Street Fighter II
Ever stood in front of a mirror and performed that classic karate move; the reverse punch? The one where you start with one arm outstretched, the other resting on your hip and then, with an explosion of power, you thrust your back fist forward while withdrawing the other to your waist. If you grew up in the '70s you probably have. While boys in the mid-'8os ran around firing a barrage of bullets from imaginary Uzis at invisible foes a la Arnie, Sly, Dolph, the '70s child's imaginary fight scenario was altogether different. Finding himself surrounded by muscle-bound hoodlums, the preferred method of escape was to leap 40 feet into the air, shout something like 'Haiii-Chaii' at the top of his voice and rotate by 360 degrees with an outstretched leg taking the heads off all and sundry. This was the time when kids turned up to metalwork class with the express purpose of making Kung Fu throwing stars. This was the golden era of martial arts.
In the caring '90s. children's penchant for action movies and games has come under fire from child psychologists who link the growth in violent crime perpetrated by adolescents to a youthful diet of violent film and video games. This debate has been fuelled recently by the complaints over the release of Mortal Kombat, a vicious beat 'em-up where, amongst other things, you can rip the heads off your victims and expose all manner of squidgy internal piping. So what better time for us Gold to bring the black belt of all karate bruisers, Street Fighter 2, to the pc.
Everybody was Kung Fu fighting
Street Fighter II is the definitive in your face, kicking, slashing, slapping, spinning, fingers up nostrils, knee caps knocked down legs fight game. As with any Kung Fu film, it needs a plot to put the violence in some context. Eight of the world's meanest nut jobs have entered a duffin' up tournament to win the chance to take on the baddest dudes ever - the Grand Masters. Why would they want to do this? Because each of these ne'er do wells has a desperate personality disorder that has alienated them from society and left them with a desire to beat the shit out of anything that gets in their way. Complex? Nah. But it's action we want.
And action Is what we get
You choose one of eight characters and. playing in one player mode, travel the world jobbing the other computer-controlled seven on their home turf. Matches are fought over the best of three bouts; if you win, points are awarded according to how quickly you mashed your foe and how few times you took a pounding yourself. Once the seven fighters have been humiliated, you move on to the four Grand Masters and tot up that high score.
Just for kicks
With an average of about 20 different moves per character, frantic wobbling of the joystick and mental button slapping will win most bouts at the easiest levels, but at higher levels a true mastery of your character's abilities is required. This means perfecting the 'special moves' that will cause your opponents obscene amounts of cbh. All characters can perform the karate staple of forward flips, roundhouse kicks, chops and so on but each has a few moves, like Hurricane Kick, Sumo Head Butt and Yoga Flame, that will take the concentration of a buddhist to pull off on your joystick or keyboard.
And here lies the problem with Street Fighter's move from the nes to the pc. Keyboards aren't much cop for a game of this intensity: four bouts and you're virtually arthritic. A joystick is fine for simple operations, but you really need a two button affair to handle some of the special moves, and the calibration on these things is always awkward, so you spend ages attempting a combination of four different movements which results merely in a poxy backward flip. A joypad is the answer, but not that many pc owners have one.
Job your mate
Taking on the computer is necessary to build up skill and mastery of the martial arts. Regardless of all that pap about karate experts being pacifists and only using their skills to channel their physical and mental energies to reach a higher plane of consciousness, it's no use being an expert unless you can you can use your art against a human opponent. So two player mode is the best and most fun option. Players can fight as any one of the eight main characters, and a handicap function allows you to adjust the damage inflicted by punches and kicks, so you can play completely inept friends and not get bored. The backdrop to the brawls can be chosen from ten different settings - the best one being Las Vegas, where all the onlookers look like Starsky's pal Huggy Bear. Sadly, the background is purely decorative, offering no movement or jeering from the crowds. The sound effects are also poor, digitised beeps that make you feel like a Morse code operator. These games need 'Argghhs' and 'Urghhs' from the competitors, and shouts of Go on 'it 'im' and 'Let's 'ave it then' from the crowd.
