Kitagawa Utamaro

Article By: BAD 
Written [ 1/24/02 ]

   With Capcom's release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival, some have been wondering just what makes this game different from the much acclaimed Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Well, in a matter of speaking honestly, this game is completely different from Super Street Fighter II Turbo in many, many ways. Many have immediately tagged Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival as being the same as Super Street Fighter II Turbo, claiming the game is just a mere translation of the L.A.-friendly predecessor; they couldn't be farther from the truth. Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival is a completely new game not only in title, but also aesthetically. Don't fall prey to the the articles and reviews from magazines and sites that classify this as a 'port' of SSFIIT - continue to read this article and see the game for what the programmers made it to be. There are many, many differences that separate Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival from Super Street Fighter II Turbo very clearly. Just by looking at the new title screen, one can tell this is a new version of Street Fighter.

   The first, most noticeable aspect of the game is the four-button layout we've seen in several of Capcom's newer fighters like Capcom VS SNK, Project Justice, and Power Stone 2. The game handles the classic three punches and three kicks control scheme by requiring the player to tap Jab for a Jab Punch, or to hold Jab for a Strong Punch. At first it may seem a bit strange to play with, but in many ways it is similar to the way Capcom VS SNK required a player to hold a certain direction in order to perform one of two attacks assigned to a button. After playing the game a lot, it becomes second nature almost, with no real control surprises when trying to pull off moves or combos. Seeing as how Capcom's newest creations have taken on the control scheme of four buttons, it came as no surprise to me when Capcom made the control decision of this game.

   One of the most noticeable aspects of the game is the completely new character art Capcom put into this game. The Player Select and victory screen art in SSFIITR is nicely done, with completely fresh artwork for every character in the game, including Akuma. The illustration style in this game is a bit different from the style in previous SF games, with more darkly detailed, shaded portraits. The new illustrations work well with the new look of the game, and look great with nice resolution and are large, with full-screen portraits for the VS and victory screens. Now gone is the intro with Chun-Li, Cammy, Ryu, and Akuma from SSFIIT: Capcom put in nicely detailed slides of Ryu and Ken battling, followed by a randomly chosen character illustrations covered partially by an "X". The new intro doesn't seem like much when talked of, but just like the rest of the game, it has to be seen to know how cool it really is. Aside from the great new set of character illustrations and intro illustrations, SSFIITR also delivers when it comes to character endings; Capcom has packaged in completely new ending illustrations that are more detailed and unique than those in SSFIIT. Though SSFIITR only has one ending screen unique to each character opposed to the three or four in SSFIIT, the illustrations are amazing and still manage to create the same amount of character depth the endings in SFIIT did. Of the most impressive new illustrations are the re-worked versions of Guile and Cammy's old ending screens, which now feature completely re-drawn characters and backgrounds that were in some of the the SSFIIT ending pictures; but again, these are completely re-illustrated, and none are recycled from any of the previous SF games. Of the new ending screens, I'd have to say that the most dramatic ending screen is Vega's; without a mask, Vega has broken claws with blood dripping from them, a partially shadowed face, and beautifully-textured hair. As far as character illustration presentation, this game has a unique set of character illustrations that, to me, don't hold a stick (or any other long, skinny object) to those of SFA3SD, but they still deliver quality nonetheless.

   Capcom also went out of their way to include new backgrounds to go with the great character illustrations of SSFIITR. SSFIITR features new stages for Ken, Guile, Chun-Li, Balrog, Zangief, M. Bison, and Ryu. As for the rest of the stages, they are the original that are found in SSFIIT, with the same hues and animations. As far as the new stages go, here is a complete breakdown:

= Ken = A completely new stage of what looks like the back of a neighborhood of old brick apartment buildings that looks somewhat similar to Brooklyn, with a directly visible bridge hanging over the area. There is a painting on one of the buildings in the background on the left side of the stage, in which the players fight in front of a huge picture of an African-American man and woman. A minor note, but there is also a sign that is supposed to read 'one way' as in the common street signs we see in America, but instead reads 'way' only; why Capcom did this, or why the artist did I cannot think of an explanation.

= Guile = Very similar to Charlie's SFA2 stage, Guile's SSFIITR stage has a jet (a Harrier?) hovering in the background that rises at the start of the match and lowers out of sight at the end. Guile's SSFIITR stage, however, does not take place at night in a city lit with billboards and signs as Charlie's stage in SFA2; instead it seems to be constructed more like an unfinished structure, with a clear blue sky with a few nicely-textured white clouds as a backdrop. Not much else to tell about this stage besides the fact that the hovering jet seems to be textured with the glare of sunlight on its surface.

= Chun-Li = Capcom borrowed Chun-Li's SFA2 stage and put it in SSFIITR for us to enjoy. I am pretty sure the only thing changed is at the complete left side of the stage what used to be a structure has been emitted. A nice flair to the overall presentation of the game, considering a little mixing between the SF and SFA series in such a fashion is rare.

