Street fighter made its debut in the arcades in 1987. It was designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto. The player took control of martial artist Ryu, who competed in a worldwide martial arts tournament, spanning five countries and ten opponents. A second player could join in at any time and take control of Ryu’s rival, Ken.
The player could perform three types of punch and kick attacks (which varied in speed and strength) and three special attacks: the Hadouken, Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku. These were performed by executing special button combinations with the controls.
Street fighter was ported to many popular home computer systems of the time including PC. In 1988, it was released on the NEC Avenue TurboGrafx-CD console under the new name Fighting Street.Street fighter was later included in Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed for the PlayStation Portable and Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, released in 1991, was the first true sequel to the original Street Fighter, following an unsuccessful attempt to brand the 1989 fighting action game Final Fight as a Street Fighter sequel, and an officially commissioned spin-off Human Killing Machine on the ZX Spectrum, Amiga and other home computers. It was one of the earliest arcade games for Capcom’s CP System hardware and was designed by Akira Nishitani (Nin-Nin) and Akira Yasuda (Akiman), who were previously responsible for Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds. The release of the game had an unexpected impact on gaming and was the beginning of a massive phenomenon. By 1993, sales of Street Fighter II exceeded $1.5 billion in revenue, equivalent to $2.32 billion in 2011.
Street fighter II was the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters with different moves, an option which created hitherto unknown levels of depth and replay value for an arcade game. Each player character had a fighting style with approximately 30 or more moves (including then-new grappling moves such as throws) as well as two or three special attacks per character.
In the single-player mode, the player’s chosen character is pitted sequentially against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four ‘boss’ opponents, who were CPU-controlled characters not selectable by the player.
As in the original, a second player could join in at any point during single player mode and compete against the other player in competitive matches, with the multiple available characters allowing for more varied matches.
The original Japanese version of Street Fighter II introduced an African-American boxer named “Mike Bison” (abbreviated as “M. Bison”) as a boss character, a parody of real-life boxer Mike Tyson. In order to avoid any likeness infringement lawsuit from Tyson, Capcom rotated the names of three of the boss characters for international versions of the game: The final boss, called Vega in the Japanese version, was given the M. Bison name; the talon-wielding Spanish warrior known as Balrog in the Japanese version was renamed Vega; and the boxer became Balrog.
Street Fighter II proved to be popular due to all these factors, eclipsing its predecessor in popularity, eventually turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise.
The first official update to the series was Street Fighter II′ – Champion Edition (pronounced Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, as noted by the prime notation on the logo), which allowed players to play as the Four Devas (the computer-controlled boss characters) and also allowed two players to choose the same character (with one character drawn in an alternate color pattern). The game also featured slightly improved graphics (including differently colored backgrounds) and refined gameplay. A second upgrade, titled Street Fighter II′ – Hyper Fighting (or Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan), was produced in response to the various bootleg editions of the game. Hyper Fighting offered faster gameplay than its predecessors, different character colors and new special techniques (such as Chun-Li’s Kikoken or Dhalsim’s Yoga Teleport).
Super Street Fighter II, the third revision, gave the game a complete graphical and musical overhaul and introduced four new playable characters (Cammy, Fei Long, Dee Jay and T. Hawk). Super gave the characters from previous games new frames of animations (such as giving actual jumping punches for Vega and Sagat), new special moves (such as Bison’s Devil’s Reverse and Ryu’s Shakunetsu Hadoken), and improvements or changes to previously existing special moves (such as Ken’s Shoryuken or Chun-Li’s Kikoken). It was also the first game for Capcom’s CP System II arcade hardware. The fifth and final arcade installment, Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Super Street Fighter II X in Japan) brought back the faster gameplay of Hyper Fighting, a new type of special techniques known as “Super Combos” and a hidden character Akuma.
Numerous home versions of the Street Fighter II games have been produced following the original game. The original Street Fighter II was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. As of 2008, the original SNES game is still Capcom’s best selling game. It was followed by a Japanese-only version of Street Fighter II Dash for the PC Engine in 1993. Hyper Fighting received two different home versions as well in 1993, an SNES version titled Street Fighter II Turbo, and a Sega Genesis counterpart titled Street Fighter II′ – Special Champion Edition (Street Fighter II Dash Plus in Japan). The following game, Super Street Fighter II, was also ported to the SNES and Genesis in 1994. Later that year, Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, and also appeared in a PC version for Windows (released by the now defunct GameTek).
In 1997, Capcom released the Street Fighter Collection for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn, a compilation which includes Super and Super Turbo, as well as the newer Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (Street Fighter Zero 2′ in Japan). It was followed by Street Fighter Collection 2 (Capcom Generation Vol. 5 in Japan), also released for the PlayStation and Saturn, which includes the original Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting. In 2000, Capcom released Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service in Japan for the Dreamcast, a version of the game which featured an online two-player versus mode. In 2003, Capcom released Hyper Street Fighter II for the arcades in Japan and Asia to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series, a hybrid version of Super Turbo which allows player to select between versions of characters from all five previous Street Fighter II games. Hyper was released its North America and the PAL region via its ports for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox (released as part of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection along with Street Fighter III 3rd Strike). In 2005, the three games in Street Fighter Collection 2 were included Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A version of Super Turbo (along with the original Street Fighter) was later included in the 2007 compilation Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2, also released for the PS2 and Xbox.
An updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo came to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade service in November 2008.The game, titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, has fully redrawn artwork, including HD sprites 4.5x the original size, done by artists from UDON. This is the first time the Street Fighter characters will have new sprites, drawn by Capcom, since Capcom vs. SNK 2 in 2001. The game has several changes which address character balancing issues, but also features the original arcade version gameplay so that players can choose between the two.
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