Following hot on the heels of all the hype surrounding the film, the latest addition to the Street Fighter titles is finally here for the Amiga. Called Super Street Fighter 2, it features four new players each with an additional setting. Now you will also find Cammy (played in the film by Kylie Minogue), Dee Jay, Fei Long and T Hawk, plus all the old familiar ones. They have also been improved with extra moves and new touches.
However, the first thing that strikes you when you load up the game is how dated it all looks. A few years ago this would have been quite acceptable but now after Mortal Kombat 2 and Shadow Fighter have passed, it does look its age. And a very amateur introductory animation is quite laughable. But the gameplay is what counts and this, fortunately, works well.
You can either play against the computer, choosing the level of difficulty, or a human opponent chosen from a number of characters. Each has their own set of special moves which are surprisingly easy to execute. The moves can be put together to perform a number of 'hit combos' and each character is different enough to provide varied game-play. E Honda, for example, is a large character who relies on his bulk, whereas Cammy is small but agile and has lightening fast reactions.
The game can also be dramatically altered by changing the speed you play at. The Turbo option can be turned up to high which speeds everything up - including the music - and means you have to think fast and move quickly to avoid the blows from other players.
What is particularly nice about this game is that it supports a joypad. This works a lot better than using the one-button joystick as you get a separate button for either a punch or kick. You can also use a two-button joystick on this same principle.
As I mentioned before, though, the graphics are very dated - such as the bland backdrops which don't do anything to create atmosphere. And what's worse is that they look flat and two-dimensional and there's been no attempt to make them interesting with the use of animation. Okay, so this may have slowed the game down but other games manage this successfully and it would certainly have made for a more polished looking title.
Another flaw is the size and detail of the characters themselves. I'm sure they've been intricately designed but they're just too small too see any detail or, sometimes, what is going on properly. Huge black borders around the screen don't help matters either and although you can change the screen mode from Pal 50 hertz to NTSC 60 hertz to speed things up and get rid of some of the blackness, it never disappears completely.
Music and sound effects don't really enhance the game either, with feeble death noises and dismal music. Oh, and some of the characters have some very strange verbal expressions when they launch an attack, such as 'Had-o-ken' or some other weird saying which does nothing to increase the competitive atmosphere. However, what really let the game down was the amount of disk swapping involved. Thankfully it is hard disk installable, otherwise it would be completely unplayable with a ridiculous six disks to access each time.
Super Street Fighter 2 as it stands is a good, playable title, but compare it to the likes of Mortal Kombat 2 with its bloodthirsty graphics or Shadow Fighter and it does start to look rather limp. Mortal Kombat 2 managed to create an authentic atmosphere and had some fantastic and original special moves. Shadow Fighter was also a particularly rewarding and addictive game, with well-designed characters which looked very clear and detailed for this type of action.
After reading all this, it may sound like the game is a complete letdown. This isn't the case. Yes, it does have quite a few negative points but when it comes down to the game-play it works extremely well - especially if you have a joy pad. Two-player mode works particularly well too, and there's never a situation (unlike Rise of the Robots) where you can corner your opponent and bash them to death with the same tedious move.
In 1994 Capcom released the last Street Fighter episode on Amiga. Unfortunately it is too big to play it from disk. It takes 7 floppy disks! Not so good as the previous SF2, and no hard drive installation available.
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