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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Time Capsule: Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival (GBA)

The arcade in your hands.

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TOTAL SCORE: 9.3/10 CHOICE PICK
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Before the days of Capcom adding Marvel characters into its foray of fighting games what with titles like X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom, there was Street Fighter 2 and its many incarnations. A trip to the arcade during the mid-90s was never complete without Street Fighter 2. Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival arrived a decade after that original Street Fighter 2, incorporating several of the updates that its other iterations introduced. The result is a comprehensive Street Fighter 2 package that no Street Fighter fan and fighting game fan alike should do without.

To start off with, this game, while essentially an on-the-go entertainment piece, doesn’t scrimp on its presentation. There are certainly a few changes here and there, but there’s really nothing major that will affect the gameplay. The graphics are on par with that of the original arcade version – character models are huge and detailed and the backgrounds are vibrant. The music and sound effects make a perfect transition as well. The animations are great, though slowdowns can be noticed during some instances. That minor flaw can be easily compensated by the lack of any load time, however.

Perhaps more noteworthy are the characters here. An initial cast of 16 fighters would be available from the get-go, with more to be unlocked progressively. What I like about this game is that each of these characters is neither too weak nor overpowered; in fact, each of them is balanced. Dhalsim may seem one of the more powerful characters at first what with his Mister Fantastic-esque stretchable legs and arms and teleportation abilities, but after toying around with different characters, I am convinced that each fighter does indeed have his or her own strengths and weaknesses. E. Honda, for instance, appears intimidating and devastating with his size advantage and quick hand moves, but he can actually be defeated with a succession of high and low kicks. Balancing each of the 16 characters is definitely no simple task, but the fact that Capcom has accomplished this makes the game even more impressive.

Another thing going for this game are the controls. The GBA, with its limited 4 button configuration, may seem unfit for a fighting game, especially Street Fighter 2, which needs at least 6 buttons. But what Capcom has done is to offer us a solution that makes playing this game a cinch even though the GBA only has 2 face buttons and 2 shoulder buttons. For instance, a quick tap on the A button initiates a low kick, but holding down on it allows you to execute a medium kick. In theory, the controls may be a tad tricky, especially when you are in the heat of a battle, but in action, it works perfectly. The round it all off, the controls are pretty tight and responsive.

Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival features all the bonus stages from the original, including the beat-the-car-up level and introduces quite a few new ones like training, survival and time attack. Versus mode allows you to square it off against a human opponent, but you would require a link cable to connect 2 GBAs together and 2 copies of the game. The versus mode is certainly a welcomed addition, cementing the fact that Street Fighter 2 on the GBA is just as good as, if not better than, the original arcade rendition. This is really the arcade in the palms of your hands.

I have only one more thing to nit-pick about this game: Why is there only one winning speech for each character? It gets a little boring after a while.

Final Comments
Arcade goodness in the palms of your hands. The presentation here soars, and the controls make a perfect transition. The game features an impressive 16 characters, each balanced out, and that’s excluding unlockable ones. Retaining the modes from the arcade version, as well as adding in some new ones, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo Revival is as fantastic as it gets. If you own a GBA or a DS, get this.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello,

I just bought "Street Fighter II Turbo Revival", which is a GBA cartdridge for my DS Lite.

Do you know how to erase it's data with the DS ?

Thanks

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