The first fighting game series I loved was Mortal Kombat. Being a child of the 90s, I was obsessed with the brutality, the fatalities, and a yellow ninja named Scorpion. I rented Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 many times. I had dreams of waking up and seeing the game sitting in the slot of my Super Nintendo. I never owned the game, or any Mortal Kombat game, until Deadly Alliance on the PlayStation 2.
The first fighting game, and the only fighting game I would own for some time, was Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting, the Super Nintendo port of both Hyper Fighting and Turbo. Turbo was, and still is, one of the greatest fighting games of all time, and this was a damn fine port that nailed the look, sound, and feel of the arcade port. I think? I never played the game in arcades. I was too young around the popularity of Street Fighter and I never lived near an arcade that I knew of. I had never heard of this game until I got it for Christmas one year.
My parents accidently bought me this game. I say accidently, because they didn’t actually know that it was one of the greatest fighting games of all time. They just knew I liked fighting games, and the video rental place was selling it for cheap, so they got it for me one year for Christmas. They accidently bought me quite a few amazing games, such as Mega Man X2, and Castlevania IV, and I would have never played these games as a child if it wasn’t for luck.
I was drawn to this game from its presentation immediately. The gameplay didn’t really hook me. I remember playing it quite a few times trying to beat it, and I eventually did find a really easy way to cheap out normal mode. But most of the time I played on the easiest difficulty, and most of the time I played as Ryu even though I couldn’t throw a fireball. I loved his normals, and I was drawn to him being that he was the main character of the game.
I don’t know why I thought he was the main character. I mean, I know he is the first character the cursor lands on, but the cover of the game features Sagat and Honda. I could have thought that Honda was the main character. Maybe I knew the story somehow. Maybe there was something about Ryu’s presence that tipped me off to his status.
I remember beating the game for the first time. At the time, beating video games was rare. I went to my mom and told her. I said Mom, I just beat Street Fighter on easy! She said great job, now play it on normal. That’s always stuck in my mind. I liked how she encouraged me to challenge myself. She could have just shrugged my personal victory off. It was just a video game after all. But she wanted me to leave her alone so she could continue reading.
Just kidding. She was interested in what I was doing, and glad I was keeping myself busy and achieving success. Maybe she thought I would become a more rounded person by improving this skill by challenging myself. In a way, she was right. However I mostly just played the game on easy, because I never learned how to do most of the fighting moves until later on in life, and I wasn’t nearly patient enough to get good at a fighting game. I still play fighting games mostly on easy because I want to have a good time, but I do enjoy challenging myself with harder difficulties. Every time I bump the difficulty up, or down, I think of my mom.
“Good. Now try it on normal.”
It’s the 30 year anniversary of Street Fighter, and Capcom just released a decent collection of arcade games to celebrate. I decided I wanted to take another look at the Super Nintendo games, so I took a look at not only Turbo, but World Warrior, Super, Alpha 2, as well as, mostly, every other popular fighting game at the time that I could think of. I played Mortal Kombat 1-Ultimate 3, Primal Rage, Killer Instinct, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury Special, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Edition, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – The Fighting Edition, and even the Japanese only release Dragon Ball Z – Hyper Dimension. I wanted to get a handle on fighting games on the console, as well as how fighting games played overall during this time.
For whatever reason, nothing played as well as Street Fighter on the Super Nintendo. Every other game, and granted most if not all of these were ports from wildly better arcade versions, played like muddy horseshit compared to Street Fighter. Even Alpha 2, which is famous for being a piece of shit that should have never came to Super Nintendo, plays better than just about every other game on that list. Killer Instinct played well, and Fatal Fury Special played very well. The other games lagged, felt sloppy, and sometimes looked like unrecognizable mess (Primal Rage). TMNT and Power Rangers are, surprisingly, the only games other than the ones I’ve just mentioned worth playing.
The Mortal Kombat games feel awful. I will, more than likely, write about those games in the next addition of this feature. For now, let’s talk about Street Fighter.
