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Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (Xbox 360 Arcade)

August 8, 2006

Is a classic always a classic? When the joints feel creaky and the mechanics could do with some extra oil, is it time to lay it down to one’s nostalgic memory? Perhaps, but sometimes a classic can stand the test of time after being replaced by updates and later sequels. The game in question, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting (The third title in the Street fighter II saga) stands as a case in point, what will at first seem a vintage banger becomes as smooth as a new Porsche in the hands of the practised and willing. And isn’t that what makes a game such a classic?

Capcoms decision to port this version is likely due to Live Arcade file size. Later iterations were graphically superior and included new characters, and while Cammy and Fei Long are disappointing omissions, T. Hawk and D Jay are not so sorely missed. So what we are presented with is the most finely tuned version of Street Fighter II in its closest to original form, and that is no bad thing.

The roster of twelve characters is as satisfyingly diverse as it was in 1992, featuring the traditional Shotokan characters (Ryu and Ken), charge characters and oddities like Dhalsim, meaning that there is a character for everyone, and while Ryu and Ken are strikingly similar, this has become a trademark of the series and thus it matters not.

One problem with the game is the difficulty of its arcade mode, being a port of the arcade game it is understandable that the original cabinet would have been designed to swallow your money whole, but when Ryu unleashes the fifteenth hadoken in a row on zero star difficulty, it is fairly obvious that something is amiss. While difficulty can be fun, frustration at the computers cheap tactics is not.

However, on the flip side the live play is fairly fun and competitive, offering ranked and unranked play. The ranked play can feel very unsociable, with people refusing to talk, and unfortunately skill levels fluctuate rapidly as many people are still new to the game (or getting back into it), the main problem in this mode is that one fight is all you play, so if you find an opponent who is fun to fight then you had better ready that friend request. Alongside this is the games ‘quarter match’ mode, which acts as a lobby for players. With a maximum of four players it doesn’t quite capture the feel of a crowded arcade cabinet, but it does mean you will get to play quickly with a group of people that you want to, and the winner stays on format offers a lot of fun for similarly skilled players.

However, the final annoyance in this version of Street Fighter is nothing to do with the game, but with the controller. Street Fighter has always required swift, precise movements around a D Pad, but the only error of the 360 pad has surfaced with the release of this game; the dragon punch and half circle moves are not perfect. That said, with practise they do become more effective and while this problem affects performance, just remember that everyone is struggling with it in the live game.

While the arcade mode can grate, Street Fighter has never been so accessible as a multiplayer title (the Xbox’s superior ‘Anniversary collection’ did not allow for lobbies, simply one on one matches). As the only 2D fighter available on the 360, Street Fighter has free reign until Mortal Kombat 3 is released, but the prospect of that should not stop anyone from downloading this, and at roughly 6 pounds (800 points), it’s not breaking the bank, and you don’t have to put in more credit if you lose.

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3 comments

  1. Excellent Review

    I agree with everything you have said, well done!


  2. Excellent review. This will be one of my first downloads when I get my 360.


  3. Good stuff.

    You’ve definitely got some talent.



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