TOURNAMENT RESULTS

Hey guys, Zero1 here and Ultra Street Fighter 2 has landed!  I’d like to preface this review by saying that it will be written from the perspective of a competitive Super Turbo player and tournament organiser.  Though I did reach out for a review copy, I didn’t get one, so you can be assured that there are no influences on my review.  I am no games journalist, but I hope you will take something from my insight.

• FEATURES
• GRAPHICS
• SOUND
• PRESENTATION
• GAMEPLAY
• USF2 ON THE SWITCH
• USF2 AS A TOURNAMENT GAME
• THE VERDICT

Ultra Street Fighter 2 is here and boy do we have a lot to cover!  In case you’ve been out of the loop for the past 5 months, Ultra Street Fighter 2 is the latest release of Street Fighter 2 and is exclusive to Nintendo Switch.  It was announced back in January as part of Nintendo’s Switch reveal, much to everyone’s surprise.

It was a curious decision to create a new version of Street Fighter 2 and bring it to the Switch when you consider that the PS4 has already established itself as the fighting game console of choice this generation and that it would have been a lot less work to simply port HD Remix and slap it on the Nintendo store as a digital download, but what with it being Street Fighter’s 30th anniversary this year, Capcom decided to hit people right in the nostalgia and release it as a retail game.  Hopefully we’ll see some after sales support for it such as official tournaments and possible updates.

 

Features

It seems the main aim of Ultra Street Fighter 2 is to modernise the game.  While HD Remix had online play, it meant sitting in a lobby until challengers showed up.  Ultra Street Fighter 2 borrows a nice little feature seen in other fighting games called fight request, where you can be working your way through arcade mode or practicing in training mode and real opponents can challenge you.  BP, PP and titles have been added, just like in Street Fighter IV.

Ultra Street Fighter 2 also includes 2 additional characters, Violent Ken and Evil Ryu.  Both characters are based on their Super Turbo counterparts but with additional Akuma-like buffs such as raging demons, teleports and juggle combos and insanely good hitboxes.  Throw techs have also been added, allowing you to escape throw attempts rather than only being able to soften the throw and take less damage. We’ll get into how that may affect the game later, but for now let’s dive in to what the game has to offer.

One of the subtle changes in Ultra Street Fighter 2

Arcade Mode
The game features a standard arcade mode where you fight through a number of CPU opponents of increasing difficulty in order to reach the final boss and see your character’s ending. Pretty standard stuff, although some welcome additions to this are fight requests and recording your replay.  Probably won’t be of much interest if you are online and have real opponents, but given that the Switch is portable and you may not always have an internet connection, it’s still good for killing time.  I can also confirm that the CPU cheats far less now!

Buddy Battle
Next up we have a new mode called buddy battle, although this is better known to most of us as dramatic battle which made its first appearance in Street Fighter Alpha 3.  This is a 2vs1 fight that allows 2 players vs 1 CPU opponent or 1 player and a CPU vs 1 CPU.  It’s a real shame this wasn’t fleshed out more as they could have included 1 player vs 1 player and a CPU for young or inexperienced players, 1 player vs 2 CPU or even 2vs2 for some 4 player mayhem.  Could have been fun!

Versus
Versus mode is local multiplayer and features player vs player, player vs CPU, CPU vs CPU (why?!) and local battle.  Local battle is player vs player but using 2 Switch consoles, so you and a friend can play in handheld or table top mode and not have to crowd round a tiny screen.  Should make for a great time killer on train journeys.

USF2 left, HD Remix right:  No more HD backgrounds in arcade graphics mode and far better sprite scaling!

Online
The online mode consists of ranked matches, casual matches and a leaderboard.  Ranked and casual matches share the same options; quick search, custom search and create lobby while casual matches also feature a friend only filter for private lobbies.  The custom search allows you to filter by region, control type and skill.  The control type filter means that you can filter out people using button/special move binding.  Unlike HD Remix, there are no multiplayer lobbies, no spectating and no tournament mode.  Lame!