As far as mindless violence, addictive gameplay and stunning graphics go. Street Fighter II is the genuine article (and though not a masterpiece like the snes version, it's a good representation if you can get hold of a joypad). And we won't be seeing Mortal Kombat on pc for some time. But who needs all that gore anyway; Street Fighter II won't have you swimming in claret and there's no sense of fatality. You can pile driver someone's head into the concrete, launch both knees into their solar plexus, and finish them off with a deft head stomp, but once the fight's over all your opponent will have is a bloody nose.
A game for those of us who dream of walking with an arrogant swagger through the most dangerous urban jungle, in the knowledge that a deft reverse punch and roundhouse kick would put any assailant out for the count. So it's really a game to let us wimps bravely take on merciless killers, and when the going gets tough, just 'Quit to dos' and go to bed.
Download Street Fighter II
Sega Master System
Yep, it's finally arrived. For those of you who can play games only on a Game Boy, this is your chance to play the classic one-on-one fighting game. Otherwise, this is the same old Street Fighter II with fewer moves and elements.
The setup's decent. Of the nine playable fighters, most retain their special moves. The pokey two-button controls don't help much: There's a slight delay between the button motion and the move.
The three modes - Versus, Normal, and Survival - keep the fighting interesting. Survival's a nice addition: It gives you one life bar, but you fight each of the characters for only one round.
The graphics are okay. The most impressive visuals are the colorful borders on the Super Game Boy that are lifted right out of the 16-bit version. Otherwise, the fighters are fairly well sized with some detail, and the original backgrounds are basically intact.
The music is the same as in the big-brother versions, but rinky-dink sound effects represent the various collisions and special moves.
Street Fighting Years
The real problem here is that the game's just plain old. After the many variations and upgrades on SF II, this version looks tired. The time for Street Fighter III was never better.
- Use Sagat's Tiger Knee on a cornered opponent to smash them to smithereens.
- Trouble with aerial attackers? Characters with uppercut moves (like Ken's Dragon Punch) are perfect counters.
The game fans have been clamoring for since the release of the Live Arcade has finally landed! While the Arcade does host a good deal of original content, the true old school gamers have be hoping'. make that praying' for the opportunity to take their old school coin-op classics on line and beat down their buddies. Just like the good old days, Street Fighter II (SF II) brings the goods but only if classic fighting games are what you consider 'goods'.
Like most of the classic coin-op games found on the Arcade or in the various compilations, your enjoyment will be directly tied to your past experiences with the game. In the case of SFII, if you did not play the arcade original or if you were born after the arcade craze, you will most likely not understand what all the hype is about. This game will never be confused with DOA 4 but instead, think of it as the DOA if its time.
If you have made it this far, you clearly have some interest in the game. You will be happy to know the game has been faithfully recreated right back to the arcade roots. All of your favorite fighters are present, along with the high quality backdrops. The special moves are all present and accounted for. Basically, if you are looking to take a trip down memory lane, this will be a fine trip, with a few notable exceptions.
Yes, I mentioned exceptions. Playing these types of games doesn't always translate well to the fancy controllers of today. The 360 controller is no exception. You will find yourself fighting the controls never really finding a comfort zone. Once you manage to work within the limitations of the controller, you will find the second exception. The online play is a bit laggy and unstable. When everything is humming along, the experience is everything you would hope for but when the lag sets in, any fun flies out the window.
If you are a fan of the coin-op, you will still enjoy your trip down memory lane. If you are a newer gamer, you probably will not see what all the hype is about. Look past the exceptions noted above and you will have some fun. I am not sure it is worth the purchase price but then again, I was never a huge fan.
With the growing popularity of fighting games and the undisputed success of the king of the hill, Street Fighter, the anticipation and curiosity surrounding this game is immense. Well, you won't be disappointed! The company that continues to put out superior products (both arcade and home video games) aim to please and they sure do!
Little info is known about this awesome new coin-op. But from the pictures alone, you can get a feel for the quality that Capcom is famous for (remember the transition from SF to SF2). However, it doesn't get by only on its looks - you can be sure the sounds and game play push technology to the limits.
There are four new and amazingly unique fighters and places to fight as well as incredible new moves. We would expect nothing less from the company that retains a level of social conscience by delving into all races, cultures, and religions, to bring us the most unique and authentic fighting characters from around the world.