Much has been written on Street Fighter 2, its merits and its impact. How its deep gameplay that implores further learning, its unique casts of fighters, it being the salvation of the arcades in the early nineties and its spawning of one of the most enduring, thriving competitive gaming scenes the world has seen. Whatwith it just having seen its 20th birthday, I decided perhaps enough column inches had been written on it and that now would be a good time to take a brief look over a short series at the prequels and sequels of the biggest 2D fighter ever and show what else the franchise has to offer beyond its most famous son.
It all goes back to 1987 and a novel, if not gimmicky, cabinet debuts in local arcade, sporting two joysticks and two large, pressure-sensitive buttons that dictated the strength of either punches or their kicks. Many of the series' distinctive traits find their origins here; fireballs, whirlwind kicks and jumping uppercuts. As do many of the cast, although the player's limited to only Ryu and Ken ,in one and two player respectively, the opponents host a shower of now familiar faces; Gen, Eagle, Sagat, Adon, Birdie (and perhaps even Balrog/Bison depending on how fervently you buy into fan theory) all get their first showing here. For all its novelty, the game played
awkwardly, with specials' input times so precise, it almost rendered their inclusion redundant and a difficulty curve that'd ensure you'd regret splitting with spare change.
Somehow, somewhere, some higher-up in an office decided that this game deserved a sequel.
Hint: It wasn't Pit Fighter.
Available on: Arcade, PC, Commodore 64, TurboGrafx-CD (as 'Fighting Street' due Nintendo's rigid licensing rules at the time), Amiga, Wii Virtual Console, can also be found on the original Xbox, PS2 and PSP via the Capcom Classics Collection Volume 2 and Remixed, respectively.