|System: X360 (XBLA), PS3 (PSN)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Backbone Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: CAPCOM||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Perhaps more than any 2D brawler, Street Fighter II illustrates the importance of movement economy. Since fights are constricted to a dimensional plane with distinct walls, you're forced to always think about every move you make and how it will unfold. Likewise, you're trying to stay one step ahead of your opponent and guess what he is going to do as well.
In essence, it's one big pixel push - your focus is always on how to keep your opponent at arm's length, within range of an invisible box that surrounds you horizontally and vertically. That's why strategies that seem cheap - for example, Ryu's "spamming" of fireballs - actually aren't. You realize you have to get over to Ryu and assess your options. Do you have an unblockable attack that can break through? Do you do little bunny hops and slowly make your way over? Maybe you have a slide attack that can scoot you under his shots? Again, it's all about making each pixel on the screen matter; it's why fighting fans always stress over animations and moves that potentially "break" their games. When you balance the equation right - as in Street Fighter II's case - the result is an experience that goes from one extreme to another, resembling a war of attrition one moment and an all-out combative press the next.
For those with friends nearby, Turbo HD Remix has the standard, one-on-one versus option, but most players are going to be more interested in the online play. You can setup matches with up to seven other players in a tournament style. Much like huddling around an arcade cabinet, the rules are simple: the winner stays, the loser goes. When you first join a match you'll just see a lobby and energy bars resembling the in-progress fight. Once the next round starts, you get to be a spectator. From this vantage point you can get an overview of the victor's fighting style, a nice prepping for the match ahead. Once in a fight, you'll be surprised at how smooth everything is. Lag is nearly non-existent. The settings menu has a section for Network Smoothing, and cranking it up to high eliminated the minimal lag problem that was noticed during the first play test.
At first glance, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix gives the impression that it's simply a prettied up version of a fighter you may have bought before or still own. However, there's more than meets the superficial eye here. If anything, it's a reminder of how keeping fighting games as simple and well balanced as possible results in play that feels nearly timeless. Established fans and newcomers alike will find a lot to appreciate in this downloadable title.
CCC Freelance Writer