Head to Head

Super Street Fighter II

So you say you've had enough Street Fighter II to last you until the end of the O.J. Simpson trial? Tough rhubarb, kids, now you've got Super Street Fighter II. Although this version was probably the quickest arcade-to-home translation (about six months), it's also been the most poorly received. This is really too bad, because (I'll probably get a lot of grief about this) SSFII is the best home version of the game available. This issue I'm gonna spell it out for you, and while I'm at it I'm gonna refuel the SNES/Genesis war just for fun. Let's fire the first shot and take a look at both versions of the game.
Graphically, the Genesis version is well done with great color and detail, but the overall presentation seems a bit dark. The SNES version (as usual) has brighter and more vibrant visuals. The characters also appear more finely sculpted and move more fluidly. What more to say?
SNES: 1. Genesis: 0.
As far as sound goes... Oh, wait. Don't get me started on sound. Once again Sega owners get screwed with voice that sounds like you're ordering at the drive-thru window at Taco Bell. Believe me, this sound bites! This is hardly excusable since games like 688 Attack Sub (20 seconds older than dust) have crystal clear voice samples. Capcom doesn't seem to have any problem programming excellent voice on the SNES, and SSFII is no exception... fantastic. But as far as the Genesis version is concerned, have mom crank up the vacuum cleaner. Oh yeah... the music on the Genesis version is officially a waste of the 1 or 2 megs that Capcom used to accommodate the full range of post-mortem audio effects... I figure the other 38 megs went towards advertising hype.
SNES: 2. Genesis: 0.
So we're at half-time here and Sega's behind by two. Any chance to catch up? Well, actually, no. Both versions of the game have flawless play control that is quick and responsive, so neither side gains an advantage here. Both versions have the usual array of largely useless options (tournament mode, time challenge, yadda yadda yadda), so again, no clear winner.
If there's one area the Genesis version gains a leg up on, it's speed settings. Sega gets 5 vs. 4 on the SNES. Now as far as I'm concerned, speed settings are inconsequential. All you Turbo fans will probably whine and snivel until David Letterman has Madonna back on the late show about the fact that Nintendo only has 4 speed settings. My reply? Quit it. This isn't SSFII Turbo. It's not SSFII Turbo. It's SSFII. There is no Turbo. NO TURBO! So shut up and be thankful that you got any extra speed settings at all. (That felt good.) Oh yeah... Final Score? I'll give the extra speed thingy to Sega.
SNES: 2. Genesis: 1.
Now, the question everybody asks... Is it worth $70? Absolutely. All four new characters (Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long and T. Hawk, duh) are welcome additions to the tired roster of world warriors. New character art, new sound samples, new animations and new moves for the old gang also add a much needed spark of life. Cammy is quicker than hell and can slam Chun Li into the dirt any day! they also jazzed up my boy E. Honda. He's unstoppable! New point awards for first attacks, combos, recoveries and reversals are cool little gimmicks, too.
The bottom line? Trade in SF Turbo and get this one. It's the best--at least until SSFII Turbo shows up for the 3DO this November. If you own both a Genesis and a Super NES, buy the SNES version... it's clearly superior. However, if you simply must jack up the speed until you're playing "Sonic the Streetfighter" while your brain is hardwired to the control deck, the Genesis version is for you... Just turn up the brightness and turn down the sound. But SNES owners keep your eyes peeled... There's a good chance you might spot a code for extra speed settings sometime soon.

-Dr. Otto

Originally appeared Vol 2, Iss 5 (11-12/94)

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