Street Fighter II – The World Warrior
First up is the first Street Fighter II game for the Super Nintendo: World Warrior. Wikipedia says this is the port of the first version of Street Fighter II, released a year after the arcade game. The article also claims it became the highest selling game for Capcom until Resident Evil 5 sold more in 2013. It sold more than 14 million copies worldwide across the various systems it released to. 6.3 million copies came to Super Nintendo, making this the highest selling Capcom game on a single system.
“Game seems intact for the most part. Solid port. Some missing sound effects here and there, most notably “Perfect” and “You Win” announcer quotes. Some of the art looks weird in the character portraits. Either these were changed in Turbo, or this port got a weird fugly version of E Honda, and a super weak looking Ryu. Sprites are untouched. Music seems similar.
Gameplay is definitely slowed down than what I’m used to, playing Turbo. It’s serviceable. This makes playing the easiest difficulty harder than I’m used to, because I can’t as easily jump in and punish people for acting slowly. My first match vs Dhalsim was tricky and I thought I was going to lose, but I adjusted quickly and threw his stretchy ass all over that fucking elephant room.
Those elephants were silent, by the way.
Really don’t like the lack of characters. I’m a fan of Ryu and Ken, but otherwise I don’t like the main cast that much. I was never good with Chun or Blanka. Guile seems too hard. Zangief is laughably low tier. And although they can be fun to use, I just don’t feel as strong when I’m playing as Honda or Dhalsim. I need Sagat. Balrog. And Bison to round out the cast, even though I’m not good as any of them either. Really, I’m only good at Ryu, and by extension Ken.
So when you defeat opponents in Turbo, their portrait is grayed out in the character select screen in between different fights. In this version, sometimes your character’s portrait gets grayed out if you die. Sometimes this doesn’t happen. Might be a glitch.”
This game paved the way for the various improvements Capcom made over several renditions. Yes, they released several versions of the game with additional content and balancing tweeks. Remember–this is way before the modern era, where games can be balanced and tweaked via online downloads off the Internet box set.
The game released to many different consoles but until now I’ve only had experience playing my friend’s version on Sega Genesis. I remember thinking the game was odd, because I only knew Turbo. It was slow, it had fewer characters, but most importantly: the sega genesis controller made this game suck.
Street Fighter II is a six button fighting game. You have light, medium, and heavy punches and kicks. So with this thing you had to hold start and press buttons to get different attacks out. That’s not good at all!
They eventually had controllers with six buttons and these were probably made because a lot of people bought the gimped ass Genesis port.
I’m just glad I was a Nintendo kid.
This version of Street Fighter II feels weird to play and that’s to be expected. Turbo speed things up to a point where combos became more possible. Fighting styles change with this kind of speed. Even though my general strategy should work, I’m not getting the moves I expect because I’m used to much faster fighting. Although it was a valiant attempt at porting SF2 over to the Super Nintendo, it was missing too many presentation features, and the framerate felt a bit sloppy. Also, I didn’t lack the plain 8 character roster. Compared to most fighting games ports to the system, however, this thing was a masterpiece.
Super Street Fighter II The New Challengers
I went much of my life thinking that Turbo was the last rendition of Street Fighter 2. When Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix released on 360 I was super confused by the different art style, music, stages, and addition of characters I wasn’t used to.
I googled. I discovered that Super existed, and that it was actually a whole different version that existed after Turbo.
This game came out to the Super Nintendo in 1994, a year after it’s arcade counterpart. It introduced four characters (Camie, Deejay, Tomahawk, Fei Lang), added more detail to the graphics, introduced new stages, new music as well as remixes to the old music, different sound effects, distinct voices for each character, and a few new modes, such as Tournament Mode. The game runs just as well as Turbo does, maybe with a few enhancements. It’s a solid frame rate that tanks during certain special moves and after winning, however these drops never really impact gameplay. I always felt it added a kind of dramatic effect to matches.
“This game feels amazing to play–not too dissimilar to how Turbo plays.
The new graphics look good, but they’re way too different than what I’m used to. The sprites look smaller?
The sounds are different and I prefer Turbo because that’s what I’m used to. Blanka and Guile sound weird.
Characters get additional moves. For instance, Ryu can do his shin hadouken by pressing half circle forward punch. (?) (confirmed)
Very Easy is nice as it allows the player to fucking practice. Games like these lacked a training mode, so a very easy where the cpu still moved, attacked, and defended, but otherwise were braindead, was nice in that it allowed the player to learn the game, and the character they were playing.
