Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Adam Riley 17.08.2017 15

Review for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on Nintendo Switch

Street Fighter II is back. Despite having moved on now to the fifth entry in the popular fighting series, Capcom is bringing a new/old challenger to the ring, resurrecting the game that brought about such high sales figures back in the days of the SNES. Get ready for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on Nintendo Switch! Capcom has taken the fifth instalment in the sub-series, the 1994 smash hit from the Super Nintendo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo (which, it should be pointed out, was faithfully brought out on GBA as Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival), and given it a makeover, some fine tuning, and pushed it out the door early on in Switch's lifespan. Is this set to be the ultimate edition?

Capcom was there at the launch of the Nintendo 3DS with a Street Fighter release, bringing the excellent update of its fourth mainline entry, Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, and managing to ride the early hype train, as well as receive enough plaudits to ensure word of mouth and early adopters both pushed sales higher than expected globally. Despite this, that was it for Nintendo fans, unfortunately, as Capcom did not see fit to bring the likes of Ultra Street Fighter IV or Street Fighter V either to the clearly already proven fan-base on 3DS, or even to test the waters on Wii U. Hopefully, that will not be the case here, since Ultra Street Fighter II plays just as well as classic Street Fighter should do - albeit with need of a Switch Controller Pro due to the Joy-Con controllers' face button and analogue setup working, but nowhere near as smoothly - and deserves to have other fighters accompany it on Switch.

Screenshot for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on Nintendo Switch

Rather than port Street Fighter V, Capcom has changed things up, tapping into the nostalgia of older Nintendo fans, resurrecting the multi-million selling second series entry, and it works fantastically well, offering the standard options of playing through the barebones story mode, fighting against friends or the computer, and even giving the chance to pit yourself and a friend against the CPU, or you and a CPU partner if no friends are available. Use one console for two players, or get another Switch-owning friend to join in the classic hijinks. This is pure Street Fighter II fun, just the way it used to be. Jumping back into the arena feels like the years have rolled back and the good ol' days have returned. Guile, E. Honda, M. Bison, Dhalsim, Blanka, Chun-Li, and the gang, are all there, present and correct, complete with their traditional moves intact, facing off against each other in background settings that will tickle those old memories. You can even opt to keep the nostalgia trip going by choosing classic audio and visuals, or mix a retro and new feel by playing the classic gameplay with a far more polished look than the SNES could possibly have ever coped with, as well as spruced up audio.

Some will be disappointed that the 30th Anniversary of Street Fighter is being celebrated with a rehash of an older game, but just as Super Bomberman R worked so well at helping gamers reminisce about the good ol' days, so does Ultra Street Fighter II, coming now with a robust online multiplayer element and an intriguing - if somewhat short-lived - motion-controlled fighting mini-game, plus extras like checking out classic artwork. It is not the all-singing, all-dancing Street Fighter some may have wanted, but it achieves what it sets out to do, and that is to offer up some classic fighting, pure and simple. The inclusion of Violent Ken (from SNK vs. Capcom) and Evil Ryu (from Street Fighter Alpha 2) may seem trivial but they do add some spice to proceedings. Old school fighting fans and newcomers, alike, get ready for the battle with Ultra Street Fighter II.

Screenshot for Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Capcom is definitely onto a winner with Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. Taking a Super Nintendo classic and sprucing it up just a touch retains enough nostalgia-factor so as to appeal to older gamers, yet has enough re-balancing, shiny new paint, and extras to ensure newcomers can enjoy the ride, as well. Hardcore or not, there is something for every level here in The Final Challengers. It may suffer when using Joy-Con, but crack out the Pro Controller and this feels as good as the series did in the past.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Fighting

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

It's too expensive for what it is, if it comes down in price then I'd consider it but I personally think games like this, Super Bomberman and PuyoPuyo Tetris are way over priced!

