Street Fighter EX 2 Plus Review

By: John Doe

I make no apologies for liking this game as much as I do. I've been a sucker for SF ever since it came out, and even though my love for the series has certainly dwindled in the last few years, the move to 3D has rekindled some of that flame. This sequel to the original EX, improves on things that didn't even need fixing, and makes it even better.


Whenever you make a sequel to anything, whether it's a book, movie, or video game, there's always the dilemma of change. Fans of the original usually want a sequel to have a lot of familiar aspects of the original, but if you keep things too similar, then fans will ask "Why bother?" You'll end up with just a rehashed product that just won't have the same impact of the original. Street Fighter EX2 strikes a nice balance, keeping many of the best aspects of the original Street Fighter EX2, while making some welcome changes, mixing things up a bit, and making it feel fresh.

One example of this sequel keeping things fresh is the remarkable improvement in the graphics. Whereas in the first EX game, where the characters were somewhat blocky looking, this sequel smoothes things out a bit, taking away many of the rough edges. The backgrounds have also been improved, with greater detail and much more eye-catching appeal. They are a marked improvement on the somewhat plain looking backgrounds in the original. The animation has been punched up (sorry!) as well. Whereas in the original the animation didn't quite capture the fluidity of the 2-D Street Fighter titles, with some frames of animation missing, EX2 adapts almost all the animation from the 2-D titles into 3-D, greatly enhancing the animation.

Unfortunately, the music hasn't really improved too much from the original, and that's one area where EX2 should have definitely made big changes too. I loved the music of the 2-D street fighters, but for some reason the tunes in the EX series just don't cut it for me. The music sounds extremely repetitive, and almost has a "muzak" quality to it at some times to my ear, which is definitely not too much of an inspiration for kicking ass! Luckily the sound effects were nicely preserved from the 2-D titles into EX, and that's still the case here. The kicks and punches continue to sound great and you can still "Ha-do-ken" and "Sonic Boom" your heart out.

The gameplay still retains the classic Street Fighter action, and keeps the wide selection of fighters that was such a highlight of the original EX, making only a few changes in characters. Kairi and Sakura are out, and newbies Volcano Rosso, Nanase, Sharon, and Area are in. And don't worry - the SF mainstays are still here and better then ever. The great combo system of EX has been largely upheld with one change - now by using up some of your combo gauge, you can launch into a mode where all of your attacks are kicked into a frenzy, making simple punches and kicks a now lethal barrage of combo devastation. There's also a very cool "Director's Mode", where you can stage a 25 second fight between you and a computer character, and then once the fights over, you can view it, and make all kinds of alterations and slowdowns to make it look cool, like a Hollywood movie.

There's a old saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it". Though Ex's engine and gameplay definitely wasn't broken, EX fixes it anyway, and kicks everything up a notch, bringing almost all the aspects of the franchise to a new standard. If you're a fan of the series, by all means check it out, and even if you aren't, there never has been a better time than now to be introduced to the awesome power of the Street Fighter series!






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