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Home bullet Games bullet StreetFighter 2: Part Deux

StreetFighter 2: Part Deux by cyke Written on 13th August 2002

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WhirlWind Kick
I've just been browsing my earlier 'work' on this site, and re-read my StreetFighter 2 article. As it's not as long as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, I'm forced to admit I may not have done it justice. I don't feel I've even scratched the surface on SF2 tales. This was a major turning point in gaming history. Few games get to legitimately be a milestone in gaming progression, it's very validity to this claim uncontested by any sane man.

Alright, I'm putting my writing cap on (a big yellow pac-woman cap), slipping off my shoes, leaning over the keyboard in a threatening manner. Brain on. Fingers on. We have a clear for go. And.....begin.

Admittedly, I can't recall the day it arrived in my local arcade. Or my first ever game on it. This is a shame on par with forgetting the birthday of your wife of twenty years. My relationship with this game is probably closer then that I share with 99.99% of the human race. But then again, videogames are dependable, only people let you down.

Incredibly for the time, StreetFighter had 6 buttons. 3 kicks, 3 punches. Light, Medium and Strong. Quick, Medium and Slow. You work out which is which. I'm sure there was some initial confusion with this, but being thrill-hungry arcade machine loving animals, we adapted quickly as per the rules of evolution and only the strong survived. The weak perished quickly (or stood at the back watching, whatever).

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These days, 2D beat-em ups are rapid blurrys of button pressing combos, powerup bars, tag teams and a lot of other wank that just detracts from the game. The beauty of SF2 was that it was incredibly tactical at times. Probably more so during 2 player games, but undeniably you did have to study your opponents and his attack patterns. Guys like Blanka and Zangief were intimidating in their ferocity, which is why you had to learn to use the lack of defense on their part.

StreetFighter bent the rules of Paper/Scissors/Stone to its own use, long before the likes of Magic the Gathering and those 2 billion other card games where every deck has its own strengths and weaknesses. Each character in SF2 excelled in some areas, sucked in others. Some specialised in range attacks, some had to get close to cripple the poor bastard facing them.

Time for the Usual Suspects!

RYU A warrior who roamed the land looking for a fresh challenge. Carrying the most pure warrior ethic in the game, his fighting technique was well balanced. He had the mighty Fireball, yet could get up close with the Whirlwind Kick and the most revered Dragon Punch. If you don't know what a Dragon Punch is, imagine jumping ten feet into the air with an almighty uppercut, while spinning 360 degrees. Yes, we did try it ourselves in real-life with little success but we were young and foolish. Ryu took his fighting art seriously, and was probably absolutely shit at parties. He'd likely end up under the table peeing in his pyjamas after sniffing alocohol. A lifestyle of abstinance doesn't help smooze the ladies downtown on a friday night.

KEN With a fighting style mirroring Ryu's, Ken was more outgoing and openly aggressive. However, he was quite the family man and only competed to recover his girl who was being held hostage. Capcom rapidly pretended to forget this in all later SF games, portraying him as a woman chaser and fast living playboy, largely becase he had blonde hair. Ken had the largest eyebrows in recorded human history.

GUILE I never trusted anyone who would choose Guile. People selecting him were monitored closely for webbing between fingers or eyes too close together. This military mans arsenal consisted of special moves where you had to back away initially then reverse to fire off the move. Unnatural I tell you! There was something symbolic about "the tiger never being more dangerous than when cornered" about this to me. Guiles Sonic Boom had to start off in the crouched position, and it wasn't something you could hide. Guile players would often defiantly crouch, daring you to come closer and closer knowing it could easily turn into the upwardly slashing special attack.

HONDA Water retentive, non-bulemic Eddie Honda liked nothing better than a bit of slap and tickle in his local bath house. And what a slap! His patented Hundred Hand Slap was exactly what it sounded like, and a favourite with new players as it only required rapid pressing of the punch buttons. Even those who managed to block the move would take damage and as an attack it could certainly wear you down. Using Honda was reason to be subjected to public mocking unless you were 8 years old or female.

CHUN LI This young lady was the closest thing I had to a girlfriend for a couple of years. A spunky young thing, she'd take delight in jumping on the heads of her foes in her pretty little boots, and wafting her undercarriage at you as she executed her Speed kick, which was highly similar to Hondas special. Other than that, she could bounce off the edges of the screen, which was fun for heaving her well endowed bodice at people from above. There was also most certainly evidence of nipplage on display in some of her animation frames.

I'm not sure I ever got over Chun Li.

BLANKA My young impressionable mind never truly questioned the inclusion of a large green monkey man who generated his own brand of electricity. Face chewing, making monkey noises and spinning through the air were all Blanka trademarks. Again, largely popular with newcomers as you could use him with little skill. To be fair, many experienced players swore by him, partially due to his good general speed. Me, I couldn't take him seriously, dragging his knuckles across the ground.

ZANGIEF A giant bear-wrestling Russian who liked to execute WWE-style moves on you. He carried the most devastating move in a jumping spinning piledrivery type of thing that I could never do due to the fact I wasn't willing to use him the rest of the time. Definitely the stereotypical big slow guy that every fighting game needs. Also, the worst character to lose to in 2 player battles. I always imagined him having a wife bigger than him, with more facial hair than him.

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what the hell is that smell?
DHALSIM In some sort of stereotyping native of India way, here comes Dhalsim. Boasting incredibly stretchy limbs and a fine line in magic tricks, Dhalsim was the black horse of the game. Hard to use, harder to master, frustrating to use, but strangely deadly in the hands of patient gamers. Dhalsim players were piss-take merchants, slapping you about from across the screen and floating about in a gravity defying manner. Come over here and fight nancy-boy!

How popular was StreetFighter 2 ?

I can easily explain how popular it was. This game is the only game that I've ever heard of, that had it's own pirated version in the arcades. A renamed version started to circulate, where you could do infinite special moves, throwing yourself up the screen repeatedly defying gravity. My town is in the arse end of Northern Ireland, which is in the arse end of the UK, and at one point practically every arcade I knew had a copy of this pirated and modded version. Installed just like all other gaming machines by third party specialist companies. That's how huge demand was for StreetFighter.


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