Lobby search in USF2 (top) and HD Remix (bottom)

There are a bunch of issues with the online mode though, so let’s get into it.

Net code
Good online is crucial for fighting games, because CPU opponents can only do so much and aren’t engaging or realistic.  Well, I have spent at least 5 hours checking out the online in Ultra Street Fighter 2 and I am sorry to say that the net code is terrible.  It is delay based rather than roll back like GGPO/Fightcade/HD Remix, meaning that depending on the connection, your input delay (input lag) will vary!  So what does this mean?  You know how when you press a button you get a normal instantly?  On poor connections it takes longer for your move to come out after pressing the button.  While this might work for some games, it’s unacceptable for competitive fighting games.  I’ve mostly been playing people from France and the UK, where the connection should be great, but still experienced input delay and also a weird variation in game speed, and that’s with using the ethernet adapter too.

The game feels slower online, but it also seems that the connection can also influence the game speed.  I’ve even had games start at what feels like a normal speed and slow down during the game.  We’ve seen from HD Remix and GGPO/Fightcade that online Super Turbo is possible without making sacrifices such as having input lag or slowdown, so Capcom absolutely must address this if they want the game to succeed.  It’s playable with good connections and I’m having fun but HD Remix and Fightcade are far better.  The lobby/search needs improving too.  In HD Remix you are presented with a bunch of people hosting games, their ping and other options.  You have no idea of connection quality in Ultra Street Fighter 2 until you enter a lobby with someone.

Ranked
The issue with ranked mode is that it shows you who you are about to face and it doesn’t take a genius to realise that this is open to abuse.  Sure enough, I encountered once such player during my testing.  I was able to consistently beat NikoGTR, and every time we got matched after that, he left the lobby so he didn’t have to play me.  Checking the European rankings the day after shows that he was the highest ranked player in Europe, which certainly wouldn’t have been the case if he played me and took some losses!

The final challengers
Akuma, Violent Ken and Evil Ryu are all ban worthy characters that are playable in ranked mode (and in fact, Akuma has been banned at tournaments world wide for many years).  They are so much better than the rest of the cast that there is a very real chance that it will affect character diversity and ranked mode will degenerate a 3 shoto race.  Fortunately for now there is a good mix of characters online, but I hope Capcom adds an option to disable these characters in ranked.

Training
Training mode is where this game shines and might even be a reason for buying the game if you are really into Super Turbo.  Having a fully featured training mode on a portable device that boots virtually instantly is so good if you just want to jump in and try something.  Sadly it doesn’t have the hitbox overlay that you can enable in HD Remix, but that said, trying to watch hitboxes in real time can be tricky due to them only being displayed for a few frames at a time.  Most of us just head over to the Shoryuken wiki and check out the hitboxes and frame data there.

Don’t despair though!  There are other useful features that HD Remix didn’t have, such as input display with frame counts and attack data such as damage per move, combo damage, maximum damage done in that training session, maximum combo, a stun meter and a high/low attack indicator.

As good as the training mode is, I’ll miss hitbox display

Diving deeper into the training mode you have options for full or infinite meter and disabling stun.  There are a number of actions you can set the training dummy to perform such as standing, crouching, jumping, or having it CPU or human controlled, but best of all, there is a record feature!  Yes, you can record up to 10 seconds of game play and have the dummy play it back so now you can tick throw yourself over and over again until you get the reversal timing down, practice safe jumps, punishes or situational stuff.  I can’t stress enough how useful a record feature is!

Way of the Hado
Way of the Hado mode is, for lack of a better description, a motion controlled mini game (insert collective groaning).  Using the joy-con controllers, you perform motions that mimmick Ryu’s signature moves, the hadouken, shoryuken and tatsumaki senpukyaku (though fortunately you don’t have to do a real spin kick, you just kind of move your arms from side to side).  You enter a 3D first person mode and beat up waves of generic looking Shadaloo soldiers before getting to M Bison (Dictator).  This mode seems really out of place – a 3D mini game using Street Fighter IV models with motion controls in a 2D game renowned for it’s tight execution.  Given that they are using existing assets, they could have added a few more characters and different motions to give the mode a little more meat, but as it is, it just feels tacked on and completely unnecessary.  That said, younger players may enjoy it and it may end up being a gateway to Street Fighter 2 for them.

