Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition

Unless you are a Street Fighter completist, or are like me and appreciate the memories associated with Street Fighter II: SCE, there probably is no reason for you to buy this version when there are better, cheap alternatives to be had.

It’s strange how competition breeds fierce fanboyism. It seems to always occur when there are two obvious front-runners that are vying for your business, whether it be Coke versus Pepsi, McDonald’s versus Burger King, Ford versus Chevy (before the American automobile market went to hell), and in the early 1990s, when 16 bit consoles were in the process of replacing their 8 bit predecessors, there was the Sega Genesis versus the Super Nintendo. This is arguably the best video game rivalry in history. Sega had been tested early by NEC’s TurboGrafx 16, but due to poor marketing on NEC’s part as well as Sega’s recognizable arcade titles (Altered Beast even came with the system!), the Genesis became the early 16 bit victor. And then came the Super Nintendo . . .

Nintendo had given Sega an early lead in the 16 bit market, which allowed Sega to find the following the Master System never achieved. The fact that gamers could now play games at home that looked close to the arcade originals was a big draw, along with the fact that Sega was releasing quality non-arcade titles as well, such as Revenge of Shinobi (an all-time favorite). The Super Nintendo was scary for those of us who loved our Genesis systems, though. It would have better graphics and sound, but beyond that, Nintendo brought with it numerous third-party publishers who weren’t making games for the Sega Genesis. This came to a head when it was announced that Capcom would be making Street Fighter II . . . only for the Super Nintendo. At the time, there was no title we wanted to see ported to home consoles more, and it was being made only for the competition. In order to play Street Fighter II at home, my roommate and I had to spend probably around $20 to rent a Super Nintendo and Street Fighter II, along with a hefty deposit to cover the price of the system in case we would decide not to bring it back. It sucked, but we did it, and on more than one occasion.

Then it happened. The news that I wanted to hear finally broke. Capcom was releasing Street Fighter II for the Genesis. It wasn’t just Street Fighter II, though—they were going to give us the Champion Edition! Nintendo didn’t have the Champion Edition, but we would! Sega fanboys across the globe rejoiced . . .

Of course, it all didn’t quite play out like that. We did finally get a Genesis of Street Fighter II, and it not only contained the Champion Edition, but the Turbo version (here called Hyper) as well. Nintendo got Street Fighter II Turbo as well. At that point, I didn’t care. I could finally play Street Fighter II at home on my Genesis. Sure, it may not have been as pretty and didn’t sound as good as the Super Nintendo version, but none of that mattered. What did matter was that this was a good port that controlled well. All was well in Sega land . . .

So, the question is, does the game still hold up fifteen years later?

Yes, yes it does. Obviously, the Street Fighter series has evolved and there are better versions to be had, but the Genesis version is still highly enjoyable, especially after recently battling the controls of Fighting Street. I was surprised at how quickly I picked up the controls again, executing fireballs, dragon punches, and hurricane kicks. The sound is as bad as always, but again, after playing Fighting Street recently, I didn’t mind the sound at all.

Unless you are a Street Fighter completist, or are like me and appreciate the memories associated with Street Fighter II: SCE, there probably is no reason for you to buy this version when there are better, cheap alternatives to be had. If you have this collecting dust in your Genesis collection, though, you might want to give it another try as there’s still a lot of fun to be had here.


2 Responses

  1. one of my favorite games of all time. I remember begging for it for Christmas one year, and my parents bought it for me, alongside an awesome six button controller.

    I loved it!

  2. This is still a fun game, especially with the Sega six button controller—one of the most comfortable, responsive controllers I’ve ever used. It was a huge improvement over the three button controller, which feels really cumbersome to use now.

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