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Game Review

Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Damien McFerran

Work in progress or fighting masterpiece?

Street Fighter II hit arcades in 1991 but amazingly, by the time 1993 rolled around, players had already experienced three upgrades to the core game: Street Fighter II': Champion Edition, Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. The last of those titles was arguably the most significant upgrade since the original, offering four entirely new fighters, improved visuals and rebalanced gameplay. Super Street Fighter II was ported to the SNES in 1994 (the same year that Super Street Fighter II Turbo hit arcades, but we'll get onto that later) and came on a whopping 32 megabit cartridge. Despite the enhancements listed on the packaging and the alluring promise of new characters to master, it wasn't the comprehensive improvement over Turbo that many had hoped for and at the time many felt that the Street Fighter craze was on the wane.

Super Street Fighter II is now available on the Wii U Virtual Console alongside the original game and Turbo, which might lead you to assume that it's the most obvious choice if you're looking to secure yourself some pugilistic action. In many ways, that's true; the introduction of four fresh faces means that there's more to the game, as you have a quartet of new techniques to master.

Cammy, Fei Long, Dee Jay and T. Hawk certainly add depth to the roster — depth that was badly needed back in 1993, when players had become tired of using the same characters over and over. Each fighter has their own stage as well, which lends the game even more visual variety; in addition to the four newcomers, the existing cast has also been slightly upgraded. Ryu now has a more powerful flaming red fireball which requires a half-circle motion to execute, while Ken's flaming Dragon Punch is more powerful than the one performed by his friend and rival. Not every character receives new skills — it's important to remember that some had already been granted new moves in Turbo — but on the whole everything feels slightly more balanced and refined this time around.

Although Super Street Fighter II lacks Super Combos — these would come in Super Street Fighter II Turbo — it does have a new scoring system which rewards you for landing the first blow, stringing together a series of hits or recovering from the onslaught of your opponent. Add to this additional game modes — such as Group Battle and Time Challenge — and you've got a package which is more diverse than its SNES-based forerunner.

There are areas where Super is noticeably lacking when compared to Turbo, however. Although the arcade version used Capcom's CPS-2 board and benefited from better visuals, the SNES port looks very much the same as Turbo — which means it looks great, but not quite as sharp and detailed as its coin-op parent. The sound is actually worse, with character voices coming across as muffled and indistinct, which makes landing those special moves less satisfying than it was previously.

Possibly the most irksome drawback is that Capcom has scaled-back the pace of the game following Turbo. It's not as slow as the original Street Fighter II but is nevertheless hard to stomach if you're used to the breakneck speed of the previous outing. This issue would be remedied with Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but that was sadly never ported to Nintendo's console — which is a shame, as it also introduced the aforementioned Super Combos, powered-up specials, air combos and the iconic character Akuma, and is perhaps the best iteration of Street Fighter II ever produced.

Conclusion

Despite the presence of four new fighters and some excellent gameplay modes, Super Street Fighter II doesn't manage to overshadow Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting. The faster speed of the previous title — tied with the better sound and a stronger nostalgic bond — will have many players avoiding this sequel altogether. Turbo was, for many, the game where Street Fighter II reached its peak; by the time Super came around the SNES was about to give way to 32-bit systems and the popularity of one-on-one fighters was starting to diminish. Of course, such historical footnotes don't make the game a failure, but they do explain why Super is held in slightly lower regard than Turbo among some SNES players. Of course, the other annoyance was the fact that Capcom quickly launched Super Street Fighter II Turbo in arcades, which is arguably the game most SNES owners would have preferred.

Viewed with the benefit of hindsight, Super is arguably one of the best fighters available for the SNES and is well worth investigation if you're keen to discover what the fuss is all about. The multiplayer modes are especially good, and it has a bigger selection of characters than both Street Fighter II and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting. The reduction in speed is a real shame — and somewhat puzzling when you consider how well Capcom nailed it in Turbo — but it's still an exceptionally enjoyable brawler with plenty of depth, appealing visuals and excellent two-player potential. Whether or not you choose this over Turbo is a matter of personal preference; there are areas where one succeeds while the other slips. Regardless of your choice, you're unlikely to be disappointed.

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User Comments (38)

gaby_gabito

#1

gaby_gabito said:

I wish they would just mesh all these into one game and include online multiplayer! i need more friends to play with. it gets boring playing against the cpu over and over again :/

DarkEdi

#2

DarkEdi said:

I love this game, but i have Hyper SFII in PS2 and SSFII Genesis in VC (with online). I maybe buy it later.