Gallery
The gallery is a collection of artwork from the Street Fighter Artworks: Supremacy book.  It features hundreds of high resolution scans that you can zoom in on of artwork from various Street Fighter games, with the option to listen to the game’s soundtrack while you flick through.  Since Street Fighter 2 was around before the internet was widely adopted, it meant that a lot of the artwork never got scanned or uploaded or is hard to find or low quality, so this is nice to see.  There is a nice collection of posters and concept art.  Just a shame it’s in digital form and you didn’t get a book with the game!

Colour Editor
Let’s be honest, having your own colour is a big deal in Super Turbo.  It’s a tradition that’s as old as the game itself and now you can edit the colour palette to your liking!  You are able to store 10 edits per character, however you can only nominate one per character to be selectable in-game.  If you want a different custom colour for your character you’ll have to pop back into the colour editor menu and nominate it.  Why you couldn’t just have all custom colours scrollable in game, I don’t know.  Editing colours is fun for a little while but it can take a very long time to get to the colour you want since the cursor moves so slowly.

Player Data & Game Manual
Moving on to the boring stuff, we have player data which contains information on how long you’ve played, your high score win percentage, character usage stats and replays.  There is also a game manual in case you forget how to play, want to check the button bindings or a brief description of each mode.

Options
Style
The style setting will let you choose HDR or arcade graphics and remixed or arcade music or any combination of the two. Unlike HD Remix, you can have full arcade graphics including the backgrounds, although the HUD is still high definition but at least is in keeping with the arcade graphics style.  The sound style you pick also changes the voices.  Classic arcade audio has music and voices from the CPS2 version, whereas the new music is paired with Street Fighter IV sounds and voices.  Would have been nice to be able to control the new audio independently.

Theme
Here you can set the theme/background for the menu.  There are a few different ones here, but we like the OG Street Fighter 2 blue background which is reminiscent of the Super Turbo character select screen.

Controller
There are two ways to do a button setup, the right way and the wrong way.  The right way can be seen in HD Remix and most other fighters where it lists the attacks and you press the button you want to assign to it.  In HD Remix you go in and hit jab, strong, fierce, short, forward, roundhouse in order; simple and fast.  Ultra Street Fighter 2 does it the wrong way however.  It presents you with a list of buttons on the left, and attacks on the right.  Rather than being able to press the buttons you want to use, you have to find the button in the list and scroll through the attacks.  Another minor annoyance is only being able to configure 1 control at a time – yet in HD Remix you could set both together!  This probably will have little to no impact on your average user since they will probably only need to set their controls once and forget about it, but as a tournament organiser, I can see this causing a lot of wasted time between matches.  This is a pretty big fail in my opinion and I really hope Capcom address this.

Sound
Adjust the balance between music and sound effects

Screen
Adjust the screen brightness and enable/disable the HUD

Language
Since the Switch is region free, you can pick up a copy from anywhere and set your language.

Title
Titles can be earned as you play and these are displayed online. Now you can show everyone that “I like bean jam”… Great?

Flag
You start off with a generic Ultra Street Fighter II flag, so go in, set your flag and rep where you’re from!

 

GRAPHICS

Ultra Street Fighter 2 features arcade and HD Remix graphics.  HD Remix also featured arcade graphics but only for the character sprites, meaning the backgrounds were still HD Remix style.  Capcom have gone to work and rectified that for Ultra and have redrawn parts of the HD Remix stages.  If you look closely you can see that Guile’s stage has a new logo on the floor, and what’s more, this change was even reflected in the original arcade graphics!

Spot the new logo under Ken!

