional players have picked up on various other glitches and bugs – invisible Sonic Booms among them. Decapre's teleportation move appears to have been inexplicably tampered with, which obviously raises real balance concerns. The online netcode generally seems fine, but an absent patch in the UK means cross-region play is impossible right now. These issues, even though small, should never have made it into the final version.
It's not quite the broken mess that it's been labelled, then – but considering that Sony was selling this as some kind of definitive tournament grade title, its shortcomings have rightfully rewarded the Japanese giant with a black eye. If you're a casual fighting game fan looking for a copy of Ultra Street Fighter IV on your PS4, then this will fulfil your needs – but you need to question whether you want to reward a port that, at present, has fallen seriously short of its goals.
Meanwhile, professional players will want to look elsewhere – after all, the Xbox 360 edition has already been reinstated as the tournament version of choice. An embarrassment all around, then – we'll have a full review soon.
Are you playing Ultra Street Fighter IV on your PS4? Do you think that this version is as bad as is being made out, or are you relatively happy with your purchase thus far? Rant and rave in the comments section below.