Street Fighter II

Matt Barton's picture

Ah, Street Fighter II, the game I hated with a passion in high school. Why the hate? Because it seemed like the only game that anyone was interested in playing. Later on, of course, there was hundreds of different versions, clones, spin-offs, and what have you, and people kept acting like they were "totally new." I took one look and thought, "You're delusional. That's the same game with minor differences." It amazed me how obsessed people got with these "fighting" games, studying the moves, "practicing" (as opposed to playing) for hours on end, etc. Bleh! I remember my friend going on for literally hours about one called "King of Fighters," making it sound like a revolution of the genre. I finally saw it, and could barely tell the difference between that and SF II. Even to this day, I don't know why so many people thought these games were so "unbelievably awesome." What am I missing?

The only games of this type I actually enjoyed were Way of the Exploding Fist for the Commodore 64 and Death Sword (aka Barbarian) for the Commodore Amiga. I played these quite a bit whenever I could find a partner. I also remember playing a bit with some kind of elf-themed fighter and Mortal Kombat for the Amiga. I thought Mortal Kombat was kinda neat, though I certainly don't think it warranted so many sequels and versions.

I guess the reason I didn't like these games was the "I'm going to beat you" type of gameplay. I've always been much more fond of co-op gameplay than the "deathmatch." It seems like games like SF II only lead to two possible outcomes: Either I win, and the other guy gets mad and doesn't want to play anymore, or vice versa. There's nothing worse than someone begging you to play a game of this sort just to beat you with a superior knowledge of all the special moves. It's really friggin' lame. I also hated it when one of them worked out some kind of trick, so they could keep doing the same unblockable move on you again and again. That made them feel powerful, I guess. Just seemed stupid to me.

Comments

Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Matt, I guess you had your

Matt, I guess you had your 'Streetfighter'-fix on the old c64 and the Amiga. I share this history with you - although I must say I was intrigued by the Streetfighter games because of the fluid animation (more fluid than EF on the C64) and lush backgrounds. I remember downloading quite a good homebrew version from Cal. University in the early days of the internet. It was utilizing the graphics of the arcade version - I believe they were recreated or something like that. You needed a 386 or perhaps even a 486 to get it working properly. Cave! - this was an unlicensed version.
Later I played quite some SFII on the Snes, but lost interest in fighting games. I got my intrest in fighting games again with Virtua Fighter on the Saturn, Tekken 3 and some other fighters on the PSX and the Soul Calibur. Of course Dead or Alive is a classic as well.
The gameplay often is rather limited and there are indeed two outcomes - you win or you loose. But the latter is something that is indigenous to 99% of videogames out there. :-P



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Some public notes

I think it's important to mention of course Karate Champ, which was one of the first one-on-one fighting games to bring it all together. It used a dual joystick control scheme. The original Street Fighter was interesting, because it used a pressure-sensitive button, which I believe is the reason why Street Fighter II end up with the different buttons for "power" levels. I think Street Fighter II was the first game that brought together great visuals with compelling characters and super-tight control. The fact that it was more than just button-mashing certainly helped--if you genuinely practiced and learned the combos, there was certainly quite a bit of technique to it. There were tons of clones and knock-offs of it.

Obviously Mortal Kombat didn't have the same depth, but it did have the gore. There were some clones of that as well. I think after Karate Champ, Street Fighter, Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, it's important to discuss the transition to 3D with Virtua Fighter, which, while crude looking together, nevertheless was another "skill" fighter. Games like Tekken and Soul Calibur built off of the Virtua Fighter model. Dead or Alive is important too, but is probably more famous for the T&A than for its actual fighting (which is actually decent). Certainly the Soul Calibur series is one of the few top weapons-based fighters.

I think it's important to make the distinction between scrolling brawlers and one-on-one fighting games. Certainly scrolling brawlers, like Double Dragon and The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Final Fight and Streets of Rage all need to be mentioned, but I think ultimately those are more "casual" interpretations of the "pure" one-on-one fighting game model.

