When Street Fighter made its debut in 1987, nobody expected it to turn into a series with more than 20 years of continuity and to become the most beloved two-dimensional fighter. Many gamers probably remember the sleepless nights in Arcade rooms when they disputed exhilirating matches of Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II or Golden Axe, but besides the ones waiting in line with their hands full of chips, we should also mention those who bought millions of copies of the Turbo version for the Super Nintendo.
The series has had an enviable continuity, since the producers have constanly reinvented the Street Figher universe over time by countless Street Fighter titles divided into series, such as Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter vs. , with the highly-anticipated Street Fighter IV set for release in February 2009.
What stimulated gamers to remain loyal to this 2D fighter was the simplicity of the action. Regardless of the title we may refer to, the game system has remained almost intact. Another good thing for aficionados is that their favorite characters’ moves have not undergone major changes, so they can easily make the famous Hadouken’s of Ryu by moving the joystick a quarter of a circle and pressing one of the three punch buttons.
That being said, we should give a warm welcome to Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, the sequel to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but which is unrelated to the other series.
You’re probably wondering what’s the purpose of this title, knowing that there are only a few months left until the release of Street Fighter IV. Or better said, what would convince us to purchase it instead of his predecessor? Well, CAPCOM didn’t disappoint this time either, saving a few surprises for the fans. From the beginning I must warn you that, now more than ever, an arcade stick is absolutely necessary. The control system did not change at all, so we will still use six buttons, three types of punch and three types of kicks, and many of the strikes are executed using combinations of these buttons.
First of all, the graphics were entirely redrawn, so the characters and stages have a superb look, while keeping the well known cartoonish theme. The game supports the 1080p resolution, which really shows the great work of the designers and artists from Udon Entertainment, the same company that also publishes the Street Fighter comic books. To be honest, the graphics blew me away when I saw it on a high-definition TV and I must admit that the outdated look was a good reason that kept me apart from replaying one of the prequels of the series.
In order to keep the old-school combat system, the old animations were left untouched, although all the sprites were redesigned, which means that the balance of the characters wasn’t affected by any visual effect. And it’s hard to believe that there will be players unimpressed by the great new visuals. I am referring to the shadows reflected on the ground, the fighters’ faces and, not least, the great muscular details on some of the characters. And although the beta version had a few annoying bugs regarding collision detection, they were fixed in the final release.
The sound was also improved, with more than decent results. The audio part never excelled in the Capcom’s fighting games, but this time around the team did a good work. Even though the visuals are the most fascinating part of this title, the sound is a good addition to game’s atmosphere, with some electronic and heavy-metal music which reminds us of its predecessors, in a modern way. More than that, Sony allows us to freely download a few songs and to listen to them on the PlayStation 3.
A great plus for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is the possibility to use the old sprites, but sacrificing the new graphics, of course. The idea is to be appreciated, but the option doesn’t seem very useful, because it’s hard to believe that someone will buy the game and will give up the great new visual effects just for old times sake.
Besides the Arcade Mode, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix brings many options for training or just for getting familiar with the game, so beginners can understand the basics of the combat system. There is a section named “About the game” where the basics for offence and defense are presented, and even some small ideas for tactical improvements. The producers’ care for newcomers is welcomed, but these eight pages of tutorials are presented more explicitly by David Sirlin, the game designer, in some movies posted on YouTube.