While Street Fighter IV features fighters and backgrounds rendered in 3D, the gameplay remains on a traditional 2D plane. Producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that he wanted to keep the game closer to Street Fighter II than its sequels, and as such the parry system from Street Fighter III has been dropped. A new system called Focus Attacks (Saving Attack in the Japanese version) has been introduced, as well as Ultra moves. The traditional six-button control scheme returns, with new features and special moves integrated into the input system, mixing classic gameplay with additional innovations.
The game has a very similar feel to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but also has several natures from Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Pressing both light attack buttons is still for throwing, and both heavy attack buttons are for the personal action or taunts. Both medium attack buttons are for the focus strike. Dashes and quick standing are also in the game. Crimson Viper is the only character who can perform a high jump.