Street Fighter or commonly abbreviated as SF, (ストリートファイター in Japan) is a popular series of fighting video games in which the players pit combatants from around the world, each with his or her own special moves, against one another. The first game in the series was released by Capcom in 1987
Street Fighter made little impact when it was first released in 1987. It had, however, a novel control system which involved a joystick and two large hydraulic buttons (or in some one-player setups, two large punching pads), in which the force of the button press determined the strength of the punch or kick, with three varying strengths of both punches and kicks. This game also introduced the trademark special moves of the Fireball (Hadouken, 波動拳), Dragon Punch (Shouryuken, 昇龍拳), and Hurricane Kick (Tatsumaki Senpukyaku, 竜巻旋風脚).
Despite its relative obscurity, it had some of the features that were improved upon in its sequel, and many of these characters appeared in the subsequent games.
Street Fighter II, released on Capcom's CPS-1 arcade board in 1991, was one of the most popular games of the early 1990s, shaping the direction of arcade games for nearly a decade to follow. It is widely acknowledged as the premier fighting game of its era, due to its game balance with regard to the timing of attacks and blocks, which was unparalleled at the time; and due to "special moves" in which experienced players could execute complex fighting moves (special moves) by moving the joystick and tapping the buttons in certain combinations.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System received a home conversion of Street Fighter II, the game being released in mid-1992 in Japan and the USA and late 1992 in other territories. This game was notable for being the first home cartridge to be 16 megabits (2 megabytes) in size, an achievement since this was twice the size of any other game on the market. Nintendo initially had an exclusivity contract with Capcom that did not allow officially sanctioned versions of the game to be ported to other consoles.
In late 1993, Capcom released another version of the game, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers. As the subtitle implies, four new characters were added; Fei Long, Cammy, Dee Jay, and T. Hawk. The Super in the title suggested to gamers the graphical enhancements possible due to the new hardware (CPS-2) the game ran on. Though the game looked superficially similar, every character had in fact been redrawn and animations added to their repertoire, a move which some say led to the release of the game much too early (rumors say that this was done because of the recent release of Mortal Kombat II) - the final build was rife with programming errors, bugs and balance issues and several of the team working on the game later publicly stated that the Turbo version was the game originally intended for release. Character balance proved to be the most significant flaw, notably the strength of T. Hawk making competitive play nearly useless. The game was less of a success than would have been desired.
In 1995, a prequel of Street Fighter II and sequel of Street Fighter was introduced, called Street Fighter Alpha, renamed from an American working title of Street Fighter Legends (Street Fighter Zero in Japan), again on the CPS-2 arcade board. This featured a completely new graphics engine and an entirely new gameplay system. Street Fighter Alpha represents the first overhaul of the Street Fighter series since its de facto inception 4 years earlier as Street Fighter II. Characters were drawn in an anime style and were meant to look more youthful than in their Street Fighter 2 incarnations. Perhaps most controversially, only 4 of the 10 initially selectable characters were from Street Fighter II: Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Sagat. The final boss was yet again Vega/M. Bison, who was selectable as a hidden character, as were Akuma and a new character called Dan, a tongue-in-cheek revision of the Ryu/Ken mold with references to SNK characters.
Everyone was expecting Capcom to release a sequel to Street Fighter Alpha. A number of factors conspired against the release of the sequel, however. The CPS-2 board upon which the games had recently been based was essentially little more than a slightly improved CPS-1 board, thus the architecture of the board dated back to Forgotten Worlds in 1988. Capcom was diverting resources to the development of 3D arcade games and the new CPS-3 board, which eventually debuted the following year. As such, sparse resources were devoted to Street Fighter Alpha 2, some reports stating that at times, the team working on it was said to number one person. Despite this context, the game was released in early 1996, 8 months after the original, and garnered immediate praise from the press and public alike.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 contained a number of new ideas that were later used in practically every fighting game released. Though the idea of "Ism"s - modes of play for each character that changed the system - may have been attributed to the King of Fighters games of 1996-1999, its implementation in SFA3 was much more radical. A-ism (Z-ism in Japan and Asia) played like previous Alpha games; X-ism was reminiscent of the system in SSF2T (SSF2X in Japan), with a single super combo and a single bar; V-ism was a rethinking of the Custom Combos (now renamed Variable Combos) into a separate isms.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 was notable for being perhaps the first SF game that garnered more attention and fame on home systems than in the arcade. The game was initially ported to the PlayStation and the Saturn (one of the last games to be released on that console), then to the Dreamcast in mid-'99 (though it was not released in the West until halfway through the next year).
In 2002, the Game Boy Advance received a port of SFA3. This version was called Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper in Japan after the Naomi arcade version, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 in the US. It featured three additional characters taken from Capcom vs. SNK 2: Yun, Maki, and Eagle. While it was a great conversion of the game, the fact that the Game Boy Advance only has four buttons hindered the game play somewhat, as two buttons had to be pressed together to act as the "missing" third punch or kick button.
In 2006, another version of SFA3 made its way to Sony's PSP. This version is called Street Fighter Zero 3 Double Upper in Japan and Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX in the US. It features the original SFA3 roster along with four extra characters. Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution, and Yun, Maki, Eagle from the GBA port of SFA3. Though this game does not suffer from the 4-button limit of the Game Boy Advance version, it still has control issues largely caused by the stiff directional pad of the PSP.
more coming soon. History came from wikipedia.
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