Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix
OverviewPlatform: Xbox 360
Its another awesome Street Fighter remake with a stupidly long name, but is it worth your time and Microsoft Fakemonies?
In my book if you want to be called a gamer then you’ve already played some iteration of Street Fighter II, as well as the original Mario Brothers, Pong and have completed your pilgrimage to find a working pinball machine (sorry, but those are the rules). Anyway for those who aren’t versed in the Street Fighter series then it’s as simple as can be; It’s a 2d fighter with 3 punches, 3 kicks and a wide variety of stereotypes to kick and punch in the face.
This new HD remix is based off of the SSF2T arcade machine that came out in ‘94 rather than the five year old Hyper Street Fighter II, which is a shame since it’d be nice to select the classic versions of the characters but since balance improvements are a significant portion of what HD Remix offers it does make sense that this isn’t the way that Capcom chose to go. Selecting remix mode will turn on these new subtle balance adjustments which many may not even notice, besides changes to grant easier accessibility like Zangief’s spinning piledriver no longer requiring a whole 270 degrees motion to be performed. For the crazy tournament fighters who count frames and pixels, then you’ll notice (or won’t) even smaller tweaks such as hitboxes shifting or expanding a couple of pixels, it’s nothing that I’d ever personally notice but I’m sure there are people out there that’ll find changes like that will make or break a character or matches. Along with the remix mode there are also pages of DIP switch settings that’ll change inane options like whether the first couple of frames of a specific animation grant invincibility or not, once again, these options will likely make no changes to 99% of the players but it’s nice to know Capcom care enough to put these options in for the die-hards out there. Super Turbo purists will be glad that these options are purely optional, as every option should be, and a lot of the tweaks focus on empowering the weaker of the characters rather than nerfing the already powerful characters. Speaking of raw unfiltered power, since Super Turbo originally brought Akuma into the Street Fighter series you’ll find him fully playable here, brining the total selectable combatants to 17.
Okay so we’ve covered the Super Street Fighter II Turbo and the Remix and now we’re left with the rather stunning widescreen HD visuals, which I’m sure took far more time to create than Capcom gets credit for. Every frame of animation for the 17 characters has been faithfully redrawn into today’s glorious world of high definition and it’s easy to quickly forget that you’re looking at updated art, so it’s nice that you can switch back to seeing the old frames in all their pixilated glory for a quick reality check. These HD sprites would look pretty bizarre without a good place to live so the backgrounds have all gone through the same redrawing process and look equally fantastic although sadly you’ll get no classic backgrounds option for comparison. All this whiz bang video truly does look fantastic and is complemented well by the new music courtesy of the guys over at OverClocked ReMix. OC ReMix have done some great work in the past with reinterpretations of some classic tunes and they pulled no punches (hehe) when putting together their SSFIITHDR soundtrack which is simply a joy to listen to and gives great variations on the classic Street Fighter tunes. (The OC ReMix album for Street Fighter is available free from their website).
Street Fighter II HD remix delivers what was promised as far as AV and the multiplayer aspects have also been greatly enhanced since the cluster of 2006’s Street Fighter® II’ Hyper Fighting on XBL. Multiplayer is critical component as the single player can be controller breakingly frustrating even at relatively easy difficulty levels as the AI attacks with perfect precision, at the harder difficulties the precision is the same but the aggression is relentless, fortunately in our homes we have infinite virtual coins to continue with. Single player Street fighter is fine for a bit of training but you’ll only find any real joy if you’re matched up to players of similar skill levels. It’s fortunate that SSFIITHDR brings enough options to keep multiplayer interesting, tournament modes, leaderboards and the rather unique ‘quarter match’ are all available in a relatively lag free environment.
The biggest failing for any new Street Fighter II iteration is the bar for entry, sure it’s not as rough as Virtua Fighter has become but the AI opponents are so cheap they really aren’t all that much fun to play against, playing online with others is the way to go for a good level of challenge without being used as a swiffer. The huge problem here is that there is no such skill based matching so you never receive a constant challenge from your opponents, which is as much as a disappointment to the top players as to any other. Difficulty aside, this is still the best looking and sounding Street Fighter yet and at only $5 more than the broken Hyper Fighting this is a required game for any fighting game fan to have in their library.