Friday 19 October 2012

Hyper Street Fighter 2 Anniversary Edition Review (PS2)

By now we all know the story of Street Fighter 2, Ryu and Sagat do not like each other after the last tournament, a strange group of characters enter and fight for whatever reason etc.This version of the game has all seventeen characters from the Street Fighter 2 universe. What makes the game a joy for fans is the fact that all versions of the characters are present. If you want to put the classic version of Ryu up against the Hyper version of Ken you can.

Needless to say the graphics do look a little dated but manage to hold up to the test of time. The game itself moves along at whichever pace you choose from the options menu, but again, if a fifteen year old game was slowing down on the PS2 there would be serious questions to answer.

Everything is as responsive and intuitive as you remember it being. However, after years of being spoilt by Super, Hyper and Turbo finishing moves in the Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter 3 series, these Super moves seem a bit flat. Ryu's triple fire ball is just not as impressive as his later whirl wind hurricane kick, but in the heat of battle you will be pleased to have anything at your disposal.

What is questionable is how long you are actually going to spend playing this game. When the Street Fighter series has moved on both in terms of arcade action (Street Fighter 3, Marvel vs Capcom) and tactically (Street Fighter Alpha) it is highly plausible that after a couple of goes the novelty value will wear off for most people. Yes it is a complete version of a classic game but by now that classic game has evolved into something better. While that misses the point of this package, in terms of long term appeal it is bound to have an impact.

There is no denying this is a good package however. Apart from the main game the dedication to cramming in all the Street Fighter 2 goodness is apparent throughout. The option screen lets you listen to the music of any stage, intro screen or credit sequence from any version of the game. This is not the most exciting addition in the world but is still a nice touch.

The Street Fighter 2 Anime is also included making the special edition even more of a complete article. Annoyingly however, it is slightly cut and not of the best picture quality. Nothing of major importance is taken out (a small section with Chun Li in the shower) but when you are presented with what seems like a complete and final version of a product, the fact it has a small section unnecessarily removed does grate. The film itself is of a pretty high standard and something every Street Fighter fan should have in their collection.

When looking at the Street Fighter Anniversary edition it is hard to come to a satisfactory conclusion as to how it should be judged. In terms of the gaming market now, the game, while still playing like a dream feels basic. Looking at it from the point of view of a fan however, apart from the issue with the editing in the movie, you could not ask for anything more. This is the definitive Street Fighter 2 experience, though it is definitely no longer the definitive fighting experience. If you're looking for a complete retro package of one of gaming histories greats then this is for you, anyone else would be better served finding a latter version of the Street Fighter Series.


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