pacodg's Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (PlayStation Network (PS3)) review

A Binge Gamer Review of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

As the fifth remake of a title that set bar for just about every game in the fighting genre since, one can’t help but worry whether Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix (insert long title joke here) revives the series for one final bout or keeps it on life-support while gamers stand in tears wondering what will become of their dying friend.

Just kidding.  The game is spectacular and is definitely one of the best 2D fighters to hit consoles in years.

Of course this doesn’t come as any big surprise; everyone already knows the series kicks ass.  It’s legendary, and with the exception of Street Fighter Alpha: Warrior’s Dreams (a game I regrettably downloaded for $6 on the PSN), there isn’t a bad SF game that comes to mind.  Fortunately, SSFIITHDR is just as intense, frantic, and addictive as the rest of the franchise, something fans will surely be relieved to hear.

In essence, SSFIITHDR a revamped version of the last SFII remake, including a remixed soundtrack, Hi-Def graphics, rebalanced gameplay, and most notably, online play.  The character and level designs are gorgeous, and the redone soundtrack is fantastic, with Capcom being generous enough to include the original versions.  Awesome.

The rebalanced gameplay is pretty excellent too, though some attacks seem to be far too strong.  I’ve noticed this to be especially apparent with throws, sometimes losing a match after being hit only four or five times.  While this forces the player to be more tactful, it’s frustrating to be winning a match just to have the tables turn because a throw cleans out over a quarter of the health bar.  I once lost a round against T. Hawk after being hit only four times.  Yes, I counted.

On top of this, the computer A.I. tends to be really cheap and repetitive in its tactics, sometimes spending entire matches using projectiles and repeating the same move over and over.  Though this is pretty typical to SF games, Ryu tossing eleven fireballs in a single round (once again–I counted) is just ridiculous.

Fortunately, the game offers a Dip Switch Settings menu where you can change tons of gameplay options, such as being “able to throw an opponent dizzied by a throw” or “the percentage chance that the first frame of Old Ken’s air hurricane kick is unblockable”, remixing the rules to your preferences and adding tons of customizability to the gameplay.

As for game modes, SSFIITHDR keeps it simple, offering Arcade, Multiplayer, Training, and Online modes.  Every mode presents the option to play the Remixed version or Classic version of play (with differences such as the rebalanced gameplay and different special move commands).

But undoubtedly the greatest part about this game is the online play, totally making up for any A.I. flaws in the single player mode.  In a time where quality arcades are as scarce as an oasis in Antarctica, it’s nice to be able to step up and challenge some stranger to a quick bout only to curse them out over your headset, regardless of winning or losing (though I don’t recommend this).  The connection times are fast, and there are very few instances of any noticeable lag.

Along with this, the online play has a variety of game modes: from quick play to tournaments to scoreboard matches.  The tournaments are actually really cool.  While you’re waiting to be matched up with your next opponent, you can view the depleting health gauges of all other matches to see who’s coming out on top.

Also, be forewarned that you will fight opponents who play as Akuma and do nothing but toss fireballs your way.  To these people I say, “Seriously, man up and play as Cammy or something.”

When it comes down to it, fifteen bucks is a steal, especially considering how many quarters you’d be tossing down the drain anyway trying to clear the Arcade Mode your first time through (I myself have more trouble with T. Hawk than anything–I hate that cheap bastard).  It’s the closest thing you can have to an actual SFII arcade machine and an endless supply of new opponents aside from, you know, owning your own arcade.  SSFIITHDR is a must buy for any fighter fan and should at least be played by anyone with the slightest interest in the genre.

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