The Street Fighter series has been around for over 30 years. Can you believe it? 30 years?! It’s amazing to think that Street Fighter has been around for that long. When you think of Street Fighter, a lot of people may still think of the timeless, classic Street Fighter II. With so many version available, one can easily get lost considering which version to play. You might ask, Why are you bringing this up? Well, surprise! Nintendo Switch has an exclusive port of Street Fighter II, known as Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers.
What is so different from all the other versions you might ask? Capcom has added two new characters: Evil Ryu, and Violent Ken. While the characters themselves are not new, they are new in the Street Fighter II series. Evil Ryu’s last appearance was in the Street Fighter IV series. Violent Ken, from the Street Fighter comic book series by UDON, has not been playable since SNK V.S. Capcom: SvC Chaos, a game developed by SNKPLAYMORE (now SNK) back in 2003. Evil Ryu has most of his traditional moveset, including the demon teleport. His super, however, instead of his Shinku-Hadoken, is now the raging demon. Violent Ken keeps most of his special moves, and gets a new dash/teleport move which is good for getting close to your opponents and goes through projectiles if timed correctly. Violent Ken’s super move is a series of hits, followed by his Shoryuken move. You are able to combo into Violent Ken’s super, adding massive damage to end of your combos. There is technically a third new character in the game, Shin Akuma. However, he is overpowered and is not allowed in tournament play.
In addition to the three new characters, the game rebalances moves, glitches, damage output, health, and how combos are performed. Doing combos in this game is much easier than in previous Street Fighter II games, allowing new players to jump in and compete with experienced opponents. However, some players may feel that the easier combo input will have little reward, preferring the days when you had to train for hours in order to learn and land the most damaging combos. Not to say that the combos are going to be easy for everyone, but the difficulty to perform even the most basic combos has gone down. In addition, the game has now introduced throw breaks, allowing you to escape the high damaging normal throws. This adds a new layer of strategy for the defensive person, as the game now cannot guarantee normal throw setups.
On top of the new characters and roster rebalancing, the game offers several modes: Arcade mode, Buddy Battle(where you and a friend can fight against the CPU), Versus(player or CPU), Online, Training, and Way of the Hado (using the Joycon controller to fight off against M. Bison’s minions). It also offers an art gallery, character color editor, and statistics.
Online mode was great. While I did at times feel a tiny bit of lag, it did correct itself and the match would smooth out. If you plan on getting the game for solely online purposes, be aware that the number of players connected isn’t as large as other platforms. I found most of my online bouts through Ranked Matches. I also feel that the connection quality status did not accurately represent the actual experience. While I was being matched with people with 1 or 2 bars, it felt like a 3 or 4. Do not necessarily turn down the opponent if their connection status is low — you won’t really know until you are actually in the match.
After reading everything I discussed above, you might ask, Is it worth picking up? It depends. The game does feel quite different, and Street Fighter vets and pro players alike will be able to tell/(possibly) appreciate the differences. However, while there are two graphical settings (i.e., arcade classic and HD version), most casual players may feel that the game is the same as what they played in Super Street Fighter II: HD Remix based off the visual appearance alone.
Of course, with every update to Street Fighter II, the new elements do refresh the old school fighter, allowing new people to jump in, and see what all the fuss was about 30 years ago.
[Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was purchased by the reviewer and reviewed on the Nintendo Switch version. The reviewer spent over 20 hours reviewing this game.]
[ Capcom | Capom | Nintendo Switch | $39.99 ]
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