although i’ve played a few of the spin-offs, i’ve never actually played the classic, original street fighter II in the arcade. one of these days i’ll have to track down a machine, but in the meantime i did the next best thing, which was to play one of the three versions of the game that hit the SNES. it was a bit confusing to figure out which SNES game corresponds to which arcade version, but once again wikipedia proved to be quite helpful with its listing of all of the various ports to home consoles. although i usually like to start with the original version of a game, in the case of SFII i figured the differences aren’t that significant, so i skipped over SFII: the world warrior and SFII turbo (aka hyper fighting) and dove into the version i had on hand which was the third and final release for SNES, super street fighter II: the new challengers. as with SFII turbo, in this game the four bosses are playable and there are selectable speeds, and it had several other additions, most notably the inclusion of four new characters (in particular, cammy who went on to become a series staple), as well as new colors for all the characters and the usual moveset tweaks.
having played previous SFII spin-offs i didn’t have to spend any time mastering the usual special attacks (although i fondly remember the time spent learning how to do a hadouken way back when). i spent most of my time with the classic ryu, and although i was familiar with his moveset and some of the other more well-known SFII characters, there were plenty of characters that i’d never really encountered in other games before. in particular i’d never really played against the bosses before, and although balrog and m. bison were pretty straightforward, vega and sagat required a bit more study. i didn’t play enough to really pwn the game and learn combos, and i somewhat missed the flashy super attacks that were added later, but i enjoyed the trip to the past and at some point i’ll definitely have to work my way through the sizable roster. there’s definitely no underestimating the impact SFII has had on the history of gaming, though, and even though capcom continues to churn out sequels year after year (which i have little to no interest in, not being a huge fan of fighters in general) it’s nice to go back and appreciate where it all began.
some street fightin’ links:
– review at vc.nintendolife.com
– entry at strategywiki.org including movesets
– PDF of instruction manual at replacementdocs.com
– random list of “10 things you didn’t know about street fighter II“, including info on the great boss-name switcheroo
– good series retrospective at eurogamer.net, including info on the original game, the little-known numberless street fighter
– first in a series of combo strategy videos from youtube that seem to have been put out by capcom way back when
– there’s a huge supply of SFII fanart and cosplay online, but two particularly worthwhile links are: this guy’s collection of “sesame street fighters” (which includes “pig li” and cookie monster as e. honda) and a ridiculously cute baby chun li