The console wars of the early '90s weren't just fought on specs alone – software was perhaps the biggest deciding factor when it came to buying either a Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis / Mega Drive. Nintendo had Super Mario World, Zelda and Metroid, while Sega had Sonic, Streets of Rage and Phantasy Star. However, it was the games that came out on both systems that provided players with the best way of comparing their respective talents, with Capcom's Street Fighter II being one perfect example.
For years, Nintendo fans have rightly felt pretty smug about the fact that the SNES hosted better ports of this arcade smash hit than its 16-bit rival. It's not that the two Street Fighter II titles that the Genesis received were bad; it's just that the SNES ports were superior in almost every regard (although purists still argue that the music on the Sega version is closer to the sound of the arcade).
However, fast forward to the present day and Sega fans can finally feel proud of their sleek black box in this regard, because bedroom coder Gabriel Pyron has spent the past four years painstakingly remastering Street Fighter II: Champion Edition to create a new version which benefits from a host of improvements and enhancements.
"Everything related to art and presentation has been redone," Pyron states. "All resources have been used intelligently to extract the potential of the console. It is also not a port restricted to the original work, Street Fighter 2 has always been updated in arcades and ports. So part of the job was to revise the game with modern elements present in the SF series itself to give an updated look to the game."
The changes include a new HUD design as well as new text. The player select map has been revised, as have the character portraits on the player select screen. Animation frames have been revised, and the artwork has been updated to make use of more colour and detail. Even the game's ending sequences have been updated so they're closer to those seen in the arcade original. Pyron hasn't just been making cosmetic alterations, either; there are numerous gameplay fixes which rebalance the game.
You can download the patch here, but keep in mind you'll need a copy of Street Fighter II Champion Edition to apply it to, as well as the software required to apply IPS patches to original ROMs.
You can see the changes in motion by watching the video below.