Gone are the HD Remix character portraits though, instead we have some remastered portraits that are true to the original art style and they actually look quite nice!  That said, it would have been nice for them to keep the HD Remix portraits and HUD for when you use the HD Remix graphics.  The HUD is high definition in either classic or HD Remix mode, but is made in the same visual style as arcade Super Turbo and doesn’t look too out of place in either mode.

Arcade graphics mode gets the new logo too

 

SOUND

The game features arcade music and also arranged tracks rather than the HD Remix music.  The style of the arranged music is more in keeping with the original sound track than the HD remix music.  This will probably be a bit more acceptable to the purists and it’s nice to have the option to change it up.

The original sound effects are all there, as are some “new” ones for the new generations sound set that are actually just repurposed Street Fighter IV sound effects.  Bit lazy there, Capcom.  Unfortunately the sound effects are tied to your music style choice, so if you really want the new soundtrack, you are stuck with Street Fighter IV sounds.

 

PRESENTATION

There isn’t much to talk about presentation wise, though I think the menus would look better with a smaller font and would mean that all the options are shown instead of having to scroll.
There are a few areas that the game lacks polish though.  Ryu’s stage now has a breakable sign in classic arcade graphics, but hasn’t been added to the HD Remix graphics.  Things like that seem really odd when you consider they redesigned the floor for Guile’s stage and even ported the changes over to the arcade graphics!  There are also minor niggles such as the character win quote screen looking like someone forgot to install a font and the game is using Arial as the default.

The white fringing on Ryu’s hair looks a bit rubbish.  So does the generic font.

Another annoyance is the upper right “press any button” text not fitting in the game window in 4:3 mode (surely using a smaller font and repositioning the text for 4:3 mode wouldn’t have been a huge task).  Ryu’s character portrait looks like a bad photoshop cut out job with white fringes.  There is also no 4:3 mode for the HD graphics, yet there is in HD Remix.  None of this affects game play of course but contributes to the feeling of a rushed game, and should really be on point when the game costs as much as other retail games.

UI elements and text are smaller in 4:3 mode to fit within the frame, but it seems “press any button” escaped their notice

 

GAMEPLAY

It’s time to get into the finer details of Ultra Street Fighter 2.  A lot of people seem to think that it is a port of HD Remix, but it appears to be closer to Hyper Street Fighter 2 in terms of gameplay changes.  Here’s what we know so far in comparison to arcade Super Turbo:

•Ken, Sagat and Dhalsim can now reversal super
•Chun Li can no longer store her super/do a walk forward super
•E Honda can no longer store his super/do a walk forward super
•E Honda can no longer store his oicho throw command
•Damage variation is gone, a move will always do the same amount of damage
•Stun variance is gone, a move will always do the same amount of stun
•All stages are the same speed (no speed variation like in arcade Super Turbo)
•Akuma can now has a super
•Ryu’s red fireball is now half circle back
•Cammy’s hooligan throw in how half circle forward
•Cammy’s backfist is now half circle back
•Fei Long’s chicken wing is now half circle forward
•Vega (Claw) loses his claw for the round if knocked off
•Vega (Claw) will climb the cage on the Spain stage
•Vega (Claw) can no longer double juggle with the flip kick
•Dhalsim’s upward flame is now half circle back + kick
•Dhalsim’s yoga flame is now half circle back + punch
•Sagat’s tiger knee input is now dragon punch + kick
•Zangief’s green hand input is now a dragon punch + punch
•Zangief’s headbutt will only dizzy if the opponent hasn’t been dizzied that round (except Violent Ken, Evil Ryu and Akuma, who can be dizzied multiple times)
•Slight reduction in throw damage
•Throw techs/escapes with zero damage now possible (same input as thow soften)
•Throw softens removed due to throw techs
•Game speed is 1.35x of Super Turbo T1 (according to Capcom – needs to be tested)
•Special moves made easier (presumably longer input window as per HD Remix)
•No old versions of characters
•All characters, except Violent Ken, Evil Ryu and Akuma have the same amount of stun (30 base, 34 after a dizzy)
•New generation sound mode now has an audible cue for when the super meter is full
•Breakable objects are purely visual and do not cause you to pause mid air if you hit one

