Hyper Street Fighter II: Anniversary Edition

hsf2

I am a huge fan of the Street Fighter series.

HUGE.

As far back as I can recall in my video gaming life, Street Fighter has been THE fighting game I’ve known to love and actually be good at. I remember my cousins would bring along their SNES and plug it in the next available TV they could find, and pop in either Mega Man X 3 or Super Street Fighter II. They wouldn’t let me play Mega Man X 3 in fear that I, knowing not what I was doing, would mess up their save file. They would gladly let me jump in on their SSF2 games, though, and I loved kicking ass! I never really thought about it until later on, but Ken was a visible favorite of mine, playing through Street Fighter II in the arcades, all the way up to the Street Fighter Alpha series. I used to be in awe as I see the CPU utilize Ken to his full potential, throwing dragon punches one after the other, ending with that Strong-Punch flaming dragon punch, and a super, later on in the series (and its spin-offs).

But I’m not here to talk about past experiences, or how I beat a guy in the arcades when I was 8 by doing leg sweaps with Ken. I’m here to talk about Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition!

Hyper Street Fighter II was sadly only released on the PS2 and Xbox over here in the west, which introduced the ability to fight others with varying speeds per player. Living in a Third-world country (The Philippines) in the 90’s, I remember seeing this version of Street Fighter II in the arcades, given that we were pretty close to Japan anyway. I was lucky enough to find a way to play this version of the game and practice on it before moving on to my Street Fighter II Turbo HD on the Xbox 360 Live Arcade.

Before picking up this game once more, I spent a good few years playing cross-over games like Marvel V.S. Capcom and sequels to the Alpha series. None of them rivaled the simple-yet-intense gameplay of the Street Fighter II series. In my years of playing all those games, I began to realize how speed was a factor in taking your opponent down. With this in mind, I began to pick the off-characters that nobody else would pick due to size and lack of speed. I narrowed it down to either Zangief, E. Honda, or Balrog. The slowest, of course, would be Zangief, so I would have to cross him off my “to-play” list. I suddenly took a liking to E. Honda because of his charge-up attacks and hundred-palm slap. This then began my time playing as E. Honda.

HSF2 is an awesome version of the game as it has better graphics and reaction times for button input. Playing E. Honda was a breeze, since his character relied on quick reflexes for blocking and quick joystick maneuvering to execute his super. Playing Ken in this version was a hoot as well, especially seeing how smooth uppercuts would connect one after the other (yes, I was able to do what I saw the CPU doing years before, and I was happy). Indeed, for a skilled veteran of the series, this version was eye-candy and a load of fun to practice with.

Sadly, unlike its predecessor, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, it didn’t have Akuma as a playable character. Not a big loss though, since gameplay and music was revamped for this latest and last true Street Fighter II arcade port.

‘Til the next review, this is The Geekaround

Ciao, you meddling kids!

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