Street Fighter II

Sega Master System

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7.5

Sound: 7

Gameplay: 4.5

Overall: 5

Let's face it. Everyone reading this review doesn't need to know plotlines, story, or the rest of this type of useless information. Ok, maybe SOMEONE out there who does, but they can do a google search and figure that part out for themselves. You, the hardcore type of gamer, wants to know how this one actually turned out considering the hardware. Well, here we are.....

You get 8 characters, quite a large amount. Ken, Ryu, Blanka, Guile, Chun-Li, Sagat, Balrog, and Bison have made the cut. Strangely, Dhalsim's music is available during the sound test, but his character is missing. You can choose from 3 difficulty settings, turn the timer off, and play either a vs. game or the standard one-player tournament mode. Actually, the vs. mode is only available via the one-player mode so I guess it's not really an extra mode.

I guess it's really a side note more than part of a review, but you should be aware of this before buying this one: Unless you have a Master System II, this game is a BITCH to get working. I tired it on a Master System 1, 2 Genesis 1's w/ converter and a Master Gear converter. I finally got it working on a Genesis 1 w/ the Power Base, but it still has a few issues. When it decides not to work, it simply resets, locks up, only player 2 can play, or not boot-up at all. Why? Hell if I know, but it can be infuriating at times.

Anyway, once everything is working, it doesn't take long for one to realize that this is not the Street Fighter II everyone knows and loves. You have one punch and one kick, both of them being fierce hits. Combos only go as high as 2 hits so your famous 10 hitter won't be effective at all in this one. Each character only has 2 of their special moves meaning that Ken and Ryu's feared dragon punch is gone. You'll have to rely on the hurricane kick and fireball to pull through this one....when you can get 'em off.

The controls are, shall we say, "less than accurate." And that's being kind. If you actually manage to get a special off, it's roughly a small miracle. Kicks, punches, blocking, and jumping come off well enough, so it makes little to no sense why they don't work. Hell, the AI manages to get 'em off easily enough. Weird.

Hit detection is shaky, but mostly accurate. Every 2 hits takes off life, regardless of what moves you hit your opponent with. Blocking special moves is pretty much a worthless endeavor since they take off just as much life whether your blocking or not. These flaws scream rush job, even though it was released in 1997 and it obviously didn't need to be.

Surprisingly, the graphics are great, outstanding even. The characters look strikingly similar to the it's Genesis counterpart and even animate well. The backgrounds have been butchered to make sure the characters look as they do, but the majority maintain enough of the charm the originals did. All background animation has been removed and usually only a few still background sprites remain. Check out "Capcom" written on the boat in Kens's backwards, simply a reversed sprite.

Packed inside this 8-meg cart is a ton of voice, but none of it during actual gameplay. The announcer spouts out the round, fighters, and the continue countdown. Not that he pronounces Balrog as "Barlog" which was last heard in the 3DO version of SSFII Turbo. The music is the stuff classics are made of, but, uh, 8-bitized. A few have even been re-worked a bit to give them their own feel.

While this is not the version of the game to introduce non-SF fans too, the hardcore fans might find this an interesting diversion. That is of course, if they can live with the complete lack of combos and the impossible specials. Still, it's better than the Game Boy version and can be playable if you just accept the hardware it's running on. Competent, just not the game it used to be.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:32 PM