GAME REVIEW- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix -

Game Review- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

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  • Videogame: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
  • ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
  • Developer: Backbone Entertainment
  • Publisher: Capcom
  • Gameplay: A-
  • Sound: B
  • Replay Value: A
  • Series:

GAME REVIEW- Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

Go wild in the streets with a great remake of a classic.

By Nadia Oxford     December 15, 2008

Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix(2008).
© Capcom, Udon


Of all the video game series that have survived to see the age of 20, Street Fighter is undoubtedly the most respected. We love Super Mario, Mega Man and other “old timers,” but two decades after its conception, the Street Fighter series still demands the very best from its fans. Even though it's not too difficult for a newcomer to pick up a controller and start playing, veterans who wish to achieve recognition for their skills must practice and study, not unlike a young acolyte who strives to become a master.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, available for download on Xbox Live Arcade and the Playstation Network, is both a welcome introduction for Street Fighter newbies and the ultimate test of skill for veterans. Capcom and Backbone Entertainment have added layers of depth to a fighter that's already known for detail, and the nearly endless ways to toggle the gameplay makes it a welcome choice for beginners. Udon Studios' high definition retooling of the original Street Fighter sprites is worth fawning over too, of course.
Old Fighters, New Balance
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is, as its distressingly long name implies, a high definition upgrade to Super Street Fighter II Turbo (SSFIIT), which hit the arcades in 1994. Players have the option of selecting the arcade's original build (which uses the exact same gameplay and balance featured in Super Street Fighter II Turbo and simply adds the new artwork and music) or they can opt for a “rebalanced” version of the original game (plus the aesthetic changes). The rebalancing means that the controller movements needed to pull off some special moves, for example the Dragon Punch, are more forgiving. Honda's Hundred-Hand slap and Chun-Li's Lightning Kick also take fewer button pushes to engage.
Not surprisingly, opinions on the rebalancing have been heated. Series veterans might not be too happy with the changes, but they can fall back on the game's Classic Arcade mode. The rebalancing is meant to attract newcomers who might otherwise have trouble with their Hadokens. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix means to draw in fresh fighters just as much as it seeks to placate the experienced warriors: Street Fighter IV is just around the corner, after all.
“Dipswitches” in the game's Options menu lets players tailor the challenge to their preference. Anyone in search of a quick playthrough even has the option of limiting matches to one round versus a best of three.
Newly-Paved Street
For anyone who's well familiar with the physical makeup of Ryu and Ken, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix's graphics are fun to behold. Udon Studios (the creators of the current Street Fighter comic) has spent a lot of time on the little details, particularly in the stage backgrounds. Each character has redrawn and re-scripted ending scenes as well. Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix manages to look modern while retaining the classic Street Fighter phenotype.
A remixed soundtrack is part of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix's shiny new package as well. Capcom has involved the fandom in the creative process by commissioning Street Fighter tracks from the best and brightest of Overclocked Remix. While most of these tracks sound fantastic, they're also a bit slow and unsuited for the action. Great stuff for the iPod, but not so much as background music for a heated fight. The musical drawl is especially noticeable in Vega's stage: though the matador leaps and soars all over the screen like a flying squirrel, his music sounds like it belongs in a coffee lounge.
Losing Control
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has one potentially killing flaw, but the blame isn't on the heads of Capcom or Backbone Entertainment. Simply put, the Xbox 360 controller is wretched for fighting games; the over-sensitive d-pad will send the player somersaulting into the competition more than once. This can be disastrous in a fight against T Hawk or Zangief.
The Playstation 3's controller is far better suited for fighting. Keep that in mind when deciding which console to download to, or bite the bullet and invest in a better controller for the Xbox 360.
Go Play in the Street
If you're able to look past the drama behind Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix's rebalancing, you'll be treated to a game that's absolutely worth the price of retail—that's selling for below retail. Street Fighter's famous roster looks great with the HD treatment, and much like horses who've been stabled for a long time, they're ready to flex and leap and show off. This is the perfect opportunity to start practicing for Street Fighter IV, so get to it.


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JoshGordon 12/15/2008 7:18:17 AM

I definitely fall into the catagory of someone who's intimidated by the depth of Street Fighter, so I'm all for sacreligous re-balancing!

ARE there actually better controllers (or controllers with better D-pads) out there for the Xbox 360? That's another thing that's kept me away from fighting games on 360 is the notoriously incapable D-pad.


hanso 12/15/2008 4:26:25 PM

SF2HD is the best Street Fighter ever created!!!!!  Everything looks so beautiful, and it's only $15.  Love the game.

I got it for PS3 cause the Xbox controller sucks ass for fighting games.  Only bad thing about getting it for PS3 is there are no trophies for it.  There are achievements for the Xbox version if I'm not mistaken, so if you are an achievement whore and have both systems go with the Xbox version.

Josh - There are a few controllers out or coming soon for the Xbox 360 that are better suited for fighting games.  They are usually in the $60 and up range though.  I know there is one coming out for Street Fighter 4.  If you are interested in seeing some, type "Xbox 360 Arcade controller" in Amazon and you should see a few of them.  The SF4 edition is going for $150!  DAaaaaaaayum.

BlatchSkree 12/15/2008 6:18:03 PM

Can't this be on PS2 as well. it can handle a 2D fighter.

JoshGordon 12/15/2008 10:38:49 PM

here's a link to a somewhat reasonably priced (79.99) Xbox 360 SF IV controller: from Amazon. It looks pretty sweet but still a little too rich for my blood. For that much money I could by Gears of War 2 and have enough left to actually buy SF 2 HD


miko34 1/21/2009 3:38:14 PM

In case anyone is still wondering... there are also the MadCatz Street Fighter gamepads coming out next month for $40 each.  They have better D-Pads (no analog sticks) and six buttons on front (not counting the non-gameplay buttons).  The two big arcade sticks are cool, but yeah... expensive unless you play the game every day (which I did back in the early nineties). 

I like the 360 controllers overall, but I wish they were better for fighting games.  I can stand the four buttons on front (though I prefer six), but that D-pad is horrible for most fighting games and the analog is useless too.  Next gen systems will all have the motion sensors, so I doubt much thought will go into improving the D-pad.



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