December 25, 2008


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Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix (PS3/360)
Capcom/Backbone Entertainment

By Glenn "sure you can" Given

Yoga Fire!

Times certainly have changed. Was that 17 or so years back I when I placed my quarter in a line on the old SF2 cabinet for 60 seconds of uncoordinated twitiching? Now I just fire up the PS3 and get schooled by other 1990s arcade enthusiasts — the more things change…

Far better fighting gamers like lead designer David Sirlin (game theory author and seriously good street fighter competitor) were put to good use in resurrecting and retuning venerable six-button fighter Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. While numerous iterations of the ken/ryu fisticuff-o-rama dot the console landscape, shamefully few manage to recreate the original arcade experience, let alone improve upon their original release. The completely redrawn in HD 16:9 aspect ratio graphics, direct download availability and slew of on- and offline game modes provide hours of nerdy nostalgia. Players may be disconcerted by the fidgety animation of the characters, but this is not an oversight, rather it is a slavish devotion to the original release. Throwing in tons of new animation cells, while possibly smoothing the flow of the game, would undermine the precise timing that made SF2 such a game of skill. While many fighting games struggle to provide a tight, balanced offline experience, HD Remix has worked some special magic to provide smooth online timing indistinguishable from local play. Fans of the original will find that they are free to switch back to the arcade classic with every nook, cranny and exploit intact. For those of us who always thought that Fei Long or Blanka were underperforming, our rapture has arrived. All 17 fighters have been tuned up or down respectively and fighters of every stripe will find something to enjoy. For $15 and no trip to the retail nightmare of post-Thanksgiving shopping, HD Remix is a boon for those of us who want a slice of our weekend teen gamer youth back. A+Glenn Given