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There was a time when Street Fighter II machines lined the halls of dimly lit smoke-filled arcades. It was there that crowds gathered to watch titans clash. Remember the sneaky Guile player? Always crouching and constantly cornering, he was ready to throw up a Flash Kick every time you tried to break free from his never-ending barrage of sweeps and Sonic Booms. There was also the infallible Ryu, the clairvoyant who seemed to know exactly when to slap you in the face with a Hadouken and when to send you flying with a perfectly timed Dragon Punch. It was a time when arcades felt more alive than ever, and nothing beat the rush from the anticipation that followed once you carefully placed your quarter on the cabinet’s dashboard to say, “I got next.”
Above: Everything looks great in Turbo HD, including Chun Li’s high kicks. Astute fans will also recognize the guy choking his chicken in the background on the left
Those days are dead now. They died when arcades in small towns and suburbs closed shop as gamers moved the battle to their homes on consoles. Enter Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix for Xbox LIVE Arcade and the Playstation Network. This game is much more than an everyday remake. From its gorgeous visual overhaul to the remixed soundtrack and rebalanced gameplay, Turbo HD is chock full of fan service that will be sure to please even the pickiest Street Fighter connoisseurs.
The game looks great on standard definition televisions, but the gorgeous redrawn sprites truly shine in high definition on a widescreen display. There’s a hint of Street Fighter Alpha’s anime-ish art style mixed in with the burly look of the original Street Fighter II in Turbo HD, and it works. The vivid colors are vibrant and the smooth animations flow like fine wine. Watching Ken pull off his dreaded throw move, where he repeatedly knees his opponent in the chest, is more pleasurable to watch than ever.
Above: Watching Akuma slide across the screen when he teleports or activates his Raging Demon finisher is terrifying
Capcom has covered just about every base when it comes to settings, modes and features. Turbo HD offers Player vs. CPU, Player vs. Player online, and Player vs. Player on the same console. Worldwide leader boards that track your win/loss ratio and other stats like the number of perfect wins and throws further sweeten the deal.
But it’s the online Quarter Match Mode that makes Turbo HD such a joy to play. You can either start a lobby yourself or join one that’s already in session. Each lobby holds up to six players, with everyone watching the top-ranked player defend his spot against the current challenger. The winner holds his place and the loser moves down to the back of the line. Hearing the spectators comment on fighting styles and talk trash while the two players battle is great fun. This is where Turbo HD manages to bring back the thrill of those glorious arcade days, the ones where you got to humiliate button mashers and had the pleasure to play against true masters before an audience of friends and strangers.
Above: The 360's mushy D-pad is worthless, but the thumbstick works fine. The PS3 controller feels great. But for the best experience, get an arcade stick
Unlike so many remakes of classic fighters, Turbo HD has soul. You can see it in detailed visuals, crafted by the awesome artists at Udon. You can hear it in the new remixed soundtrack, developed with the help of fans from Overclocked Remix. And you can feel it when you begin noticing the finer tweaks in Turbo HD’s special Rebalanced Mode, which was created with the help of some of the world’s top-ranked Street Fighter players. Capcom has reached out to its fanbase to deliver the kind of game Street Fighter fans want, and it shows in every pixel. For the reasonable price of $14.99 or 1200 MS points, we can’t recommend Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix enough. It’s definitely a must-have title for any self-respecting fighting fan. Period.
Nov 25, 2008
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