Giant Bomb Review

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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix Review

5
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Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is a top-notch redesign that makes intelligent changes to the gameplay and balance while also offering a perfectly viable online experience.

The classic struggle of speed vs. power rages on.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is probably a game that Capcom should have made a long time ago. Or, at least, the mentality behind this game should have been employed long before this point. With a series of intelligent updates and a real attention to detail, it feels like HD Remix was done by a group of people who understand the source material and treat it with an appropriate amount of reverence. The end result is a game that raises the bar for modern remakes and updates of classic games.

HD Remix is, as the name implies, an updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Super Turbo was the last in the Street Fighter II line, and it's a game that built upon (and repaired) a lot of the changes made in the previous game, Super Street Fighter II. Super and Super Turbo essentially rebuilt the Street Fighter II experience with new moves, new characters, and newer, more powerful hardware underneath the hood. Some of the changes were positive, but there was definitely a downside, too. A new announcer and a lot of new character voices appeared here, and some of them were downright awful. Also, the CPU opponent got way more difficult, to the point where you could only really enjoy the game if you were playing with a similarly skilled human opponent. On top of all that, the Street Fighter II series had already been around for three years by the time Super Turbo was released. I don't know what you were doing in 1994, but I was sort of done with Street Fighter II and getting into other fighting games, so I never really gave Super Turbo much thought.

OK, that's probably a bit more history than you actually require. The key thing to know is that HD Remix rebuilds and rebalances Super Turbo, and the changes all feel intelligently designed. The look of the game has been completely overhauled by the comic book artists at Udon, resulting in crisper, better-looking characters and backgrounds. You've never see a chicken get choked so clearly until you've seen the updated version of Chun-Li's stage. The dude getting drunk in the background of Zangief's level has never looked better. Of course, the fighters themselves have also been redone. For the most part, they look great. The animation, however, throws the whole thing off a little bit. In order to keep the game running like it should with the same timing that players are used to, the developers didn't add a bunch of new frames of animation to the game. The result is that you see characters who should move really smoothly, like a Guilty Gear game or something. Instead, they animate just like they did back in 1994. This is, actually, the right move. Smoothing things out would ruin the gameplay. But it still looks a little odd in spots. If the new character art really bothers you, you can disable it to go back to the original sprites. You can also disable the default 16:9 view and take it back to the original 4:3 design. But there's no option to restore the original background art.

Even Akuma seems to play fair this time.
The audio has also been carefully overhauled. In places where it made sense to keep the original Super Turbo voices, they've been kept. In cases where the Super Turbo audio was terrible--like the stupid announcer or Guile's voice--that speech has been replaced. This actually fixes my top complaint with the original games. Guile now says "sonic boom" the same way he did in the older Street Fighter II games. And the announcer sounds like a new recording of a guy doing everything he can to sound like the old Street Fighter II announcer, not the guy from Super. It's all in the way he says "sevennnn!" All of the music has been remixed, too. The new music is pretty good, mixing up some of the styles of the source material to form tracks that sound enough like the old music to get by. If you like, you can disable the new music and return to the versions from the original Super Turbo. The voices won't revert back to the originals, but since they constitute an improvement across the board, that's not a big deal.

While the most obvious changes to HD Remix are purely audiovisual in nature, there has also been a lot of work done to the characters themselves, the way their moves behave, and even the way some of them are performed. This was done in an effort to rebalance the game and make more characters viable in top-level, tournament play. If you're not already up on things like how many frames it takes for Sagat to recover from a tiger shot, or the properties of Ken's dragon punch, you probably won't notice most of the changes. Some of them are far less subtle. Honda's jab torpedo can now travel through and destroy projectiles, giving him another way to close the gap between him and his opponent. Ryu can now do a fake fireball, which may entice your opponent to jump in. Moves that required three button presses can now be done with two to help make the game easier on a gamepad. While you might not notice all of the changes, the outcome is a great game that feels more balanced and more entertaining from top to bottom. That's something that players of all skill levels can appreciate. It's what Super Turbo should have been all along.

Of course, all of this would be for naught if the online side of the game didn't work. So the best part about the game is that the online has the ability to work incredibly well. I'm playing with a fairly standard DSL connection at home, and most of my matches felt perfect. Of course, you'll always run into some laggards from time to time, and in high-ping matches, the game acts completely crazy. You're better off using the custom match option to find games, which lets you see a player's ping before joining up. I routinely encountered ping times under 100, and occasionally as low as 30. These matches felt A-OK.

