Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix Hands-On

Capcom shows off a new HD makeover for its classic puzzler for consoles and PC.

Capcom showed off a new incarnation of its puzzle game Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo at its press event last night. The game, dubbed Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD, is an HD upgraded version of Capcom's classic arcade puzzler for the PC, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. We had the chance to try out a work-in-progress version of the game running on the Xbox 360, which gave us a taste of the upgraded visuals.

For those unfamiliar with the title, the original game hit arcades in the late '90s and served up an addictive dose of puzzle action wrapped in a hefty dose of superdeformed cuteness. The game marries a Tetris-style clear-the-falling-blocks mechanic with one-on-one street fighting. The glue that holds the package together is the superdeformed incarnations of characters from the Street Fighter, Darkstalkers, Red Earth, and Cyberbots games. While the premise is quite simple, once you spend any time with the game you'll find there's quite a bit of strategy to it. The playable characters have unique patterns for the falling gems that will require you to tailor your play style to their strengths. As you clear gems off your board, your character will perform his or her signature attacks against your opponent. You'll win the match when your opponent's area overflows with blocks. If you want to work some flash into your victory, you can get your character to perform special and super moves by removing a series of block rows and creating chain combos with them.

Though Capcom has released versions of the game for the Game Boy Advance and PSP in the US and for the Sega Dreamcast in Japan, this latest incarnation for the PC, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade is aiming to bring some new elements to the mix. The most striking is an HD makeover that entails redone character portraits, backgrounds, and gem blocks. Udon, the art studio of Street Fighter comic fame, is being tapped to redo the character portraits and backgrounds in the game while developer Digital Eclipse is redoing the gem block visuals. The driving force behind the visual tweaks is the game's 1080p support, which requires some work on the developer's part to ensure the game pops at the HD resolution.

The work-in-progress version certainly did just that, with one notable exception: the actual character sprites. It hurt us inside to see the razor-sharp character portraits segue to slightly fuzzy character sprites on crystal-clear backgrounds. Some smoothing has been done to keep the sprites from looking too chunky, but the Puzzle Fighter gang isn't looking their HD best. In speaking with reps on hand, it sounds as though more work is being done to clean up the appearance of the sprites, but a full-on makeover is unlikely. The game will also offer a second graphics option that is a pixel-perfect re-creation of the original visuals.

From a content standpoint, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will be a conversion of the version of Puzzle Fighter that appeared in the recently released Puzzle World for the PSP. The PSP conversion was actually based on the Dreamcast incarnation of the fan-favorite title, which was available only on consoles in Japan via Sega's D-Direct service. The game features three new gameplay options (dubbed X, Y, and Z), which offer gameplay variations on the core concept. X mode will offer the classic Puzzle Fighter gameplay. Y mode will offer a more Tetris-style experience by letting you remove gem blocks by simply lining up three or more blocks of a similar color. Finally, Z mode will have you dealing with blocks falling upward. The X mode has been rebalanced from previous incarnations to ensure that characters aren't overpowered. You'll also find a counter-gem edit mode to let you customize your character's counterattacks.

Aside from the single-player game, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix will feature ranked and player matches online. For the voyeurs out there, the game will also feature a spectator mode. To advertise your awesomeness, Capcom is offering worldwide rankings and leaderboards to tout the best of the best.

Based on what we saw, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is coming together pretty well. The gameplay is just about spot-on, although there were a few odds and ends, such as some controller lag issues, in need of some polish. The visual overhaul is almost perfect. Almost. Yep, we're going to be nitpicky and whine about the lack of redrawn character sprites. Udon's art in comics is so fantastic that we're a little bitter it's only redoing some bits of the game art. The artists' collective touches in the game are pretty slick, so we'll lament not getting to see what they could do with the character sprites. However, people without nitpicking issues will likely be fine with the game as it stands now. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is slated to hit this summer. Look for more on the game in the coming months.

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68 comments
richillion
richillion

Just make a new hd streetfighter game already, with new animation, sprites, flashy finishers, combos, interactive backgrounds, 360 graphics, clothing textures, blood and a huge amount of characters to pick . what are they waiting for? why should i have to keep buying half a**ed renditions of the old games with the same sprites, i know capcom made a lot of money withresident evil, lost planet, devil may cry, dead rising and every streetfighter game they put out every year,. just give the people what we want, we are the ones who have to buy and play this stuff. do it for the fans. streetfighter 4 where are you?

X_Box_Killer
X_Box_Killer

"Make A NEW SF" That won't be happening. Apparently the Japan office handed over everything to do with Street Fighter to the US division. And we know Capcom USA isn't exactly known for their great games.

X_Box_Killer
X_Box_Killer

Umm.. why would they bother with the PC version? It's been playable on Final Burn now for 6 years. And Puzzle Fighter will always be the same game, no matter how much they spruce up the graphics. The ones they're targeting won't bother because they either already have it and can play online, have it on PS1 or PSP.

Blaze_Hrimfaxi
Blaze_Hrimfaxi

Just another damn rehash. Hey capcom, Make A NEW SF game ya morons! Were sick of the same thing over and over.

Rivent
Rivent

I tend to hate puzzle games but I can't help but love the little chibi Capcom guys fight to the death.

rubdanielrub
rubdanielrub

Wow im excited i luv SF games and puzzle fighter is one of the best.

LsTr_Of_SmG
LsTr_Of_SmG

Woah, try saying the name 5 times fast after having had a few... :P

Master_Bigode
Master_Bigode

I hope that it makes the same success as SSFT HD remix.

