Review by Proudnerd

Reviewed: 05/29/09 | Updated: 07/23/14

One of the worst ports ever.

This prot of Street Fighter 2 to the plucky but underpowered Master System has to be one of the sloppiest ports ever, next to Pacman for the Atari 2600. What fell forces possessed Capcom to port a complicated fighting game like Street Fighter 2 to the Master System with its paltry two button controller will always be a mystery to me and most everyone else.

The graphics have taken a severe hit in the process of shrinking down the cutting edge Genesis graphics for a system that was only half as powerful. Colours are muted and run together slightly and frames of animation are missing all over the place. Chun Li’s well known jumping win animation looks more like she is floating in the air. The slow-motion fall of a KO’ed enemy looks awful as they appear to flash and teleport around. Backgrounds meanwhile are stripped back and often are missing entire layers of objects.

SF2 for the Master System just looks awful and unprofessional. Characters are done with far less colours and are a lot jaggier, with really minimum details. Chun Li stands out as being one of the worst with her cute face being reduced to little more than a brown circle. Ken fares almost as bad: pretty much the entirety of him is a kind of washed-out brown colour. Backgrounds as said above are really bad, with such glaring errors such as the sky being the wrong colour in Ken’s stage and the boat being on the wrong side. The sky in Ryu’s stage is a horrid mass of yellowish-white and purple and the temple is missing. Chun Li’s background is completely different. Instead of being on a crowded street with lots of animations the fight is instead held in a genetic, deserted room devoid of any animation.

Characters also move very slowly. The game is extremely slow and choppy and it is plagued by constant slowdown. Moves look awkward and tend to come out of nowhere with the lack of animation frames. Jumping is horribly imprecise due to the unpredictable slowness. Some moves have been changed for no reason with Ken and Ryu’s fireballs being always orange instead of blue and sometimes orange and what’s worse a heck of a lot of moves are missing. Amazingly, Ryu’s and Ken’s Dragon Punch are missing, even though that move is iconic of those characters. Chun Li’s Chi Fireball, her only distance move is also gone, as is her spinning kick. It just totally changes the game and is really a travesty.

The sound is also absolutely butchered. It is astoundingly bad. The main problem is that bouts are virtually silent since there’s only one “getting hit” sound in the entire game and it is a little “pok” sort of sound with absolutely no impact or feeling to it. Characters don’t call their moves with speech like on the Genesis version and the announcer sounds totally different.

The music isn’t quite as bad since I usually like the sound and cuteness of Master System music, but it’s nowhere near Genesis quality and is missing entire layers of sound.

The control too is pretty horrible and unsuited due to the limited amount of buttons It is very hard to pull off moves with the imprecise D-pad and lack of buttons. Special moves don’t seem to work even if you input the commands perfectly multiple times. The SMS pad just isn’t designed for such control styles.

Street Fighter 2 for the Master System will always stand as one of the worst ports of all time along with Pacman for the 2600. It’s incapable of running on the hardware and should not have been made.


Rating:   1.0 - Terrible

Product Release: Street Fighter II' (SA, 12/31/97)

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