Here we go again, another release of Street Fighter II. This time on the Nintendo Switch, you’d think by now that Capcom would be tired of porting this game out. Instead, it seems like they’re hell-bent on releasing their once flagship fighter on every gaming platform. But is there anything here that makes Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers any different from the previous HD Remix release?
Game Name: Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release Date: May 26, 2017
Install Size: 2.7 GB
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is playable in two different styles: The HD remix version created for Super Street Fighter II and the classic pixel art similar to the original Street Fighter II. You can even change the original and new soundtracks between the graphical options, classic tunes on the HD graphics, or check out the new music with the class SF2 look. I switched back and forth between the two with my time with the game, and I enjoyed them equally. It’s worth mentioning that while HD remix graphics give the game a more modern look, it does zoom in ever so slightly. It’s not really noticeable, and it doesn’t affect your gameplay. However, you can’t go wrong with either version.
One of the biggest inclusions to Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is Evil Ryu and Violent Ken’s addition. The latter is a character who has never appeared in a mainline Street Fighter game and was created from the cross-over title, SVC Chaos. Sure, the original characters from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo make an appearance, but to play as Violent Ken was a real treat. Especially for me as I’ve played as Ken in every Street Fighter game. He easily adds some new flavor to the game with this command teleport dash which can go through projectiles and a new overhead kick. Evil Ryu is no slouch either, and he plays like a mixture between Ryu and Akuma. Outside of the two new characters, Akuma is also selectable by default. Old-school gamers will remember that while Akuma was also playable in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, you had to go thru a sequence of moves to select him.
The game also makes it a bit easier for non-Street Fighter gamers to get into the action by letting them assign special moves to buttons. You map them, and you’re ready to tackle the rest of the World Warriors. A decent option and one that helps eliminate the difficulty gap, and it’s pretty handy. Especially for pulling off certain moves like Akuma’s Raging Demon.
While the Switch is docked, the game runs decently and looks exceptional, while being undocked looks to be about the same. Running this game alongside Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, you can see there’s barely any difference. I say barely as the game has black bars on the left/right in HD remix version and email larger bars when in the classic pixel mode. You aren’t able to remove those or increase the screen size either, which is disappointing. There’s also an option to hide the HUD, meaning that you won’t be able to see your Super Combo meter or health during the game. Not really sure why you’d want to do that, especially since it hides two critical aspects of the game.
Gone are the balancing changes introduced with Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, as Capcom wanted the game to be a pure experience. However, Capcom did make some small tweaks, such as being able to tech-throws. Outside of that, I wasn’t able to see what else has changed. The ability to also change the game speed is also missing, which was available in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. Thankfully, the game is just as fast, though I’m not sure why they’d remove the ability to adjust the speed. It’s also worth mentioning that there is some slowdown during gameplay. This is easily apparent when certain special moves connect. It doesn’t ruin the game, but it is there.
Included are the arcade (yes!) versus training, online, all of which are easily apparent. Sadly, at the time of this review, I was not able to test the online features. A patch needs to be applied, and it would be available until the game is released. The online mode is an important aspect of this game, given the competitive nature of Street Fighter. I wish I could give it a test, but that will have to wait – we’ll update the review to reflect the online gameplay after some hands-on. Personal feelings aside, not including this is a bad move, especially since the online mode makes or breaks this game.
However, what was available is the Way of the Hado mode, which puts you in control of Ryu as he chucks fireballs, uppercuts, and hurricane kicks via a first-person view. If I were frustrated with anything specific in this game, it would be this mode. I thought we were past the whole motion control craze, but I guess not. You basically take the Joy-cons and wave them around like madman or woman as you attempt to take down waves of Shadaloo warriors. Had half my moves registered, I would have maybe had a chuckle or two. Instead, it’s very awkward at best, and I don’t understand why Capcom even insisted on adding this mode. It wasn’t fun, nor interesting at all. If you’re planning on buying this game just for this mode, don’t.
The Dramatic mode makes a return as well, which lets you and a friend or you and a CPU take on a CPU-controlled character. I loved when this was introduced by during the Street Fighter Alpha days, and It’s still enjoyable now, albeit short-lived. Here you can relive the infamous Street Fighter Animated movie battle with Ken And Ryu as they battle M.Bison.
When Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was announced, I was very skeptical about the game. Not being a huge fan of the Nintendo Joy-Con, I didn’t imagine that the game would play well using them. Thankfully after having several hours of game time under my belt, I can say that my skepticism was unwarranted, and playing with the Joy-Con isn’t that bad off. Using the button D-pad was still unimpressive, but using the analog stick was comfortable, and the game was very playable. I could pull off special and supers with a few minutes of getting my hands on the game. For those looking to take their gameplay to the next step, I recommend the Nintendo Pro Controller. It greatly enhances the gameplay, and I enjoyed using it over the Joy-Cons. Though there’s a trade-off and that you lose the ability to play the game on the go – outside of sitting down the Switch on a stable surface. Either way, you’ll have a blast regardless of which control setup you use.
As a bonus, Capcom also included a music player and a digital game manual, and the complete Street Fighter Artworks: Supremacy artbook. While the music player is a nice touch and includes both the classic and remixed themes for every character, the artbook is the real standout. I happen to own this book, and not only has this been out of print for some time, but it’s also a classic. It’s nice to see this was included full of some of the best Street Fighter art around. And now, you can not use the Switch’s screen capture ability as it has been locked when you’re viewing the artbook.
Oh, and you can palette swap the World Warriors as well. I guess some people will find it useful, but it’s minimal, and I’ll leave it at that.
With the release of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on the Nintendo Switch, the system has gotten its first fighting game. Adding to that is the first time in a long time that a Street Fighter game has made it to a Nintendo platform. Outside of Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition, we haven’t seen an original release since Street Fighter Alpha 2 – back in 2009! It is a great game and more than able to stand out on the Nintendo Switch to its credit. However, there is a problem.
More than likely, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was created to introduce a new generation of gamers to the classic Street Fighter 2. This means for parents who grew up on the game will sit down with their kids and play alongside them. I can see this game easily crossing the generation gap. On the flip side, outside of the Nintendo Switch exclusive additions, many will consider this a simple cash grab. This game shares many similarities with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. This could be a potential issue for those who already own the previous iteration of the game.
With the addition of two new characters, the Way of the Hado mode, a new soundtrack, gallery mode, collect edit more, and the Dramatic Battle mode, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers has more than enough for someone who wants to get their fight on. Outside of that, those who already own Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and are thinking about picking this up will have to decide if the added options are worth the $40. The title is solid; there’s no denying it. However, it’s still more of the same that we’ve played countless times over. If you’re looking for a solid fighting game for the Nintendo Switch, and don’t mind playing a rehash, then look no further.
For everyone else, $40 is a bit steep, and considering you can get most of this for much cheaper; I can’t really recommend it. Had this been priced at $20, then it would be different – as of right now, wait for a sale.
*This copy of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was provided to us by Nintendo for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
All in all, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is an impressive title for the Nintendo Switch. Sadly, the fact that we’ve seen this game several times before heavily negates its appeal. Short of adding two new characters, and the disappointing Way of the Hado mode, this is still Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix. The title is worth picking up if you enjoy fighting games, but not its current price. Definitely, wait for a sale.
- Evil Ryu and Violent Ken in the same game.
- The in-game sound test is a nice touch.
- The addition of adding an extremely hard to find artbook is great for collectors.
- Controls are solid, even on the Joy-con.
- The game is not worth $40 dollars.
- Not able to test online mode until after the release is a bad move.
- The Way of the Hado mode is really undercooked.
- Why are we still getting Street Fighter II games?