I can see this for ~£38 on Amazon UK at the moment, which may seem steep, but SF2 on SNES was about £50 back in the day, and that wasn't portable and didn't have online.

Probably doesn't help that Switch cards are expensive either. Still, it's got so much replay value that fans will keep going back to it, just like Puyo or Bomberman.

I know what you mean, though, and comments elsewhere all seem to focus on the price, as well, so many feel there's just not enough content to justify the cost.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

SSF2HD Remix released at £10 in 2008. This released at £35, which is an effing joke. Capcom has been so bad with the Switch compared to most other high profile Japanese companies, who have been supporting it very well.

£10? Really? Wow Smilie Was that an online download only?

Capcom has Monster Hunter XX and the Resi Evil Revelations games on the way. Someone on GAF was comparing the support to early 3DS support, and I don't think it's too dissimilar at the moment. The company's smaller than people realise, so it has to carefully pick and choose what support it gives.

Haha, look at me - it's like Capcom defense force here... Smilie I'd say that at least Capcom -> Konami in terms of Switch support so far, though. Recent comments from the PES team clearly show Konami wrote Switch off before it launched, but is now scrabbling around trying to play catch up because it's been so successful.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Twas download only, yeah. Doesn't excuse the shocking price of this one tho. It's not like the download version of this is cheaper than the physical copy (which it should be).

Konami is Konami. They act like they hate video games. And I think we'll see a few devs trying to jump on the bandwagon of the Switch before long.

Still think Capcom can do a lot better for Switch atm. A couple of ports (one disastrously overpriced and used as bait to decide on whether it supports the console) and one Japan-only MH game isn't enough really. I do think they have no choice but to localise XX in the end, but the situation they've put themselves in with MH World has made things tricky marketing-wise.

Sadly, I think that once you go retail, normally the price of eShop versions stays pretty much the same, no? From what I've just read, SSF2HD Remix eventually went retail as part of a collection. I'm sure if it'd launched at retail the price might be higher.

How much was Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition when it launched?

Anyway, interestingly enough, just checking on eBay, people are still bidding openly to get this at ~£30. The demand is clearly there, and it's apparently shipped ~450,000 units worldwide so far, exceeding Capcom's expectations. It's still a really enjoyable game, after all! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

As high as £35? Doubt it. They threw this in at Switch launch and tried to capitalise by overcharging massively. I get ya, but it's a tweaked port of a 25-year-old game for 35 quid. Not acceptable in my book. Almost as bad as when Nintendo put 50 Hz Mario All-Stars games on a Wii disc. At least that was about £25 tho. Agree to disagree, I guess :p The pricing of this is way off, imo, disc or not.

idk about SSIV3D - $40 in US, dunno about UK.

Smilie Yeah, I know some sites, looking around now, have marked it lower purely because of the price. Then I've seen some mark it down just because of the motion control mini-game being not as good as expected. Some reviews just seemed to just want to jump on this, as some did with Bomberman. Same sites that likely highly praised the slap-dash Mario GBA ports in the past.

Anyhoo... The test will be whether or not Capcom gives Switch more fighters. SFIV on 3DS did over a million worldwise, yet that system never got any other fighters, which stung more than just a little, especially given how long a lifespan 3DS has had. Hopefully it'll be different on Switch. I guess we have to wait until MHXX hits in Japan (Nintendo might publish that in Spring 2018 alongside the 3DS version, since everything's heavily delayed on the MH front, as Monster Hunter Stories shows, just arriving now).

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

It just seems silly, I could get a host of new indie games like Snake Pass, FAST RMX and Blastermaster or Kamiko for the combined price of SF2 Final Challengers. It's not right.

Just look at Sonic Mania, a brand new game with probably a tonne more time spent in development and is selling for half the price. 

I don't blame Capcom for trying their luck, but for me this is not value for money. Maybe 20quid would have been a more reasonable price point, and it'll probably creep down there by this time next year. I think it hurts all the more because it's such an old game and has been rehashed so many times.

