Monday, June 30, 2014

Separating the Game Boys from the Men: Street Fighter II

Street Fighter II on the original Game Boy, this my friends is the definition of a bad idea. While I can see from a business stand point why this might seem like a good idea, after all surely there was a demand to play Street Fighter II on the go, anyone who knows anything about Street Fighter II and the original Game Boy would instantly realize why this game would be garbage. The Game Boy just simply can't handle a game like this without watering it down to nothing. Hell, even the two button control scheme of the Game Boy seems woefully unprepared for the likes of this game.

And yet, amazingly enough, this game really isn't all that bad. Oh, it's bad. The lag issues alone cause this game to occasionally skirt along the edges of being flat out unplayable, but this game really isn't as bad as it should be. The graphics look about as good as could possibly be squeezed out of the Game Boy, all the major characters are pretty much here, and even the control scheme does a decent job of adapting to the two button scheme while still having combos be intuitive enough. In some respects this game shows why Capcom was at one point the greatest third party developer in the industry. Street Fighter II on the Game Boy should not have happened, but market pressure at the time, both from the big wigs at the top and the consumers themselves, forced it to. The team of developers who worked on this could have just phoned this in, realizing it's a bad idea from the start, but they didn't. They tried their best to make this a good game, they tried their hardest to somehow push water up a hill, and damned if they didn't almost succeed. Almost.

If you're a big Street Fighter fan it actually might be worth checking this game out. It's certainly not expensive and it's an interesting chapter in the history of the franchise, if only for the fact that it's not nearly as bad as it should be. In it's own way it truly is a testimony to what made Capcom so great back in the day. But it is still a bad game, so if you're just looking for something fun to play on your Game Boy, you should probably pass on this one.

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