Super Combo Finish!
In addition to the basic ranked match, you can also get a group together for unranked matches. There's also a tournament option that lets up to eight players collide in a bracketed tournament, though you don't actually get to watch any of the other matches in the tournament. There are also some other smart but minor things in play here, like the way the game doesn't show you what character your opponent is picking ahead of time. This prevents players from trying to create specific, advantageous match-ups by waiting for the other player to choose a fighter.

In recent history, re-releases of old arcade games has been a trend, but it's also been a real non-event. Most of these games received a quick coat of fresh paint, which usually made the game look worse. Things like online play are only included in their basest, most simplified form. HD Remix makes most of those older releases look like cheap cash-ins. It may cost more than most arcade updates available for consoles today, but with the number of important changes being made and its extreme attention to detail, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix sets a new standard for downloadable arcade games... even though I still think Blanka's face doesn't look quite right.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
78 Comments
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Posted by Meltbrain

Dude... totally getting this. Once I've sent my 360 off for repairs and got it back that is. =(

Posted by DualReaver

Well, that's a big surprise.

Posted by Tru3_Blu3

They really have to stop the overdose of adjectives and adverbs in the Street Fighter titles.

Posted by Realkilla789

nice review

Posted by MrMiyagi

I love this game.

Posted by Death_Burnout

Hurrah! this is good to see, im glad it turned out like this.

Posted by gamerpigeon

awesome , i bought day of release anywayz , just glad the game is getting the scores it deserves

Posted by dsplayer1010

How much is it?

Posted by PsYuSoFly

You have converted me ><!

Posted by AEKtzis

Nice! I like how the review was up in just a matter of days!

Posted by pornstorestiffi

I can´t believe that this game hasn't hit the EU PSN store yet, how hard can it be to upload it to a server...its retarded. Guess i could download it on my 360 but who the fuck want to play SF2 on that horrible D-pad.

Posted by Fr0Br0

I already bought the game and I'm loving it. I just need a Hori stick and I'll be set.

Posted by MasturbatingBear

good review but, nothing about the controls? i played the 360 demo and it was fun but tough as hell to get used to on that dpad. and the joystick... just no. I would have liked to see more about controls.

Posted by RodneythePom

Game is excellent!

Posted by GioVANNI

I've never been big on SSF before,  but I played the demo, and I must say it's great, and this review has me bought.

Posted by Stevokenevo

i just played the demo with my bro, and even though we arent big fighting fans, we had some great sibling rivalry and choice insults going on during the game.  It was awesome, and that was only the demo.

Posted by BlackWaterCO

Jeff would give this a 5/5 no matter what

I took that review with grain of salt

Posted by Psynapse

This game is awesome 5/5.. Computer is still hard, but hey... online rocks and its great with some mates around when your drinking some beers. Get some Hori sticks if you can afford it too, 360 dpad sucks. :)

Posted by HTTenrai

Nothing about the over-hard CPU? Okay.... >_>

Posted by RobDaFunk

great game, loved the original and this REMIX totally does it justice, my only gripe is getting thrown back to the Quick Match, Custom Match, Create Match screen after every fight, navigating thru those menus gets annoyin after 10 minutes!! :(

otherwise 5/5 

Posted by kagato

The game is perfectly playable on the Xbox pad but you may want to look for an alternative controller if your serious about playing every day.  The only real problems i have is pulling off double fire ball motions every time, i can usually do it 3/5 times.

Posted by YT

Street Fighter II Remix would have sufficed for a title I think!

Posted by RHCPfan24

OK! Now I am going to get this one!

Edited by Spiritof

Love the game, hate the use of the standard controller with d-pad and shoulder buttons. It feels like trying to play a ukulele with my feet if one of my feet were a prosthetic...the right one, the one I lost in a wine making accident.

I'll probably get back into it when I can find a nice joystick on the cheap.

Posted by Snail

5 stars in GiantBomb's middle name!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Kohe321

This is a musthave

Posted by mrhankey

does anyone feel like either a) Giant Bomb only wants to review games that will be good or b) they just hand out five-stars like no one else?

Posted by DECA555

trophies?

Posted by pause422

They only review games they have an actual interest in honestly, and they've said it multiple times. Jeff loves him some fighting games, MK and SF both, so of course when a good updating version of SF2 that seems to be done pretty right comes out, hes going to enjoy the hell out of it. That's why they don't have reviews for sports games, or JRPGs really, because its not their cup of tea.

Edited by Brackynews
Edited by MOA

Good review jeff and blanka's face IS messed up.

Posted by Media_Master

It looks like a must-have, this review proves it !

