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Super Street Fighter II

Genre: Fighting Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Players: 1-2 Released: 1994

It was one of those days that took seemingly forever to arrive: the day that we finally got a new Street Fighter! When it was announced, many fans were wondering why Capcom decided against just calling it Street Fighter III. I mean, you had four new characters that no one could describe fully, along with new levels and promised upgrades to the overall audio and visual scheme. Even with the questions, everyone wanted to play! With the new arcade game in the same spectrum, it was a great time to be a fighting fan!

The newcomers were very intriguing at the time. First, you had T-Hawk (the “T” stands for “Thunder”). T-Hawk was an Native American from Mexico who besides all else, was huge! With a chest the size of Edmond Honda’s and the stature of Sagat, he was easily the favorite newcomer, at least before release. Then there was Dee Jay, which revealed that Cool Runnings had something there about Jamaicans fitting into unusual situations. Dee Jay danced and kicked ass while his catchy reggae band played in the background. Fei Long was a Bruce Lee clone and was pretty much the sleeper favorite of the bunch. Then there was Cammy White, a mysterious soldier who had come to kill Bison (yeah, who hasn’t these days?).

Oh Cammy, original proof that games weren’t always for kids! When she first appeared in previews, she was “that other female fighter,” but when she first popped up as an opponent (since everyone grabbed T-Hawk or Dee Jay at first glance), Cammy jumped onto center stage as everyone wondered what had happened to the bottom half of her clothes. When she beat you (yes) she simply turned around, and showed the world exactly why she went on to become a fan favorite. Then she’d turn around and wink, the tease! Soon everyone mastered Cammy, first out of perversity, then because she was really one of the best characters in the game. Cammy pretty much changed the look of female fighters in fighting games forever!

Of course, even with that, you still had a whole new game to play with. All your basic options existed, including many that would probably not be touched all that much. You just wanted to fight the computer and see what lay ahead! Super Street Fighter II had its improvements, with the music and voices becoming clearer and stages getting little graphical upgrades as well. One thing that became clear was that this game was noticeably more difficult than Special Champion Edition. With improved A.I, and with different button combos arriving, gone were the days of using your Turbo button with E.Honda and holding Z until Bison lay at your feet.

This game forced you to really train and study your moves and combos to win, which actually turned off some people when it first appeared. The tried and true fans stuck with it and were forced to become better players because of it. Dee Jay kept winning that second fight? Learn reversals, and I don’t mean just jumping around until the timer goes out. While some games were plagued by simply being too difficult, Super Street Fighter II used this increase in challenge to its advantage and had people not only practicing at home, but actually taking their strategies to the arcade as well (and vice versa).

One thing in particular I enjoyed in going over this gem again was just how smart Capcom was. They pretty much just upgraded a look, fixed some sounds, added four characters, made some changes to the endings, but pretty much had the rest of the cast remain as they were before. If you were to do this today, you’d be lambasted before the game even hit stores. But Capcom released it, figuring, why mess with perfection? Even with all of that, this game was and still is a success.

Everyone jumped on the chance to finally play as four new people, and the foursome really became a part of the family right away. Moreover, the upgrades were enough to get people going to the arcades and along to the stores to purchase some version of the game as well. They had a new game, who cared about the details?

There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said before. It’s the same game with a few, albeit very good upgrades. This is the reason I can’t go the full monty and give it a 10. If it was a full brand-new game that still featured the original cast along with the New Challengers, it’d be pretty much the perfect fighter for your Genesis. Also, I’ve always liked that shadows-on-a-brick-wall image for intimidation.

SCORE: 9 out of 10

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