Unlike HD Remix, there is no classic gameplay mode.  This seems like a really bizarre oversight given that they’ve gone to the trouble to include classic sprites and music. Why not classic gameplay?  This means that while it plays like Super Turbo (or Hyper Street Fighter 2, take your pick) for the most part, there are some changes that will certainly impact matchups.  One bad matchup that is about to get worse is Guile VS Dhalsim.  Widely considered as 8-2 or even 9-1 in Dhalsim’s favor in arcade Super Turbo, Dhalsim gains a reversal super and he is now harder to stun.  That makes pressuring his wakeup a lot more risky (which Guile really needs to be able to do since it’s so hard to get in), and it also means that he’s harder to dizzy, so potentially fewer opportunities to close out rounds.

Expect E Honda to suffer too.  While he is really good against non projectile characters (maybe too good), he struggles against fireballs and his oicho throw loop was the one thing that helped him remain viable – you take damage all round for that one gamble when you get in.  That strange “really good against half the cast, really bad against the other half” thing made Honda balanced in a weird sort of way, but now that is gone, he will have a much harder time capitalising on mistakes from projectile characters, and he will be a little less effective overall against the rest of the cast.

Let’s move on to game speed.

Stages in Super Turbo run at different speeds.  According to the data found here, Dhalsim’s stage is the fastest and Ryu’s is the slowest.  The times given are seconds and frames for a round to complete from FIGHT disappearing to the draw game pose showing.  I also calculated the mean value and found that Cammy’s stage is very close to being between Ryu’s and Dhalsim’s in speed. Frame counts are given for Japanese turbo 3.
Dhalsim’s stage = 48s 11f (2891 frames) (fastest)
Cammy’s stage = 50s 03f (3006 frames) (3001 is the mean)
Ryu’s stage = 51s 51f (3111 frames) (slowest)

I tested HD Remix’s speed using the same method as on the Shoryuken forum and got 54s 0f (3240 frames) for Ryu, Cammy and Dhalsim’s stage.  I also got Ryu to do a roundhouse tatsu and measured the frame count from the first frame of animation to the first frame of the idle stance and can confirm it is the same on all 3 stages at 1s 23f. Each stage runs at exactly the same speed.

I performed the same testing with Ultra Street Fighter 2 and found that all the stages run at the same speed but at an excruciatingly slow 57s 03f (3423 frames).  The roundhouse tatsu took 1s 28f.

Variable damage is gone meaning that a move will always do the same damage, unlike in Super Turbo/HD Remix

 

USF2 on the Switch

This game has been given a bit of a hill to climb.  Let’s talk about price, peripherals and wifi.
Ultra Street Fighter 2 retails at £35, which for games in general is a decent price – some Switch games are up to £60, but I have seen many comments, even from hardcore Super Turbo fans saying it’s too expensive and I kind of agree.  Part of that cost is a result of it being on the Switch – you pay extra because it costs more to produce the game cards than Bluray discs, plus third parties also pay a licensing fee to Nintendo, which of course gets passed on to us.  I recently picked up Puyo Puyo Tetris for £35 on Switch only to find the PS4 version is £20 (and yes, they were released at the same time).  HD Remix on the other hand, can be picked up for £9.99 on the Microsoft store, so you can understand why gamers are disgruntled.

Casual players will most likely be playing with the joy-cons in the pad style grip, or the rather excellent pro controller which isn’t cheap at £60.  As I write this, there are no arcade sticks available. Hori has announced one (for July), but the problem is that many people have invested in PS3/Xbox 360 sticks in the past and have recently upgraded to a PS4/Xbox One stick and are unlikely to want to have to shell out again for yet another stick for a console that doesn’t have many fighting games.  As a tournament organiser, this makes supporting Ultra Street Fighter 2 difficult since we’d have to provide sticks, or have people play on pad.  It has been hinted that Brook will be developing some converters or updated firmware for their universal fight board in the near future which will mean being able to use your existing controls on the Switch.  If/when they do that, then Ultra Street Fighter 2 will have a better chance of being supported at events.  There was some initial confusion about the Switch dock, but I can confirm that it has three USB ports.  One internal and two on the front, so USB arcade sticks are totally viable.

