Where's Our Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Review?
Reviews for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers are going up today, but we're not quite ready to render our final verdict. The online servers for the game won't go live until a few hours before the official release tomorrow night, and considering how important the online infrastructure can be to a fighting game's long-term viability, we've chosen to hold off until we've had some time with it in the wild.
I can, however, share some impressions of the game otherwise. For starters, this is still Street Fighter II, and Street Fighter II is pretty good. Being able to play this game on the go or at a moment's notice (I played quite a bit of it during Destiny raid downtime) is probably my favorite thing about it. The HD Remix art style is nice and all, but I've been sticking to the Super Turbo sprites, and those still look and move so well I'm only switching back and forth out of curiosity at this point. So as a way to just have Street Fighter II at the ready, this works.
That said, I'm not sure about the Switch's ability to handle a fighter like Street Fighter II. The main issue is that I'm not a big fan of the Joy-Con's analog sticks when it comes to charge motions; I don't feel like I'm receiving the right feedback when flicking the stick, and as a result, those moves feel imprecise. The d-pad on the left Joy-Con also doesn't do much for me, as having four separate options for your thumb to slide along doesn't feel right for any kind of special move. That said, the game lets you map special moves to a single button input, which alleviates the problem somewhat.
The two new characters may be new to Street Fighter II, but you've seen them before. Evil Ryu, especially, has been in several fighting games, so watching Ryu perform the Raging Demon isn't novel. Violent Ken is a bit more interesting, as his new dash move gives him the ability to cover most of the screen quickly, but other than that (and a tweaked jump arc) he's Ken, but all mad and stuff.
As for the new modes, they don't add much to the experience. Way of the Hado is a short-lived novelty, which, considering it relies on simple motion controls that you spam constantly with your hands, might be a good thing. The Buddy Battle mode isn't something you'll come back to after you've played it a couple of times, but it's fun to join up with a friend and pull off 10-hit combos in Street Fighter II. The color edit mode is neat if you want to deck out your favorite characters in something other than their traditional garments, but I like the classic look of most of the characters enough that the idea of a neon-colored Sagat doesn't do much for me.
With most of the new features not being worthwhile on their own, it will really come down to how Ultra Street Fighter II can hold players' attention, and you can only beat Arcade mode so many times. That's why the online component is so important, and why we're holding off on the review until we've had a chance to test it. We'll have a more in-depth review of the game later this week.
Games Mentioned In This Article
- Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Switch