Street Fighter: if you say those two words to anyone they mean something, gamer or not, everyone has heard of this iconic series. Street Fighter is often heralded as one of the best, if not the best fighting game of all time. It’s left a grand legacy, and with the recent release of Street Fighter IV, take our hand as we guide you through it.
Street Fighter – 1987
Street Fighter’s debut in gaming was way back in 1987, where men were men, women were women, and gamers were poor. Gamers were poor because of arcades, which back then made a killing with games like Street Fighter. In Street Fighter you play as Ryu, who is competing in an international martial arts tournament, you can also play as Ryu’s rival, Ken. You fight through each stage in one on one battles that 30 seconds long, and must defeat your opponent to progress. It was that simple. Funnily enough, the first Street Fighter Game was one of the least successful of the series. Street Fighter also introduced the 3 most famous moves in Street Fighter History: the Ball of Fire (Hadouken), Dragon Punch (Shoryuken), and Hurricane Kick (Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku).
Street Fighter II Series – 1991-2003
1991 is a holy year for gaming: it was the year Street Fighter II was released, there are many incarnations of this game, but without a doubt the original was the greatest. Street Fighter II wasn’t the first head to head fighting game, but it is credited for starting the fighting game boom during the 1990s. It took many aspects of its predecessor, and improved them vastly, creating a timeless classic that people still play today.
Street Fighter II introduced us to eight characters, with each one having approximately 30 moves, you could progress through arcade mode or battle head to head with the computer or a friend in Versus mode. There were also 4 unplayable bosses in the game.
Street Fighter II has taken many forms throughout the years, as the most popular game in the series it had a lot of remakes over the years, each one improving on the last:
- Street Fighter II – The World Warrior – 1991
- Street Fighter II – Champion Edition – 1992
- Street Fighter II – Hyper Fighting – 1992
- Super Street Fighter II – 1993
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo – 1994
- Hyper Street Fighter II – 2003
Each of these reboots introduced new aspects into the game, new characters, new moves and new gameplay. Street Fighter II Champion Edition gave us alternate color costumes for the combatants, and it added the 4 unplayable bosses in Street Fighter II The World Warrior. The New Challengers introduced 4 new characters, totaling the roster at 16. And Super Street Fighter II Turbo giving us Akuma and the Super Combo. This is leaving out the fact that the game speed was increased to most of these iterations, adding to the challenge.
A recent revamp of Street Fighter II was released for XBL and PSN. It was titled Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, it contained the original game and a “remixed” version using high definition graphics and rebalanced gameplay. It also featured online play.
Street Fighter Alpha Series – 1995-1998
For years fans stuck with Street Fighter II, waiting, quietly for the next installment in the series, then in 1995 Capcom answered our prayers, the Street Fighter Alpha Series was born. Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams was unleashed upon the world, it sported great graphics and completely enhanced the Super Combo system, expanding the Combo meter into three levels, allowing for more powerful Super Combo’s. The character roster consisted of younger versions of many of Street Fighter II’s line up as well as characters from Final Fight, and a few new additions to the franchise, it was pretty great.
1996 saw the birth of both Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3. In Alpha 2 the roster was again expanded to a whopping 18, the five new characters were taken from Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, and Final Fight, along with Sakura making her first appearance. It also added the Custom Combo into gameplay.
The final game in the Alpha Series saw a complete overhaul of the gameplay system. Players were now allowed to select one of three fighting styles, each one based off a previous Street Fighter command style [A-ism, X-ism and V-ism]. The roster increased to 27 and each returning character got brand new theme music. Alpha 3 also introduced the “Guard Power Gauge” which depletes each time the player blocks, if the gauge empties then you are stunned and vulnerable to an attack.