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Book Review: Super Street Fighter IV: Prima Official Game Guide

Super Street Fighter IV: Prima Official Game Guide

I enjoy playing Street Fighter, even though I'm not a very good player. The primary reason for getting this book is to have a convenient reference to find information like damage, stun and frame data, basically all the more technical data. This book falls short in that respect.

The book contains the moves for all the characters, the button combination, links, special moves and Ultra combos. The moves are complete but the combos aren't. Only selected combos are featured, like those 1-frame and normal links, normal and difficult combos. There are so many possible combos so I can't fault not including all possible variations, but the combos from the Trial challenges are included. Damage and stun data are only shown for selected combos, not so for single moves.

If you're a beginner, the book does offer general strategies as well as character specific strategies. They are great at providing a quick summary on what the characters are capable of, especially the new ones. There are a couple of good comments on specific moves.

The tips on essentials are also great for beginners. It covers all essentials like chains, links, trades, plinking, zoning and the usual stuff. But for more advanced execution, you'll have to look online. It's more of an introduction than a tutorial.

Here's the part that makes me feel like my money was being snatch away from me. Only frame data for the ten new characters are included. I was expecting the whole cast of 35. Not only that, again, I've to say that the damage and stun information are missing. I'm also not sure if all the moves are included because of the way information is presented. Some characters would have a set of close-range punches and kicks included, some aren't included. Take Ibunki for example, there's only close LP, close HP and close HK. The other 3 are missing -- close MP, close LK and close MK. It doesn't mention that they were left out on purpose.

It seems also like some of the Makoto's moves are mixed with Ibuki's, on the frame data page. I've read from some SF forums that frame data might not be that accurate as there are people pulling off moves that would be impossible given those frames.

The lack of frame data for all the characters really disappoints me. Now I have to go back online to print those information out (to save money from having to buy the other SF4 guide).

The section on the character changes since the last Street Fighter game is limited. It's all in one page and each character has only one line of change, something which I find incredulous.

The book also includes information link unlockables but it's basically information you can easily find online. There's also a complete list of trophies you can collect and the requirements for them.

Good editing is definitely lacking. There are times where I found wrong button combination printed, missing information (such as from the frame data section) and other discrepancies. It's a book where I felt that the author had no input from Capcom, who should have been the one providing all the technical data.

The lack of advanced strategies also make this book less useful for advanced players. For beginners, yes, you can still learn a few tricks.

I hope in the next Street Fighter related guide, it can really be comprehensive with all the technical data included. Maybe throw in some interviews with top fighters and character match-up strategies - we know how to fight with, let use know how to fight against.

2 out of 5 stars.

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