The Gadget Helpline: RETRO REPLAY feature will bring you a weekly throwback to the days of old school gaming and will present a little history on the new wave of classic titles currently getting a revival on our modern gaming gadgets.
Already available on iPhone – a Street Fighter title is yet to appear on Android mobiles. A new partnership with Capcom will see the most recent in the fighting franchise – Street Fighter IV becoming an LG exclusive on a new range of HD smartphones to be released later this year. In the latest of our visits into the history of gaming, we’ll take a look back and see how those streets were paved..
Yes. You may notice we’ve jumped ahead a few years straight to the sequel. Unquestionably the original 1987 Street Fighter was the formula for all that followed and introduced the characters of Ryu and Ken. But the game received minimal applause and sadly was not highly regarded as its hugely successful follow-up would be. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior hit arcades in 1991, raised the bar – and kicked the sh*t out of it!
Following and improving concepts laid out on the original, Street Fighter II featured one-on-one combat with a six-button and eight-position joystick control system which was used to deliver individual characters ‘special moves’ and allowed players to use a selection of 8 unique worldwide fighters. Adding to the mix those such as Indian yoga master Dhalsim, the bestial Brazilian Blanka and US Special Forces agent Guile. This expanding on the previous games use of only Ryu (and Ken in two player mode) – each character with their own storyline and reason for competing. Street Fighter II was credited for starting the fighting game boom of the 90s and gained over $1.5 billion in revenue for maker Capcom when it reached Nintendo’s home console, the SNES – Becoming Capcom’s best-selling consumer game of all time.
The game was based around a street fighting tournament, and players would select a suitable combatant to battle the selection of challengers in their individual environment. Each fighter had a move set featuring the basic kick punch, as well as several unique attacks which required quick fingering and button-bashing to pull of the combo and deliver crushing blows or energy attacks such as Chun Li’s ‘Spinning Bird Kick’ and Ryu’s Hadoken – or ‘fire ball’ as it was more commonly known by gamers.
Fights were held in a best of 3 rounds format, with points gained for type of moves used to take out the opponent. For each three fight victories, players would get to play a special ‘Bonus Round’ where vehicles and barrels were beat on to gain extra points in a time trial mini-game.
The overall aim was to defeat all 8 world warriors, to reach more difficult championship fighters known as the ‘Four Kings’ – Balrog, Vega, Sagat and the psychically powered ‘big boss’ – M.Bison (These names were alternated in the Eastern and Western versions). In the later Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, these four characters became playable.
If you had the skills needed to topple M.Bison, you’d be rewarded by a unique end-of-game sequence in which you would get to see what happens next in the characters storyline after being victorious in the tournament.
Street Fighter II became a series of it’s own spawning follow-ups and variations such as Street Fighter II: Championship Edition which introduced new fighters and Super Street Fighter II Turbo – delivering ‘Super’ combos and the dark fighter Akuma – who mirrored Ryu in fighting style but with increased aggression.
The Street Fighter brandkept up with the ever-changing console market appearing on all major releases from Nintendo GameCube to Microsoft Xbox but sadly lost some direction following the successes of SFII and the successor titles because muddied and never quite capturing the spirit of the ‘original’. Titles such as Street Fighter Alpha, 3D effort Street Fighter EX. Even Street Fighter III and a Vs. series with Marvel comic heroes and villains failed to deliver.
After a break of over ten years a true sequel, Street Fighter IV was unleashed to much praise and has resurrected the series for a new generation to enjoy and for old arcade gamers to fall in love with all over again. The new game keeps the familiar style we loved in Street Fighter II but updates the graphics, style and makes those killer moves all the more sweet.
A version of the game was adapted for Apple’s iOS platform and can be found on the App Store now, with Android gadget’s getting the fight on early next year – exclusively through LG.
Check out the classic intro for Street Fighter II – Arcade:
And see how Street Fighter IV Volt played out on iPhone and iOS gadgets:
In last week’s RETRO REPLAY we took a look back at Star Fox 64 to celebrate the Nintendo classic’s release on the 3DS portable!
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