Street Fighter II
OverviewStreet Fighter II: The World Warrior is a one on one 2D fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It is not only considered one of the greatest fighting games of all time, but also one of the greatest games of all time, being responsible for bringing fighting games into the mainstream.
Street Fighter II is a 1991 competitive fighting game by Capcom. It is widely credited with launching the fighting genre into the mainstream and extending the life of the worldwide arcade scene for several years with its unique six button "combo" controls and revolutionary "loser pays" competitive gameplay. Its popularity far eclipsed that of its comparatively obscure predecessor, thanks in part to its inclusion of eight selectable characters (the number which would increase in subsequent versions of the game) with their unique playing style and refinement of the unique play controls featured in the first game, setting the template for future fighting games. Its success also led to the production of several revised versions of the game, including home versionns as well as merchandising and cross-media adaptations including two theatrical films.
Street Fighter II was followed by a prequel titled Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams and a sequel titled Street Fighter III: New Generation. Both games also inspired their own series of revisions.
HistoryAs one of the most popular games of the early 1990s, Street Fighter II, released on Capcom's CPS-1 arcade board in March 1991, shaped the direction of arcade games for nearly a decade to follow. It is widely acknowledged as the premier fighting game of its era, due to its game balance with regard to the timing of attacks and blocks, which was unparalleled at the time; and due to "special moves" in which experienced players could execute complex fighting moves by moving the joystick and tapping the buttons in certain combinations.
The game featured a six button layout, with punch buttons consisting of 'jab', 'strong', and 'fierce' and kick buttons consisting of 'short', 'forward', and 'roundhouse', in ascending order of strength. This was not new or exclusive to fighting games, but the way in which the game relied on them was. These complicated fighting moves were given names, such as the Shoryuken (the Rising Dragon Punch), the Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku (the Tornado Whirlwind Kick) and the Hadouken (Surge Fist or Wave-Motion Fist), which provided a framework for players to have conversations about their games. It also introduced the convention of "canceling" or "interrupting" moves into other moves, which enabled a player to create sequences of continuous hits.
This was the game which introduced the concept of the combo, a sequence of attacks which, when executed with proper timing, did not allow the opponent to interrupt the combination. Mastery of these techniques led almost directly to the high-level competition which has been a cornerstone of this type of game ever since.
CharactersThe original version of Street Fighter II features eight playable characters. Out of these characters, only Ryu and Ken were taken from the original Street Fighter game. The other six characters were created specifically for this game. The single player tournament mode also features four cpu-controlled opponents who the player will face after defeating the other main characters. The bosses in the game are Balrog (M.Bison in the Japanese version), an American boxer; Vega (Balrog in Japan), a Spanish claw-wielding matador, Sagat, a one-eyed Muay Thai master and the former champion for the original Street Fighter, and M. Bison (Vega In Japan), a mysterious crime lord. From "Champion Edition" and onward, these boss characters became playable, expanding the selectable roster to twelve and the player could now face against an opponent who used the same character. The African-American boxer was named M. Bison in Japan (with the "M" being an initial for "Mike"), since he was designed as a pastiche of real-life boxer Mike Tyson. When Street Fighter II was released overseas, the names of the bosses were rotated, fearing that the character of “M. Bison” resembled Mike Tyson to the point of likeness infringement, but also because Capcom USA's marketing team believed that "Vega" was a "weak-sounding name" for the game's final opponent. The original eight fighters are as follows:
RevisionsStreet Fighter II was followed by several versions that added new characters and further balanced the game.
- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (This game)
- Street Fighter II': Champion Edition
- Street Fighter II': Hyper Fighting
- Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo
There are several other ports and versions for consoles, but they're all based on one (or more) of the five arcade versions mentioned above, some notable ones include:
- Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
- Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Movies and animated adaptationsStreet Fighter II was adapted into two different movies in 1994, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (a Japanese anime released in the U.S. courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment) and an American-produced live-action film, simply titled Street Fighter. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile, Kylie Minogue as Cammy and Raul Julia as M. Bison, the live-action film effectively incorporated the main cast of the video game and wrapped them into an action adventure very reminiscent of the classic adventure films of yore. Director Steven E. de Souza's take on the premise: "I especially loved films like The Longest Day, The Great Escape and The Guns of Navarone. What made those films great wasn't the random violence. It was the clear-cut struggle between forces of good and evil, leading to an ultimate showdown."
Even though the Street Fighter film was once considered one of the worst movies ever made, it has gained a sizable cult following and has even seen numerous DVD releases, complete with a plethora of special features and bonus content. In contrast, the animated film was better received due for having a more faithful approach to the game's plot and has also seen some DVD releases.
There was also a US Street Fighter cartoon, which followed the plot of the Van Damme movie, and an unrelated anime titled Street Fighter II V.