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Ultra Street Fighter II review: Not much new in classic’s update

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers has

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers has classic fighting but not much that's new. Credit: Nintendo

PLOT It’s a fight to the finish

RATED T for Teen

DETAILS Nintendo Switch; $39.99

BOTTOM LINE The game lacks punch

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers looks like an enticing package for old-school gamers who want to give the Nintendo Switch console a spin. However, the classic fighting is pretty much all this game has going for it.

The game is collected in two different time capsules. Those familiar with the Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix released on Xbox 360 in 2008 will find that version of the game fully intact, with sleekly painted artwork, rerecorded voice-overs, remixed stage tracks and a 16:9 widescreen presentation. Those looking for a more classic experience can switch to retro graphics, which utilizes a pre-HD-era aspect ratio, old-school music and stages as they were originally designed. There’s also the option to switch the voice-overs to their original garbled grunts and shouts.

Both presentations have their charms and both contain the traditional Street Fighter II combat. Capcom also sought to add some supplemental game modes, but they mostly fall flat. There’s a cooperative mode called Buddy Battle, where two players can join to take on SF2’s baddest bosses, including new additions Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. It’s a 2-on-1 scenario with the team of two sharing a single life bar. This is a novelty that wears thin quickly. The chaos of three fighters sharing a screen gets to be too much at times, and having the advantage in a handicap match is only so much fun for so long.

Ultra Street Fighter II tries to add a robust package around its tried-and-true Arcade mode, but much of that package doesn’t pan out. All that leaves is the Arcade and Versus modes, and for as great as Street Fighter II is, it’s a game that also shows its age after a while. Fighting games have come so much further since SF2 pioneered the genre, so it’s hard to imagine going back and especially for a hefty $40 price tag.

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