FAR FROM A SIMPLE CASH-IN, Super Street Fighter IV takes everything about last year's Street Fighter IV and makes it bigger, better, faster, and—most shockingly—it's an even better value than the totally-worth-$60 original.

The root of the game, the fighting system itself, has seen the fewest changes. Yes, each character has picked up an additional Ultra Attack, and there have been minor tweaks to each character's speed and attack abilities, but those are the sorts of things that will only really affect hardcore SF fans. The majority of gamers will instead be more impressed by the huge 35-character roster (all of which are unlocked from the moment you start the game), the gloriously retro car-smashing and barrel-breaking bonus stages, and the expanded online combat options.

Longtime Capcom fans will be happy to see a number of classic characters joining the fight. Representatives from older Street Fighter games and even Final Fight have been added alongside two new pugilists: Juri is a standard SF female (albeit an evil, kick-happy Taekwondo fighter), while Hakan may leave most players scratching their heads. He's a Turkish oil wrestler (yes, that's really a thing), and aside from his propensity for slicking up with viscous fluids, he throws down just as well as any of the game's other combatants.

This is normally where I'd dissect the game's flaws, but I'm coming up blank. Fighting fans will find this the deepest, most satisfying fighter on the market today, and uninitiated novices will find tons to love. Like chess, this is a game that's incredibly easy to pick up and play, but can take years to master. Watching skilled players is like witnessing hyper-violent ballet, and once you're able to feel the ebb and flow of combat, with your reactions falling to simple muscle memory, the experience becomes almost relaxingly zen.