Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Top 52: Super Street Fighter II (#44)

This week's Top 52 finally touches upon one of the most underappreciated consoles of all time, the Sega Genesis. Super Street Fighter II has been one of the few fighters to blow my video game mind away. I'll show you why in this retro-review.
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Title: Super Street Fighter II
Console: Sega Genesis
Release Date: March 1994 (US)
Genre: Fighting
My Ranking: #44

This game isn’t Street Fighter II Turbo. It isn’t Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Special Championship Edition or just Super Street Fighter 2. This game is Super Street Fighter II for the Sega Genesis. Why they made so many iterations of the same game is beyond me. Regardless, this game rocks and is best 2D fighter I have ever played.

I’m not a big fan of the standard fighting games. I find that in most of them you can just mash buttons and be successful. Knowing combos and blocking can be helpful, but for most fighters you can get away with not understanding the game’s mechanics. With Super Street Fighter II you can hold your ground with button mashing, but the better player will usually win.

Most people play as Ryu or Ken (they are awesome characters) but most of the characters are pretty balanced. I’ve seen people own with M. Bison, Sagat, Blanka, Chun Li, E. Honda and even Guile. Characters like Cammy (she's hot) and Balrog (he's not) are completely useless in big competitions but there is enough variety to keep the game interesting.

Street Fighter has set the standard for fighting games. Quarter-Circle punch is forever etched into my mind as a projectile attack. Even current-gen fighters like Soul Caliber still have some projectile moves that use a quarter-circle punch to activate. Seriously, if you’re a gamer, do you not know what a Hadouken is?


Super Street Fighter II was absolutely perfect on the Sega Genesis 6-button controller. You could put the low, medium and high punches for the X, Y, and Z buttons and the low, medium and high kicks for the A, B and C buttons. The button layout was organized and really was easy to use. Using the shoulder buttons on the SNES just didn’t work for Street Fighter.

By using a barrage of punches, kicks and special attacks, a player could wipe out an opponent pretty fast. The health bar was at the perfect level so that you could survive one really well-placed combo but, if your opponent caught you again you wouldn’t survive another combo. You had to strike quick and be sure not to miss because a good opponent would take advantage of your mistake.

I remember playing this game with my brother when I was young, and I remember him kicking my ass in this game. When I beat him with Blanka one time, I was so excited. Nothing sounded so satisfying than to hear Ryu gasp in death from an electrical shock. Yeah, I was eight at the time, but it still rocked.

I soon discovered the complete and wonderful balance of Ryu and Ken and began to use them more often. I never became a beast at this game but I know almost everyone’s moves in that game. I still fall back to this game every now and then. The controls are so easy to pick up and the fighting is so precise and intense when you’re playing against a tough opponent. It was also great to be able to increase the speed of the game at the title screen, requiring more focus on the player’s parts.

Super Street Fighter II still remains one of the more popular fighters today because of its competitive, simple gameplay. Moves and combos aren’t that hard to figure out. Just pick a character, find their brief move set online and try combining some moves in the one-player mode for about fifteen minutes. Even if you never played a fighter before, you’ll get the hang of it.

Accessible yet competitive; there’s a reason why people are going crazy about the upcoming Street Fighter IV.
Awesome Easter Egg! Watch it!

UPDATE: The cartridge I have is Super Street Fighter II, no turbo. Super Street Fight II TURBO never made it to the Genesis. My bad. Thanks to Jeffrey for that catch. If Capcom would only name one game one NAME, this wouldn't be an issue. Lolz.
------------------------------------------
My Top 52:
#52 --- Star Fox 64 (N64)
#51 --- Kirby's Adventure (NES)
#50 --- Roller Coaster Tycoon (PC)
#49 --- Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)
#48 --- Metroid Prime (GC)
#47 --- Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
#46 --- Bomberman 64 (N64)
#45 --- Guitar Hero II (PS2)
#44 --- Super Street Fighter II (GEN)

Photos: [1], [2]

29 comments:

Shawn R. said...

I was into this game, but never really mastered the combo system. I learned almost all of the moves, but not the proper way to link them into 10+ hit combinations that really do tons of damage.

I think that's why I was more drawn to games like Killer Instinct, which seemed to simplify the combo system a bit more. Some could rightly criticize the game though on this point for having made an annihilating 90+ hit combo too easy for anyone to perform. I dug it anyway.

Characters like T.J. Combo, my personal favorite in the game, could chain together back-charge with front-charge moves in a string of punches that did tons of damage and looked really impressive. He made SFII's Balrog (not to be confused with that Balrog from Lord of the Rings) look like an amateur.

Killer Instinct took the combo system to an extreme also, by allowing for finishing ultra combos which were 20+ hit combos that looked really awesome and finished you off.

Personally, give me Killer Instinct over SFII anyday.

Richard R. said...

The crazy combo combinations is actually what turned me off from Killer Instinct. The combos were simple enough to do but there were so many moves to remember in order to do those crazy attacks. In order to be good you had to have a good memory.

I feel like SFII just hit the right note in terms of combo variation and control. I got it quick so it just felt right.

You also DESTROY me in Killer Instinct. I didn't just lose, I sometimes couldn't move. That could be why I never really got into that game.

Boy Wonder said...

THis game is amazing, can't wait for the remix. check out the interview with the lead designer of sf2 remix at gamernook.com

jeffrey said...

Super Street Fighter II Turbo was never ported to Sega Genesis.

Richard R. said...

Whoopsie, you're right. I just looked at the cartridge I have as it doesn't have Turbo on it. It's all the same though. The Turbo didn't change much in the game.

jeffrey said...

Actually, Super Street Fighter II Turbo's AI is much more brutal than it was in SSFII. Also, Super Turbo added super combos and Gouki/Akuma.

Richard R. said...

@Jeffrey:

Yes, you are correct. Though I don't remember the AI being that much more crazy in Turbo. Then again, I never owned Turbo, so my memory is admittedly hazy on that one.

The game is ultimately the same however. Turbo is just a collection of additions. Same engine, still awesome. The genesis version is the one I own however and it is my favorite one, mostly cause of the ease of the controller. Using shoulder buttons on the SNES just blew and I was never much of an arcade person.

Oscar said...

Cammy??
Useless??
this proves u have absolutey no idea about street fighter
i OWN with cammy

Richard R. said...

@Oscar:

Not to burst your bubble but here are the tier rankings for SFII Turbo, taken right from the wikipedia page.

"There is no clear, definitive list for ST tiers, but most people would agree that it goes something like this. (Note that the characters are arbitrarily lumped together in tiers; they are not listed in order within the tiers.)

Broken:
Akuma

Top:
O.Sagat
Dhalsim
Boxer
Claw

Upper:
Chun
Ryu
Dictator

Middle:
Deejay
Guile
Ken

Lower-Mid:
Honda (he gets killed by fireballs, but does OK against Sim, and does well against everyone without one)
Fei-Long
Zangief

Bottom:
Old Hawk
Blanka
Cammy"

Notice who is at the bottom?

I laugh at your SF knowledge.

Anonymous said...

Nice post... Looks like solid state memory is finally starting to take off. Hopefully we'll start seeing decreasing SSD prices in the near future. $5 32 GB Micro SD Cards for your DS flash card... sounds good to me!

(Posted from RPost for R4i Nintendo DS.)

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