I can remember going to the arcade as a kid and battling my friends in Street Fighter II. Eventually, I picked the game up on the Super Nintendo and was able to save my quarters while my friends and I pummelled each other in basements and living rooms for hours on end. (This was long before Chuck Palahniuk wrote Fight Club so our brawls were virtual… mostly.) This is our Ultra Street Fighter II review.
Street Fighter II is an iconic video game and helped shape the console brawler for decades to come. Super Street Fighter II is true to its roots and carries forward all that was great about that game even if it is showing a bit of rust due to age.
Ryu, Ken, E. Honda and the other iconic characters are all back for this latest entry in the long-running franchise as well as all the characters that were added in during different incarnations. Two new characters have also been added, Evil Ryu, and Violent Ken, but I don’t think at this point you consider them really “new.” They are really nothing more than reskins of fan favorites.
There are a handful of customization options for this new version. Each character has 10 different color pallets you can choose from. If you can’t find a combination you like from those you can open up the color editor and further customize your character. You can create an army of green and purple fighters if you want.
In addition to customizing the colors of your characters, you can also choose to play in the classic pixel art mode or the 3D model mode. The 3D models do not appear to be a new creation for this entry. They are probably assets reused, or slightly altered, from the XBox 360 and the PS3 version that was released around 10 years ago.
The only really new option available in this Switch edition is the Way of the Hado mode. This is a first-person brawler where you fight waves of enemies as Ryu. In this mode, you’ll perform Hadokens and other signature Ryu moves while defeating wave after wave of enemies. Once you complete a stage you’ll be rewarded growth points that you can distribute amongst six different stats and become a stronger fighter enabling you to take on tougher challenges. While this is a novel approach to making use of the Switch’s motion controls it really isn’t a very in-depth mode of play. It will, however, give you one heck of an upper body workout if you play for extended periods.
Capcom has also included art in a gallery from the out of print Street Fighter Artworks: Supremacy. However, they left all the text in the original Japanese and did not provide a translation for any of the notes. Gee thanks, Capcom.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers does a great job of scratching that nostalgic itch and has a few bonus features but overall the package feels like a misstep. At $15 to $20 I’d have no problem recommending this to everyone out there. However at $40 for physical or digital download it feels like Capcom got a little greedy and put minimal effort into this port but is an attempt to extract a premium price. With classic Neo Geo fighters appearing on the Nintendo eShop for $7.99 this price difference seems even more glaring.