What is Ultra Street Fighter 4 Omega?

Recently at Tokyo Game Show Capcom announced a new game mode for Ultra Street Fighter 4, Omega Mode. It is a step away from the norm and brings a new a more extreme approach to the franchise. The best part about Omega is that it is completely free of charge, that means if you have already bought your copy digitally or on disc all you need to do is download the update and hey presto.

To understand where the idea behind Omega comes from may require you to be a die-hard Street Fighter fan and have played or at least heard of Street Fighter 2 Rainbow Edition. The actual Rainbow Edition of the game is somewhat a mystery but what is known is that in 1993 a hacked version of SF2 surfaced with some elaborate modifications to all the characters. These modifications included homing hadoukens, switching characters during the fight and certain moves being able to be performed in mid-air. The first time I played Rainbow Edition it was at a mystery game tournament at VersusScotland’s Hypespotting and it blew my mind. It captures a different kind of hype, on a level that just isn’t there when you take a fighting game too seriously. Taking time to try and avoid every single sonic boom Guile throws before he morphs in to Balrog is insanely fun and was never meant to be taken seriously.

Omega takes what made Rainbow Edition so fun back in a simpler time and ramps it up to the next level in SF4. Ken can now throw fireballs with his feet and Guile has also been seen throwing multiple sonic booms and many new moves have been added. Combofiend has put up videos of some changes in action, as seen above, and there are even some matches from TGS involving Daigo “The Best” Umehara.

Previously these movesets had been discovered by people digging around in the code of USF4 and it was thought that these moves had been axed from the game entirely. Although in retrospect maybe it was planned all along and that these secret moves were the start of a new approach to SF4 that focuses on fun. If you watch the video below you might see some interesting moves that could make it to Omega as well as some move swaps that could prove to be very interesting. Rose even has an air grab move similar to Ermac from Mortal Kombat.

It’s exciting to see more support for such a popular franchise that goes beyond the regular balance updates and so shortly after Ultra was announced. Combofiend has went in to some more detail over on his blog as well as detailing a new patch for USF4 that will rectify some bugs and fix some on going issues for PC players.

There is some speculation as to other moves that could be included in Omega mode and it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to suggest that  some moves could return from Street Fighter X Tekken, such as Ryu’s Donkey kick and some chain combos could be turned in to target combos but we will need to wait. Unfortunately there is not yet a release date for the mode but I suspect we shall see more details surfacing in the coming months.

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