Posted by Roger_Klotz

I think I will download this. I haven't played street fighter 2 since the genesis.

Posted by TimesHero

I love the picture on the main page for this... xD

Posted by Rain_Dog

I'm soooo horrible at this game. :( Still fun, though.

Posted by dcman007

This game is an amazing update to an amazing franchise and has made me even more pumped for Streetfighter IV next year. I used to play SF2 Turbo on SNES all the time with my sister when we were younger, we recently spent several hours playing SF2 Super Turbo HD Remix over Xbox Live. Absolutely top class net code - zero lag. Perfect.

Edited by EvilTwin
does anyone feel like either a) Giant Bomb only wants to review games that will be good or b) they just hand out five-stars like no one else?

A)  Giantbomb has a small editorial staff compared to the big sites like 1up, IGN, and Gamespot.  They aren't able to review every movie-licensed game or budget title released.  Nor do they care.  They realize their audience is only interested in the releases that people expect to be quality.  Which is not to say big releases only.
B)  Their rating system is completely different from a classic 1 to 10 scale and is much better in my opinion.  I for one am glad that they aren't shying away from giving out 5 stars if they feel a game deserves it. 

Posted by awheaten

These guys are products of gamespot, who is a 360 site. These guys made gamespot what it is today. However, these guys are 360 only people. I just can't believe the comments from jeff about Resistence 2. R2 is way better than Gears of War 2. Gears of War 2 is the same as Gears 1. R2 has a much more robust online proponent. The graphics are great and the sound is great, but they gave it a 4 1/2 stars but gave gOfw got 5. I may be nitpicking but these guys are 360 all the way. That being said, man they are entertaining. Can't help but to be a fan.

Edited by REDRUN

Great review as always. I bought this game as soon as I found out t was available to download from the XBL marketplace. This was allot easier to pick up an play versus the MK3 in my opinion. I love the dip switch settings which you can restore the actual settings and graphics, then you realize how busted the old game was. The HD Remix properly updates and fixes the game to what we all could of wish it to be. My cousins, brothers and friends spent this holiday playing this game over my place since they were here for the big dinner. We all was excited and acting like we were back in the early 90's, debating who is the best at who. The best holiday we had in video gaming since Rock Band last year's holiday. When I woke up the next day to turn on the tube for some news while I have my morning cup of coffee, I couldn't help but notice over two dollars' worth of quarters were taped on the bottom of my 60 inch. Nice....

Posted by Rowr

Mostly enjoying it so far, although like any xbla game played in Aus, Lags a total bitch.

Posted by Phished0ne

This game made me go back and watch the Street Fighter Animated movies, which are pretty good for the most part..

Great review for a great game...i gotta get back to trying to beat arcade mode on anything higher then easy....
Posted by BranDong

Great review Jeff.. You hit everything a Street Fighter lover would want to know.. even the minute details like sevennnn!! I have to say though this new announcer almost sucks as much as the regular super street fighter 2 turbo announcer.. =(

Posted by TomA

kool i guess,but 15 dollars is too much.Plus i suck at Street Fighter :P

Posted by CarolynP

That's cool and all, but how do you feel about Bison briefly pausing when he does a headstomp that hits a rising opponent only a few pixels above ground level? And what's your preferred percentage chance that the first frame of Old Ken's air hurricane kick is unblockable? Are you a big fan of the piano method?

Man, just looking at the dipswitch options and "how to play" text for this game is a little mindblowing.

Posted by Shawk

That elbow in the but move must have hurt

Posted by DrRandle

Helpful review Jeff, thanks. I'll probably pick this up when I have a little more spare cash. I just don't know how much use I'll get out of it, though. I've never had the time to get good enough at the game, so going online might prove to be more depressing than anything... and I don't know if too many friends would like to get in on this action. I need more friends on my X-Box I think is the problem.

Also, @Mr.Hankey: That's because they do only pick games that they think are worth looking at. They don't bother themselves with "Deca Sports" and "Vampire Rain." Five Stars just means they think you absolutely need it in your collection, and personal tastes aside, I'd say they're pretty spot on.

Posted by Clockswork

I agree with HTTenrai, there should be some text about the CPU in this release, its MAD HARD!

Posted by jeterman29ny

omg stop with the 5 stars already! How about throwing in some half stars or quarter stars or something! Every game is not perfect and by giving 5 stars, that is basically what you are saying! Impossible!!!

Posted by yates

No, 5 stars does not say a game is perfect. If that was the case, 5 stars would never be given out for a game.

Posted by Bertmasta

well i guess im getting this

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