I am a big fan of Street Fighter as an anime, but I was never as big a fan of the video games. That has changed with Street Fighter IV. Super Street Fighter IV was simply Street Fighter IV with more characters. Arcade Edition added some much needed meta-games to offer some distractions from the actual fighting. 3D Edition has everything the Arcade Edition offered and adds better training options, more tournament options, a new button scheme for 3DS players, a figurine collection, and of course the 3D screen effect only available on the Nintendo 3DS.
The visuals are almost as awesome as you would see in the Xbox 360 version, but characters are obviously less detailed while fighting. That said, the game looks a lot better than I expected it to. If you are looking for pretty graphics, this is a sure bet. The game looks gorgeous.
The audio actually seems to be improved from previous editions of the game. More voice acting is provided in the cutscenes and the same voices are used during battles as in the Arcade Edition. I also think the game favors headphones, because people around me started yelling at me to turn it down. As always, it sounds awesome.
The training options now allow the player to activate infinite combos, which were in Arcade Edition, as well, but not available in the original release of the game. Training is also separated into two modes, as always, Trials and Training. There are also two meta-game options along with Trials under the Challenges menu, Barrel Basher and Car Crusher.
Barrel Basher is extremely simple, just jump in the middle of the stage when the barrel falls and use your medium or high punch to instantly break each barrel. Do this several times and your score is about as good as it is going to get. You do not get any reward for beating this challenge aside from a medal on the Player Data menu.
Car Crusher is more fun. This mode requires you to hit a car in various places to break it down. You have a time limit to break the car all the way. It is pretty easy, as well, but you have to rush your attacks and watch your time. You may want to watch the score, as well, because the score stops rising if you hit a spot for too long.
The new button scheme favors the 3DS touch screen very well. You have both a Lite and Pro control scheme, which is convenient for the player, because you can set up a Lite control scheme to practice and a Pro scheme to actually fight your friends with, or you can just use your Lite scheme for everything. There are unfortunately no restrictions to how you can use the Lite scheme, and even the Pro scheme can make the game a bit too easy. When the combos can be performed with the push of a button, the gameplay because a lot simpler and just too easy to hold my attention for long. I would use the Pro scheme, but the online players spam combo moves all over the screen, making the Pro scheme a huge handicap for anyone. I also cannot regulate whether the pro scheme is required or not, making the Lite scheme required for online play... unless you are an absurdly talented player who enjoys ridiculous button presses. I think the lack of regulations is annoying because I do not like constantly hearing "spiral arrow" and getting ultra combos unleashed on me every single time I am winning.
The 3D effect is just a gimmick, but it works well with this game. I only wish the cutscenes and intro worked with the effect. I tend to turn off the 3D effect for two reasons. First, when the 3D effect is on, anti-aliasing is off, and the edges of each object become very edgy. I prefer to keep anti-aliasing and have the smoother edges. Second, with 3D on, my eyes start to feel strained after a while. That said, the effect is supported very well by this game.
Overall, I recommend this game if you are looking for a solid fighting game for 3DS. If you are thinking about buying a 3DS to get this game, I would say it is only worth that kind of investment if you are a fan of the characters or have a friend you can fight locally. Online play leaves a bit to be desired (no matchmaking settings), but yes, you can use friend codes to play your friends.