Written by  :  Chris Wright (105)
Written on  :  Dec 19, 2007
Platform  :  SNES
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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All killer, no filler

The Good

Street Fighter II was the first and perhaps greatest fighting game of the 1990s. We all had fun playing Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, and maybe even Clay Fighter, but Street Fighter II was pretty much the be-all and end-all of competitive gaming for many years after its release.

There's not much to say about this game that most gamers of the 23-32 age bracket doesn't already know. The characters are memorable and beautifully drawn, the music is lively, and the gameplay itself couldn't really be much better for the era it was produced in. Arguably improved upon by Street Fighter Alpha III, the combo system of Street Fighter II was rudimentary but functional. There's not a lot of showboating that can be done, and that's a good thing if you're not the showboating type of player.

Your basic fights are a mix of throwing fireballs, coming down from a jump with a solid kick, a little aerial combat, the occasional ground throw, and an even rarer aerial throw. No move took off more than the one-third damage of Zangief's Spinning Pile Driver, and that was virtually-impossible to execute for anyone other than the best players.

Single-player mode is satisfying, challenging, and features four memorable bosses: the effeminate Spaniard Vega, Mike-Tyson clone Balrog, 7-foot Muay Thai expert Sagat, and the reprehensible supervillain M. Bison.

The Bad

About the only thing to dislike about Street Fighter II is getting your ass handed to you by a friend. It was such a complete game, and the fighters were so well-balanced, that there was really no excuse for losing.

Another thing I didn't like was that when I visited the United Kingdom back in the early nineties, there were no arcade versions of it to be found. It's tough being 13 years old, stuck on a decrepit island with no SF2 to be found, especially when you're hooked on it from playing it every day for the past six months.

The Bottom Line

This is my second-favorite fighting game of all time, after the flashier and sexier Marvel versus Capcom 2. It is certainly worth a download for ZSNES (a Super Nintendo emulator) if you haven't played it since the nineties.