Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting Review

Hyper Fighting is the version of Street Fighter II you want to be playing, and this Virtual Console release holds up nicely.

Here's to hoping that you held out for the inevitable. Late last year, Capcom released the SNES version of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior to the Wii Virtual Console. As any card-carrying Street Fighter fan knows, this was the first iteration of the game, before all the extra characters, playable bosses, game speed changes, and whatnot ever came to fruition. It's certainly still a good fighting game in its own right, but later versions pretty much trumped it in every conceivable way. Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting is such a version. Like Hyper Fighting in the arcades, this release allowed for a much faster game, battles between the same character, and four new playable fighters in the form of the boss characters. For all intents and purposes, the arcade version of Hyper Fighting is still one of the best 2D fighting games ever made, and though the SNES version isn't quite as fantastic, it's still a fun fighter in its own right.

You can't tell from this shot, but this fireball is going wicked fast…because, you know…it's Hyper Fighting.
You can't tell from this shot, but this fireball is going wicked fast…because, you know…it's Hyper Fighting.

Like every other version of Street Fighter II ever made, you pick from one of the game's available fighters (12 in this version), and embark on a series of fights against all the other challengers in the game until you reach the nefarious M. Bison, maybe beat him (but probably not, at least not on your first try), and watch the ending sequence for your particular fighter. That might sound a touch dull, but the fact that the fighting engine is one of the best ever conceived helps matters quite a lot. Even when forced to use a gamepad (in this case, a Classic Controller, as the game is not very playable with a GameCube controller) in lieu of the traditional arcade control scheme, the gameplay still pops. It pops even better in this version compared with the World Warrior because of the added speed settings. Before you start, you can adjust how quickly the game moves using a little meter that goes from one to four stars. You couldn't adjust the speed like that in the arcade version, so in this regard (and only this regard), the SNES version was actually a bit better. Generally speaking, the VC release of the game is an exact emulation. The sound effects in this version are markedly different from the arcade original, but that was true of the original SNES release, as well.

If you already bought The World Warrior last year, you won't be doing yourself a disservice by grabbing Hyper Fighting too. Yeah, it's pretty gross that Capcom put out an inferior version of the game six months ago, only to release the vastly better version now. But that doesn't take away from how good Hyper Fighting is. The refinements made to this version were absolutely game-changing, and ultimately give it a fresh feel compared to the original. In fact, the only reasons to hold out on downloading this are if you hate fighting games, already own the online-enabled (and slightly busted) Xbox Live Arcade release, own any versions of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, or you're holding out for the seemingly inevitable release of Super Street Fighter II because you're one of those psychos who dedicated their lives to becoming the greatest T. Hawk player of all time, or have some kind of sick Cammy obsession. Everyone else, feel free to spend the 800 Wii points ($8) and enjoy one of the best 2D fighters ever released on consoles.

The Good

  • Still some of the best gameplay of any 2D fighter
  • More playable characters than World Warrior
  • Adjustable speed settings are a great touch

The Bad

  • Some audio funkiness inherent to the original SNES game
  • Game is much, much less fun to play when using a GameCube controller

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