= Ryu = Ryu's new stage is very similar to that of his Street Fighter III 3rd Strike stage, with just some minor tweaks in the overall presentation. The stage looks great with nice hues and some beautiful textures on the foreground and background structures. Not much to talk about, considering you've seen Ryu's SFIII3S stage, right? You have, haven't you?

= Balrog = Balrog fights in his stage from SFA3; No more, no less. With lots of colorful Las Vegas lights and lots of women, this stage is a reminder of how great the stage design of SFA3 was.

= Zangief = The 'Big Bear' now fights in a slightly re-designed version of his SSFIIT stage. The stage now has the same crowd of rowdy working men cheering on the fight but secluded, positioned a lot farther away from the complete right side of the stage than before, also with a giant pipe covering most of the remaining space on the middle part of the stage, accompanied by chains, walkways, and fire-illuminated backdrop.

= M. Bison = Another new stage, the SSFIIT-friendly M. Bison now has a completely new background to be beaten to a pulp in. The background is fairly concave, dim, and dark, showcasing large monitors and computers, with stone statues on each side of the stage. It's nice to beat Bison to a pulp while looking at all the contraptions Bison has tucked away in the detailed background Cacpom put in.

= Bonus Stages = Some of the bonus stages from SSFII have also been added back into the game, with the classic barrel and car destruction stages making a return. There is also a new bonus stage in the game as well, which is the Barrel Bonus stage, but dimmed to shadow where the barrels are coming from, forcing the player to have lightning-fast reflexes in order to destroy all 20 barrels of doom. The car bonus stage has also received a stage face-lift, sporting a portion of Guile's new stage to beat up the car on.

   As far as the character selection on this game, Capcom decided to leave out the secret SSFII versions of each character, so this means no more L.A.-friendly SSFII Sagat. Sort of an exchange, Capcom instead included Shin Akuma to the game, in addition to Akuma, which are both unlockable characters once the game is played for a while. For character colors, SSFIITR has the default SSFIIT color, the original default and 2 alternate SSFII colors, SFIICE and SFIIT colors, which comes to 6 colors for each character. Not as many as in SSFIIT of course, but a great selection of colors for each character nonetheless.

   To go with the beautiful new stages, Capcom also added in some new animations; some are from the SFA series, while others are completely new. The flame animation that engulfed players unlucky enough to get caught by any of the fire-inducing moves in SSFIIT has now been replaced by the flame animations used in the Alpha games; instead of being covered in a blanket of pleasant flames, the character now turns transparent orange with complimentary individual flame animations. From an animation standpoint, I've played SSFIIT and SSFIITR extensively, and haven't been seen any major experience-hindering deficiencies in the transition of character animation from SSFIIT to SSFIITR. Some claim that it's missing frames and this and that bullshit, but the fact is that the game is chock full of the same beautiful animation that SSFIIT had, and with a little new animation. Another completely re-designed animation from SSFIIT to SSFIITR is the Super win effect at the conclusion of a round. Instead of the classic SFFIIT Super win flash, the new orange, white, and yellow victory flash resembles that of a 'tunnel vision.' There are also new hit sparks in the game as well, that look just a bit different than those in SFA3, and completely different than those in SSFIIT. As for other animations, Akuma's Shun Goku Satsu Super win screen is from the X-ISM Akuma in SFA3, with the Japanese character 'ten' flashing on the screen. Another, more minor but subtle effect Capcom added to the game is a new effect when Blanka electrocutes an opponent; the background blurs and distorts in rhythm with the animations of Blanka's shock. The new animation tweaks Capcom put into SSFIITR make the game all the more interesting to play, while also making it refreshing to the eyes (even to the eyes of SF-bored players).

   Lastly, continuing a nice feature of Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold and Street Fighter Alpha 3 Saikyo Dojo (the best fighting game EVER), Capcom included a Survival mode of play. Just as in SFA2G and SFA3SD, the player can trash loads of CPU opponents one after another for a high score, allowing the player to fight even the bonus stages for a high score; one thing is different though, and that is the fact that instead of a high score actually, the quickest time is how the game ranks players differently than in SFA2G and SFA3SD's Survival modes. The game also differs in the aspect that the opponents flow continuously with no break between rounds as in SFA2 G or SFA3SD, with opponents jumping in to fight the second just as you defeat the previous opponent; some opponents may have little vitality, some have nearly full or a full lifebar, while your lifebar is also regenerated after a defeat just as in SFA2G or SFA3SD's Survival. It's great that Capcom carried such a feature over to SSFIITR that made SFA2G and SFA3SD great games as a whole in terms of versatility.

   Hopefully this analyzation of the game has informed enough to blur out any uneducated assumptions by reviewers and assholes that claim SSFIITR is merely the same game as SSFIIT. With the information provided, it can be seen with clear light that the game is completely unique in its entirety, and should be tried out as at least a good gesture for Capcom's good work on the game. What a great game SSFIITR is, and truly an artistically amazing peice of work by Capcom. For anyone who like Street Fighter or Capcom at all, this game is an investment that should take no thought. It would be disgraceful for any Capcom or fighter fan to lack having such a great game at their disposal.