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Ultra Street Fighter 4 balancing took 32K player comments into account

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Ultra Street Fighter 4 is set to be the final edition of Street Fighter 4, and Capcom took more than 32,000 comments from players into account in making balance changes for the game, according to a post on the PlayStation Blog today.

"The entire reason [Ultra Street Fighter 4] was made was due to ever-mounting requests from fans," said Peter Rosas, the game's associate director of battle design. Players of the most recent iteration of Street Fighter 4, 2011's Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition ver. 2012, told Capcom that the gap between the top-tier and lowest-ranked characters was too high, and that it was essentially impossible to win with the bottom five fighters in high-level play.

Capcom spent much of the spring of 2013 collecting feedback from fans, which totaled more than 20,000 comments from Western players and over 12,000 from the Japanese audience, and analyzed them in two ways. First, the developers looked for common requests, and checked if it made sense to implement those changes. For example, Chun-Li's life has been increased to 950 for Ultra Street Fighter 4, since her defensive moves were toned down in Super Street Fighter 4.

The developers then examined the more unique suggestions, the ones that might completely change the way a character plays. Capcom made some of those changes in an effort to make fighters more well-rounded and more fun to play. Ultra Street Fighter 4's Vega has a new cross-up move, the jumping light kick, that makes him viable as an offensive character as well as a defensive one.

Finally, Capcom spent about six months allowing fans around the world to play pre-release versions of Ultra Street Fighter 4 and offer feedback on the changes — input that Capcom then incorporated into further refining the game.

"It was at these location tests that players realized that changes that seemed pretty grand on paper turned out to be not as big as they thought they would be, while other changes that seemed small, actually had impact," Rosas explained.

Ultra Street Fighter 4 will be available as a digital upgrade to Super Street Fighter 4 or its Arcade Edition on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 for $14.99 on June 3. The full game will be released digitally and at retail on PS3 and Xbox 360 for $39.99 on Aug. 5. And the Windows PC upgrade and full game will hit Steam Aug. 8 for $29.99. For more, check out our recent preview.