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Super Street Fighter II – The New Challengers

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Released: 1994

Genre: Beat-'em-up

Format reviewed: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Publisher: Capcom

Developer: Capcom

Submitted by: Ryan McNeilly

Super Street Fighter 2 was released on home consoles in 1994, 2 years after the original Street Fighter 2. After already milking the franchise with Street Fighter 2 Turbo and Street Fighter 2 Special Champion Edition on home consoles, would the promise of 4 new characters and new moves be enough to make people buy the same game once again?

Being a foolish fanboy at the time, I got this game after already owning all the other home versions for SNES and Mega Drive. I picked up my copy of Super Street Fighter 2 for the Mega Drive as I liked the Mega Drive’s previous version of Street Fighter 2 (Special Champion Edition) more than the SNES’s effort (Turbo). Also, due to Nintendo’s family policies, the blood was removed from the characters losing portraits after fights and replaced with sweat (this obviously is not a huge reason to dismiss the SNES version).

The lack of arcades around my home area meant that the first time I played Super Street Fighter 2 was at home on the Mega Drive. I remember my jaw dropping to the floor watching the intro with Ryu in his fighting stance, throwing a fireball towards the screen. I still find that intro impressive on 16-bit machines. The Mega Drive version was crammed into a 40mb cartridge.

Moving to the title screen, we see there a few new (but shallow) modes such as time attack and tournament mode. It’s nice to see a few new modes in the game but there isn’t enough variety, especially as most people had already played previous versions of Street Fighter 2 to death.

As for the actual gameplay, the sprites were all redrawn from scratch. A casual player will not notice the difference straight away. New frames were added for each character, giving new moves and winning poses (some previous characters such as Sagat didn’t have a jumping punch until Super Street Fighter 2). New moves and adjustments to special moves brought balance to the gameplay. A scoring system now kept track of your combos and other in-fight features (such as reversals and first attacks). Backgrounds for the characters were withdrawn, many being switched from blue skies to moodier evenings (Guile and Chun-Li’s stages for example), and all characters had around 6 new colour palette swaps.

The biggest addition to the game were the “New Challengers”, four new world warriors who seriously had their work cut out for them. Going in against 12 now legendary fighters, criticisms were sure to be shared. Firstly, we have Fei Long. Fei Long was a Bruce Lee ripoff hailing from Hong Kong. A good and fun character to play as, Fei’s story evolved around his film career and how he wanted to prove he was a legitimate fighter. Super Street Fighter 2 also introduced T.Hawk, a tall Native American wishing to bring down M.Bison for taking over his homeland. Deejay (or Deejay Maximum) was a kick boxer from Jamaica but designed in America. He is a recording artist who, strangely, wants to show the world that his hybrid of music and fighting is awesome. Deejay played like a defensive “charge” character similar to Guile or Blanka. Finally, we have Cammy from the UK. Cammy was the most well received new addition to the franchise. Cammy was the new girl on the roster. She had her memories wiped by M.Bison many moons ago and she is struggling with her identity.

For strictly hardcore fans, the game on the whole was a welcome new addition. For the majority of gamers, the magic was lost. This seemed like a real unnecessary cash in from Capcom, especially after already releasing the updated Turbo and Championship Editions respectively. While this was definitely the best version of Street Fighter 2 available at the time for home consoles, people had already been there and done that. Unbelievably, Capcom would release yet another update to the Street Fighter 2 franchise. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo was not available for Mega Drive or SNES, but it is still shocking that they could milk the franchise even more.

Don’t get me wrong, Super Street Fighter 2 is still a very good beat-em-up. Though the fondest memory I have of Super Street Fighter 2 is still that opening intro unfortunately.

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