SummaryAt a time when people thought the S in SNES meant "slowdown", Capcom stepped to the plate.
The GoodHow many of you were as enthralled as I was the first time EGM ran an early picture of Guile in Blanka's stage with an article about this "16 Meg monster" hitting the SNES in the future? Did you grab for an earlier issue and try to compare it to the arcade?
Reigning around half a decade over a span of 5 versions, Street Fighter II was the biggest thing to hit the arcades since Pac Man. With huge sprites, detailed animation, and the pseudo-3D effect of layered backgrounds coupled with warping floor sprites, a home version seemed like a pipe dream to many fans, including myself. Needless to say, the surprise screenshot and confirmation of a home conversion were enough to send an obsessed fan into shock.
Weighing in at a hefty 16 Megs (Excluding Neo-Geo, it was the biggest home game to date. Super Street Fighter II would double that a few years later.), Street Fighter II brought the phenomenon home.
The visuals took only a small hit, but you'd be hard pressed to notice. The characters are big, colorful, and well animated. The vast majority of animations made it in (we'll get to the omissions later). Almost every detail in the backgrounds were retained as well.
The sound is wonderful, though not everything is here (again, later). Everyone shouts their little saying for their special moves, though it seems that Capcom slipped a little something extra in. Unlike the arcade version, the speed and pitch at which they spout their signature lines (such as "Hadouken!" and "Sonic Boom!"), is different based on which strength of attack button is used. Use jab for a fireball, and "Hadouken" is said slower and deeper. Use fierce, and it's said at normal speed. Needless to say, a savvy player can learn to judge when they should jump in to attack and when they should block, leaving a little less room to be caught in the face with a surprise fast fireball. This home version of Street Fighter II is also the bassiest. When a fierce punch connects and the bass is cranked, you're going to know it. It really added to the experience.
The music turned out very well on the SNES. In some cases, I actually prefer the way it was arranged for the SNES. No complaints here.
The gameplay is where this game shines. I can't think of a single combo from the arcade that won't work here.
The BadSo, missing animation frames. There's not too much to complain about. Ken and Ryu's jumping straight-up Short was altered (same type of kick as jumping straight-up Medium kick), but I can't remember any other moves that may have been changed due to space considerations. One of Zangief's win poses took a hit. Like I said, not much that you're going to notice, outside of a few moves and some altered ending sprites (corrected to match the arcade in later versions, like Turbo and Super).
In sounds, the glaring ommission is "You Win!" You see it on screen, but you don't hear it. We loved mimicing the announcer, so that was kind of a drag.
One odd thing about the gameplay, you could counter Guile's flash kick with Ken and Ryu's jumping short (flying knee). This is the only version I have ever seen this possible in. I got used to using it, which would backfire on me at the arcades.
The Bottom LineI bought this at the same time as my SNES. The SNES was $99.95, Street Fighter II was $81. Sounds like alot, but this game was an investment. This wasn't something you played through and set aside. Street Fighter II went to my friends' houses, where we'd play all night and complain about our thumb hurting the next day. It turned a room full of kids hanging out into an arcade competition. Every few minutes, you'd hear "NEXT!" "NOOOOOOOOOO!" and "I got winner!" Street Fighter II wasn't a game. It was a pasttime.