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Twenty Years of Street Fighter II

The Impact

by Andy Goergen - March 25, 2011, 10:39 pm PDT

Andy looks back at the various console releases of Street Fighter II and the impact it had on the 16-Bit console wars.

In July of 1992, the Super NES received a gift from Capcom; an exclusive port of the arcade game that had recently been eating quarters like none in recent memory: Street Fighter II. The game was nearly arcade perfect, featuring only a few differences in the backgrounds, and was an enormous success. It was a major factor in the battle between the Super NES and its rival console, the Sega Genesis. Without a version of Street Fighter II at launch, the Genesis began to lose steam in the 16-bit war. The original SNES version of Street Fighter II would go on to sell 6.3 million copies.

Just a year later, Capcom would release another Street Fighter II game on Super NES in the form of Street Fighter II Turbo, which was an adaptation of the arcade version of Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. The game did very well for Capcom, going on to eventually sell 4.1 million copies.

Finally in September of 1993, Sega got their own version of Street Fighter II on the Genesis in Special Championship Edition, a game which carried many of the same features as the newer Super NES title, but lacked the vibrant colors and crisp sound effects and voice samples. Also, the Genesis controller only featured three buttons, and thus a special six button controller was released to make the game more easily playable. Although the controller was very well received, the game only sold 1.65 million copies due to the additional requirements and the headstart that was given to Nintendo. A classic case of "too little, too late", the Genesis version was late to the party and the damage by Street Fighter II to Sega's console had already been done.

The Super NES received yet another version of Street Fighter II in 1994 in Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. The game added 4 new fighters: Dee Jay, Fei-Long, Cammy, and T. Hawk, and included some new components to balance out the game-play. The game would go on to sell 2 million units on the Super NES.

It's not hard to see how big of an impact the Street Fighter II series had on Super NES software sales. All told, the game sold 12.4 million units. These variations on Street Fighter II, including the Genesis version, are available on the Wii's Virtual Console service.



NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 23, 2011
Mop it upMarch 23, 2011

I've never played a Street Fighter game, but I do own Street Fighter II Turbo for the SNES, because, as I would come to discover, no one is allowed to own an SNES without having at least one version of Street Fighter II.

Oh ya. Capcom VS. SNK - I played the hell out of that. That was also the only time I was ever admired in an arcade: I had imported the Dreamcast version and played the hell out of it, to the point where I was getting to and beating Shin-Akuma every time I played through. I then went to an arcade near my college, saw that they had it and proceeded about my business.

I beat Shin-Akuma and by then there is actually a crowd around me- one of the guys actually says to me, "Wow dude, you're incredible."

Ever since then my life has been trying to recapture that same level of glory. ^_~

Ian SaneMarch 24, 2011

Street Fighter II came out around when I was in grade five.  This would have been the SNES version that caused a big stir at my school.  Before I ever played Zelda or Metroid, owned a videogame system or even had a computer good enough to play games, Street Fighter II was my favourite game.

It's funny because I really sucked at it.  I pretty much never beat the computer.  But a lot of the fun was playing with friends.  The fact that it was an arcade game really helped.  Every place that had arcade games at the time had SOME version of Street Fighter II.  So it didn't matter that I didn't have a SNES, I could just play at the nearby gas station.  And my friends and I would spend our summer trying to scrounge up quarters and then riding our bikes to the gas station.  In retrospect the amount of effort we put it to play a game for like five minutes was unreal.

It wasn't just Street Fighter II.  For a while fighting games were the biggest genre and I wanted to know all of them.  I remember the first time I encountered a Neo-Geo.  It had Fatal Fury in it and I was blown away to encounter another game like SFII.  Then I discovered the other SNK fighters like Art of Fighting and World Heroes.  In my fighter obsessed mind the Neo-Geo was the coolest system ever.  I wanted to try every fighting game.  I created some dream game in my mind where I combined the rosters of every major fighting game (except titles like Mortal Kombat or Virtua Fighter which didn't have a similar enough look).  Realistically Capcom vs. SNK was my dream game but it came out so many years later that it didn't have the same impact.  Around the playground kids talked about the elusive Street Fighter I.  Many claimed to have played it but they were all full of it.  In reality it's for the best the game remained a mystery because it sucks.

And of course we all talked about what Street Fighter III would be like.  The fever died down around the time Street Fighter Alpha came out.  It might be because I was now in high school.  It might be because the current arcade games were not being ported to the SNES.  It might be because arcade games started increasing in price.  But I think it might also be because SFA was not SFIII.  Capcom's constant tinkering of Street Fighter II was the butt of jokes and in a way the fact that they had clearly made a brand new Street Fighter but it still wasn't III was kind of annoying.  Street Fighter III is a good game but it needed to come out earlier to truly be a big deal.

The sad thing is I can't really go back to SFII and enjoy it anymore.  So much of it relied on us kids being dumb and having no real strategy other then attempting special moves.  That was how it worked - whoever pulled off the special moves won the match.  Later as adults my brothers and I were playing Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES.  My brother kicked all of our asses using Sagat with nothing but roundhouses.  He would alternate between jumping, standing and crouching roundhouses and just owned the rest of us.  Then he tried agains the computer and beat the game.  He broke it.  He revealed the flaws that as kids we couldn't notice.  So sadly it will never be the same as when Street Fighter II was my favourite game.

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 24, 2011

Here is part 2 of my restrospective:

NWR_pap64Pedro Hernandez, Contributing WriterMarch 25, 2011

Here are the next two parts of the feature. First if the Evolution of the Series with Andrew Brown and yours truly:

Here is Andy's page on the various versions of the SF II game:

leroypantweatherMarch 26, 2011

Just wanted to say great feature to all involved.

Spak-SpangMarch 26, 2011


THank you!!!!

That post was more or less my life experience.  I remember my friends buying Street Fighter 2 for SNES, and I didn't buy it...I knew a better version would come out...and I was right.  I remember even waiting on that one, because I could just rent it at Blockbuster...when Blockbuster was cool because you could rent games.

But I did buy Super Street Fighter 2. 

I used to think I was pretty good at the game, but really I sucked...now I play it and I realize I am even worse than when I was a kid.

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