Fighting Street is worth noting as an evolutionary step in the one-on-one fighting genre, but otherwise, it will likely be of little of interest to most gamers.
I tend to be a completest when it comes to collecting series. If I really enjoy a game, then I not only want the sequels, but I want any preceding games as well. There are several examples of this in my collection. Because I liked Grand Theft Auto III, I decided to buy the original Grand Theft Auto. Because I liked DOA 2: Hardcore, I bought the original DOA. And because I liked Street Fighter II, feeding the various arcade incarnations of it quarter after quarter, I bought Fighting Street, the TurboGrafx CD port of the original Street Fighter.
I think the first question that tends to come to people’s minds when they see Fighting Street is why the name was changed. To this day, I haven’t found an answer for this question. Maybe I never will. For the most part, this is a good adaptation of the arcade game. Though the graphics are not as crisp or detailed as the original, they are large for a TurboGrafx game. If you have played the arcade game, you will notice that background elements were sacrificed as well, such as the moving clouds in Joe’s stage. Instead, we’re given a very generic sky comprised of bands of blue. It’s not very attractive, but I generally will let such things pass as long as the gameplay is solid. Unfortunately, in Fighting Street, it is not.
Even if you’ve mastered all the moves for Ryu in the later Street Fighter games, don’t expect your skills to carry over into Fighting Street. Sure, the fireball, whirlwind kick, and dragon punch are present . . . if you can ever manage to pull them off. If you can reliably pull off these moves (I never have been able to), you will likely breeze through much of this game. Your special moves remove a lot of energy from your opponent’s life gauge, and three fireball hits are all you need to put him down. The problem is that you will likely try the fireball motion repeatedly only to maybe get one or two off during a match. The rest of the time, you will probably just be opening yourself up for a barrage of hits from your enemy, and when it comes to an opponent such as Mike, you will be KOed in no time. It doesn’t help the controls to only have two buttons at your disposal, either. The strength of your kicks and punches is determined by how long you hold down the button. This doesn’t hurt the gameplay nearly as badly as the inability to consistently pull off special moves, but it still detracts from the game. It just does not feel right to play a Street Fighter game without the six button layout.
Considering that this game was released on CD, you would expect the sound to be improved. While the soundtrack from the arcade original appears to have been redone, the voices seem to be the same. The developers really should have spent a little more time to record new voice samples, as those from the original are almost unintelligible. What’s worse is that they don’t vary at all. Whenever you beat an enemy, he says the same thing in the same voice as every other enemy in the game. Luckily, what he is saying is written out as well so that you can actually understand the message. Perhaps this should have been done for the voices during the actual fight as well, since they are a garbled mess.
Unless you absolutely feel the need to have a version of the first Street Fighter, there is no reason to own this game, and even then, you will probably get a better version by purchasing Capcom Classics Collection: Volume 2 for the PS2 or Xbox. Fighting Street is worth noting as an evolutionary step in the one-on-one fighting genre, but otherwise, it will likely be of little of interest to most gamers.