Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Street Fighter 2 Turbo Review (SNES)


Over the decades countless fighting games have been released, but only a few are actually worth remembering. If you look back through contenders and pretenders, it was not until Street Fighter II burst onto the Super Nintendo in the early nineties that things became really interesting on home consoles.

From that moment onwards the floodgates opened and the market was flooded with the good, (Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct) the average (Tuff ‘E’ Nuff) and the really bad (Kasumi Ninja). Street Fighter II Turbo was the first in a seemingly constant stream of Street Fighter updates. To entice players it offered the four boss characters from the previous release, combined with improved graphics and more frantic action.

Someone out there may be unfamiliar with the Street Fighter story, and if so, then this paragraph is just for you. The Street Fighter tournament aims to find the best fighter in the world. With such a distinctive title on offer, competitors travel long distances with the aim of beating people up for fame, fortune or for a far more worthy reason. The common theme that runs throughout the Street Fighter series focuses on Ryu; the martial arts master who fights to test himself. In the previous tournament Ryu defeated Sagat in the final, hitting him so hard with his dragon punch that it burned a scar across his chest. Now Sagat wants revenge, and gathers along with a strange mix of characters for the next tournament.

Characters and locations are now more colourful and vibrant in comparison to the first Street Fighter II, however the odd piece of detail has disappeared - for instance the two signs that could be used to throw people through are now missing from Ryu’s stage (although admittedly this is just a minor point).

Characters are large and move incredibly smoothly with no discernible delay between pressing a button and the action-taking place on screen. Graphically, the game was extremely strong on release and even now it has dated very well. Controlling each of the characters is an absolute joy each character moves and plays in a completely different way (apart from Ryu and Ken), giving players a wide choice of different styles to pick from. The boost in speed is also welcome addition, as it makes the action flow at such a high velocity - all carried out without a hint of slowdown. With such large characters this is something that really deserves recognition.

Furthermore, the game plays so brilliantly because it allows players to plan a couple of moves ahead, allowing for basic combination moves to be pulled off with relative ease. An example of this dynamic is while Ryu is connecting with a jumping kick you can input the command for a fireball or dragon punch and the character will pull off the move directly after finishing the kick without hesitating between blows. A process that would become ever more built upon as the series developed.

What is on show in terms of a control system is arguably the best example of controls for a two-dimensional fighting title that has ever been developed. Even to this day the control system here has never really been bettered and it is unlikely it ever will be.

Overall, Street Fighter II Turbo takes a classic game and improves it further. The addition of enhanced graphics, four extra playable characters, faster gameplay and an extra bonus game creates a perfect game beyond comprehension in its greatness. No other fighting game of the era can come close to comparison with its pure genius. If you own a Super Nintendo you must have this game, it's as simple as that. If you don't have a Super Nintendo go and buy one.

Overall 10/10

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