Firstly lets just get one thing straight, this is Street Fighter. It'll never claim to be the most amazing advancement in the beat em up genre or have the most engrosing storyline. It is what it is, the re-invention of an Arcade classic that changed the history of home gaming and had a lot to so with the life of the console you're playing it on now.
The graphics in this new version are pretty much spot on, exactly what you'd want and true to the Street Fighter roots, fluid motion and enjoyable backgrounds.
The controls can take some time to master (which I haven't yet) but once you've got the bread and butter moves sorted you can quite happily jump in for some 1 on 1 battles with your mates. You'll get out what you put in as far as learning the moves, the more you play the more you'll understand the various combos, supers, ultras etc and how to avoid them.
The pad works fine there's no real issues pulling the moves off once you know them, although the LB and RB buttons can become a tad fiddly.
As far as the Arcade mode is concerned be prepared to break your pad. As has previously been mentioned the difficulty levels are, to say the least wrongly titled. There are a number Easiest, Easier, Easy, Medium and Hard (I believe) I'd look at them as:
Easiest = First Timer,
Easier = Played a litte I know some moves,
Easy = I'm ready for a challenge,
Medium = I've got a spare pad, so I don't mind throwing this one at the wall
Hard = Its never gonna happen unless I live, sleep and breath this game and the people around don't mind me swearing and shouting lots.
Challenge modes and training modes are a welcome addition to the options, both of which will help you progress your skills.
The online play is a tad disapointing, no lobby systems other than one on one and even then you end up back out searching for a game after every match. Would have been nice to be able to set up a winner stay on friend lobby (in a pass the pad kinda way), it can take a little while to get into a game too.
The main thing about street fighter is its actually quite a tactical game and some of the matches really hit a nerve (good and bad) you'll laugh, you'll shout, you'll swear, you may even throw your pad against the wall...but when you turn it off you just want to come back for more.
Overall I really rate this game, there's nothing wrong with returning to classic and making it play and look like it always should have....after all how many re-mastered DVD's or Bluerays have you bought of old Movies?
If you're after cutting edge, look elsewhere...you won't find it here.