Written by Erik Kubik, kube00 Monday, 20 June 2011 05:00
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior brought gamers running to arcades. Outside of my local arcade in the afternoons and weekends, throngs of kids would pack in to play. In pizza joints teenagers and adults pushed kids out of the way to play. It was the kind of game where being a spectator was just as fun as being someone who had the skills to play the game. In a way, SF II revitalized arcades, spurred the fighting game genre, and helped generate home console sales, and from all of this there has been a lasting legacy.
Street Fighter II was the first fighting game I ever played. I remember staring up at the red-framed cabinet, each of the fighter’s special moves were displayed on tiny tabs near the bottom of the screen. I admit it, I was terrible at first, like most gamers I didn’t understand the special moves. I know I wasn’t the only fledgling gamer that was blown away by the idea of dealing with 6 buttons of damage dishing fury.
There was nothing like Street Fighter II at the time. SNK had released Fatal Fury a few months before, but it didn't have the cult like popularity of SF II. Street Fighter had 8 different fighters from around the world, each with a unique game play experience. Capcom had created a gaming addiction. The graphics, game play, and sounds seemed to suck gamers into it. By 1993 Capcom had earned over 1.5 billion from SF II.
The arcade cabinets for Street Fighter II sold 60,000 plus, while Champion Edition sold 140,000 cabinets. Of course the franchise spawned several other releases including Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II, and the New Challengers, the later added 4 characters, Cammy and Fei-Long being the best. The other two games, Hyper Fighting and Super Street Fighter made game play tweaks such as adding combos to super meters. The game got great reviews back in the early 1990s and won a ton of gaming awards.
The original game and its other releases were ported to the just about everything; the most popular being the SNES and Genesis, which sold nearly 15 million games combined. Although most of those sales were on the SNES. I am sure many gamers from the 1990s went out and bought a SNES or Genesis to bring the arcade experience of Street Fighter II home. And to this day Street Fighter II is still one of Capcom’s best selling games overall.
The series has an immense legacy. The original went on to spawn sequels, a host of spin offs and clones. Games such as the Street Fighter vs. series, Street Fighter Alpha, Pocket Fighter, and of course Street Fighter IV. Most of us have played games like Darkstalkers, Samurai Showdown, Tekken, and Virtual Fighter, all of these have Street Fighter to thank for paving the way. Probably the worst thing Street Fighter spawned was the movie starring Jean Claude Van-Damne.
Currently many of us are hooked on Marvel vs Capcom 3. If Street Fighter hadn’t become popular, gamers might have never seen games like Marvel vs Capcom. Even the Guinness Book of World Records has given Street Fighter II a few awards. The awards are “First Fighting Game to use Combos,” "Most Cloned Fighting Game,” and "Biggest Selling Coin Operated Game.”
By now gamers can find the original in all sorts of compilation collections. In this modern day and age we even have it on our iPhone/iPad. Street Fighter will be be remembered as opening the door to making fighting games popular.
So readers, what was your favorite SF II character? How about your favorite game in the series?