Street Fighter is back, but in retrospective as Ultra Street Fighter II: the Final Challengers makes its way to the Nintendo Switch. While some hearts hoped to see a possible SFV port over to the handheld it instead brings back the old school classic while adding a few new modes and features.
Ultra Street Fighter II modes includes Arcade, Buddy Battle, Versus and the Way of the Hado. Remember that it’s not IV or V, so gameplay is truly lacking that up to date feel, something you’ll notice immediately in the player select screen. However it does resemble the identical throwback of the 1990’s version.
I wish I could say this is a great overall experience but it doesn’t feel like it at all, quite the opposite actually. With it being over 20 years, I would’ve loved to have seen a remastered look of characters (in terms to evolving) offering retro modes. Instead I feel like I literally stepped back into the 90’s, yet paid the price of 2017.
I loved the stages as they have that genuine 3D background that Street Fighter always manages to nail effortlessly. The game is also quite vibrant, even offering up to 10 color layouts for each player costume. So as you play Ultra Street Fighter the visuals are definitely amazing in regards to presentation.
Gameplay on the switch however feels extremely challenging. Attempting to effectively land Hadoken’s and Shoryuken’s were a headache and cried for a switch to utilize the Pro Controller. The natural feel of playing fighting games wasn’t there, though I could name off a few NEO GEO titles available in the Nintendo Shop that delivers where Street Fighters fails.
Then again, knowing that you made the purchase for Street Fighter II, what you see is literally what you get. I begin to think back to the many reboots over time and how you can see those noticeable differences. Street Fighter II offers two, Buddy Mode and Way of the Hado. Buddy mode is a 2 v 1 mode where two player can challenge a single opponent. While certainly a great concept it doesn’t give enough to warrant consistent replay value.
Way of the Hado is an impressive mode once you understand the control scheme. Personally I would’ve enjoyed another camera angle other than first person, which forced me to look at the over-sized henchmen. However, connecting each super was possibly the greatest move of all.