DarkEdi

#3

DarkEdi said:

@gaby, the Genesis VC version has online, it doesn´t look and sound as well than SNES version but the online helps it a lot, you should buy that.

Bass_X0

#4

Bass_X0 said:

Each incarnation of SFII was important. Super Turbo is the best but they couldn't skip any of the three games between World Warriors and Super Turbo. Each upgrade improved upon the previous versions using feedback from them. It would have been unsatisfying to have ended the series on Turbo or Super without further upgrades.

The SNES would have benefitted from a port of Super Turbo instead of just plain Super. The console could handle the game, it just would have kept the same graphics and missing animation from SNES Super that we did get.

Interestingly, I discovered some Action Replay codes for SNES Turbo also work for Super and have the same effect.

And personally I prefer the SNES version to the Genesis version. No good playing online if the game looks and sounds crappy. Maybe those raised on the Genesis would disagree but I was raised on Nintendo.

astarisborn94

#5

astarisborn94 said:

If Street Fighter II Turbo gets a 8/10, then Super Street Fighter II: The New Challenger should get a 9/10. It is the best deal that SNES owners could have gotten and regarding the speed issues, the game does gives you the ability to increase speed. It is not as fast as Turbo, but the game can get pretty fast.

Bass_X0

#6

Bass_X0 said:

Super doesn't need to be faster than it is. Turbo speed makes the game unplayable to me.

Cohort

#7

Cohort said:

@DarkEdi I actually prefer the Megadrive/Genesis version, plays more like the arcade, plus has all the speech included. The Super NES version has a few things missing..

SmaMan

#8

SmaMan said:

Sigh... you guys realize that this game DOES have a TURBO mode, right?

On the Title Screen, press left and right on the d-pad to select your speed. No, I'm not getting this game confused with Hyper Fighting. Super Street Fighter II for the SNES has turbo, too. 'Nuff said.

Except for Akuma, and the updated visuals (and difficulty) that pretty much sets it on par with SSF2T.

sinalefa

#11

sinalefa said:

When I owned a SNES, this was the version I chose. I have never cared about the extra speed that Turbo provides, and I prefer to have more characters to choose from.

I hate Super's announcer, though.

Rococoman

#14

Rococoman said:

PS3 and X360 have had Super Street...Turbo HD Remix for years now, and Nintendo is still pumping out the well-remembered but nevertheless inferior SNES versions.

Nintendo, this is NOT how you win the hardcore crowd back.

unrandomsam

#15

unrandomsam said:

The only virtual console version of SF2 that is any good is the TG16 version of Championship Edition.

The SNES ones didn't feel right even at the time.

I liked this less than Turbo even when it was originally on the SNES

Get a Neo Geo fighting game instead.

unrandomsam

#16

unrandomsam said:

@Rococoman Even the Arcade version of Hyper Fighting would be ok (360 has it). Or just any good version (Dreamcast Alpha 3 is pretty good. (Saturn is supposedly better but I have not played it)).

Ryno

#17

Ryno said:

@Rococoman: Capcom, not Nintendo, choose to release this on the VIRTUAL CONSOLE service. Why don't some people quite grasp the concept of the ”virtual console?”

unrandomsam

#18

unrandomsam said:

@Ryno They chose the laziest way as they always do these days. They could have added their CPS Changer console to the service if Nintendo requires jumping through hoops. (I think they could have put HD Remix onto the eshop with no hassle at all).

unrandomsam

#21

unrandomsam said:

@Ryno The originals are the Arcade games - exactly what the CPS Changer which is Capcom's short lived Neo Geo competitor used.

SparkOfSpirit

#22

SparkOfSpirit said:

If Capcom wants to put HD Remix on the eshop there's nothing stopping them from doing it. It's purely their choice.

Until then, these are the best we can get from them.

p_rez4prez

#24

p_rez4prez said:

What is it going to take to get some Saturn and Dreamcast Capcom fighters on the virtual consoles?! I'm talking the Alpha Series, SFIII, X-men: CotA, X-men vs. SF, Marvel Super Heroes vs. SF, Marvel vs. Capcom 1 & 2, Darkstalkers, etc. It would also be great if we could see a bunch of other Saturn and Dreamcast games on the VC, but who knows if that will ever happen? I think that for the most part Nintendo has their heads up their asses in terms of what they are releasing on the Virtual Consoles these days, but that's just my opinion.