The final concern players have been voicing is that the Switch uses wifi and does not even have an ethernet port!  That’s a really strange omission since you would have thought the dock would have been perfect for something like that, but fortunately you can buy a USB ethernet adapter that plugs into the internal USB port.  The good news is that you don’t need to buy an officially licensed adapter either, most generic ones with the correct chipset will work and can be picked up for as little as £6($10) or a little more if you want a USB 3 version for higher download speeds.  Even if you aren’t bothered about fighting online, I’d recommend an ethernet adapter simply for the better download speeds.  You can search for “Nintendo Switch ethernet” on Amazon.  Alternatively, more information can be found here.

 

USF2 as a tournament game

It’s hard to say whether the FGC will support Ultra Street Fighter 2 as a tournament game.  We have two main issues, one being the game itself and the other being hardware and availability.  There’s nothing wrong with the game, it just isn’t Super Turbo.  We’ve seen in the past that original Super Turbo has beat off competition from far newer “definitive” versions such as Hyper Street Fighter 2 and HD Remix.  While these games saw some support, the players went back to the best known version.  HD Remix managed to hang in there due to it including a classic gameplay mode which is effectively Dreamcast Super Turbo, but the remix mode was dropped pretty early due to pressure from long time players.  Hyper Street Fighter 2 was supported for some years because it was a convenient way to play since there was a PS2 version, but again didn’t really stick as the tournament standard due to gameplay changes; the same reason why remix mode in HD Remix was dropped (ST characters in Hyper Street Fighter 2 had some changes, and although you could select the “unchanged” versions by holding start, there were still some discrepencies).

The changes in Ultra Street Fighter 2 make it very close to Hyper Street Fighter 2 in gameplay but with throw techs added.  Honda and Chun Li players will no doubt be annoyed at losing their stored moves and Dhalsim gaining the ability to reversal super (which he couldn’t do in Super Turbo) makes him even stronger.  Throw techs are also an unknown quantity at this point in time and could cause characters that rely on throws to really suffer.  In my opinion, Ultra Street Fighter 2 should be treated as its own game, or as an alternative version of Hyper Street Fighter 2; not a direct replacement to Super Turbo as there are some notable gameplay changes.

The problem with the Switch is that it is not an established console in the FGC.  If the game was released on PS4, you could easily buy a few discs and run a side tournament for it.  Events already have consoles and setups, and people have PS4 compatible pads or sticks.  The issue with the Switch is that it is a new console and not many people have one yet.  Even if the event organisers manage to round up a few consoles, they will need to fork out £35 per game and supply pads too since there are no sticks available yet, or provide converters when they become available since even when sticks become available, it’s unlikely that many people will buy one.  At that point you add input lag with converters, and what with the overall cost, it’s a very hard sell to a tournament organiser when you can just pick up some used Xbox 360s and run HD Remix.  The only real hope for the Switch as a console supported by the FGC is a major release like Smash Bros or a big name exclusive fighting game (which isn’t likely to happen since PS4 is the established console for fighters).

 

The Verdict

I am really conflicted as to how I feel about Ultra Street Fighter 2.  I was in disbelief when it originally got announced since it just came out of nowhere, but I was excited to have a version of Super Turbo on a current console since HD Remix on Xbox 360 and PS3 are long dead.  It has sparked interest in Super Turbo with people who have fallen out of the loop and has given us long time players things to speculate on and test.  It is also a great opportunity to get new players into Super Turbo.  I ran a stream of myself playing ranked mode the other day and had far more viewers than I usually get for tournament streams, many of them being new to the game and asking how they can improve, are there any guides and so on.  It has the potential to revive the Super Turbo community a bit.

