Sunday, 23 April 2017

Super Street Fighter II Turbo

Super Street Fighter II Turbo X: Grand Master Challenge (Japanese title), boasted several minor, but important improvements over previous update The New Challengers.

Intro has Chun-Li (and Cammy's mucky tongue) tower above England, with mysterious figure flashing back and forth just before Ryu unleashes fireball.

Who could it be?

They put the speed back in (1, 2 or 3) and globe was completely redrawn.

Inputting fiddly codes had characters become TNC and set the standard for the future games.

Once character is selected, eight random opponents and bosses are initially hidden by ? in a single horizontal row near bottom.

As plane flies to next opponent, information message of Battle in [insert country here] is displayed at the bottom of screen.

Portraits are now framed like family photos and before settling under mug shots, names appear from left to right slam in middle centre.  In TNC, VS was engulfed with glowing fire and large blood splat.

Scratch that, as gore is gone and new sample sounding like 'fight' cracks it.

Also, chosen speed and purple background of 'Super' new globe scrolls furiously from bottom to top.

Some characters learned new specials.

Dhalsim (vertical Yoga Flame), Honda (fancy throw), with Chun-Li and Dee Jay given different vertical flying kicks.

So-called Super Combos can be executed when gauge is filled.

Upgraded specials hit multiple times and if used to defeat opponent, sunny-esque explosion occurs.

In order to fight Akuma instead of Bison, at least three perfects must be achieved and player can't lose a round.

To play as secret boss, hover over Ryu, T.Hawk, Guile, Cammy and Ryu again for three seconds each, then push all three punches and Start simultaneously.

With a bit of luck, Ryu will transform into Akuma’s silhouette.

Finally, endings add exclusive screen after standard sequence, which is ultimately pointless, as finishing game displays all sixteen stills behind credits.

I need a drink.

(Ah, that's better).

Right, here we port.

Unless stated, Capcom were responsible.

3DO, 1994

Panasonic’s bomb was the first home machine to host Super Turbo.

FM Towns soundtrack is lifted, but adapted to include danger themes.

Capcom brought out a weird looking 6 button pad, but worked much better than standard hunk of plastic.

‘Character name’ is oddly spoken, but ONLY in VS battle.

WHY?

Sprites and animation are arcade perfect, but background colour scheme is muted and just like FM Towns, are devoid of parallax.

That’s just the start.

Dee Jay

Much of crowd is frozen and torch doesn’t cast glow on peeps or tree.

Ryu

Position of crescent moon is in a totally different position and sky doesn’t scroll.

SERIOUSLY?

Blanka

Peeps in wooden hut don’t move.

Cammy

Fiery haze is quite choppy.

T. Hawk

Majority of crowd remains static.

Guile

Guy sat on crate doesn’t tap knee or foot.

Dhalsim

Six elephants don't move or make a racket.

Chun-Li

Hat guy down alley refuses to move.

Ken

Luxury yacht doesn’t bob and seagulls don’t caw throughout round.

Honda

Tub doesn’t overflow or have extra drips.

Balrog

Most of pretty lights are on the bastard blink and as for crowd activity, only trilogy in middle (and a small section directly behind), two showgirls and guy with mask actually move.

Vega

Fence is already down and some characters don't move.  Also, green lights, lanterns and bull sign forget to glow.

Okay, gameplay cannot be faulted, but the amount of detail left out is fucking deplorable.

DOS CD, Eurocom 1995

Arcade's graphics data at lower resolution mean ‘larger’ sprites look out of place and backgrounds are squashed.

In a futile attempt to remedy situation, characters stand a greater distance away at round start.

Danger themeless music is pretty slow and sounds like something knocked up on a fucking organ or xylophone.

Speech can be out of sync, gameplay generally sucks, but patches went some way to fixing glitches.

Amiga (AGA only), Gametek 1996

If you want a giggle, look up incredible box art...

Intro with Cammy and Chunners is present and correct.

Sprites are perfect; as are backgrounds.  Well, nearly.

Ryu’s house has magically shifted to the opposite of the screen and elephants are reduced to four.

Remember, Amiga original had six Dumbos.

I am very fucking confused.

Backgrounds are frozen in time and even though sprites 'back off' correctly, animation is embarrassing.

Colours of inanimate projectiles amuse, as Ken’s fireball, Guile’s sonic boom and Bison’s psycho crusher see red.

