Street Fighter (Arcade) review
"Capcom's “Street Fighter” series was the progenitor of fighting games and today it is still respected in the hearts of beat-em-up fans and general gamers alike. When you think of Street Fighter I guarantee you will immediately think of Street Fighter 2 Championship edition, possibly the most famous fighting game in history. The original Street Fighter however remains almost forgotten now probably due to the reason it mainly lay in the arcades of the late eighties and was knocked aside for the go..."
Capcom's “Street Fighter” series was the progenitor of fighting games and today it is still respected in the hearts of beat-em-up fans and general gamers alike. When you think of Street Fighter I guarantee you will immediately think of Street Fighter 2 Championship edition, possibly the most famous fighting game in history. The original Street Fighter however remains almost forgotten now probably due to the reason it mainly lay in the arcades of the late eighties and was knocked aside for the good of us all when the sequel came out.
The original Street Fighter was more primitive than the sequel and only allowed you to place as one character, Shotokan karate student Ryu, from Japan and if you brought a friend along you could play as Ken, his American counterpart. Although they looked slightly different in attire they play identically, having an identical set of moves. Of course we all know what there moves are: The Hadoken, the classic fireball that no gamer will forget, the Shoryuken (Dragon Punch) and the TatsuMakiSenPuKyaku (Hurricane kick).
With Ryu you can choose which corner of the globe you want to start at, Japan, America, China or England. Each country has two fighters for you to lock horns with and the cast of characters include a punk, a boxer (like Balrog from SF2), a ninja and a seven foot, one eyed kick boxer that we all know as Sagat, who became one of the primary fighters in the series when it kicked off. The only criticism I had with these characters is that I would have liked to play as some of them. Only a few of them were reborn in future sequels by Capcom but there are a nice variety here, too bad you only get to play as Ryu throughout but in 1987 I guess it was amazing enough to play as one character in a game of this quality.
One point you have to consider in Street Fighter is the games difficulty and how it varies immensely. You could play it one day and kick the crap out of all of the opponents with about two direct Hadoken fireballs and a few jabs to the head. Then you’ll think “Holy Crap!! That was easy!” and let your guard down, only to be royally trounced in round 2 by the same opponent. Also you’ll discover that most special moves will take almost over a quarter of the opponents’ health bar in one contact, which also works the other way round. This was a bit tedious as all of sudden, before you realise it; you’ve lost the match without even laying a scratch on the opponent.
Also another problem was the cranky controls and the sheer difficulty it was to pull of another move except Hadoken, which was so easy to pull off that it was almost addictive in a sense. To pull out a Hurricane kick or a Dragon Punch it takes a driving strain to get the controls right and it’s better to just knock their block off with a roundhouse kick or a few jabs. The time you take trying to pull off moves is tiresome and basically allowed to be open for a merciless attack by your opponent.
Looking at the games presentation, you’ll be able to see more pros than cons. The sprites are well drawn and although the detail is reasonable they look not too bad. Of course, there are a few problems with the sprites. The animation is reasonably choppy and you’ll notice how the characters will jerk and twitch around like someone who has had way too much caffeine. The backdrops of fighting areas look lovely, ranging from the mean streets of London, to a Thai temple, with a glorious statue of Buddha in the background. Hats off to Capcom here, in 1987 these graphics were probably almost ground breaking in a sense and even now they look fairly pretty.
One could be entertained for a while just listening to the poor yet somewhat funny dialogue that the game tries to spurt out. When you are victorious you are “treated” to your opponent telling, or trying to tell you that there are many others like you and when the tables are turned you have some dialogue with the opponent bragging about how cool he is. Whatever the case though it sounds so bad it’s funny. The speech is muffled and comes out very distorted. Also when playing this in an arcade you better thank God for subtitles, although who cares what they say anyway. You’ll be too busy jumping for joy or emptying out your wallet to give a hoot. Following suite are the loud and sometime annoying sound effects. Every punch is followed by a grunt and most moves have a name that the fighter has to blurt out as he executes it, which pierces your head after the first bout.
After playing Street Fighter 2 for years and then coming back to this you’ll realise that the game hasn’t aged well. Although it spawned possibly the greatest fighting series ever it was a let down to say the least. It isn’t a bad game when you consider the merits but it surely isn’t what its cracked up to be. Certain limitations like lack of characters and variety ruin the gameplay but it is a good arcade game, where you can play through it once or twice and leave it without missing its eventual absence. A bit of a let down but it could have been worse.
Community review by goldenvortex (July 05, 2004)
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