Joel: Well, this game stands for quite a lot in gaming terms – it was the de-facto standard for fighters for a long time, has a huge following and regularly releases new versions. Sadly, that’s what’s also wrong with it – so many variations, updates, versions, crossovers and re-imaginings. The original Street Fighter was, in my opinion at least, poop. I don’t think the home consoles were up to the task of anything like accurate re-creation of the arcade version. I never saw the Amiga port, that might have had the grunt for it, but the C64 and speccy most certainly did not. You might argue it was “ahead of its time.” However – with the addition of those extra 8 bits and something of an overhaul, Street Fighter II blazed onto our little home TV’s in a way no fighter had before. Loads of characters to choose from, rich, colourful settings, improved fight configuration… This really made Street Fighter a household name. Then they did it again and again and again with the Turbo edition – the first game I played in this franchise being the final permutation in this format. This is where it all went wrong, in my opinion. SFII: Turbo was in fact the fifth incarnation of SFII. Then came more and more watered down versions of a similar premise – the SF Alpha series – another 3 mediocre releases, the EX series – three more. The vs series – where they tried to fuse other brands into SF lore, such as Tekken and Marvel characters – another five or six releases… SF3 with 3 or 4 permutations and then on to SF4 if you can believe it, all in the space of about 20 years. As a franchise it is remarkably successful and these are just my opinions on the matter, but I haven’t enjoyed a release of Street Fighter since SFII. Their early attempts at 3D playfields still cause me to involuntarily shudder when I think about them.
All that said though, I am quite looking forward to this challenge. As I said way back at the start, I did enjoy this franchise back then and put quite a lot of time into ‘Turbo, so with a little luck and some muscle memory, I should have Liam on his back in pretty short order.
Liam: It honestly doesn’t seem that long ago I was playing this game – hard to believe that the game was released 21 years ago. It was probably the first vs fighting game I had played, although I much preferred Midways Mortal Kombat which if it wasn’t for the threat of 2hours solid of 2d fighting games would have been my choice for 1993. However we didn’t have a SNES game and considering it was one of my favourite consoles (mainly for Zelda, Mario All Stars, Super International Cricket, Sim Ant and Earthbound) we couldn’t go without it.
Street Fighter inhabits a world where superhuman fighters with extraordinary powers fly around the world beating the snot out of each other instead of taking to the streets in lycra fighting crime – dicks. The game itself had a pretty flimsy plot told through a series of shorts once the game had been beaten – the best being Zangief Cossack dancing with the last Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev in what can only be described as a video game equivalence of Glasnost. Memorable because in between the games coding and it’s home release in the UK in 1992 the Soviet union had fallen, you can’t blame Capcom for not predicting it – nobody did really. The stars of the show were Ryu – a martial arts fella from Japan and his bessie mate Ken who both had pretty much the same move set with the same special moves, Chun-Li – a Chinese fast kicking fighter who is a cosplay favourite and E Honda – a sumo wrestler with who can just spam a punch button (or a turbo pad if you want to be a proper bellend) and become almost unbeatable. I used to play as Zangief – but I also used to know the buttons.
The last version of Street Fighter I played was SSF4 which I enjoyed far more than I thought I would, although I was absolutely terrible at it. Street Fighter 2 was a classic, but seeing how much fighting games have moved on I have a funny feeling SF2 will feel very dated and this hour is going to be quite painful. I will still beat Joel though because he sucks.