I thought I'd talk about one of my most favorite games. It's a one-on-one fighting game released in the arcades in 1991. The game I'm talking about is Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (SF2) which was developed by Capcom.
The early 90's was an important period for arcades. SF2 was the most well-known arcade game at the time, and it popularized the fighting game genre. This prompted other developers to make their own fighting games as well. However, none would ever come close to SF2's fighting perfection.
The game's goal is simple- face each fighter and beat them up. Win 2 out of 3 rounds to advance, then face the next fighter until you get to the final boss. Don't get me wrong though, the game isn't easy. It's quite challenging, but also fun if you know what you're doing.
|Character select screen in SF2|
Top row (left to right): Ryu, E. Honda, Blanka, Guile
Bottom row (left to right): Ken, Chun-Li, Zangief, Dhalsim
SF2 games came in a number of different versions. The original (SF2: The World Warrior) gave you a choice to play as 1 of 8 characters, or "World Warriors" as the title implies. Each comes from a different country, and each have their own distinct fighting style. Although 2 of them share the same moves- Ryu (from Japan) and Ken (from the U.S.).
|Ryu (left) and Ken (right) were both trained by the same Master|
The other 6 playable characters are: Blanka (from Brazil), Chun-Li (from China), Dhalsim (from India), E. Honda (from Japan), Guile (from the U.S.), and Zangief (from Russia).
|Guile is my favorite Street Fighter character|
|Chun-Li is the only female character in Street Fighter II|
Blanka is the only non-human character in the game. As a little boy, he and his mother were on a plane that crash landed into the rain forests of Brazil. He got separated from his mother and was exposed to some form of electricity (from the plane or eels), which mutated him and gave him electrical powers. He was then raised in the wild which eventually changed his appearance as well. It's a silly story, but fighting games aren't about the story anyway.
All 8 characters have their own storyline, but their main goal is to defeat the evil dictator M. Bison from taking over the world (of course!). You face him at the end of the game after you beat the 3 other bosses- Balrog, Vega, and Sagat.
|M. Bison- you know he's evil, just look at him|
All in all, there are 8 playable characters and 4 non-playable bosses (Balrog, Vega, Sagat, M. Bison) in SF2. This changed in the next version of the game- Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, which came out in 1992. It had slightly improved graphics and alternate color costumes for all characters. The main change for this version is the ability to play as any of the 12 characters, as well as the ability to fight against the same character (i.e.- Ryu vs. Ryu). This isn't a big deal nowadays, but it was an interesting feature back then.
|All 12 SF2 characters are playable in Champion Edition|
Another version came out in 1993 called Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, also known as "Street Fighter II Turbo". You can still play as any of the 12 characters, and they all have new color costumes again. The main feature of the game however, is that the overall speed of the game has been made faster, which made the game even more exciting and challenging.
|Ken vs. Ryu- classic match-up|
There were 3 more versions of the game that came out in the arcades (Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Hyper Street Fighter II). I will probably talk about those games in a future post.
That's all for now, and always remember- the game is never over.