In the history of videogames, few titles have made as much an impact on the industry as Street Fighter II. The 1991 release of The World Warrior in arcades practically single-handedly rejuvenated the ailing arcade industry, while home ports of the game and its updates were a gigantic selling point for the 16-bit consoles of the time.
The SNES was home to three of the five different official versions of Street Fighter II, and all of these ports have been released on the Wii U Virtual Console (instead of the staggered releases on the original Wii). All three titles are available for £5.49 each, but if you buy two of them, you’ll get the third for free. As usual, if you already own these games on the Wii Virtual Console, you can purchase these upgraded versions for £1.49. Also, all three games are the American NTSC versions, running at full speed.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
Here’s the original game in it’s undiluted form. That’s eight selectable fighters, and in two player mode you can’t select the same character (unless you use a button combination cheat). Compared to every version of the game since, the original is naturally showing its age – especially in terms of speed. But with that said, it’s easy to forget how technically impressive this port was during the early days of the SNES.
Importantly, the core gameplay is still intact and still as engaging as ever. Even two decades later, The World Warrior is welcoming enough for new players, and tactical enough for veterans. Sadly, however, it has been surpassed many times over the years by several updates.
DECENT. A 6/10 indicates that, while this game could be much better, it still has a fair amount to offer the player. It might be an interesting title sabotaged by its own ambition, or a game denied greater praise by some questionable design choices. Don’t avoid it outright, but approach it with caution.
Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
The arcade version was Capcom’s official response to several unofficial hacks that vastly sped up the gameplay, and added new moves/colours for many of the characters. It was the third version of Street Fighter II (after the Championship Edition, which was ported to the Mega Drive).
Carrying over changes from the Championship Edition (balancing of characters, the ability for two players to play as the same fighter, and selectable boss characters), this Turbo edition feels almost like an entirely new game. The increased speed adds extra excitement and challenge to matches, while the new additions and changes make for a game that has aged a lot better than its predecessor.
GOOD. A game that scores 7/10 is worthy of note, but unworthy of fanfare. It does many things well, but only a few of them incredibly well and, despite a handful of good qualities, fresh ideas and solid mechanics, it fails to overwhelm.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
The fourth edition of Street Fighter II is possibly the biggest update in the entire series. Graphics and audio have been improved over the previous editions, characters have been balanced further with a few changes to move-sets, and four new characters have been added to the roster. These new changes drastically change the way matches play out, and even the “weaker” characters can hold more of a fight this time around.
While it’s missing the speed settings from Turbo, this version of The New Challengers adds plenty of extra modes, including a Tournament Mode, the team-based Group Battle, and a Time Challenge. Out of these three Virtual Console offerings, Super Street Fighter II is definitely the best, although it’s a shame it doesn’t add the increased speed, combos and added character from the Turbo edition of Super.
VERY GOOD. An 8/10 is only awarded to a game we consider truly worthy of your hard-earned cash. This game is only held back by a smattering of minor or middling issues and comes highly recommended.