“Street Fighter II, the most iconic fighting game of all time, is back on the Nintendo Switch!”
“The newest iteration of SFII in nearly 10 years, Ultra Street Fighter II features all of the classic characters, a host of new single player and multiplayer features, as well as two new fighters: Evil Ryu and Violent Ken! Nintendo Switch TV, Tabletop and Handheld modes allow you to play Ultra Street Fighter II at home or on-the-go! “ Press Release from Nintendo.com
Ultra Street Fighter II the Final Challengers is one of the launch window games for the Nintendo Switch released on May 26th of 2017 within the first three months of the systems lifespan. The game is a full HD rework of super Street Fighter 2 Turbo similar to the digital release Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix with modernised HD visuals and remixed versions of the classic Street Fighter music. The game has all the standard modes that you expect with a fighting game and some new modes and features thrown in.
There are two new game modes for this release exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version of Street Fighter 2 the Buddy Battle mode and the motion control mode Way of The Hado. Buddy Battle is a co-operative mode where two human players or a human and a computer controlled player take on the special characters and the boss characters. You take on 4 fights where you fight Violent Ken, Evil Ryu, M. Bison and Shin Akuma. Gameplay is different from standard play you have one bar for both players working together and you must win 2 rounds. Health does not replenish for the player team between rounds and if your bar is depleted and you lose the opponent wins both rounds automatically and you get a game over. Buddy Battle is not a new concept to the Street Fighter franchise as it was featured in Street Fighter Alpha 3 as dramatic battle, but it is the first time this mode has appeared in Street Fighter 2.
Way of The Hado is a new first person motion control game mode that uses the Joy Con motion sensors to perform attacks as Ryu. You play through wave battle stages fighting generic enemies that have different attack powers and patterns depending on their colour and appearance. There are three sub modes available in Way of the Hado, the stage battle and endless battle where you play through one of three difficulty stages and last is the Hado training which is a practice mode which is utterly pointless given the poor motion controls (details further below). The difficulty stages are Beginner, Standard and Expert the first two have you fighting generic enemies and you just need to defeat them all to win. But the Expert stage has you face M. Bison who just destroys you since he is over powered. The only difference between stage battle and endless is that you just keep going and start from the beginning of the stage each time you complete it. There is a levelling system but this is utterly pointless and that is because of the controls.
You have 3 basic attacks and a super attack in Way of the Hado each of them is performed with a specific movement and the controls are so very inconsistent. There is great difficulty performing any action other than the Hadoken fireball. There are major issues with any other movement regardless of how many times you practice and it makes what could have been a fun little bonus mini game impossible to enjoy. The timing inconsistencies and problems doing moves make it hard to fight the basic enemies and even worse when fighting Bison. One you play this mini game you won’t want to do it again unless you want to frustrate yourself and lament what could have been.
The gameplay for Ultra Street Fighter 2 is virtually unchanged from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo with some tweaks and rebalances to make the online gameplay more balanced and allow people to input some moves with a little more ease. All existing characters retain their move lists and from the previous games and the tweaks do make some characters play a little better. There are three new additions to the games roster and these are Evil Ryu, Violent Ken and Shin Akuma. The first two characters are corrupted dark versions of their regular counter parts with similar yet slightly different move lists and Shin Akuma is the secret boss variant of Akuma. They have empowered variants of their counterparts’ standard attacks and a different super combo attack in the case of Ken and Ryu but Akuma retains his super combo attack. This addition adds something new for existing players and even more options for players who haven’t played Street Fighter 2 before or have only just come back to it.
You have the standard game modes like any other game in the franchise. You have arcade, versus and training mode, you also have an online mode where you can play with players from all over the world but you can have issues with connection and lagging gameplay. There is a colour editor mode that allows you to give your favourite characters the colour pallet you want to. A gallery where you can look at art from the games and the ability to change the graphics and sound from the remixed HD audio and visuals to the original sprites and sound. Lastly there is a replay feature that records fights and allows you to watch them back.
The arcade gameplay is the same as usual you take on 12 fights with the final four being the grand masters Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M. Bison. But if you are able to beat the game without losing a round and within an unspecified time limit you will face a special secret boss battle against Akuma who fights like Shin Akuma, increased difficulty and power makes this a challenging final battle. The versus mode has various settings and you can use this to practice poor matchups and refine combo attacks and inputs by fighting against computer controlled opponents of your own choosing as well as playing against your friends. The online mode has 3 options casual where you can play with any players as much as you want. Ranked where you can fight someone a maximum of 3 times before having to find another opponent and each win or loss will increase or decrease points for you as a player overall and your character of choice. Finally there is friend battle where you can play with people on your friends list as much as you want and set the game however you want. The online would be more enjoyable if it wasn’t for issues with connection and net code that made the game inconsistent and laggy making precise inputs and combos very difficult if you have a bad connection with your opponent.
Overall this is a great package and an excellent choice for a switch user that enjoys fighting games, if you love fighting games then pick this up. All of my past experience with the Franchise on the SNES and the Super Famicom just added to the enjoyment I had of this game, familiarity for the franchise just made me love playing it more.
I highly recommend this game to anyone with a switch, I give it 8/10 the only downsides were the issues with the online gameplay and the complete failure that is The Way of the Hado and its garbage motion controls.