At first I thought Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix would just be the same game all over again with a graphics touch-up and some new tunes. I was wrong.
Capcom have done a lot of work on re-balancing the game which many players will greatly appreciate.
When you first fire up Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix you are welcomed by some new music and the options to play single player or multiplayer, or view the leaderboards and help & options. In short, the Single Player mode is tedious. The gameplay is very repetitive and is only ever different in multiplayer depending on the skill of your opponent. I can’t play for more than ten minutes in a row without getting bored. Sure, multiplayer can double that time but the fun really ends at that point.
Inside the single player menu you have the options to play Arcade Mode or fight in a Training Match. Arcade Mode features many characters which you must defeat in order to move on to the next stage and face a tougher opponent. You have the option to change your difficulty before starting the Arcade Mode, though normal and easy seem to be exactly the same.
A much appreciated feature in the Arcade Mode is that once you are defeated at a certain stage you have the option to change your character and replay the fight; this turns out to be very helpful in the later stages of the game.
Training Match is where you fight an invincible non-attacking character of your choice, with no tips or help to identify the controls. It’s like being dumped in a fight and saying “just press each button and you’ll find out what it does”, although it will not teach you how to perform combos or even use the ‘Super’ attack once charged. In short, the training match is simply you hitting a punching bag.
In the Multiplayer menu you will be given the options to play a Local Match against family or friends or a Ranked/Player/Tournament Match over Xbox LIVE. In the Player and Ranked Match menus you will be able to choose to fight in a Quick Match or a Custom Match.
Quick Match will drop you in a game where you and another player will watch two other players fight until one player wins, and then it’s your turn. Custom Match is basically a search function, you can search based on seven options, game mode, number of players, timer, Classic Akuma, handicap, game speed, and voice chat. There are always heaps of games, so you’re bound to find a game close to your specifications. Alternatively, you can choose to create a game in which you will be required to set the above options. This will determine which players will be entered into via Quick Match or by a Custom Match search.
If you choose to play in a Tournament Match you can decide to either join an existing tournament, or you can ‘Create Tournament’ which will require you to set six options including game mode, game speed, rounds to win, number of players, number of private slots, and voice chat. There aren’t many tournaments available to join most of the time which is a shame.
Once you enter a fight online you will most likely be set as a spectator, whilst two other players battle it out. I personally got intimidated and backed out of the first few games. I had to spectate, until I watched a game that looked a little fairer. I lost. You will not always have to spectate so sometimes you may just be beaten to a pulp with no warning.
The game includes many ‘remixed’ features, the most obvious of which are the graphics and audio. The comic book artists at Udon have completely revamped the look of the game from backgrounds to character sprites and even new health bars. As for the music, a new soundtrack was made specifically for the HD Remix courtesy of Overclocked Remix, a recognized group of remixers for video game music. Even though it may not feel like true fighting game music for some, these tunes are good enough as stand-alone tracks in their own right. If you're not a fan of the remixed music, the old-school music is still available to bust out to.
Although most of the ‘remixed’ features are audio/visual, there has been a lot of work done on the characters, from the way they control and respond to how their moves affect the target and even how they are executed. This all helps to rebalance the game, which is fairly important now that there are tournaments and online play.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is a great addition to the Street Fighter franchise and will keep dedicated fans entertained for a long time to come. Unfortunately though, new players to the title will most likely be deterred by the fairly steep difficulty curve in Arcade Mode, and the fact that the controls are never really explained.
The graphics, audio and balance of the game have been greatly improved and with 16:9 support it just makes it that much better.