XBLA Review: Super Street Fighter 2

The amount of days I spent visiting a local corner store that happened to be harbouring the immortal Street Fighter 2 arcade machine, goes into the high double digits at least and dare I say triple. I am not ashamed as I am sure a lot of you reading this would not be. It was a fantastic new era (for me at least) in the competitive digital arena. I would load up the machine with the 40 cents it took to purchase the game time and attempt to rock the house as I defeated computer controlled opponents, one after another. Then it happened – Here comes a new challenger!

There stood an older, taller and confident opponent in the form of a human on the second player control. He didn’t say anything and having just hit the 7th grade at school I wasn’t one to argue. I have now been put into a position where I must defend my game time or have it shortened in an instant by this unknown ‘foe’. The level of freak-out was at levels I had not experienced thus far, but at the same time I was curious as to how this would play out. I had never beaten the game at that point, but was consistently reaching the final four and slowly making progress to M. Bison (the final opponent). So I thought I might have a good chance having played up to that point and having the other character sort of worked out. Well, no.

Nuke 'em both!

Nuke 'em both!

I took a beating so quick and fierce that I had no idea what was going on – “Better luck next time, kid” is what I believe I heard standing their stunned, gazing at my fallen Ryu. I left the store and began a walk that I had not ever had in my life to that point. My mind was buzzing and wondering what I did wrong and how I could improve and more then anything how much of a difference that experience was to simply taking on the CPU opponents. Welcome to competitive play, and my what an addition this was to the gaming circles. Street Fighter 2 created a huge following instantly and spawned a zillion clones and ‘sequels’ to which garnered interest that would last many years and live across platforms ranging from the arcade to home consoles to mobile phones.

More recently, I had noticed Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix edition sitting in the Xbox Live Marketplace and couldn’t resist. It had been awhile since my return to the Street Fighter arena in any form and was eagerly awaiting the download to complete. Once I fired it up it looks and feels like Street Fighter 2 and kicked and ramped up with a couple new moves and a lot of new characters. Now I haven’t played Super Street Fighter 2 previously so I was unaware of the new characters and how the whole ‘Super’ and ‘Turbo’ work into the game but at face value I must say for a relatively quick and inexpensive download it has been worthwhile.

Getting into the game itself was a fairly easy task and jumping straight to one of my beloved classic characters was even easier. Not much has changed in the years and Ryu and Guile still operate in the same way they alwyas have, with a couple additions. The ‘Super’ move itself is quite impressive and a fantastic way to finish off a foe. Occasionally they can be difficult to pull off, and I found it quite tough to get Ryu’s ‘Super’ move executed when I most needed it, but then again that’s Street Fighter for you. You really need to stay focused on thumbstick movements and co-ordinate the correct button press to pull of the more rewarding talents and that always did come with practice. Having said that, it is even more appreciated to notice that Super Street Fighter 2 isn’t just another face-rolling button mashing affair as some of the previous fighting games had been. Try that and you’ll soon be facing the ten count – I totally did.

You'll see this quite a bit

Add to this the fact that you can also multi-play via Xbox Live and find potential opponents fairly quick. Playing against other opponents can be a bit of a hit and miss affair depending on your location and where your opponent is. For example whenever I had a challenge from a local (Australian) I found that the screen refresh and opponent location was fairly accurate. Meanwhile when I had the challenge from a player in France the opponent was hopping all over the screen, and while I could see that the game may be taking steps to counteract this, it proved very difficult to guess their next move. A ping or country filter may be good, but at the same time I was playing at an off-peak gaming hour so most likely had little choice but to go abroad. Either way, I took savage beatings like I did back in the day and managed to dish out a couple here and there. It’s certainly a premiere element to the game and one that cannot be missed and in effect it will give you a nice button pressing workout and hopefully teach you a couple new combination and strategies that you hadn’t thought of previously.

It’s classic gaming brought together with a fantastic new shine, a revamp graphically and sound reworked to fit in, while at the same time providing us with a neat fit for our widescreens and you have a sweet package to switch to in moments of Street-Fighter-Itis. If you’ve never played Street Fighter previously, I might suggest trying a different title in the series to begin with as SSF2 can be a little daunting at first. But if you like to throw yourself head on into a tough battle, then go for it – even on easy mode it can be quite tough.

Rating: ★★★★★★★½☆☆

About the Author

Dan co-hosts the Gameolio Podcast and handles the administration of the website. Occasional poster and frequent deleter with a strange love of the colour green.