Now this arcade classic takes me back, way back to my long fantastic, just for fun years I spent playing on the good old SNES as a child. I only played the original Street Fighter II
on the SNES whereas the XBLA's Street Fighter II Hyper Fighter
is slightly different, with the main difference being the faster and tougher gameplay and the option to play as the four boss characters; Balrog, Vega, Sagat & M. Bison. As soon as I spotted this on the games marketplace, this was an instant buy for me and unsurprisingly I was not dissapointed.
Street Fighter II Hyper Fighter is a pretty slick classic fighting game originating from the mega successful Street Fighter
series during the 90's. To start with the basics: Players would fight against either the CPU or another human player in 1V1 close range combat, once a player was knocked out by decreasing their 'life' (vitality), the round would be won by the standing player. Default options would mean matches would be played to the best out of three rounds, rounds could end in a draw on some occasions if the fighters managed to K.O. each other at the same time.
The fighting and special moves for the characters are fairly easy to master so the learning curve and amount of time spent getting into the game is very small. For some players the Xbox 360's D-pad can be a nightmare for pulling off certain special moves, on a personal note; I never had too many problems with the D-pad which I had to use as I couldn't hack using the Anolog stick at all. But if you really really
want to go truly old school, you could get your hands on the classic style joysticks and see how that works out for you.
For those of us who are not too amazing at fighting games; there is a Training mode you can spend as much time as needed in, to perfect your skills and take down some of the meanest and baddest asses of the online multiplayer and put up a pretty decent fight. The Arcade mode is just how it used to be; you fight against all eight of the original characters (including your chosen one), and then take on the three sub-boss fighters leading onto the finale with M. Bison himself. Think you will be failing to conquer the Arcade mode? Don't worry, the amount of continues you can use is unlimited and each continue offers the chance to change to a different character if you want to.Gameplay
The gameplay is simple and easy to get used to like most fighting games, but what seperates the elites from the noobs and the winners from the knocked out is: patience
, and the ability to pull off different key moves fluently and execute these moves during pressured and intense moments of combat. The Single Player Arcade mode can be set at different difficulty levels but regardless of which level the difficulty is set at, the battles gradually become harder as you defeat more opponents. Facing against the likes of Ryu or Ken in the more difficult forms can be a damn nightmare, the computer can be horrifyingly smart so to speak when it comes to countering your fighting style and absolutely wiping you out at the far side of the screen.
The only downside with some of the fights against the CPU is how cheap their fighting can be, and also how quick they can execute special moves which need two or three seconds worth of button commands to actually pull off (dependant on which character they are using). Take Guile for instance; he's not an amazingly tough opponent to beat but two of his special attacks consist of holding a direction for two seconds before hitting the opposite direction with either a kick or a punch button. One counter attack the CPU likes to use if you're a jump and kick type of fighter is the 'Flash Kick', this is basically a huge backflip whilst kicking in an arc shape. Despite the fact that Guile won't have been crouching sometimes to even charge up for two seconds, the CPU can still pull this move off instantly and whenever it feels like it, which can be really annoying. Maybe I'm being to picky about the whole special move situation for the CPU but believe me, when it comes to trying to unlock the Perfect World Champion Achievement
, every little factor of the fights begin to annoy you if you start losing. But, that's just the joy of grinding out some of these tough achievements!
Bonus stages are still included as you work your way through the arcade mode, which include literally punching and kicking a car till it's a wreck within a certain amount of time, and fighting off a barrage of barrels dropping from the top of the screen off two separate conveyor belts. Successfully completing these bonus stages will award you with extra points towards your high score should you complete the arcade mode or decide not to continue after losing a match.
The multiplayer side of the game is great... most of the time. Still sticking with the classic 1V1 style, online battling can still be pretty intense. Light-hearted players should be warned that if choosing to fight online with voice chat turned 'on', you better be ready to recieve some serious sh*t if you lose! Of course voice chat can be turned off for those of us who prefer to remain focused and let the fighting do the talking. Good old Ranked matches allow for stats to be tracked which include your wins, losses, matches played, points earned and worldwide rank.
The only slight downside to online matches is the lag of course, personally I never had any completely game ruining lag in battles I fought, as most of the time the online matches were as smooth and fluent as the single player expirience. But on occasion little bits of lag would kill a special move I was about to perform or cost me a punch/kick here and there, one little missed opportunity or mistake could turn the whole match around and cost you the win.
Exclusive to the XBLA version of the game is the new 'Quarter Match', paying a bit of respect to the roots of Street Fighter
; players need to put their 'quarters' up in order to play the winner of a fight already in progress, in which the waiting player can happily spectacte the currently ongoing match. Unfortunately the Quarter Matches are not ranked, but still contain a lot of fun and are ideal for you and your old school street fighting buddies to fight it out just for the bragging rights.Graphics
The graphics are still presented in the classic 2-D style and so they should be, the fighters still look as great as ever and include the option to wear alternate outfits. What's also cool about the old school graphics is how characters and background features are still pretty much the same as they were for the SNES. Say for example a man is cheering in the background; he will only have two or three separate positions/stances: one with his arm up which instantly changes to the other with his arm down if you catch my drift, classic! Also featured on certain stages are the satisfying statues or sign post that can be smashed by characters being knocked over into them, this adds as a compliment for sweeping your opponent off their feet or throwing them through the air into an obstacle.Sounds
Staying with the old school fashion; the sounds are as classic as expected, ranging from the variety of music to the sound effects of receiving and delivering kicks and punches. The characters themselves like to shout certain babble when using a special move. Ryu is one character who has a signature and very popular shout of
"SHORYUKEN!" which he shouts when using the famous uppercut maneuver known as the 'Dragon Punch'. The sounds and music blend in perfectly with the seriously intense battling and really help in creating fights full of pressure, exhausting victories and many memorable moments as you battle these legendary characters.SummaryThe Good
- Arcade classic which brings back lots of great memories
- Smooth fluent gameplay
- Cheap price at 400 MSP
- Includes Training Mode, Local VS, Quarter Mode & XBL Multiplayer
- Fast action and challenging achievements.The Bad
- Slight lag can mess up Ranked Matches
- Unlocking all of the achievements will be pretty tough for most people.
There is nothing significantly bad about this game at all, but for those who are weak in the fighting department and are not willing to put some time in to practice; Steer clear! The average skill rating of the now pretty quiet online community for this game is rated pretty high if you ask me, but at the same time the single player expirience can be tough too. I'm not that great at fighting games at all but I have a lot of patience when achievements are involved so eventually my practice paid off. But for those with short fuses, the need for patience & persistance in this game could just ruin the expirience for you.
Thanks for reading!
This is my first review on TA so any and all opinions on any errors or how I could improve my reviewing would be much appreciated. Please be as brutal as necessary but in a constructive manner