- The netcode for SSFIV is a massive jump forward from Street Fighter IV
- The player community from Australia is respectable in both quantity and skill level
- Some characters have been drastically improved in terms of power and priority, while others have been balanced out to the point of redundancy
- My skill level is drastically lower than the majority of my competitors
Across all of my matches I can happily report that I never endured anything reminiscent of lag. In two matches, there was a slight stutter when both players performed their first movements, something like a small screen tear. After this instance, connection recovered in both of these matches and a fair (albeit one-sided match) continued.
In each match I faced off against an Australian opponent. The majority of my opponents played as Ryu and Deejay (?), however popular deviations from the main character included Juri, Dudley and Blanka. While I admit I exhibited similar behaviour at first, choosing Ryu for my first fight, by the end of my session I had fought with Gouken, Dudley, Blanka, Sagat, E Honda, M Bison and Adon.
I had the most fun with Gouken, his new Ultra was predictable but doesn't leave you anywhere near as vulnerable as Shin Shoryuken. Dudley keeps it classy with a formidable array of dashes and fakes. He will take quite some time to master, and one of my opponents that used him made a mockery of my Blanka. Honda, and Bison have received no noticable changes. I won't be using Blanka and Honda's new Ultra Moves as they require either double 360s or the wierd angle double charge movements. Adon was a pleasant surprise. Sure I expected the Muay Thai fighter to be quick and agile, but my strategy with Adon revolved around counter hits. The arcs of his anti-air moves are about 65-80 degrees, so very sharp and vertical. I only tested his first Ultra, and I missed on each of my three attempts. It is an expansion move, and if executed within close proximity to your enemy, you will jump straight over them. Sagat has been on the other hand, has been castrated. I know there were complaints he was slightly overpowered but they've taken all the mongrel out of him. It was so hard to see one of the stalwarts of my online arsenal left so powerless, so impotent.
So far tonight, I'm still having no trouble finding local, lag-free matches and I sure hope it stays that way. If this isn't the best online 2D fighter, I don't know what is. Scratch that, I'm having a hard time believing that any fighter could top Street Fighter IV in any of its various faculties.