People are up in arms about the price tag though, but it’s not really the price that is the issue, it’s value for money.  They are incensed that Capcom appear to be charging £35 for a port of HD Remix which originally cost £10, just with a gallery, an unrefined colour editor and 3D mini game tacked on (which uses assets from SFIV).  But it’s not a re-release of HD Remix – or it doesn’t appear to be.  HD Remix has a better button configuration, far superior net code, more online modes such as multiplayer winner stays on lobbies with spectating (which is absent from USF2) and a single elimination tournament – that’s in addition to the standard 1vs1 ranked and casual modes.  HD Remix also has a proper Super Turbo game play mode in case you don’t like the balance changes, a hitbox view in training mode and ping display for lobbies rather than a vague bar system.  Considering that all the HD artwork was made from scratch for HD Remix, you get a lot for your £10 and it makes you wonder what your money has been spent on when it comes to the £35 price tag of Ultra Street Fighter 2 – supporting the Street Fighter V pro tour would be my guess.

The breakable sign makes a return!… But not if you are using HD Remix graphics

There’s just so much missed potential here.  Dramatic battle – sorry, buddy battle doesn’t even include 1 player vs 2 CPU, and could easily have been extended to enable 2vs2 fights.  Maybe you could even have taken that mode online?  Instead of wasting development time and money on the 3D mini game, they would have been far better off implementing some better netcode or building some trials in or a tutorial mode.

You might argue that there is some value in the new characters, and I’ll be honest, I’m kind of impressed that they revisited such an old game and was able to add new characters, however they are so obviously over powered that they may as well have not bothered.  They will be banned from competitive play, and it will probably have the knock on effect of people not seeing a point in playing them, just like how Akuma has been selectable in Super Turbo but no one uses him.  He’s just so good that it just takes the fun and variety out of the game.

The gameplay changes seem to be have been made with little testing or thought as to how they will affect the game.  One such change was normalising the stun rating for every character, so rather than some characters being easier or harder to stun than others like in arcade Super Turbo, they are now all the same.  This effectively buffs some characters and nerfs others.  Characters with low stun rating such as Dhalsim and Claw, have a low stun rating for a reason – because they are very strong characters and it works as a kind of nerf, meaning that you are more likely to dizzy them and be able to do some good damage.  Other characters like Zangief have a high stun rating and he needs that because he often takes a lot of hits in the process of getting close to his opponent.  What’s happened here is the strong characters got stronger and the weak characters got weaker.

Throw techs are another misguided change.  No doubt it came about from people complaining about tick throws, since it now gives you a way to escape with no damage.  On one hand, Chun Li’s nonsense is about to get nerfed, but as a result of that, low tier characters that rely on throws such as Blanka and Zangief are going to suffer too.  Claw also benefits from this since his low throw range was one of his few weaknesses that you could exploit, but now he can just tech out!

Some things seem lazy, but others show nice attention to detail such as different stage icons for different graphic modes

It really feels like whoever the project lead was just saw these bugs and flaws in the game and decided to fix them, not appreciating that it’s those same bugs and flaws that make Super Turbo the version that is still played 23 years on, despite newever versions that attempted to fix and improve it.  It’s a fine balance, and fixing something can break something else!

Can I recommend Ultra Street Fighter 2?  Honestly, no, and it’s hard to say that because I want to see Super Turbo do well.  Who knows, maybe if it sells well, Capcom will roll out a patch that address some of the issues such as net code, or may even release it on PS4 where it will have a better shot at being supported.  I feel that as console ports go, HD Remix is the better choice in terms of relevant content, price and availability.

I don’t believe this is the full version.  Capcom announced development was finished 2 months before the planned release date and that had me worried.  I suspect development was finished early for some reason; maybe Capcom have done a Street Fighter 5 with Super Turbo – released a bare bones game in order to get cash flowing inwards and they will finish it off and roll out a patch later.  I certainly hope so, because Ultra Street Fighter 2 has the potential to be a good port.

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