(HA HA HA!)

Voices couldn't make it and sporadic sound effects are pathetic.

Remixed music is a huge improvement over DOS, but at the same time – really fucked up.

Character select music plays between plane flying to next country.

Most bizarrely of all, whichever tune plays for a limited time and ‘ends’.  Then, regardless at what point match is at, danger theme comes on.

Soon after, process begins again.

Hmmm, interesting.

Few can forget how terrible original played, but this is EVEN WORSE.

Gravity shy characters? Animation skipping like badly scratched CD?

Fucking hey.

Detail can be toned down to make shit run better, but nightmare remains vastly unplayable.

One more thing.

Vega is fought before Balrog.

Wrap your head around that.

CD32, Gametek 1996

Same slurry, and loading times can swivel on ferocious mid digit.

Street Fighter Collection, PS1/Saturn 1997

TNC and Super Turbo on one disc, with console exclusive Alpha 2 Gold appearing on the other.

Upgraded arcade port has Cammy unlockable in versus and training modes, and sprite is based on X-Men vs. Street Fighter.

2006 PS2 compilation Street Fighter Alpha Anthology included a remixed version of Alpha 2 Gold.

Pigtails was given her own story, ending and can also be selected in arcade mode.

Street Fighter Collection II, PS1/Saturn 1998

Marketed as Capcom Generations 5: Street Fighter Collection 2 in Japan, but an independent ‘sequel’ for Europe and North America.

Anyway, expect The World Warrior, Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting.

Arranged soundtrack can be unlocked and after completing 1P at least once, Super VS mode gives the best of three character worlds.

CPU Battle (available after vanquishing each game without continuing), offers the challenge of fighting against any opponent on highest difficulty.

Collection is pretty cool, as art galleries, bios and tips for each game can be viewed.

Finishing arcade mode opens the door to secrets.

'For Matching Service', Dreamcast 2000

Only available through mail-order in Japan via the Dreamcast Direct Store, port was obscenely accurate.

If you want to be hyper bitchy, arcade’s Q Sound doesn’t begin until after Round 1 is spoken and screen appears to differ in size.

Via Sega’s Matching Service, online versus mode was only compatible with analogue modems.

Tonnes of goodies can be accessed in secret option menu.

Dip switches gave licence to change region and version, meaning  Balrog can wear boxing gloves for the first time in a Japanese version.

Bonus rounds cut from arcade can be restored and new speed settings (4-6) and 0 (super slow) adds spice.

Icing on top of cake is 'another' Gouki, who possesses Super Combo Shun Goku Satsu.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, Game Boy Advance 2001

Known as Super Street Fighter II X: Revival in Japan, alternative version rings the changes.

Gone is Ryu unleashing hadoken and various full screen static poses form intro.

Mug shots are notably 'tougher' and blazing inferno burns brightly during character select.

Globe is kinda redone too, looking more like TNC, rather than Super Turbo.

Also, only your character dominates winning screen with his/her quote.

To get around portable only having four buttons, controls can be customised in various ways to get the six.

For example, hold light punch longer than usual to get medium punch, or press two buttons together for the same effect.

System works, but still not ideal.

D-pad make motions painful and good fucking luck doing a 360.

We get speed settings, every bonus stage and Super Combo KO warps to hyperspace.

Endings aren’t animated, but expect brand new (or altered) screen with scrolling message.

Modes of miscellany are unlocked via accumulation of VS points, beating game at least once, or on specific difficulty.

(Sighs).

Rewards of perseverance are Akuma and Shin Akuma (both possessing their Super combo), art galleries, Time Attack (5 modes) and Survival (8 modes).

Defeating up to 100 random opponents isn't as difficult as what it sounds.

Now things get juicy.

For the most part, it’s the SNES port of TNC, but India now has the hallowed quota of six elephants.

This is so fucking awkward.

Animation (sprites* and audience), sound effects, speech**, music***

*New techniques use arcade’s animation, so sprites briefly grow.

The ‘best’ of both worlds?

Ha ha ha!

**You Win and You Lose are missing.

***Compressed beep music includes danger themes and sporadic remixing.

As for parallax happy locations, most are untouched, but China and Vegas recycle environments from Alpha 2 and 3 respectively.

More, more, more.

‘Modded’ stages

Ryu

Battle now takes place on rooftop, with two huge houses and giant full moon.

