Super fighting fun again
Though I play a lot of fighting game series, I keep coming back to Street Fighter. I don’t know if it’s out of habit or because I’m comfortable with the series’ systems, but I find myself intimately familiar with the Capcom creation. It started with Street Fighter II for SNES, not the arcade. As the series moved along incrementally, so did I and I discovered the upgrade. The home port of Super Street Fighter II for SNES was one of the best and that accolade still stands after nearly 30 years.
Though Capcom still hadn’t learned to count to three and Super Street Fighter II reeks of milking the franchise for all it was worth, it’s technically a good port. This is the best version of the arcade experience before Super Turbo, and the SNES, despite its problems with censorship, is the best version you’re going to get. Super is where you’re introduced to the four new challengers, who add some interesting elements. Each of their fighting styles are already represented in the game with other stalwarts, but they’re fun to play, nevertheless.
The music has hit its peak here, too. It’s the same as the original Street Fighter II and Hyper Fighting, but it’s Street Fighter at peak Street Fighter. That also applies to the controls. It’s the Street Fighter that you know and love but cleaned up just a tad.
My main gripe with the game is the fact that it’s not Street Fighter III, which it would have been if not for the insistence of Capcom not counting ahead. Capcom knew it had a winner on its hands but repeatedly milked the franchise until there was nothing else to wring from it. Super would absolutely have been great if not for the fact that Super Turbo came a year later and there had already been two other incremental iterations of the game previously. That cheapens Super to a degree all around. However, given that Super Turbo did not come home from the arcades for the SNES, Super gets a boost in nostalgic factor.
What you need to take away from SSFII is the refinement of the Street Fighter II experience, and this is where it shines. Everything about Street Fighter II was at peak condition and refined to a tee with this iteration. Yes, this is pre-Turbo super moves and specials but in a way that makes it the last true unspoiled Street Fighter II experience. It was so good that later Street Fighter games attempt to replicate this version with modes that play like Super with no super moves and most, if not all, of its mechanics. That’s how you know it’s a defining moment in a series’ lifespan. It’s a super fighting game for a super system that still holds up.