Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition is, by and large, an excellent handheld port of the popular fighting game. It successfully transitions the core mechanics of the console version to the 3DS, and doesn't skimp on the details. While it should come as no surprise that certain aspects of the fighter had to be toned down to fit onto the tiny 3DS cartridge, the port provides hours of entertainment for fans of fighting games with nary a blemish in sight. Additionally, the 3DS version is host to an array of exclusive features, from collecting figurines via the handheld's built-in StreetPass feature, to touch-screen controls ideal for getting newcomers to the series acquainted with the basics.
Visually, the game retains as much of the console iteration's graphical quality as realistically possible. While certain visual elements have been sacrificed in the switch to the handheld, the port remains remarkably true to the console's unique visual stylization. Previously animated backgrounds have been made static, and overall visual finesse doesn't match up to the original. This should hardly come as a shock, but what's truly impressive is the amount of graphical quality that remains intact.
This is one title that does a great job in showcasing the technical prowess of the 3DS. Visual quality aside, the 3D effect itself is quite impressive indeed, if a little unnecessary. The added depth does little to improve upon the already satisfying experience, though scrolling through menus and viewing your figurines in 3D does add an additional layer of immersion. There's also an option view the battlefield 'dynamically', which simply changes the camera angle during fights to a perspective that further shows off the title's 3D capabilities. The perspective does add further emphasis to the effect, especially with the 3D slider ramped all the way up, but it's not ideal for gameplay.
The controls themselves prove to be more of a mixed bag. This is a game best suited for traditional gamepads, and while the available options squeeze the most they can out of the comparatively limited handheld configuration, it's just not as tightly knit. Of particular note are the cramped shoulder buttons of the 3DS - they just aren't built for the exacting precision fighting fans crave when pulling off combos and the like. That being said, for all intents and purposes, the controls suffice in delivering as close of an experience to the console version as possible. The option to utilize the touch screen to pull off combos is a welcome addition for newcomers to the series and those not as adept at fighting games, but avid fans of the genre may scoff at the simplicity of this method.
All in all, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition delivers the goods in what manages to be a faithful recreation of the popular console fighter. It's a full-fledged Street Fighter experience optimized for Nintendo's 3D handheld. Given the relative scarcity of well-executed handheld fighting titles, it's a treat to play. It's well worth the price of admission.