There aren’t many games that can keep me up late – and fewer that can get me up early in the morning. Street Fighter IV appears to be one of them. Bed half an hour late, up an hour and a half early.

It’s really, really great. It feels familiar without feeling stale, it looks gorgeous and the net code appears to be great.

So far I’ve played thirteen matches online, all as Ryu. I lost the first twelve. And in those twelve matches I won maybe two rounds. I’m really not very good. But then a Fei Long player challenged me. I won the first round, but only just. He destroyed me in the second round. In the third round I was losing and in desperation tried an Ultra move, which I can’t normally pull off. This time it came out, though… and it hit him full force… and it did enough damage to kill him. That was an amazing feeling. To get a win online was amazing, to get it with an Ultra, well, that’s special.

After that I turned off the option to allow online challengers and went through Arcade mode on the Easiest difficulty. No trouble there until I got to my rival, Sagat, who beat me once before I killed him. And then on to Seth, who is a horror show. I was pleased to finally win a round after many attempts, only for him to then get much stronger for the next round. Took me a long time and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to complete Arcade mode before work, but I finally best him with a couple of minutes to spare. Hooray!

Now my thumb hurts.