Hopefully we can both take some of these ideas into the chapter, Matt... And of course I'd love to hear others' comments around this.



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
About Side Scrolling and one-on-one Fighters....
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Obviously Mortal Kombat didn't have the same depth, but it did have the gore.

The only good thing about the Mortal Kombat games is the gore - the gameplay is far too shallow in my opinion.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

.....it's important to discuss the transition to 3D with Virtua Fighter, which, while crude looking together, nevertheless was another "skill" fighter. Games like Tekken and Soul Calibur built off of the Virtua Fighter model. Dead or Alive is important too, but is probably more famous for the T&A than for its actual fighting (which is actually decent). Certainly the Soul Calibur series is one of the few top weapons-based fighters.

Indeed like I said prior.

Bill Loguidice wrote:

I think it's important to make the distinction between scrolling brawlers and one-on-one fighting games. Certainly scrolling brawlers, like Double Dragon and The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Final Fight and Streets of Rage all need to be mentioned, but I think ultimately those are more "casual" interpretations of the "pure" one-on-one fighting game model.

Way of the Exploding Fist II is a nice cross between the original one-on-one fighter episode I was and the scrolling brawler/adventure games mention above. I think Way of the Exploding fist II needs to be mentioned as well, just because of that.

On Karateka, that was a great game although horribly slow on the C64. It really was a game that wore out my patience quite a bit.



Editor / Pixelator - Armchair Arcade, Inc.
www.markvergeer.nl

n/a
yakumo9275
yakumo9275's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2006
I was never any good and SF2

I was never any good and SF2 or MK. I much preferred final fight, double dragon, TMNT, dragon ninja or shinobi (definitely shinobi!!) I would always get my butt handed to me in SF2 or MK. I prefered the side scrolling beat em ups.

I do admit to LOVING Soul Calibur on the DC, I think it was the weapons based thing, as I was totally hopeless in DOA on the DC...

My friends and I would co-op a lot on the AD&D mutliplayer games tower of whatever etc, and the original 4 player gauntlet. Lots of quarters spent on Altered Beast...

I also admit to not liking golden axe tho ;) a big sin to a lot of people.

-- Stu --

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
More
yakumo9275 wrote:

I was never any good and SF2 or MK. I much preferred final fight, double dragon, TMNT, dragon ninja or shinobi (definitely shinobi!!) I would always get my butt handed to me in SF2 or MK. I prefered the side scrolling beat em ups.

I do admit to LOVING Soul Calibur on the DC, I think it was the weapons based thing, as I was totally hopeless in DOA on the DC...

My friends and I would co-op a lot on the AD&D mutliplayer games tower of whatever etc, and the original 4 player gauntlet. Lots of quarters spent on Altered Beast...

I also admit to not liking golden axe tho ;) a big sin to a lot of people.

-- Stu --

I think all of the side-scrolling beat 'em ups were fun, but ultimately shallow. At least Street Fighter II had depth. The side scrolling format really couldn't accommodate the depth part like a one-on-one fighter could. I can't say I'm a fighting game fan either, though I have my fair share (I used to LOVE Yie-Ar-Kung Fu - another one that needs to be mentioned), but I can certainly see the appeal. There's some type of base instinct there, some type of gladiatorial one-on-one face-off where only one can walk away the winner.



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Calibrator
Offline
Joined: 10/25/2006
No 2D for me...

I never was much into beat'em ups and most certainly not in the 8- or 16-bit era, though I liked Karateka for its great sense of style.

