After seeing releases on both the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis consoles, Capcom figured they could capitalize one more time with a release on NEC's PC Engine system in Japan. While the game was considered a very faithful port of the arcade hit, waning sales and licensing issues kept the game from seeing a much-needed release on the TurboGrafx-16 console. Now Hudson has decided to give this little-known PC Engine port a release outside of Japan for the first time on Nintendo's Virtual Console service, but can it hold its own against the Super Nintendo and Genesis releases on the service?
Street Fighter II Champion Edition for the PC Engine is very similar to the Sega Genesis release: you have access to all twelve fighters in both the single-player and two-player modes. Since this is not a turbo version of the game, you will have to stick with the standard game speed, but for fans of the original release, this shouldn't be a problem.
As the original PC Engine control pad only featured two action buttons, the game has a control setup that will allow you to play with the Wii Remote if that's all you have access to. Of course this presents the same set of problems that went along with playing the game using the 2-button PC Engine pad: you'll have to use the "+" button as a low attack and then hit the "-" button in order to toggle between kicks and punches. If this sounds awkward and tedious, that's because it is. Luckily NEC did release a 6-button control pad with this game in Japan, so there is also an option to use the Classic Controller. The controls are basically the same as you'd find on the Super Nintendo release of the game and make playing it much more intuitive and fun than trying to constantly toggle between attacks.
The ability to play as all twelve characters, not to mention a very smooth play control scheme if you have a Classic Controller, make this PC Engine port of Street Fighter II CE a solid addition to the Street Fighter II library of games. Unfortunately, it doesn't really offer up anything over the other versions of the game on the Virtual Console service.
Visually, Street Fighter II CE is quite similar to the Sega Genesis release, although the slightly larger color palette of the PC Engine does tend to add a little detail here and there. The animation seems to be of the same quality as the Genesis version as well, although it's not quite as smooth as the Super Nintendo release. It's clear that the developers put a lot of time and effort into making this PC Engine port as faithful to the arcade version as they could and it paid off in the finished product.
As far as audio goes, Street Fighter II CE is a mixed bag. Many of the musical tracks are quite well done, but they don't sound a whole lot like the original versions. There's also the matter of the muffled voices the game makes use of: obviously compressed, the quality is not terribly good. In fact, overall the audio presentation in this version of the game is probably the lowest quality of all the various console releases, which is a bit of a shame considering how solid other areas of the game are.
When it's all said and done, you can't help but appreciate how solid this PC Engine version truly is, especially when you take into account that it's running on what is basically a souped-up 8-bit console. When you consider that there are already superior versions of the game available on the Virtual Console service, however, it's tough to recommend this unsung import PC Engine release of the game. If you're looking for a Street Fighter II fix, you'll probably be better off sticking with either the Super Nintendo or Sega Genesis releases, but if you're one of those die-hard fans of the series that has to own them all, you'll likely find this PC Engine import more than adequate.
Good review. I won't be downloading this as I have enough street fighter on my console!
Hoping this comes out on friday in eu. A nice different version of SF2.
@ outrun - It won't. Unless there's a surprise Hanabi Festival happening that nobody has heard of yet or if they do away with import games only appearing during Hanabi Festivals. We'll most likely get Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures instead.
The music is better than the garbled SNES version in my opinion but it's a matter of taste. An excellent port.
will the VC ever get mortal combat??
Last I heard, Boon and Tobias did want the Mortal Kombat series to come to the Virtual Console but ultimately it was out of their hands. So its anyones guess.
even if this game is great do we really need 5 different copies of sf2 on vc come on capcom
they'll be releasing the arcade versions sometime most likely. plus if you don't like the multiple versions, just ignore them. can't blame a company for trying.
I don't own a single Street Fighter game, and I'm not getting a Street Fighter 2. Why? Because there's a free version of it on MochiGames. And no, I'm not advertising. But if we get something along the lines like Alpha or 3, then we're talking.
We'll most likely get the SNES version of Alpha 2 eventually.
I appreciate you're reviewing this as a NA (not just USA) release but its worth pointing out that if and when this hits EU shores it will hold two distinctive advantages over the Mega Drive version:
1. It's 100 points cheaper
2. Like all TG16 games its full screen, full speed, 60hz unlike Sega's PAL conversion of the Megadrive version.
PAL gamers should certainly consider it, although the genesis version has a few extra features over this one hence its "special" tag.
