Review by Shirow

Reviewed: 05/08/02 | Updated: 11/09/02


A few years back, Capcom was the undisputed king of fighting games. SNK existed but they were confined to Japan and Asian countries. And things do seem ironical once we think of it. When Capcom faced no competition, they produced good fighting games and always managed to improve upon the latest Street Fighter in several ways. Sadly, now that companies like Titus (Guilty Gear series) and Playmore (formerly known as SNK) are producing quality fighting games, Capcom have gone into a lethargy. Of course, I'm not even considering the complete failures that are the Vs. series.

Some may argue that this situation stems from the fact that Capcom are now a lot into survival horror titles, platforms and other genres and maybe they're right. Anyway, to get on with it, the Street Fighter series was going beautifully years ago before they thought it would look cool to turn Ryu into a horrible 3D midget. Super Street Fighter II Turbo is possibly the best sequel that Capcom ever produced to what started it all. And the fact that this game is on the 3DO, a justly overlooked console, doesn't change anything and even reinforces it as an old-school masterpiece.

In addition to the old cast comprising of Ryu, Ken, Chun Li and the other guys who haunted arcades and took all my money, Super Street Fighter II Turbo introduces 5 new characters. The most notable one is without doubt Fei Long, a blatant Bruce Lee rip-off who nevertheless has nothing to envy to the martial arts expert. Now, that doesn't mean the other 4 characters should be forgotten-I'm just thinking about those days when I would use Fei and win every match thanks to his speed and stamina.

Zangief now has to deal with gigantic T. Hawk, an Indian fighter who yields as much strength as everyone's favorite Russian wrestler (not that there are many of them). Cammy, a sexy blonde who ignores the advent of regular clothes, makes Chun Li appear dull and is just as quick and agile. Dee Jay should perhaps just be forgotten for being such a stereotyped character but don't discard him yet, the lad can be insanely powerful in the hands of an expert player. And last but not least, SSFIIT introduces the legendary Akuma who is none other than Ryu's and Ken's spiritual master.

SSFIIT uses the same system as all of its prequels since this has been working fine and doesn't really need to be changed. The initial 2-in-1 glitch is fully exploited to give way to a frenzied gameplay. The older characters have been tweaked too. To return things back to ''normal'', Ryu is the king again. He gains in speed and strength. Dhalsim's moves have a greater range and trying to escape from his blows can be painfully irritating sometimes. Vega too is more agile and will outrun anybody, specially slower characters like Zangief and Dee Jay who obviously have to rely on their powerful moves alone.

Above all else, SSFIIT relies exclusively on good old fighting. There is an excellent innovation though-the supers. Supers are represented by a gauge at the bottom of the screen. As you attack or block moves, this gauge fills until it starts to flash. This triggers the moment when you can unleash a special move that is twice, sometimes thrice, as powerful as their normal counterparts. This makes for a more strategic gameplay as it is essential to avoid these techniques since they can literally kill you.

As a 3DO title, SSFIIT sports decent graphics. The characters are well-animated and move fluidly although there are certain slow-downs. Backgrounds are sumptuous, well-detailed and moreover, each of them bluntly represents the fighter's origin. The palette is laughable at times though with poor colors that don't manage to mingle with the surroundings but that's just a minor flaw and doesn't hamper the game at all.

The sound is top-notch but is however hurt by the bad voice-acting for every single character. But if you can ignore them and if Cammy's heart-ripping groans don't turn you insane, you'll enjoy the music and a couple of them are actually memorable.

This Street Fighter is just as impressive as its Genesis counterpart. I feared a bad surprise at first since this is a 3DO port we are talking about but as a matter of fact, it actually comes off better than any other port due to its controls. Grasping the game's features is a matter of seconds and just makes everything even more enjoyable.

As the pioneer of the fighting genre, Street Fighter started something marvellous. Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the result of years of progress. Combining elegance with an astounding gameplay, it is an ode to old school fighting and is vastly entertaining. And on the 3DO, this is simply a must-have as no other title comes even halfway close to it.

~ Score : 10 ~

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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