Review by discoinferno84

Reviewed: 01/02/07

Around the world...

As the world entered the mid-1990s, Capcom was riding high and mighty in the gaming community. The popularity of Street Fighter II and its variations ensured that the company would have a near-absolute dominance over the fighting game genre. At that same time, however, Capcom faced a problem: Street Fighter II had been out for roughly two years, and the fans wanted something more than some minor tweaks and differences. In their latest attempt to make their beloved series seem like a new experience, Capcom fell back on their usual strategy: add a handful of new features, upgrade a few moves and animations, and pray that turns out good enough to satisfy everyone. Not surprisingly, Super Street Fighter II Turbo remains one of the greatest editions to ever grace the series.

If you’ve ever played any version of Street Fighter II, you’ll find that the premise of this game has remained unchanged from it’s predecessors. You’ve got a roster of characters that have entered a worldwide fighting tournament for various reasons. Ryu is training to augment his abilities as a warrior, Zangief is fighting for the pride of Mother Russia, and Guile is still sulking over the death of his buddy Charlie. The game also includes four brand-new fighters to the lineup; you’ll get to choose among a Bruce Lee wannabe named Fei Long, a Mexican giant named T. Hawk, an overly cheerful kickboxer named DeeJay, and leotard-clad vixen called Cammy. Though these newcomers and the rest of the fighters have entered the tournament for various reasons, their goal remains the same: defeat M. Bison, the super-powered military dictator in charge of the tournament. With fame, glory, vengeance, and death on their minds, the fighters enter the fray and pray they come out the victor.

That’s assuming, of course, that you can even get them past the first opponent. Super Street Fighter II Turbo boasts the tried and true combat that fighting game fans have come to know and love. Each character has been bestowed with a moveset that allows for weak, medium, and strong punches and kicks, depending on which button you press to execute the attack. Though using only strong attacks seems like the best idea, the weak and medium attacks can make for some great combos to keep your enemy on his or her toes. Each fighter also comes with a small set of special moves to spice things up; Ryu and Ken can throw fireballs and do spin kicks, Dhalsim can teleport around the stage, and Chun Li can devastate her foes with a flurry of her mighty legs. With every hit that connects, a chunk of your opponent’s health meter will disappear, letting you watch with glee as your enemies step ever closer to being knocked out.

Though the game doesn’t alter much of the combat mechanics, Super Street Fighter II Turbo is far tougher than what some of the previous versions have offered. Though the multiple updates and minor tweaks to the original game have made the combat incredibly smooth and fast, combos have become far more fluid and easier to execute. The AI is more aggressive and cheap as ever, forcing you to focus as much on your defensive strategies as your offensive. The game also boasts a Super Combo system, which allows you to charge up energy with each hit, and then execute a far more powerful variation of a character’s special move. Instead of slinging some wimpy Hadoken, Ryu will throw a multi-hit fireball that can devastate his opponent’s health meter. The same can be said with Ken’s Shoryuken, M. Bison’s flipping kicks, Blanka’s rolling maneuvers, and several of the other character’s signature moves.

Super moves aren’t the only addition to the combat mechanics, either. Each character has been tweaked or modified beyond what their previous iterations could do. Ken now has drastically different attack animations and hit ranges than Ryu, making him more than the palette swap he used to be. Ryu can now sling both his classic Hadoken and a red-hot fireball. Zangief has been granted a wider arsenal of grabs and throws, as well as a glowing backhand slap. Chun Li’s fireball has been reduced in range, but her old spinning kick has been replaced with something to counter mid-air attacks. Many of the character models are displayed with greater detail, allowing you to follow the smooth animations of the attacks, as well as see character’s newly colored costumes and win quotes. Even the classic stages have been redone, featuring more spectators, better coloring, and overall improved atmosphere. But if nostalgia is more your style, the remixed music tracks ought to prove satisfactory.

So ends the reign of Street Fighter II. After years of minor modifications and half-hearted additions to an already great concept, Capcom finally followed through and made their beloved game a classic all over again. Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the culmination of the old series, giving gamers what made the previous versions so awesome. It’s got the established combat mechanics of the original, the speed of Turbo, and the character roster of Champion Edition. On top of that, the four new warriors and super move system make the game far more interesting to play. Though the series is long past its glory days, at least its fans can look back on this game and remember how great it used to be.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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