One thing worth noting is that this port was the biggest PC-Engine hucard game at its launch. Don't know if another game surpassed it later though.
nice! Another game to add to my TG16 collection. I swear it's slowly becoming one of my favorite consoles...I wish it would've been more publicized during it's day.
@ Betagam7 - I'm glad you brought that up. Being from the US, I've never experienced the sluggish PAL release, so I often forget about it. When this game hits the European VC, I'll be sure and update this review to talk about that.
@Swerd_Murd i know what you mean, back in the day i knew no one with a TG16/ never saw any commercials for it or nothing. Totally one of the most gnarlz libraries a console has/will ever see! long live the tg16!
I've got the HD remix of Street Fighter II for the PS3, I doubt I'd ever get this one too.
You're wrong about the voices being the lowest quality. Listen to a audio comparison on youtube and you'll see what I mean.
Now that we have 5 iterations of Street Fighter II, can we PLEEEASE have the Alpha games now, Capcom? Or something, anything else!?!?
I don't think the vc had its last release of Street Fighter 2. The Sms and the C64 has Street Fighter 2 in their game libraries being the VCA versions not being released yet.
I'll probably get this someday. I can't get enough of Street Fighter!<3
@ 7th lutz: The SMS SF II was a Brazilian only release. I highly doubt it'll ever see the light of day on VC, especially since it's vastly inferior to all the other versions already released. The C64 version is possible, but still seems very unlikely. I suspect unless Capcom starts releasing the Arcade versions, they're now officially done with SF II.
There is the Mega Drive version of Super SF II, wich is still unreleased. Since some games are present for more than one platform (like R-Type for SMS and TG16), I think we may get it eventually.
all we need now is for capcom and nintendo to release the genesis version of super street fighter 2, then we'll have all of them on the vc
this isn't the last sf2 port that will come to vc
most likely the next port will be the genesis/mega drive port of super or the arcade port of champion
mortal kombat is pretty far in the licence for a vc release, most likely to be released in summer or fall 2010
I would love if they put Mortal Kombat on the Virtual Console Arcade. That and Splatterhouse. That would be awesome.
I´ll wait a SFII until the release of SSFII Remix in Wiiware (i cross fingers) because i already have the PS2 anniversary edition with SSFIITurbo
A very good port of SF. I allways liked the basic Champion Ed. better than all the other turbo and super editions so this was perfect for me. Aslo the bonus stages are both there (car and barrels) and the graphics sound, and gameplay are all solid (for 1993). The challenge level seems just right also, I got to Vega (japanese name...last boss) using only about 2 continues, then it took me like 5 more continues to beat the game. Great old school port of SFIICE!
Badknux, they got Splatterhouse. Which version do you mean?
The arcade version, of course. It's uncensored.
this is now probably my favorite port of street fighter 2, at the heart of the pc engine it's an 8 bit machine, so all the graphic detail is being done on it's 16 bit graphics processor, amazing an 8 bit cpu can handle SF2..
music sound like midi versions.
these console versions will never live up to the original because they don't have the alternate music just before you die in each stage.
I would buy the arcade versions in a heartbeat.
If any PAL folks are interested - this is the only 60Hz version of SF2 available on the VC and consequently, has the fullest screen display of all the available versions.
The smoothing 'filter' evident on other PC engine games is also not used, the game is presented in all its pixelated glory.
Speed is good, music is alright, it lacks the parallax scrolling of the 16-bit versions backgrounds but retains the 3D effect on the ground.
Like the other ports the arcade barrel smashing bonus is missing, but it also misses the (slightly rubbish anyway) brick wall smash round.
Overall, I'd say a good port - the game-play is all there and its presented in the correct ratio.
Is it just me or does Balrog (Vega) and Vega (M. Bison) special moves do a lot more damage in this game. Anyway it's an awesome port of the best CPS1 Street Fighter 2.
This is a fine conversion of the game. Just downloaded it and its as good as ever. Its more interesting than the genesis and snes versions, so im suprised more people arent into it.
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