Street Fighter 2 - where to begin? When this game hit the arcades it was a revolution. Very few games, especially in the arcades, gain this level of popularity. The game uses the same basic concept of the original Street Fighter game, however it adds a lot more to it. In the previous game you could choose between two characters - Ryu and Ken. In this game, however, you can choose to play as one of eight different characters.
The first thing that needs to be looked at in this game is the awesome graphics.
The game is powered by Capcom's CPS arcade board, which was also used for Final Fight. The characters are huge, well animated and move very smoothly. This is a drastic change from the jerky original. Each character in this game has its own stage, which are also beautifully drawn. There is a high level of detail on each stage and the small animations really add to their realism. The China stage, for example, features people watching from within a shop in the background - all of them animated. Also people will ride past on bicycles as throughout the fight. Another interesting thing about the stages is the use of 3D floors. As the camera moves from side to side, the angle of the floor slightly
moves also. It's the eight characters that really make the game great, however. Each character has its own moves, special moves and throws that are radically different from each other (minus Ryu and Ken who have identical moves). There's Chun Li - a fast female fighter, Zangief - a slow Russain wrestler, Guile - a powerful soldier, Blanka - an electric beast, E.Honda - a sumo wrestler, Dhalim - a weird stretchy guy and Ryu and Ken - your all-round karate guys. Six buttons are used for the attacks, like in the original game three are punch buttons and three are kick buttons of different strengths. Each button also performs unique moves that can not be executed with the other buttons, which means there is a vast number of attacks for each character. The special moves from the first game also return, however they are much easier to execute yet still require complex button combinations. The player also has more control over the special moves, perform a fireball with a fierce punch and it will travel across the screen at a fast pace, however it will move much slower if performed with a weak punch. The beauty of this game is the way all the characters balance out, such as how Chun Li is fast and weak and Zangief is slow and strong. You have a fair chance to defeat any opponent with any character. However, there are tougher opponents not yet mentioned. Balrog the boxer, Vega the Spanish psychopath, Sagat the boss of the original game and M. Bison his successor are the four fighters you must defeat at the end of the game. In a single player game you must first defeat the other seven playable fighters before fighting the bosses - unfortunately these characters are unplayable though. It can be quite a tough challenge to finish the game, however practice can see to that.