And on 3DS, of course, there is the unique selling point of 3D, here deployed superbly to suck you into the brawl with an impressive sense of depth. The effect is even more striking in the dynamic, over-the-shoulder view. Created largely as a visual gimmick to show off the potential of 3D, with a little practice it's far more playable that you might expect.
The characters that suffer the most here are grapplers, as it's much harder to judge proximity. And while you may end up reverting to the standard view full-time, if you buy this on day one, the 3D view will have you gawping in wonder.
The pricing of games on 3DS and Sony's Next Generation Portable will, rightly, come under increasing scrutiny in the age of the App. When tens of millions snap up Angry Birds for pennies and play it for months, a shift in consumer perception of price and value in portable gaming is inevitable.
Publishers would argue, not unreasonably, that a fully-fledged handheld console game is a very different proposition to a fun-for-five-minutes downloadable novelty. But the lines between smartphone and console games are beginning to blur. And all of a sudden Ł35 seems harder to justify as a sum to invest in a single game to play on the move.
Lucky for Nintendo, then, that it has Super Street Fighter IV 3D at launch. Squeezing in all the core content from the home console versions, while adding in a solid set of exclusive features, it offers, by design, that rare combination of instant fun with enough depth to keep you coming back for months.
It's an experience that lends itself perfectly either to a few frantic minutes on a bus or long hours lost in the Challenge mode. There's certainly tremendous depth in the single-player here, but for many, the lure of fighting over a network will prove decisive.
As I write, I've yet to try the game out over the internet. But playing local multiplayer, the lobby-based set-up proves pleasingly straightforward.
If you're worrying that the touch screen will destroy the balance of online matches, don't. That's why Capcom has included Lite and Pro modes, for which matchmaking filters. Pro is for purists, where only regular moves can be mapped to the lower screen – no combos.
Whether or not StreetPass – utilising 'always on' background connectivity – will take off is open to question, but it's a big deal to Nintendo and, for its first attempt, Capcom's had a proper think about it.
The game features a Pokémon-style battle mode built around collectible Figures, acquired by spending Figure Points earned in-game. At the most basic level, these are stored as 3D objects in a virtual trophy room.
StreetPass gets involved when you create a team of your strongest Figures (each has stats for Power, Defense and Speed), which 'battle' another 3DS's team when both are in sleep mode and within range.
The next time you switch on the game you'll see how you did; and if you go into the battle log you can watch a cute animation of the Figures crudely thwacking into each other until one submits. Win and you'll earn more Figures, with seven to collect for each character.
While many will never bother with this, its inclusion illustrates the lengths to which Capcom has gone to deliver a Super Street Fighter experience true both to the original and to its platform. For a launch title, it's an extremely polished and comprehensive package.
It's hard to see Super Street Fighter IV on 3DS becoming a serious alternative for high-level players, but no-one really expected it to. That Capcom gets so close is a tremendous achievement, and while let down on occasion by the awkwardness of the control layout, the game makes up for this through its innovation, depth, style and the endless joy of a fireball in the chops.
A great start for Capcom on 3DS, then, and further proof there's life in the old quarter-circle yet.