Real Talk By: KJ
The Switch Library at this point is still growing. Fortunately there’s a solid amount of Old School Fighting Games available in the Eshop. Next-up comes Capcom’s newest entry in their wildly-respected series. It has Launched, but at a price tag of $40. Is Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers worth it? Let’s get down to business.
It really depends on what you’re looking for. The “New” Graphics are sprites pulled from the HD Remix build. So in-terms of visuals, hopefully you enjoyed the look previously, because it’s virtually unchanged. What about Characters? Violent Ken and Evil Ryu are making their first appearances in the realm of SFII. Give-or-take a few bad guy moves, they are cloned individuals. Nothing really to boast about. No new animations, just reworked assets. Next up is controls.
HD Rumble is felt when players perform special moves, landing a KO, and celebrating post-fight. I could feel every hadoken thrown, E. Honda Hand Slap, Chun-Li Kick, ext. Inputting moves overall has been made easier. Executing various motions with the Joycon sticks; while tiny, will work out. The L and R controller combo is a serviceable substitute for those without a Pro option. Note that Hori Arcade Sticks will be coming soon. Playing with either Joycon individually, should be for quick sessions. Overall, you can tell that Capcom tried hard to make everything feel smooth as possible for Switch owners.
Visually, Ultra slightly bests HD Remix in terms of presentation. The life bars have reverted back to the more stylish classic design. Changing between HD and 90’s graphics has improved. While there’s still no option to switch on the fly, you’ll notice that either choice is acceptable. In Remix, reverting to old school would only affect the fighters, while the stages remained new. It made for an odd-looking presentation. Here, players get the throwback stages to-match. The screen size unfortunately cannot be altered, but the camera is zoomed in more, versus the distant appearance in remix. On the Udon side of things, It would have been nice to have more animations added. Some movements appear a bit choppy. It’s More noticeable now since TV sets have upgraded.
More options involve playing the game with original and updated sounds. SFIV battle cries, and newly remixed themes add to the choices. Fighting with 90’s visuals, while hearing Feilong’s attack sounds from SFIV is an interesting combo. I really Enjoy Ultra’s renditions of Ken & Zangief’s themes. Dhalsim’s new BGM isn’t as great as the original in my opinion, the same can be said about The Character Selection Screen. With that being said, The option to mix and match per stage would have been welcomed, but certainly not a deal breaker. Sound design overall gets a big thumbs up from me.
Art Gallery gives access to a Book now out of print (Street Fighter Artworks: Supremacy). This is a nice arrangement of 200 photos from Japan. Fun to browse a few times. Can Zoom in and out with the tablet and search from Left or Right.
Color Editing is a feature I’m glad to see return in Capcom Fighters. You haven’t experienced Street Fighter till you’ve put Super Saiyan Akuma against Smurf Violent Ken. Other throwback features should have made the jump too, considering this is a celebration of a milestone.
Veterans will notice Missing modes here that were available in previous iterations of Street Fighter II. Turbo Revival on GBA not-only featured Fan favorite Bonus Stages but also a Time Attack, Survival, and Team Battle to name a few. Hey, at least we get an Arcade Mode (Hello SFV!). Every Mode mentioned is easy to throw-in, and would be better received than a sloppily designed motion game. Enter “Way of The Hado”.
Play in Seth’s Street Fighter IV stage, taking on waves of M. Bison’s thugs. Players perform all of Ryu’s signature moves from a First Person Viewpoint. Often the game will either recognize the wrong move, or won’t respond at all. I would perform the technique just as shown in the tutorial, but to no avail. Hado is a mode that shouldn’t have been promoted as a selling point, or really even seen the light of day.
Something that can be entertaining in bursts is “Buddy Battle”. Every fight takes place on Bison’s Thailand Stage even though promotional photos clearly show the action happening on Ryu’s level. Literally the back of the game box shows it. People who remember “Dramatic Battle” in Street Fighter Alpha 3, it’s an updated version. Play in coop with a friend or computer, against 4 characters. While Sharing a life bar together, the two-man team must beat the opponent twice, while the solo fighter only needs to win one round. Playing this with the CPU on tougher difficulties, I noticed my teammate was lagging behind. I recommend playing with a real Buddy. If they added other areas, more opponents, you could have had a very strong add-on. This is still a fun diversion, but like much of the newer content here, I know Capcom could have done more. For those wondering, there is no option to have Three Homies playing simultaneously. Again, I mourn the removal of Bonus Stages. Could you image you and friends demolishing a vehicle? Final Fight style!
Network play is pretty solid. No large lobby/Spectator Modes here. You can play locally with the online fight request option on. I Ran into a few laggy match-ups, but overall it’s been smooth 1v1 sessions. I noticed Everyone seems to really enjoy using Violent Ken.
Some of the modern changes were necessary. Capcom eliminated the endless grapple exploit. That’s right, players can break free from the grasp of Zangief. Now when Vega loses his claw it’s gone for the round. Other smaller tweaks were made, turning this (gameplay-wise) into the most solid version of SFII to date. Diehards will appreciate what has taken place in that regard.
For a game representing The 30th Anniversary of A beloved Franchise, carrying a larger price tag too, nothing should have been left behind. Hit fans with a barrage of history. one of the reasons this version exists is to pull in a new wave of fans. Considering easy touch screen controls are an option, even the little ones can make some noise.
If one is to purchase The Final Challengers, it’s likely for nostalgic purposes. Getting the classic game you remember fine-tuned to the utmost, with the ability to take it wherever; is tough to turn down. However, grabbing this with the newer features as your motivation, I strongly recommend waiting on a discount. The modern extras bring little to the table to justify $40. Thankfully at its core, Street Fighter II’s gameplay holds up entirely.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Gets
3.5 out of 5
+Nice Gameplay Adjustments
-Way of The Hado
-Classic Bonus Content Missing
-Overpriced at Launch