Game is very addicting and hard to put down. Although this game has a sound and look to it that I can’t get used to, this is most likely the subjective best version of Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo. There extra characters are great, the portraits look amazing, and it’s got some wonderful additions in movesets and animations. I also like how each character gets their own voice.”
Overall, if you’re trying to get the best version of Street Fighter II for consoles, this will be your best bet. Well, unless you can get HD Remix for Xbox360 or PS3. Super adds additional characters and put more detail into the presentation. I will say, playing as much Turbo as I have, the graphics and extra sounds struck me as weird. Turbo had a limited cast of voices for every fighter, where as Super adds a distinct voice for every character. This personalization is great, and is something you’d expect going into a fighting game. It just wasn’t what I was used to.
Overall the presentation of this game is a bit more colorful. The new stages look amazing, and the old ones receive great touch ups. The music sounds better, with different, more varied instrumentation. The avatars in this one look fucking amazing as well. Just look at this M. Bison!
It may not be my Street Fighter II port, but I think it has to be the Street Fighter II port. The only real gripe I have with the game is that it’s not as fast as Turbo. But, again, this is due to my time spent playing Turbo. I’m used to that speed, and that’s how I want to play Street Fighter. It just feels so responsive and satisfying to play.
Street Fighter Alpha 2
Before I talk about Turbo, which spoilers is going to be my favorite one, let’s talk about this weird mistake.
Okay, mistake is maybe going too far. Street Fighter II Alpha is playable, and even in this form it would rank among the best fighting games Super Nintendo has to offer. It’s a miracle this game can run at all on the Super Nintendo, but what you trade away isn’t worth losing to gain this possibility. For one the game runs slower than the others. The game lacks various sounds, and contains terrible sounding music. The graphics look a bit sketchy. But most criminal of all is the weird load times. After “Fight!” the screen just freezes for like five seconds to load the fight. This is terrible, it feels terrible, and it’ll make you feel terrible. It may bring about seasonal depression. That’s right: be sad ’till summer. Yikes!
“Controls feel about as responsive as the SF2 games, so the gameplay is there. The major issues are in its presentation and performance, which are lacking compared the the three ports of SF2 games. There are load times that occur before the battle begins, and also right after the announcer calls “FIGHT!” This is a particularly weird load, because the frame just freezes for five seconds, and then you can move. It feels a bit jarring, and I generally find myself holding the direction I want to go in to initiate the fight, which is a bad start to any fighting game really. The game is missing a lot of sound effects as well, with certain sounds replaced with really weird stuff. Sagat doesn’t even say “Tiger!” when he throws his fireball! He makes some weird groaning noise instead! Why?
The announcer doesn’t say “You Win!” Either, which is perhaps one of the most important things the announcer says in Street Fighter. He’ll show up to say Perfect if you manage a Perfect round though. Good guy announcer.
Which happened a lot in my playthrough, by the way. On the easiest difficulty some opponents are completely fine with letting you just walk up and throw them over and over again. The only guy that gave me trouble was Akuma, the last boss, and by the way–by trouble I mean “he knew how to do special moves, and sometimes even used bar.”
Mechanically this is Street Fighter 2 but there are added moves, such as Ryu’s hurricane kick in the air, as well as, like previously mentioned, a bar, where you can do super moves. I haven’t yet looked up to see if you can do three bar ultimates, so thus far I’ve only seen one bar supers. They’re cool, but they don’t look nearly as flashy as later Street Fighter titles would manage.
The grabs are nerfed. They feel easier to activate, but appear to do less damage, which is kinda hilarious. Seems like some salty players got Capcom changing their game (because if you didn’t know, players absolutely despised throws in the early fighting game arcade days–going so far as to ban the move, or physically harm people that abused the mechanic. This was before the days of “git gud”).”