Yanchamaru

#25

Yanchamaru said:

Super has horrible SFX, balance issues and inconsistent looking backgrounds compared to Turbo. However, Super does not have the slow down/input lag found in Turbo when throwing projectiles.

If you have a Wii then get the TG 16/PC Engine port. Gameplay is the smoothest and closest to the arcade. Plus, novice players can watch the character endings after beating the game on any difficulty setting (SNES/Genesis requires 4 stars or above).

Zael

#27

Zael said:

talking about the arcade version I think super is better, about the snes version we can say that super is too heavy, so probably turbo fits better on a snes. But have a super sf2 on a snes was a great thing for the time.
About the speed I think that 3 stars are ok, I don't like ultra speed which worsen the gameplay, moreover when you raise the speed there is an higher frame skipping, so you lose quality

PinkSpider

#28

PinkSpider said:

The sound effects and music are more like something from the megadrive version.
I'm guessing they didn't bring back the composer of world warrior and turbo.

ajcismo

#29

ajcismo said:

One of my favorite fighting games of all time. Was working at an arcade while going to school when this came out. Lots of great memories and quarters munched.

Ristar42

#30

Ristar42 said:

I had this on the Wii VC. Of the 16-bits I'd take the Megadrive's Special Champion Edition over the others (with the 6 button pad back in the day). While it lacked colour and the sound was comparatively rough, the gameplay was there, and it was faster than any version on the SNES. The Saturn version's were pretty great at the time.

I recently picked up the Capcom Classics collection for PSP for cheap, so revisiting the arcade versions of World Warrior, Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting on there. I never really got into 'the new challengers'.

speedyboris

#31

speedyboris said:

@Yanchamaru Man, I didn't care for the PC Engine port at all. The graphics, music, and sound quality are all inferior to the SNES and arcade versions.

As for SSF2 SNES, it's a decent port but it lacks some animation frames, has muffled voice bytes, the character sprites are smaller, doesn't have the proper "almost defeated" music (it just speeds up the regular stage theme), and it lacks the announcer voice for "Round 1 (etc.) Fight!"

As for Capcom bringing the arcade SSF2 Turbo to VC, don't hold your breath. After all, they barely took advantage of the Wii U VC Arcade (all their games were previously available for Capcom Classics Collection), what made you think they'd bother with their '90s games?

Cohort

#32

Cohort said:

@speedyboris I thought that the PC Engine port was the best of the lot, the Super NES versions after WW were not that great, the sound was awful on them!

@TG1 Not that great, the Sharp X68000 had the best port..

WaxxyOne

#33

WaxxyOne said:

It's been mentioned in these comments but the review doesn't make it clear — this game DOES have a turbo mode built into the SNES version. Unfortunately it is not that obvious to see. I accidentally found it while perusing the manual on the Wii U version. You have to go to the title screen (not the main menu, the screen where it just says "Press start") and push right on the D-pad. You can set the speed from 1-3 stars, or no stars, which I think lines right up with the 4 speed selection of the previous game.

I've got both Turbo and Super for the Wii U VC and was playing them with my brother. I much preferred Turbo for its speed but I liked the additional characters and content in Super. As soon as we saw that option and turned it on, Super became the hands-down winner in our book.

WaxxyOne

#34

WaxxyOne said:

@speedyboris: Nobody really wants the arcade version anyway, do they? Try playing the original SSF2 arcade on MAME some time and see if you can get past the first or second fight. They made the game brutally hard, even when the difficulty is set to its lowest setting (so-called "Easiest"). There's a reason that when they released HD remix on the 360 and PS3, they gave you a choice between Arcade and Remix mode, the latter of which was MUCH easier.

While I don't expect Capcom to do so, it'd be great to see that version released on the Wii U.

BulbasaurusRex

#35

BulbasaurusRex said:

I personally prefer the slower speed over Turbo, making this the definitive version for my tastes. Of course, the Genesis version on the Wii VC (which I already own) is even better with online multiplayer.

speedyboris

#36

speedyboris said:

@Cohort Yeah, in terms of music and visuals, the X68000 version of SF2CE probably comes the closest to the arcade. I can't comment on the gameplay because I haven't played it.

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