Written by  :  Luis Silva (13621)
Written on  :  Aug 19, 2006
Platform  :  SEGA Saturn
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
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My only serious affair with Street Fighter...

The Good

... and I love it. Having bought it in a clear-out bundle from a store that had it almost literally in a trash can, paying close to nothing for it, my expectations were simple: working. It did, but haven't paid much attention to it (being occupied with Fighters Megamix, Athlete Kings and Sega Rally, until the 2006 World Cup approaching, when I needed something that could be played in 15 minutes without any hassle. And what best than a arcade game with little loading time?

The first impressions most people have when seeing the game aren't the best, after all, it could well be another cheap cash-in at the expense of a well-established franchise in a completely different genre (read: the many average "Nintendo franchise" Pinball), but as I've been mostly away from the SF franchise (having only played SF Alpha lightly on MAME between KoF sessions), I could look at the game merely as it is: a Tetris-influenced game. And a very good one, may I add. The concept is simple: create large gems by creating blocks of the same colour, and then drop a crash gem on them to clear your screen, while, at same time, sending more blocks to your opponents' playfield. If the concept is simple, execution is different, as each character has a different counter pattern, and with time you'l learn to prepare yourself to them, and once they turn into regular gems unleash a powerful combo, which is the way to win this game in style. Of course you can just try to outpace your opponent, but that isn't likely in Arcade (on medium or hard) or in Puzzle mode.

While Arcade is the original mode and the ones most people buy the game for, I've had my fun unlocking stuff such as promotional/development pictures, sound tests, win icons and special characters in Puzzle mode, the best mode for quick 10 minute bursts.

The Bad

Well, Street Puzzle mode is interesting for a home version, but the game is lacking a "score attack" mode. You know, playing all by yourself, trying to make the largest combo possible without having to think if your going to face a barrage of counter gems. The initial learning curve isn't properly steep, it only starts a lot more difficult difficult than most other puzzle games, which might put off players with less patience to learn the best ways to do a giant combo or prepare to attack after a counter.

Longevity is also an issue. If you can't find any opponent nearby, once you're done with Street Puzzle mode the Arcade mode (personally) isn't enough to hold the game on it's own.

The Bottom Line

The Saturn is known for the quality arcade ports, and SPFII is no exception. Great graphics, sound and gameplay, and more than decent enhancements for the home version make this one one of the best titles in the Saturn's library for quick bursts of play.