My pretty much only "martial arts action" took place in the underrated but brilliant RPG "Moebius" from Origin Systems. I won most fights with a single move so I didn't really become a martial arts expert and the Karate lessons I got as a kid didn't help either ;-)

Later I bought several for the first Playstation - mostly because they looked great and were 3D, which I always thought was a necessity for fighting games (other people will wildly disagree, of course ;-)

"Bushido Blade" leans more into the simulation aspect of fighting games, as it is much slower than most of its ilk and features an optional first person perspective. Apart from its sparsely designed but sometimes effective settings (in the bamboo grove you can cut the bamboo with your various blades - this not only looks cool but prevents your opponent to climb it...) it featured one great design decision: No health bars!
You fought much more carefully because you can be crippled by a stroke to the legs and had to fight while crouching on the earth! Then you would only be able to attack the legs of your opponent and hope that you cripple him, too, so you can get to vital parts (head or torso).
In fact a single, well-placed stroke could instantly kill you like with a headshot - so don't neglect your defense!
If I had to choose one fighting game - this would be it.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/bushido-blade

"SoulBlade" is much more arcadey than BB. No wonder - it's a competent port of the arcade game "Soul Edge". It's very polished and nice looking for the old Playstation hardware (compared to the rather generic looking BB) and it's quite fast: If you first play BB and the SB you'll think you are on Speed! Those NAMCO guys really knew their stuff.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/soul-blade

"Tobal No. 1" features a very fluid graphics engine (hi-res and 60 Hz, but nearly no textures). The characters moved quite realistically but looked a bit blocky. It's a classic beat'em up but with one twist: I features a "Quest Mode" which is essentially a very stripped down RPG. Too stripped down and nothing more that a bonus, really, but it may have been asked for by its publishing company: Square Co. (they also published Bushido Blade which is a completely different affair).
http://www.mobygames.com/game/playstation/tobal-no1

For some time I wanted to buy the first "Dead or Alive" (also PS1) as it features those wacky boob-physics but sanity came back and I was content with what I had. ;-)

Then came "Shenmue" and with it the reason to buy a Dreamcast. This game can be described as a mixture of a third-person action-adventure with many objects & dialogues and a surprisingly complex 3D fighting game like Virtua Fighter (AFAIK the same designer/design department). It surely has many whimsical features (you are on a mission to avenge the murder of your father but take your time to collect toys?) but it surely is one of the most engrossing gaming experiences I had the luck to have.
http://www.mobygames.com/game/dreamcast/shenmue

take care,
Calibrator

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Comments to Calibrator

Bushido Blade was wonderful and it's a darn shame that concept wasn't continued.

Shenmue is mentioned in the GTA III chapter...

Karateka is one of my all-time favorites and is often criticized by modern (and some classic) gamers for being "slow". In reality it was slow, but that's a positive in relation to the almost rhythmic fisticuffs. Any faster and it could delve into unplayable and un-fun button mashing...



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a
Calibrator
Offline
Joined: 10/25/2006
Karateka
Bill Loguidice wrote:

Shenmue is mentioned in the GTA III chapter...

A.K.A. "The Sandbox Chapter" ;-)

Quote:

Karateka is one of my all-time favorites and is often criticized by modern (and some classic) gamers for being "slow". In reality it was slow, but that's a positive in relation to the almost rhythmic fisticuffs. Any faster and it could delve into unplayable and un-fun button mashing...

It's a Jordan Mechner classic - a truly great designer, IMHO (Karateka, Prince of Persia, The Last Express) and it shows one thing: How to express emotion and intention even with limited graphics by perfectly animating body language.

take care,
Calibrator

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
Sango Fighter

Anybody ever play this one?

Sango Fighter

I got this one installed in the high school computer lab, and we'd play it on and off. It seems to be one of those games that many people played, but few can remember.

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Sango Fighter
Matt Barton wrote:

Anybody ever play this one?

Sango Fighter

I got this one installed in the high school computer lab, and we'd play it on and off. It seems to be one of those games that many people played, but few can remember.

I played it briefly--I think most of us who had PCs did at the time did. I remember liking it, but I forget why I never bought it. It might have had something to do with the controls. The PC was simply not a great platform for fighting games until console-style controls became standard relatively recently...



Wii: 1345 2773 2048 1586 | PS3: ArmchairArcade
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.