Street Fighter (ストリートファイター Sutorīto Faitā?), commonly abbreviated as SF or スト, is a series of fighting games developed in Japan. The game’s playable characters originate from around the world, each with his or her own unique fighting style.
Since Capcom released the first arcade game in August 1987, the series has had total home software sales of 33 million units, and arcade cabinet sales of over 500,000 units generating more than $1 billion in revenue, qualifying it for the list of best-selling video game franchises. The best-selling game in the series, Street Fighter II, exceeded $1.5 billion in revenue. The franchise has enjoyed significant success all around the world.
STREET FIGHTER II
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, released in 1991, was the first true sequel to the original Street Fighter. This release followed an unsuccessful attempt to brand the 1989 beat ’em up game Final Fight and officially commissioned spin-off Human Killing Machine on the ZX Spectrum, Amiga, and other home computers as Street Fightersequels. It was one of the earliest arcade games for Capcom’s CP System hardware and was designed by Akira Nishitani and Akira Yasuda, the designers responsible for Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds.
Street Fighter II is the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters with different moves. The choice of multiple available characters allow for more varied matches. In this game, each player character had a unique fighting style with approximately 30 or more moves, including then-new grappling moves and throws, as well as two or three special attacks per character. In the single-player mode, the player’s chosen character is pitted sequentially against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four boss opponents, who consist of CPU-controlled characters not selectable by the player. As in the original, a second player could join in at any point during single player mode and compete against the other player in competitive matches.
The original Japanese version of Street Fighter II introduced an African-American boxer boss character, a parody of real-life boxer Mike Tyson. In order to avoid anylikeness infringement lawsuit from Tyson, Capcom rotated the names of three of the boss characters for international versions of the game. The final boss, named Vega in the Japanese version, was given the M. Bison name, the talon-wielding Spanish warrior, named Balrog in the Japanese version, was renamed Vega, and the boxer became Balrog.
Street Fighter II eclipsed its predecessor in popularity, eventually turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise. The release of the game had an unexpected impact on gaming and was the beginning of a massive phenomenon. By 1993, sales of Street Fighter II exceeded $1.5 billion in revenue.
The first official update to the series was Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, pronounced Street Fighter II Dash in Japan, as noted by the prime notation on the logo. In this game, players are allowed to play as the four computer-controlled boss characters and two players are able to choose the same character. In this case, one character wears an alternate color pattern. The game also features slightly improved graphics, including differently colored backgrounds and refined gameplay. A second upgrade, titled Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, called Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan, was produced in response to the various bootleg editions of the game. Hyper Fighting offers faster gameplay than its predecessors, different character colors, and new special techniques.
Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the third revision, gives the game a complete graphical and musical overhaul and introduces four new playable characters. It is also the first game for Capcom’s CP System II arcade hardware. The fifth and final arcade installment, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II X in Japan, brings back the faster gameplay of Hyper Fighting, a new type of special techniques known as “Super Combos”, and a hidden character, Akuma.
Numerous home versions of the Street Fighter II games have been produced following the release of the original game. The original Street Fighter II was ported to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1992. As of 2008, the original SNES game is still Capcom’s best-selling game. It was followed by a Japanese-only version of Street Fighter II Dash for the PC Engine in 1993. That year, Hyper Fightingreceived two different home versions as well: an SNES version titled Street Fighter II Turbo and a Sega Genesis counterpart titled Street Fighter II – Special Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Dash Plus in Japan. The following game, Super Street Fighter II, was also ported to the SNES and Genesis in 1994. Later that year, Super Street Fighter II Turbo was released for the 3DO Interactive Multiplayer and also appeared in a PC version for Windows, released by the now defunct GameTek).
In 1997, Capcom released the Street Fighter Collection for the PlayStation and Sega Saturn. This is a compilation that includes Super and Super Turbo as well as the newer Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold, Street Fighter Zero 2′ in Japan. It was followed by Street Fighter Collection 2, Capcom Generation Vol. 5 in Japan, also released for the PlayStation and Saturn, which includes the original Street Fighter II, Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting. In 2000, Capcom released Super Street Fighter II X for Matching Service in Japan for the Dreamcast. This version of the game features an online two-player versus mode. In 2003, Capcom released Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition for the arcades in Japan and Asia to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the series. This game is a hybrid version of Super Turbo, which allows player to select between versions of characters from all five previous Street Fighter II games. Hyper was released in North America and the PAL region via its ports for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, released as part of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection along with Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. In 2005, the three games in Street Fighter Collection 2 were included in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 1 for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. A version of Super Turbo, along with the original Street Fighter, was later included in the 2007 compilation Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2, also released for the PS2 and Xbox. Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II are also available as downloadable games for select cellular phone services.
An updated version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo came to the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade service in November 2008. The game, titled Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, has fully redrawn artwork, including HD sprites 4.5x the original size, drawn by artists from UDON. This is the first time the Street Fighter characters have had new sprites, drawn by Capcom, since Capcom vs. SNK 2 in 2001. The game has several changes which address character balancing issues, but also features the original arcade version gameplay so that players can choose between the two.