Monday, November 21, 2011

The Great Gaymathon Review #45: Street Fighter II' Champion Edition (PC Engine)


Game: Street Fighter II' Champion Edition
Genre: Fighting
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: NEC Home Electronics
System: PC Engine
Release date: 1993

Nowadays, this port is the definition of "meh-worthy," thanks in large part to Capcom's milking of the Street Fighter franchise. Back in the day, though, it was a marvel, as it proved, once and for all, that NEC's pint-sized--and basically 8-bit--PC Engine could compete graphically with its 16-bit competitors (those being Nintendo's Super Famicom and Sega's Mega Drive, of course). Admittedly, the music and sound effects took a pretty big hit in the transition from arcade to (20-Megabit) HuCard, but everything else in this port is pretty much spot-on--it even includes the barrel-breaking bonus stage that was cut from the Super Famicom version of the game. All that said, I rarely play Street Fighter II' Champion Edition. In part, that's because I'm not the world's biggest fan of one-on-one fighting games, but it's also because I have yet to pick up the six-button controller that was released alongside this title and is a required purchase if you want to get any enjoyment out of it at all.


See also: Previous 'Great Gaymathon' posts

15 comments:

RetroKingSimon said...

I heard the Engine version of this is good but, as you say, playing it with a two-button pad isn't something that appealed to me and Engine accessories were hardly easy to come by over here! Nearly all my SF2 gaming was done on the original on SNES and SSFIIT on the 3DO, which is, by the way, an effing tremendous version! However, with the present-day luxury of emulation, it might be time to give this version a long-overdue try :)

Bryan Ochalla said...

Hey there, Simon! Yeah, playing this version with a two-button pad is both atrocious and pointless. The graphics are a marvel, though, esp. for the time -- and considering the PC Engine is really just an 8-bit system on steroids. It's hard to be wowed by it today, honestly, but back in the day I was amazed that the folks at Capcom and NEC Avenue were able to do such a great job with this port/conversion.

Motherplayer said...

Not sure what to say since I have no knowledge of this port so I'll just say it must be decent at the very least.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Motherplayer: Yeah, it's definitely decent. More than decent, really. The graphics are spot-on -- although it's possible the characters are a *bit* smaller than their arcade counterparts -- as is the gameplay, when the game's played with a 6-button controller. The music/sound effects are a bit off/wonky, but that's OK, IMO.

Jyr said...

Are the attacks pressure-sensitive, or is the same level damage for punches and kicks throughout?

Bryan Ochalla said...

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking, Jyr. Are you wondering how attacks (punches/kicks) are handled when using a two-button controller? If so, here's how it works: The Run button is used for low attacks, the I button for medium attacks and the II button for high attacks, while the Select button toggles between kicks and punches. And, yes, that's as horribly awkward as it sounds...

Jyr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jyr said...

Pressure-sensitive i.e similar to how the Gameboy ports of the game where an attack's strength depends on the length of the button press, and yes, that reads as just about unplayable.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, I didn't know a GB version of SFII was even released! Honestly, that method of dealing with attacks actually seems preferable to the one used here. At least there's the option for the six-button controller, though.

Retr0gamer said...

The Neo Geo Pocket fighters use a pressre sensitive scheme as well. Works really well for SNK fighters since they use 4 buttons. After playing a bit of street fighter competitively a while ago with the fantastic Irish fighting game community though it would be sacrilege to play with anything less than the full six buttons.

The PC Engine version looks fantastic, much more colourful than the Megadrive edition any way. It's got a reputation of being a very good port.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Huh. Thanks for the info, Retr0gamer! For some reason, I just can't imagine how this "pressure sensitive" mechanism works in action. I guess I'll have to try out some of these games that use it soon.

As for the PCE port of SFIICE being a good port: Yes, I'd definitely say it is. In terms of graphics, I'd say it's damn near amazing, esp. for the time.

Retr0gamer said...

I takes some getting used to but it does work nicely. However the NGPC fighters are built from the ground up around the two button limit on the system so it works better than a half assed port like SF2 on the Gameboy. The fact that the SNK games are based around a 4 button system also helps.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Ah, yes, that makes sense, Retr0gamer. I still can't believe Capcom ported SFII to the GameBoy -- and that I don't remember ever hearing about it. Of course, maybe I erased it from my memory because it's so bad...

Retr0gamer said...

They did it for money :) Sure there's some really bad fighting games like the mortal kombat games and even killer instinct on the gameboy. To say they are not the best is an understatement.

Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, yeah, I remember the Killer Instinct GB port. Yikes! :)