Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting Hands-On

We finally get our hands on the most anticipated Xbox 360 Live Arcade game to date.

LAS VEGAS--Amid all the games Capcom was showing at its recent press event in Las Vegas, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting stood out as one that was high on our list to play as soon as we could. The game made its playable debut at Capcom's event, hot on the heels of its announcement last month at CES. Though the game was very much a work in progress and featured the expected rough spots in its frame rate, the conversion has a diamond-in-the-rough quality that gives us hope that the final game will live up to our skyscraper-esque expectations.

This is one of the most exciting developments on the Xbox 360. Seriously.

The game is, in a nutshell, intended to be an arcade-perfect re-creation of the classic entry in the Street Fighter series that 2D fighting aficionados have long crowned one of, if not the, best entry in the SFII series. That game's unique alchemy of an expanded roster made the four boss characters you faced selectable. And the ability to tune the battle mechanics let you adjust each fighter's repertoire of moves. The end result was a faster, tighter controlling fighter that appealed to just about everyone.

The Xbox 360 game has all of these elements intact, but it just needs to tighten things up. The work-in-progress game we tried had all the content it needed, except the frame rate was shy of what we'd like it to be. Control was solid and mapped out well to the Xbox 360 controller. The handling was fine and let us get our groove on with little problems.

There have been some extra touches added to the content, which are welcome. The achievements for the game will be split between offline and online accomplishments, requiring players to hone their skills alone and in the wild, untamed atmosphere of online play. In addition to the traditional Xbox Live offerings, the game will feature "quarter matches" that let spectators throw their hats into the fighting ring, in an approximation of how matches used to be in arcades.

From the look of things, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting is shaping up to be just what fans want. The visuals look promising, the control is basically solid, and the breakdown of achievements for it are good, too. The only stumbling block we've noticed has been the game's performance, which we expect to be improved. If Capcom can improve that aspect of the game, then Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting should not disappoint. Look for more on the game in the coming weeks.

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