Anyway, we got bored of Ken, so we switched to Chun-Li, who is also a lot of fun (just don't mention her paunch). Spinning bird kick is still down for two seconds then up and kick, and her projectile is back for two seconds then forward and punch. Chunners can also still jump up to the side of the screen and spring off it again to come down from a greater height, and do her lightning kick.
We also saw the new characters, Abel and C.Viper, up close. The latter speaks into a mobile phone in her introductory attract sequence while posing a bit, and has absurd breasts with a black tie running suggestively between them. She can pound the floor on her side of the screen to injure her opponent from distance, and has some impressively fiery kicks, which are perhaps why we've seen so many fire engines in San Francisco this week. Abel, meanwhile, is a burly Frenchie oui oui, who is hard but also quite nimble. We were rubbish with him, but our PR minder successfully demonstrated that he is useful and distinctive by demolishing our one-note Ken combinations in a few swift showpiece attacks.
There are a lot of other familiar elements making a comforting return, too. Birds still spin around your head when you're dizzied, Japanese shouting fills the air, and then there are other eye-catchers like Guile's airstrip level - now with GIs standing around reacting to the action, and a military transport plane being towed across the background.
Those backgrounds in general are rich with detail, and nice and colourful, although we only saw a few. And since we're on the graphics, the mixture of faintly outlined 3D characters with slightly dumpy environments and NPCs is a winner. Thighs and muscles may be a bit disproportionate, but they're consistently disproportionate in the sort of way that looks correct overall, and backed up by terrific collision detection and flashy effects and camera spins for specials and particularly Supers and Ultras. Throws look great, and there are some nice animation flourishes, like Chun-Li spinning her legs around like a helicopter in the split-second before she springs back to her feet once downed. A smooth 60 frames-per-second, too. We can't imagine anybody looking at the game in person and not finding it a bit dazzling.
At the end of our hour in Capcom's company, fighting round the world, we were told that the current code is only around 50-60 percent complete, and that a lot has yet to be revealed. We've already had hints of super-cancels (no idea either, if we're honest - apparently you cancel a special with a Super), but that's the least of it: our minders hinted at some properly interesting stuff lurking below the surface. We haven't seen our old friends the bosses yet, either, and our PR friend was adamant that "a lot" is still being tweaked, despite the game's very promising state. Look out for more on SF IV in the next few weeks, hopefully. (I.e. Capcom: can we come round to your house again and play?)
Street Fighter IV has currently only been confirmed for the arcades, but if it isn't coming out on PS3 and 360 we will eat so many hats that we'll be sick.