Published on June 1st, 2017 | by Zorbz
REVIEW: Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers
Summary: What’s that? another port of Street Fighter 2, now with two new characters? how is this even possible??? Well believe it or not, Capcom have re-released the HD port from last generation of Street Fighter 2 and thrown in some bonus characters, a new ‘Way of the Hado’ mode as well as a gallery chock full of glorious high quality artwork and even a colour editor to change up the costumes and even skin colour of all your favourite characters…HULK ZANGIEF, yes please.
Concept: Now concept generally doesn’t apply to fighting games, well at least it didn’t back in the golden age of the 90s. Back in those days it was all about gameplay mechanics and story was pretty much non existent and this still rings true for this port of Street Fighter 2. Sure there are little cutscenes after you finish arcade mode with each character, but a couple of lines of text and pics were basically all you were given and honestly no one really paid attention. So unfortunately there has been no story mode added or anything in the way of fleshing out what you’re even fighting about.
Wow he really didn’t want to do Yoga
Graphics: When Street fighter 2 HD was released back on the Xbox 360 all those years ago, I was absolutely blown away by how detailed and crisp all the characters and fighters looked and how the animations were still perfectly drawn without making anything feel different from the original. This visual style still pops off the screen and looks fantastic whether you are playing on the TV or in portable mode and having the option to change to the classic pixelated graphics is another bonus. Everything is just so colourful and crisp. The new ‘Way of the Hado’ puts you in a first person perspective with a visual style very similar to Street Fighter 4 with its 3D character models. Everything here looks good, but is nothing too flashy as lets face it, this is just a nice gimmicky bonus.
Gameplay: Street Fighter 2 was the pinnacle of fighting games back when it was originally released in arcades and became the standard barer that all fighters strived to be, with a lot of them down right copying the gameplay style. So when you are speaking of gameplay then this is where it was perfected in the fighter genre and although newer Street Fighter iterations have added more moves, mechanics and the like, this was the foundation of greatness, so with that being said, this is why so many re-releases have been made over the years, including this one. So what has changed you might ask in this release? honestly not much as this sticks to the Super street fighter 2 mechanics that added in Super moves for the first time and featured the likes of Cammy, Deejay, Feilong and T-hawk and as well as the formidable Akuma. So if you’ve played this at any point over the years, the gameplay will feel exactly as it was. For new comers to the series, this is the most basic and raw form of Street Fighter and a great entry point. A benefit to this edition is having the ability to use a joy con each, however I would highly recommend using a Switch pro controller. The new ‘Way of the Hado’ mode is a little mini game of sorts in which you use the joy con controllers to simulate Ryu’s special moves using hand gestures, it’s fun for a bit but it’s nothing more then that and really just an added bonus. Another mode is the buddy co-op in which you and a friend share a health bar and take on the opponent together at the same time, so this is fun when you are helping out someone new to the fighting genre.
Did Guile just go Super-Saiyan?
Sound: Street Fighter 2 has some of the most iconic music of all time. Each character had their own theme that just got ingrained into everyones mind and you would find yourself humming them constantly, I still do to this day, hell they even have bands doing covers of the tracks. Added in as a bonus is a new re-arrangement of the tracks as well as new sound effects for all the punches and kicks etc, however I still can’t get used to them as the original tracks are just so iconic. So having the ability to switch between the two is a great design choice.
Multiplayer: Street Fighter to me is the definitive multiplayer game. Versing the computer is fun, but there is nothing quite like facing another player in a heated tournament. I only wish games for the switch had the multiplayer features that other multiplayer games had such as the ability to chat to each other. Whether you play this on local multiplayer or online, you are sure to have a blast, but if you are used to all the modes and features of more modern street fighter games, this might feel like a step back, as lets face it, it really is.
Not sure if posing or attacking the camera
Awesomeness: This is the part where Ultra Street Fighter 2 unfortunately let me down. Although it is the most definitive edition of this classic game, the new additions don’t bring new life to this near 26 yr old game. So for me personally, I was done playing it after a few days because I have finished it with every character for decades since i was a child. For newcomers, it’s a great game to sink your teeth into, but when you put it up against current fighting games, the lack of roster and features just holds it back from being something truly standout. The addition of Evil Ryu and Violent Ken are basically just skins with Violent ken jumping higher and Evil Ryu having an extra move or so, nothing groundbreaking. So unfortunately the Way of the Hado mode wasn’t the saving grace that it could have been if it was more fleshed out with a proper story.
Final Word: This was a hard game to review because we are talking about a port of a game that is 25 years old, so it’s hard to see it for what it is when you have so many fighters in present day to compare it to, especially Street Fighter V. That being said, if you’ve never played any of the classic Street Fighter games, then this is a must own, or even if you are just a huge fan of the series, however if like myself you have been basically playing this game your whole life, it’s hard to justify purchasing it again for the minor added features.
Out of 5 bugs