Vihlo
Vihlo

This is gonna be sweet! So many quarters wasted in the arcade on this game, now I can play it on my 360 :D

MjolnirMaster51
MjolnirMaster51

This game is definitely in the running for "Most Long-Winded Title" of 2007.

confu2000
confu2000

Sadly, it looks like one of the revisions that didn't make the list is consideration for the color blind. I have a friend who can manage in most puzzle games like Bust-A-Move, Columns and Puyo Pop due to the pieces having different internal shapes in addition to color. Puzzle Fighter was one he unfortunately never had a chance at being able to play.

KoruKinshi
KoruKinshi

This is a bit dumb. Is there really a necessary reason to turn the game HD? It just seems like another reason to make people cough up $2K + for a TV. You don't NEED to spend that much on a TV to play a game. Seriously, now. Besides, I have this game already for the Dreamcast, with the bonus game types. I doubt they'll have the bonus types on the 360.

IMDLEGEND
IMDLEGEND

Puzzle games are perfect for XBLA, and this is one of the best ones availalble!

mareaper
mareaper

Wow. I didn't think I'd see this ported to the PC.

biv872003
biv872003

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!! i just spent £10 on this from ebay for the psone lol!!! oh well i'll play the hell out of that version like i did in the 90's then i'll download this version and do it all again just wish id known this 4 days ago lol

MoogleDragoon
MoogleDragoon

Look out everyone, I'm a bit rusty but when I get this game I'm going to tear through everyone! :)

lusion69
lusion69

I second that, the character sprites should be alot more detailed. Or even just sharpened up a little. Just looking at the screen shots hurts my eye from the contrasts of focus, I can't imagine if I was watching some friends play on my 61 inch.

denaz
denaz

HAHA this should be alright.

lat_games
lat_games

well, its a good surprise for all people that like this game.

DoctorFu
DoctorFu

Capcom is a freight train coming your way. And I wanna ride.

MarceloRedfield
MarceloRedfield

Oh my god.... I play this since I had my Saturn, and it is the most addcting puzzle game ever. Can't way to crush everyone online! =D

Mindchamber
Mindchamber

Hmmm. first this then the SF HD.... looks to me as if capcom is either A) afraid to tamper with perfection and give us SF4 with new graphics, or B) too damn cheap.... considering that reworking teh art for SFII is gonna be a joke do to the fact that theres basicly no frames in the animation, Ill go for option B

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Wow, Capcom can't be stopped. Another game is coming.

Sacapalpavo
Sacapalpavo

oh come on people! nobody has any news about capcom realising pocket fighter for the XBLA?

calibretto1
calibretto1

How charming.... pffft. $10 was NOT a rip off for SFII HF. Online alone makes it well deserved.

Dolacide
Dolacide

Yea, one prayer answered. Great news, online is going to be great for this game.

wildsnipe
wildsnipe

wait so this is basically converting your puzzle skills into punches. Genius nerds can now beat people up LOL

BoserupDK
BoserupDK

@ Richillion: I couldn't agree more. I so miss the good old Street Fighter days, and im one of the people who find the gameplay of the new fighting games to be far below the level of the old street fighter (and to a certain degree mortal combat 1+2) games. So lets cross our fingers for a new Street Fighter HD game :D

richillion
richillion

what we need is a next next gen street fighter 4 with new art work , crazy special moves and 1080p hd . theres so much they could do now, i dont see why they cant make a really good 2d fighter again. just imagine sf3 times ten. come on capcom this is what the people want, not old sprites re used for puzzle fighters. it cant be that hard to redraw all new art work. it looks like they just want a quick buck instead of making some truely great fighting games. i personally would like to see a street fighter 4 not just some re-release of old street fighter games.

Gouki_13
Gouki_13

:D good game! how about a 3rd Strike remake as well? perhaps as a bonus along with RE5 or DMC or something like that?

A_Cool_Stud
A_Cool_Stud

Everyone who wants Marvel Vs. Capcom - it ain't gonna happen. Copyright issues. So stop asking. (Another sad fact-- MVC2 for XBox is NOT backwards compatible.) As for SFA, they have a collection for PSP/PS2, but it would be tight to put the 3rd one on XBLA, maybe the ones with the Super Street Fighter II characters and that british Eagle guy. I just noted that they said there were Red Earth characters in this game. I'm pretty sure Tessa was in the other game, Pocket Gem Fighter.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Love this game... but I have bought it a couple of times already... hopefully it won't be an overpriced rip-off like $10 for SF2 was.

slayerver1
slayerver1

I'm already excited about this and SSFIIT coming to XBLA and PSN, but there is always that worry that these two will be an encore of XBLA SFII HF with many people disappointed.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

a fun game but as long as capcom continues to garbage ports with little work they will continue to lose money on what could have been a hit. They need to start making some sharp character models or hand drawn sprites so the graphics look clean

ocdog45
ocdog45

this would be the first game i downlaod from XBLA in a long time

Morfessa
Morfessa

I'll be getting this one, for sure! Ah, the memories ...

Decker12
Decker12

I remember playing Puzzle Fighter quite a bit back in 1998. However, the game play eventually was tired due to the easy way an opponent could counter your massive chain attack. Sadly, strip the graphics and cutsey characters and it was about as deep as Dr. Mario from 1994. The signature move patterns didn't make a difference then - and I doubt that any bling graphics will make this game any better 9 years later on the 360.