Game’s fuckin weird. I don’t know if I’d recommend it to anybody, beyond people wanting to know what this game was like for a quick laugh. To be clear: it plays fairly well. But with Super and Turbo available on the same console…there’s just no reason to play this game. The PlayStation and Dreamcast versions play way better, there’s a compilation of Alpha games available for the PlayStation 2, and the recently released 30th Anniversary edition contains three Alpha games, so just kinda avoid this one? Yeah? Cool, sounds great. Thanks.
Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting
I’ve read that people don’t like the portraits in this version. Or the music. Or the sound effects. Or the lack of real character voices. I’ve also read that people don’t like the weird palette restrictions when they select their character. For whatever reason, you don’t get normal colors in turbo mode unless you press start. You get a completely different palette of colors. This was enough to drive people away.
When I play this game I feel happy. This is my version of Street Fighter, and I honestly prefer this version to any other Street Fighter game, let alone Street Fighter II variant. It’s got the speed. It’s got all the music, sound, and visuals that I know and love. It’s a beautiful fighting game that is simple in its balance, varied among characters, and addicting to play. You want to learn all the characters. Except Ken. He’s just the blond American Ryu and that’s boring. Sorry.
I love the mini game challenges, even though I’ve never defeated the barrel stage once, I think, in my entire life. I love the destructible objects even though they do nothing but add some eye candy. I love the lack of footsies, the lack of throw techs, the lack of a super bar, and the lack of any real combos. I love the lack of DeeJay,
the lack of Tomahawk and Cammie. I like how the last boss is beatable. I love every single song in this game. More than all of these, I love the memories of pecking at this game, not knowing shit about fighting games, or gaming in general, and marveling at the amazing animations on screen. Playing this game, more than just about anything else from my childhood, transports me back to a time where games felt magical.
“This game feels amazing to play. It feels really fast and responsive, even more so than Super.
This may be cliche, but it’s correct to say that Turbo is the finest video game ever made.
Very Easy mode isn’t as easy as New Challengers, but it’s still pretty easy. I always have issues with Blanka, Guile, Vega, and Sagat when I’m playing through with Ryu. Most of the others don’t present much of a challenge. One thing to note: due to the size of the cast, I get to fight everyone in an arcade playthrough, where as in Super you only play some of the cast and not all.
I like that you get to change the speed at which you want to play the game. Most games don’t have the balls to give you these options.
Even though, come on–everyone is going to play on the fastest setting. It’s fucking Turbo, baby!
Apparently Hyper Fighting was it’s own game, and this game seeks to include both Hyper Fighting AND Turbo. That’s why the speed option is introduced. You go from Normal, which is like World Warriors but with the extra four characters, to Turbo, which is much faster. The faster gameplay makes some combos possible, where otherwise they wouldn’t be. I’ve noticed that certain variations of characters on the Normal speed mode play differently. For instance, you can spam Blanka’s electric shock move over and over in one of his normal variants. This shit is super cheap, and I used that shit to get the best of normal move when I was a child. You can’t blame me though. I didn’t know how to do most of the moves and I barely knew what a fighting game was. I wasn’t a doctor then, and I certainly am not a doctor now.”
This game is alright I would probably rank it among my personal top 10 if I decided to approach that list again. It’s just okay though. I don’t know. My favorite fighting game of all time? Sure, whatever. It’s definitely better than Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, the mayonnaise of video games. Some people love mayonnaise. Sometimes, if I get it by mistake, I’ll eat it, and it won’t be too offensive. But it’s really not for me. I prefer to drink water, which is what Turbo is. Crucial to everyday survival. Play through arcade mode once a day. That’s my doctor’s prescription. And thanks!
Here’s the point nobody cares about except me! The RANK!
If you didn’t know, the first piece I wrote in this feature was about my first video game ever, Tetris 2! I’m going to rank all the games I discussed above, meaning this list will contain games from my childhood as well as games around the periphery of those games I played.
If I think that’s, you know, necessary.
Rank My Childhood
- Street Fighter II Turbo Hyper Fighting
- Super Street Fighter II The New Challengers
- Tetris 2
- Street Fighter II The World Warrior
- Street Fighter Alpha II
awesome cool nice great good job thanks guys
Look forward to e3 coverage next week and before then I’ll be writing about Binding of Isaac, the first one, and probably Fire Emblem Echoes. Maybe. I don’t know.
LEAVE ME ALONE