Recently, I had the privilege of playing an original version of the world famous beat 'em up game; Street Fighter 2. The first time I played this game was originally for the Amiga 700 computer system. Even at eight years old I did find it a bit slow and was yet to find an appreciation for such classic games. Yet playing Street Fighter 2 Turbo about 26 years after it was originally released, I can see why it was so popular. Producers Capcom sped the action up (hence the name Turbo) to create probably the world's most popular fighting game. Since that time the game has been ported to over six different consoles and is still enjoyed by gaming enthusiasts like myself today.
In over two decades, the game stands up well graphically, personally, I liked the 2D comic book style and the characters have a very cool look about them. For the uninitiated, Street Fighter is a tournament game originally made for the arcade. You choose one of twelve characters to compete in an elimination tournament. This has you travel around the world, fighting various competitors in the street. Beat 'em up games are a standard these days, even non-fans can reel off a list of titles. This one stood out in the nineties, because of its addictive gameplay and probably because there weren't as many titles back then. The game mechanics still stand up today, players can punch, kick, and throw their opponent; the added speed makes it visually impressive. It's always wise to use defensive moves which includes blocking and some rather impressive jumping. Aerial moves can be used offensively and defensively to get out of the way of certain attacks.
The characters are like your stereotypical martial artists which range from Karate masters to boxers to sumo wrestlers.
Longtime fans will be familiar with these characters; my personal favorite is Chun Li. She sports a blue dress and has a kind of kickboxing/Kung Fu type style, using flashy kicks. I have a friend who favored E. Honda, who comes from a sumo wrestling type of background. Quite unique for a sumo, his body girth seems to be pure muscle. One of his distinct moves was a barrage of palm strikes which is very hard to defend against.
Finish him! Wait, wrong game!
There's a couple of 'out there' characters as well, Blanka seems to be some sort of human/mutant hybrid. A good attack move of his is to generate an electrical charge from his body. An opponent who attacks you when you do this will instead have their own health depleted. Another out there guy is Dhalism, who appears to be some sort of Indian yogi, with extendable limbs. The character can literally extend his limbs to punch and kick someone in the face. Which leads me to the game's first drawback, some characters, when well learnt, seem to have heavy advantages over others. This is OK if you're with a group of friends and understand the limits of the game; which is the best to play Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Competitive tournaments back in the nineties had to ban the use of certain characters to give competitors a level playing field.
The characters have their own home advantage, each with a specified location to fight. The pro boxer Balrog fights in the middle of the strip in Vegas while Guile from the military has you fight on an air force base. In the arcade mode following the fight, you'll see an image of the defeated opponent getting taunted by the victor which is very novel. The issue with retro games over two decades old is whether or not they stand the test of time against the 3-D titles of today. Honestly, I can say that I felt the urge to go back to this game even after I had stopped playing, which I can't say for all contemporary titles I spend time on. If you want an actual cartridge copy, Street Fighter 2 Turbo seems to range in price from ten pounds to fifty pounds on eBay. The average price was around ten to twenty pounds which I think is fairly reasonable.
Getting Your Kicks
Overall I, give this title 4.5 out of 5, visually still looks good and the gameplay is excellent. Personally, I still found the characters fascinating and the action had me coming back for more.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5