Retro Reset – Street Fighter II

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This is awesome on so many levels.

This is awesome on so many levels.

Street Fighter IV is right around the corner, and I’m pretty damn sure the entire world is excited for it. It’s beautiful, buttery smooth and it’s Street Fighter for crying out loud.

In honor of its fast approaching release date, let’s take a look back at what, in my mind, is the game that introduced me into the world of fighters: Street Fighter II. With so many iterations of it, I’m going to make this entire process easier by saying that this Retro Reset applies to whatever Street Fighter II you love. Be that an arcade version, a Super Nintendo version, Sega Genesis version, whatever.

My personal greatest memories come from a combination of various arcade versions (I was too young to take note of which versions I was playing), and the original SNES release. Quite simply, Street Fighter II was the shit. It’s what everyone at the arcades raved about, and I looked up in admiration at the teenagers pulling off crazy projectile moves and combos. Sure, I was a bit too young and nervous to stand in line and get shredded by the competition, but what I saw blew my mind. And on the off chance I found an empty arcade and had the chance to square off with someone I actually knew, I took it.

[play to hear Ryu’s theme]

When I found out that Street Fighter II was coming to the SNES, I flipped. I would finally be able to play SFII to my hearts content, and without the need of a pocket full of loose change (wait a minute, does that mean I helped kill the arcade business? Fuck.).

Before

An epic showdown.

Like many people, I was drawn to Ryu. Even before I had the home version, he was my guy. It’s hard for a kid not to see the appeal in a karate dude who shoots blue fireballs and pulls off flying uppercuts and kicks. My brother, and contributor to this site (Michael), opted for Guile. Admittedly, he kicked my ass repeatedly, but we still had a ton of fun.

Although it may not have been a perfect translation, for two kids getting to play Street Fighter II in their own home it didn’t matter. Honestly, we never even noticed. It was the perfect port in our mind.

If Street Fighter IV manages to bring even a fraction of that feeling back when it releases, it will be mission accomplished for Capcom. Street Fighter II has left a legacy behind it, and people still can’t get enough of it – Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is proof of that.

Long live Street Fighter II, Eternal Champion of the Fighters!

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