This game is the closest I have seen to 2D fighting game perfection. That's saying a lot!
For those not in the know, this game is a rehash of Super Street Fighter II Turbo with fully redone graphics and a complete overhaul in character balancing. It is appearing exclusively as an online downloadable game for Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. This game is total fan service and is a hardcore fighter's dream come true. Be warned, this is not a game for the causal player. If you are not already a Street Fighter fan but are looking to see what all the fuss is about, this is a good place to learn. But if you're just looking for something easy that you can jump right in and play, look elsewhere. The moves here are precise and the competition is fierce; especially online. If you are looking for a challenge and think you can handle it, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is for you.
What makes a game like this so refreshing of an update is not only what has changed, but what has not changed also. The first thing that you will notice is the obvious hike in graphics. We've come a long way from the CPS 2 board that Super Street Fighter II Turbo was based on and it certainly shows here. Everything is displayed in simply gorgeous High Definition (HD Remix) from the level design, to the characters, and all of the menus. Without making the move to 3D, SSF2HDR looks perfectly modern in the traditional perspective that Street Fighter II has always called home. While a 3D Street Fighter IV is on the horizon, there are many out there (myself included) that feel this series belongs in 2D. This game only reinforces and validates that point of view. The fluidity of the animation is quite smooth though not to the level of the Street Fighter III games. Some speculate this was done on purpose in order to preserve the traditional feel of the original Street Fighter II games. Don't misunderstand, everything here runs at a wonderfully fluid pace, it's just closer to the original game than that of the newer titles.
Characters have been rebalanced and tweaked so there are plenty of new strategies for gamers to try out. Have you ever wanted to tackle Fei Long but just couldn't get the timing of his moves right? Has T. Hawk always seemed just a tad too powerful in the arcade game but was impossible to use effectively in versus? If you suffered from similar problems with certain characters in the past then this is a great chance to give them all another go. Moves are easier to pull off while still maintaining the challenge and strategy aspect and everyone in the game is simply a lot more fun to play than in the past. Things are still the same for many characters though; Zangief is still monstrously strong, Chun Li is still fast and agile, and M. Bison is still cheap as hell. Everything you loved about SSF2T is here well and good. Think of this game as a much needed fine tuning of an already great game and you've got the right idea of what to expect.
Another very welcome addition is the wonderful new Training Mode. While this mode offers many of the same things as are featured in other fighting games, it has a great number of options to help someone hone their skills or to aid newbies in how to be victorious. One option particularly stands out and that's the option of overlaying Hit Boxes on each character sprite. These boxes are opaque and change according to the movement of each character. What's so great about this is you can see exactly where each character is vulnerable in every move they make. You can also tell where your character is vulnerable so you can know when to take the defensive. It's an awesome feature that should be mandatory for all future fighting games! There's a set move list for all of the Classic and HD Remix moves so you can tell what patterns to use when fighting. This move list is available whenever you pause the game. It's a great tool to use in Training Mode or in the Single Player game.
Thank God for this one; the wimpy announcer from SSF2T is gone. His mellow voice seemed more fit for calling out a bingo game rather than Street Fighter. It is replaced by an announcer that sounds more befitting the part for Street Fighter. All of the other voices remain the same as you remember, save for Guile. His original Street Fighter II voice makes a triumphant return. He finally sounds like a man again! Musically, the tunes have all been remixed and sound incredible. Forget the terrible remixes from Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. Those terrible atrocities have been hurricane kicked the wayside. What we have here is a soundtrack that sounds guttural and virile. Again, it's a perfect fit for the updated game. But if you are a traditionalist that insists on hearing the tunes as you remember them, you can switch the music in the options.
Do you remember how excited you were when you downloaded Street Fighter II Turbo for Xbox Arcade? Did you have huge expectations for playing against multitudes online? Were you incredibly disappointed to find an online mode that was poorly designed; making the lobbies less than convenient to find other players only to find that if you didn't have an ultra high bit-rate that game ran choppy and virtually unplayable? Are you ready to finally be happy? Then Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is the answer to all of your prayers. While the game features the standard arcade and training mode, versus is where Street Fighter has always shined. Playing with a friend next to you is a blast here and online is easily as much fun, if not even more. Lag is usually a non-issue here and everything runs like silk. There can be hiccups if someone has a bad connection but you can make adjustments in the game to compensate if you have a lower bit-rate. Once in a while, for some unknown reason, the music can fade out in matches and then suddenly pop back on again. This is usually a non-issue as it happens rarely. Playing online with the millions of Street Fighter fans out there is like reliving the glory days of the arcades all over again… and you don't even need to leave home for it!
As I've said, this game is total fan service for hardocre fighters. There are no silly and needless extras here. No collecting fan art or finding Street Fighter II anime movies that have been terribly re-dubbed in English. The focus here is nothing but pure Street Fighter competition. You better be ready for it though. Playing this game online will put you up against some of the best players all over. If your skills are not up to snuff, you will want to master some moves in training or arcade mode before diving in too deep. You might find some players that you can take. But many a Street Fighter fan has been waiting for this one to release for a very long time. I would even dare to say that some people are even more stoked about this game than the upcoming Street Fighter IV. If you don't know what you're doing, be ready to get your ass handed to you a lot before you know what you are doing.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix delivers where all other home versions of Street Fighter II have failed. It offers a complete package that is nearly impossible to find any fault with. Everything is in glorious 2D, the characters you know and love are all here and better than ever, the music is pumping, the fighting is thumping, online versus finally runs silky smooth, and the graphics are simply gorgeous (especially in 1080p). My only gripe has nothing to do with the game itself. It's about the controls. The Dual Shock 3 is okay for PS3 players but the Xbox 360 d-pad just plain sucks. Get an arcade stick if you want to really play this game properly. Controls with it are top notch but fall short with the default controller. Other than that, there are no complaints. This game is the closest I have seen to 2D fighting game perfection. That's saying a lot! Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is an absolute must buy for any fighting game fan.