First rule of Street Fighter: It’s the same damn game.
Itching to start a fight? Well then, go outside and beat someone senseless. Sure,
you’re likely to hurt yourself and will probably get thrown in jail. But how much
do you really know about yourself unless you get into a fight? [Didn’t they
just make a movie about that? – Ed (Norton)]. For all you wussie babies, go
play Street Fighter.
Ah, Street Fighter – the first institution of arcade fighting, bearer
of an aging legacy. All told, there have been more Street Fighter games
than Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies combined.
And like those repetitive horror, um, ‘classics’, the Street Fighter
games just don’t know when to quit..
The latest iteration comes in the form of Street Fighter EX 2 Plus,
the sequel to Street Fighter EX Plus, a 3D-ification of Street Fighter
II. Still, EX 2 Plus (why the hell isn’t it EX Plus 2? Stupid Capcom
naming system…) is still nothing more than original Street Fighter
with 3D graphics. This would be fine…about a decade ago.
Remember those storylines? They always revolve around M. Bison, that mean
old baddie his plans for world domination. He just goes around killing people
left and right. First Chun Li’s dad, then Charlie. Well, the storyline is gone.
Kaput. Capcom probably figured everyone already knew it, so no point in putting
it in there.
So, what have they changed with the fighting system? They’ve added these ‘insta-combos’
that are out of place. They’re too easy to start and don’t seem as balanced.
Several moves have been remapped, and now there are these silly “excel” attacks.
With the right combination of buttons, your character becomes faster. On paper
is sounds fine, but it doesn’t work as well as the fighting styles from SF
Also included is the now mandatory Practice option, as well as a Bonus option
where you just kick barrels. In an attempt to add something different, there’s
a Director mode. You fight for 20 seconds, and then record it to 5 spaces of
memory card. Then you can take that recorded footage and edit it around making
your own mini fight movie. Nice try, but who’s gonna want to make a fight movie
with clunky characters and average animation?
Playstation has the power to have great-looking, well-modeled animated characters.
Just look at Tekken 3 or Soul
Blade. But in EX 2 Plus, the characters are blocky and noticeably
jointed. Why do these street fighters look so damn chunky? Maybe because this
is a 2-year-old arcade game port over.
You’ll find all your standard Street Fighter regulars, from Ryu to
Zangief. The new characters are nothing but cookie cutter archetypes. The crazy
dude. The schoolgirl. The guy with the good hair. (Talking about me again,
Johnny? – Ed.) Sheesh.
The backgrounds are above average, with animated objects and pseudo-particle
effects. But it’s an artificial 3D. While the camera rotates here and there
around the combatants and the grainy looking floor, you’re still confined to
just one plane of fighting. It’s a 2D game with 3D characters.
The music just feels contrived and rushed, as if the heart and soul of Street
Fighter has been completely bled out, leaving just hollowed rhythms to fight
against. The instrumentation doesn’t sound natural and the music and sound,
all in all, don’t add anything to an already ho-hum fighting experience.
This might have been great 3 years ago, but nowadays Street Fighter Ex 2 Plus shouldn’t even be in the ring. The 2D series is already incredibly dated. Instead of a new game, we get the same old thing in a different package. Don’t be tricked into thinking that you’re getting something innovative and special.
Those completely new to Street Fighter (come on out from under that
rock) shouldn’t start here. Purists will want to stick to the sprite-based originals;
despite its age, I would still rather play Alpha 3 over EX 2 Plus.
Second rule of Street Fighter: It’s still the same damn game.