The online mode is solid too, with reliable netcode meaning that every failure of mine was mine alone. There were a lot of failures. I’d advise casual players to stick with the local play, as online is already filled with absolute beasts, but for more determined gamers this ladder of experienced challengers proves an incredible welcome to the scene. Whilst combos here are shorter, simpler and less demanding than in newer iterations, you’ll have to master projectiles, zoning, footsies and your poke game to truly separate yourself from beginner trash (note: even thirty years on I’m still very much beginner trash. Good luck.)
I’m a big fan of the new sprites by UDON introduced a little while ago – I feel they breathe new life, colour and visual depth into a game that was definitely showing its age. That said, I know there are some very vocal fans who aren’t as keen on this new coat of paint. Thankfully, Capcom have given us the option to switch between the old or new graphics, so everybody wins here.
Ultra Street Fighter II’s greatest struggle to overcome will be its price tag. Charging between 30 and 40 euro for a nearly thirty year old game is a push – but there’s some genuinely fresh content here to warrant it, even without the forgettable Way of the Hado. It’s definitely the most feature-rich release of the game and the ‘ultimate’ version for anyone wanting to get into it, but when arcade re-releases on last gen consoles cost a fraction of this price it’s hard to validate it. If you’re wanting to invest in it as a competetive, on the go treat, the price tag is easier to stomach, but otherwise it might be worth waiting for a price drop.
Street Fighter is a constantly surprising series, and Capcom’s unwillingness to forget older entries speaks volumes to their original quality. I’d love to see a similarly ultimate version of SF3, my personal favourite in the series, hit Nintendo’s new portable home console hybrid, because fighting games make a lot of sense on it thanks to its unique charms. The Final Challengers – a title whose finality I’m not sure I quite believe – does a lot with a classic game, but an inflated price tag is going to prove its biggest rival.
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