Super Street Fighter II is my favorite of the many iterations Capcom has released of its biggest franchise. Although it came out in 1993, just two years after Street Fighter II, it’s the fourth version of the game. People talk about the mass serialization of franchises like Madden and Call of Duty today but between 1991 and 1999, Capcom released thirteen different Street Fighter games in the arcade, and that figure becomes fifteen if you include the crossover games X-Men vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
All accusations of being part of the Street Fighter milking escapade aside, Super Street Fighter II really is a good game. It brings together everything from the previous three versions–more balanced characters, additional moves and playable bosses. It also leaves behind the irritating speed increase of Turbo, which was a bit too much for some players, such as, well, me. It revamps and upgrades all of the graphics and music for the game, and adds four new characters which, as time looks back on them. have been a mixed bag for the franchise, but increased the playable roster by one-third, increasing the complexity of the game and providing, at the time, the biggest selectable roster of any fighting game (which would be surpassed in 1994 by Samurai Shodown II and especially King of Fighters ‘94.)
Most important to me is that Super Street Fighter II is the last game in the series before the introduction of the “super attack” in Super Street Fighter II Turbo in 1994. From that point forward, Street Fighter games would forever change to a faster-paced, flashy environment which would be more about extreme reflexes and watered-down mega-combo attacks than the simpler, more temperate and calculated days of fighting when being hit by a fireball, kicked in the head half a dozen times and then bodyslammed to the ground was enough to take someone out of a fight. They don’t make them like this anymore.