This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of Super Street Fighter II HD Remix.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo is a hallmark in the annals of fighting game history, and there are still a lot of arcade machines floating around today. It was the technician’s choice against the more visceral but less sophisticated Mortal Kombat 2 and 3 at the time, and still holds up as a really solid fighting game.
That said, its graphics are understandably dated and Capcom gave it a must deserved face lift for Super Street Fighter II HD Remix for Xbox Live Arcade. Teaming with Markham, Ontario based Udon Studios which has handled a lot of the Street Fighter comics and art books, the game has been completely redrawn: every fighter, every move and every stage has been re-animated by hand for a clean and crisp high definition look. I actually think it’s gone a bit too far in that direction, as there are parts of the game that look a bit stiff. The colouring is flat in some places, and the inking is a bit too thin to properly distinguish the characters from the backgrounds. That said, overall it is an attractive face lift and the new standard for updating 2D classics.
This leads to a choice between the Remix mode with tweaked game balancing and slightly altered hit boxes to match the redrawn art, or you can stick with all of the original settings as it was built. It’s a difference that will only be apparent to the hardcore (I couldn’t spot the balance tweaks on a regular basis), but it’s worth noting for anyone that may be concerned about the changes. The classic strategies will still work: Ryu’s quick cross ups, Sagat’s corner traps and Ken’s air control is all still in full force here.
The network code isn’t great, as lag rears its ugly head in fits throughout all of the matches I held online. It certainly doesn’t help that I’m a below average player at this game, and the irregular delays threw off my shaky timing which led to being regularly destroyed. A lot of gamers have moved on to newer choices as of this review, so the remaining players are almost all really hardcore and really good; many of them exhibit the timing and combos that have been honed over a decade of destruction.
Super Street Fighter II HD Remix is very good. It probably doesn’t offer enough variety or different modes to hold you over the long term when an incredible option like Super Street Fighter IV is available, but it’s a remake that was crafted with care that all fighting game enthusiasts should check out.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars