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Street Fighter II Turbo – Super Nintendo

Street Fighter II Turbo – Super Nintendo

Platform: Super Nintendo Entertainment System  2364796-snes_streetfighteriiturbo

Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Release Date: August, 1993

Genre: Fighting

Nerd Rating: 9.5/10

Reviewed By: theWatchman

So much has already been written about the impact that Street Fighter II had on the industry upon its release, that it sort of becomes a daunting challenge to try and convey something new on the subject. The fact is, everything changed when Street Fighter II burst onto the arcade scene back in 1991. Yes, there had been a number of games that were also devoted to martial-arts action. However, even Capcom‘s the original entry in the Street Fighter series, as well as the beat-’em-ups that preceded Street Fighter II paled in comparison with the sheer breadth and scope of Capcom’s masterpiece.

To this day, Ryu vs. Ken lives on in our collective conscious as the ultimate friendly rivalry

To this day, Ryu vs. Ken lives on in our collective conscious as the ultimate friendly rivalry

It’s a testament to the brilliance of the core fighting engine at the heart of Street Fighter II, that even after multiple iterations and sequels, including the recently released Street Fighter V, that one can go back to an earlier version of the series and still have a compelling experience that doesn’t feel like it is lacking in the absence of modern-day accouterments, like online play or story modes.

And of the original versions of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II Turbo ranks as the purest of the group.

Street Fighter II Turbo was the home version of Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting in the arcades. This version was actually the third iteration in the Street Fighter II family and the second version released on the Super Nintendo (there would end up being five versions released before Capcom finally counted to three). Street Fighter II Turbo combined the adjustments and improvements found in the arcade version of the game, as well as Street Fighter II Championship Edition.

Aside from the balance tweeks and a few new moves for different characters, the biggest additions to Street Fighter II Turbo were the ability to finally play as the four Shadoloo boss characters; Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison, as well as the ability to adjust the speed of the game. (Hence the “Turbo”)

Street Fighter II Turbo offered the ability to play as the 4 previously unplayable boss characters from the original

Street Fighter II Turbo offered the ability to play as the 4 previously unplayable boss characters from the original

There are only two modes of play in Street Fighter II Turbo, Arcade mode and Versus.

Arcade mode has you choosing from one of the twelve original world warriors to defeat, one-by-one the rest of the roster, working their way until they square off against the ultimate foe, M. Bison.

Versus mode pits two players in a test of skill as the utilize any member of the cast for bragging rights.

That’s it.

But that’s fine because Street Fighter II Turbo relies on the strength of its pioneering combat system. No other fighting game from the Super NES era moves with the grace and fluidity of Street Fighter II Turbo, even on its highest speed settings. The balance of the game’s cast is superb. Overpowering characters from the original version were toned down, (Guile, we’re looking at you) while others gained new tools to add to their arsenal, such as E. Honda gaining a movement ability during his Hundred Hand Slap, or Chun Li getting a fireball.

This all congealed to keep the core game interesting and fresh, without disrupting the well-thought-out attributes that made Street Fighter II so brilliant. (For an example of a SNES fighting game that I didn’t think was very well-thought-out, please see my review of Tuff E Nuff.) The SNES controller does a capable job of handling the intricacies of Street Fighter II Turbo’s move-set’s, although you can tell that there has been a combination of the advancement of better controller technology throughout the past 25 years, along with the losing of the input command windows over the years, which have given Street Fighter II Turbo on the stock SNES controller, a stricter feel as opposed to later entries in the series.

Graphically, Street Fighter II Turbo shines as one of the best looking fighters on Nintendo’s 16-bit console. The character sprites are large and detailed, expressing a now iconic detail, not just in their design, but in their basic color schemes as well. (An interesting graphic popped up some time ago showing the color scheme’s of the Street Fighter II cast expressed in simple blocks. The coloring is now so ingrained in our conscious, that you can almost see the entire character design come to life, just through those simple colors.)

The characters of Street Fighter II were so well designed, that they are easily recognizable by their color schemes.

The characters of Street Fighter II were so well designed, that they are easily recognizable by their color schemes.

Sound effects and music remained unchanged from the original entry in the series, although there really wasn’t anything that needed to be changed. All the classic character themes are intact and remarkably reproduced on the Sony developed S-SMP sound chip..

After 25 years, 4 direct sequels, and countless “Super” versions and “Alpha, or “EX” spin-offs, Street Fighter II Turbo stands as maybe the purest form of the original vision that did so much to change the gaming landscape. It’s hard to find any true fault in the game. One could point out that only 12 fighters would be considered a sparse lineup by today’s standard, however we can’t really fault a game released 23 years ago for not living up to today’s standards, and the fact remains that Street Fighter II Turbo was quite a leap forward during the infancy of the fighting genre in 1993.

A myriad of companies did their best to copy the formula that made Street Fighter II so ground-breaking, and while there were quite a few titles that were able to stand-out, none quite captured the same intangible energy and genius that Capcom was able to harness within Street Fighter II Turbo. Simply put, this game stands as the pinnacle of fighting games for the Super Nintendo.

Nerd Rating: 9.5/10

Written by The Watchman

The Watchman

The Watchman is a journeyman gamer who has seen and played a good chunk of gaming history.
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One Comment

  1. Brilliant review. Possibly your best one yet Dave!


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