Released in 1991, Street Fighter II became the king of fighters and in many ways, opened up the genre for the likes of other fighters such as Mortal Kombat, Tekken, The King of Fighters and more. Originally released as simply Street Fighter II, it found its life stretched in more ways than any other fighting game. First came World Warrior which led to Champion Edition. Champion Edition added characters that were previously unplayable such as Balrog and Vega. Ready for competitive play, Hyper Fighting was released. Years after the original release, fans were treated to Super Street Fighter II: Turbo, a game still played today.
Now, 25 years later, Capcom has released the final (but probably not) edition of the famed fighter–Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. This edition brings to the table the fresh HD skin fans were treated to in last generation’s Super Street Fighter II: HD Remix (yet another edition of the game). When it was released last generation, the refreshed visuals were a point of controversy among fans, some welcoming it happily while others thought it an embarrassment and an abomination to the original. Personally, I like the HD graphics and updated art. For those who don’t fall on this side of the creek, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers allows you to switch to the original visuals–16-bit with a 4:3 ratio.
While admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of the genre, Street Fighter has always served me a dish of street brawl I’ve always enjoyed, especially II. This game feels just as good as it always has. The controls are responsive, intuitive and fluid. I always feel in control and the character never betrays my commands.
In that essence, the game feels like its good ‘ole self. For those looking for a reason to buy this game again, hopefully, two new characters does the trick. Well, kind of new. They’ve been in games before but they are new to Street Fighter II: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. Evil Ryu has been corrupted by Satsui no Hado, the same power that Akuma utilizes. For obvious reasons, Evil Ryu plays a lot like Akuma. Teleporting across the screen, a better fireball and the same super as Akuma, Raging Demon. Violent Ken is a brainwashed version of the fabled blondie. He fights angrier and adds to his roster of moves a tricky move in the form of a sneaky rush teleportation. While welcomed additions to the roster, they don’t add much. They’re essentially reskinned versions with a slightly different move-set.
For those looking for something totally different, look no further than the strangely present first-person Way of the Hado mode. In this mode, you play as Ryu while using a pair of Joy-Con to throw punches at waves of enemies. Frankly put, it’s awful. Don’t waste your time, unless you’re looking for frustration and confusion.
While best played with a Pro controller, because of the nature of the Switch, it’s an awesome pick-up-and-play with a friend if you’re fine using a single Joy-Con. Surprisingly, it’s not that bad.
At $40, its hard to recommend this game to the person who has purchased it 3+ times, but, it is a nice addition to the library of Switch games, especially for those who primarily use their Switch as a handheld.
This version should have come with more but at the end of the day, it’s Street Fighter II. By this point, you should know what you’re getting into.
A copy of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was provided by Nintendo for the purpose of this review