Review – Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
I hate to say this, but Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is a very disappointing game. I hate even more the fact that I was already expecting it to be underwhelming from the very moment it was first announced.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is, basically, a re-re-release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo, you know, that game that came out in 1994 and somehow had a port for the 3DO that turned out to be the best port of that game. It basically borrows assets from the HD remaster released for Xbox 360 and PS3 nine years ago, a game that costs less than ten dollars on PSN and Xbox Live. How much does this Switch port cost? Forty dollars. Four times the price, a completely nonsensical business move by Capcom. It really doesn’t deserve to be sold for even a third of the price, given the amount of flaws it has.
Sadly, the Switch’s joycons aren’t well designed when it comes to fighting games. The lack of a proper d-pad on the joycon is probably the Switch’s main flaw input-wise, and you can see the effects here (and pretty much in every other fighting game for the console). It doesn’t control as precisely as any other version out there. Granted, you can use the Switch Pro controller, and a fighting stick has been announced, but given how the joycon is the main controller for the system, it really doesn’t help not having a d-pad. The game controls as well as it possibly can without it, though.
The game also doesn’t feature gameplay speed choices, like choosing between Turbo or non-Turbo, something that has been present in pretty much every single Street Fighter II iteration since 1994. It also features a slightly botched training mode, with less assets than previous games.
What does Ultra Street Fighter II feature as actual new additions, though? Well, for starters, there are two “new” characters, an evil Ryu and an evil Ken. They are pretty much clone characters with slightly few changes in their playstyles, and can barely be considered “new” characters on their own, shame on Capcom for actually thinking this can be considered a selling point.
It also features a new co-op mode, of all things. Two players can team up and play against CPU-controlled characters, making this one of the most unfair co-op modes I have ever seen. Who the hell thought that was a good idea was probably mad.
Speaking of mad ideas, I have to talk about the game’s most abysmal addition: The Way of the Hado. This is a first-person mode in which you use the joycon’s motion controls to perform Ryu’s special moves onscreen, fighting against a bunch of enemies. It sounds decent enough on paper, doesn’t it? Well, it turned out to be abhorrent. Not only does this mode run very poorly, with clunky graphics (worsened versions of Street Fighter V, visually speaking) and controls so unresponsive and infuriating as the worst Wii shovelware titles you can imagine. Movements are never properly recognized, and some of them are so complicated to perform you’ll just end up spamming the same damn special move until the end, given how there’s little to no strategy involved in this mode. This is, by far, the worst element of the entire game.
And that’s Ultra Street Fighter II for you. Once again, Capcom treated its most famous franchise, and its fans, with an unbelievable amount of disdain and lazyness. Charging 40 bucks for a 23 year old game with less interesting features than its 3DO iteration is pathetic to say the least. If you’re a gigantic die-hard Street Fighter fan, well, the game might suit you, as you’re probably not going to mind the atrocious pricetag for a new version of a game you love. If you’re not a die-hard fan, however, there’s no need to bother looking it up. If you want Super Street Fighter II Turbo on-the-go, you can find a better solution with that older Game Boy Advance port. Hell, the PSP and Vita might have that available for them as well, and most likely for less than forty George Washingtons.
The King of Fighters 98, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Waku Waku 7, Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown II. You can pick all five of those equally magnificent fighting classics right now for the Switch, and those five games combined will still be cheaper than buying Ultra Street Fighter II by itself. For shame Capcom, for shame.
Reviewed on Switch.