It was supposed to be a big deal when this game first came out, with several touted improvements over the original SNES version of Street Fighter II. The first time I encountered the game was at a store called Videots located at what is now the 280 Metro Center in Colma. One of my high school classmates worked there and he was able to grant us a sneak peak of the Japanese version of the game. I remember riding in a tiny little Toyota Paseo after school to get there. Later, when the game was released in the U.S., my father would take us to the Wherehouse on Van Ness Avenue to rent it. Interestingly, this was one of the first SNES games I encountered that no longer had a slot for the cartridge lock (i.e. you could still pull out the game when the SNES was on). Finally, my mother bought me the Japanese version of the game, which is the one I used to record the video above.
Back to the so-called improvements, though. Yes, the voices were now all there, and the animation was smoother, but otherwise it seemed like the same old stuff. The music was the same. The graphics were the same. There were also still some flaws, like the music fading out too quickly after a round (different from the arcade). Maybe it was because I wasn’t really a fan of Champion Edition or Hyper Fighting in the arcade, having spent less time on these newer versions than I did on the original World Warrior. If I recall correctly, the game retailed for $79.99 due to its increased memory requirements (20 megabits, huge for the time). Looking back on it now, it was definitely not worth that price.
Regardless of everything I’ve said, this game is still a precious memory from adolescence, and something I enjoyed at the time (never underestimate the teenager’s ability at denial). After all, as a high school kid, owning a $79.99 game is no small deal. 🙂 As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.