Zangief

‘Improved’ version of classic original is spliced with Alpha 2 pipes and lights.

Brand spankers

Guile

High in the sky, ocean twinkles in warm sunlight with jet coming and going as it pleases.

Basically, a variation of Charlie’s Alpha 2 stage.

Akuma

Same as Ryu, but red sky at night.

M. Bison

Sinister looking hideout, lit statues and computers.

Ken

Under the bridge, buildings and saxy billboard.

Oh yeah…

One of the best alternative versions has one major flaw.

When criteria is met to fight Akuma in Arcade, the game crashes when you reach him.

Hard reset also leads to times glitching up in Survival and Time Attack.

Insultingly, this affected North America and Europe, but NOT Japan.

HOW THE FUCK WASN’T THIS NOTICED?

Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition, PS2 2003

Ignoring limited arcade run in Japan a year later, Nubytech brought out various character pads (each with their own box and face plate artwork courtesy of Udon).

Unsurprisingly, a huge arcade stick featuring entire cast looked tip top.

Years later, Madcatz would do the same for SF IV.

As Ryu prepares to unleash fireball, game logos flash up during intro.

Expanding on the concept of SFC II, every version of each character can be selected.

Rules, portrait, speech etc are specific to game, so Dee Jay is only available in TNC and Super Turbo.

Bonus stages are gone and some background details removed from arcade are reinstated.

For example, Ryu’s signs and both Honda’s lanterns.

(Scratches head).

CPS-1, CPS-II and arranged music are found in Gallery, together with The World Warrior's iconic intro.

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (albeit cut), is thrown in for good measure, enforcing BBFC 15 rating.

Overall though, this should’ve been subbed ‘The Incomplete Edition’.

Regardless of which character version is chosen in Arcade, CPU is always Super Turbo.

Bullshit.

If CE character is chosen, we should rattle through CE.

You know I'm right.

The Anniversary Collection on PS2 and Xbox contained Hyper and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.

Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 on PS2 and Xbox in 2005 boasted The World Warrior, Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting, with 2006 sequel Vol. 2 having Super Turbo.

PSP equivalent Reloaded (not to be confused with Remixed), had the same complement as Vol. 1.

So TNC can only be found on Street Fighter Collection.

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Xbox Live/PSN 2008

The first to offer widescreen support and current gen visuals was developed by Backbone Entertainment.

First off, there is no intro.

Redone sprites and backgrounds by Udon look decent enough, but most portraits are incredibly goofy.

New victory quotes are poorly written, but endings are more fleshed out

Remixed music fares better, and while voices are similar to what we know, characters themselves (particularly Blanka), smack of Alpha III.

Mulitplayer online modes include Tournament, Quarter and Ranked matches.

What mode interests most is Rebalanced, as new moves and techniques are mixed with standard set.

Principle of stages remain, but with new audience members and other tidbits.

The Crazy Buffalo (name of Balrog’s Super Combo) replaces Golden Nugget, a section of India has been opened up to show the Taj Mahal, China has a different street scene, clouds above Guile’s parked fighter jet scroll and Ken's yacht bobs perfectly smooth (although sea remains static) and includes cityscape.

Quality of animation for background characters are 16 bits and colour scheme is garish.

Yep, I'm a huge fan.

If whole situation encourages nausea, Dreamcast Super Turbo is built-in.

Worth £11.99?

Not really, but each to their own.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is due to be released for Nintendo Switch on 26 May 2017.

Price?

Oh not much, only 35 quid.

Robbing bastards.

Choose between classic pixels (presumably still Dreamcast), or those in HD Remix.

Evil Ryu (Alpha 2) and Violent Ken (originating from SVC: Chaos) belatedly join roster, and two-on-one mode Buddy battle (Dramatic in first Alpha) are unexciting additions.

Incidentally, SNK's Fatal Fury was the first to have two humans gang up on CPU.

Taking a leaf from FM Towns TNC, colour editor lets you alter character palette and gallery includes over 1400 illustrations from out of print Street Fighter Artworks: Supremacy book.

First person mode 'Way of the Hado' has Ryu wipe out Shadaloo army by player angrily waggling Joy-Cons.

Let's be brutally honest, charging so much for an enhanced port of a not very good 9 year old remake is taking the fucking piss.

Intense scrutiny may be over, but Ryu and chums will be back to dominate future features.

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