I feel that Resident Evil Revelations collection will be far greater in value, the games aren't too old and it's the first time that number 2 will be making it's way to a Nintendo platform. They are good games and deserve to do well. 

I don't understand some companies reasoning around certain games doing well that they anticipate an appetite for another franchise in a different genre. Just because Bomberman does well doesn't necessarily indicate that PES, Castlevania or MetalGear will do well (although imo they'd do much better than Bomberman). 

Capcom and KONAMI's early 3DS support was good out of the gate with SFIV3D (which was a 3 year old re-worked port) felt like better value than SF2:FC. Even at full price although I was able to pick it up at CEX for £4 in 2013! Revelations was a fantastic game, although Mercenaries not so much. The MH franchise did well too. Metal Gear Solid 3 was well reviewed and they released Castlevania and PES too. However both companies shyed away from the 3DS (with exception of MH). I reckon the same will happen with Switch as well. 

Fighters on the 3DS did pretty well in the early days with DOA , Blazeblue and Tekken but then everything just faded away!

Sonic Mania is a good comparison example. You have to take the price of a game such as this into consideration in delivering a recommendation review in the end. Value for money defo had an effect on reviews for Final Challengers, and deservedly so. I would have shat on Mario All-Stars Wii given the chance too. £25 for four 50Hz SNES ports can sod right off. Capcom did put a tad more effort in here, but the motion first-person game is trash and does not warrant slapping that price on it.

A handheld like 3DS wasn't an ideal format for fighting games, certainly competitive scene-wise. Heck, anime fighters like BlazBlue struggle to maintain an online scene, so nevermind a 3DS version. Add in that, whilst they have seen a bit of a boom in recent years, fighters are a niche genre and not as big as they used to be as in the arcade/16-32-bit days, so it's likely less incentive again to make handheld versions.

Switch has the obvious hybrid design to benefit it, so that improves its chances of getting some fighters, but unless they're 2D anime-like ones, I can't see many of the 3D or NetherRealm ones getting Switch versions. Expect something like DOA6 or SoulCalibur 6 to be built from the ground up for PS4, needing a separate team to get running on Switch in modified form, which isn't really money fighting devs can afford.

Plus, for me, Switch has a serious issue with not having a proper d-pad on the left joycon, so this hurts its portable mode playability massively, as I am a pure d-pad player to get precise inputs out. The fact that the Pro Controller d-pad is one of the worst Nintendo has made in terms of registering precise inputs (for a game like Sonic Mania, it's perfectly fine and not noticeable in many games; in a fighter, it's a problem) means it isn't appealing to play a fighting game on the Switch at all right now.

A BlazBlue game is confirmed, but what exactly this is (could be a scruffy spinoff), we don't know. However, some indie fighters or other anime ones that would run well and not need more downgrading could appear. New BlazBlue or Guilty Gear entries, Skullgirls-like games, etc.

I think a downport of SF5 could work, but I can't see Capcom going there. I would have loved to see KT port DOA5 over, but that time has long passed.

( Edited 18.08.2017 01:24 by Azuardo )

I guess if people want a game they'll pay anything for it. Mario on the Wii was a cash grab, to be honest I have enough copies of the first four games that I wouldn't really pay for them again. 

Although I feel the same way about the very overpriced Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow/Silver/Gold releases on the 3DS VC, those are far too expensive. I thought £3 was expensive, let alone £8! Yet people still lapped them up!

You do make a good point about the lack of D-pad, i've even had a few slip ups on Sonic Mania due to that D-pad (nothing to do with my razor sharp reflexes obviously). 

With that said its a genre that I don't often care about these days, I struggle to master the controls and combos. Even with a game like Street Fighter i find it difficult to really use anyone other than Ken/Ryu. 

As for the 3D based fighters there is always a chance. Namco should be a little more familiar with the Switch after working with Pokken Tournament DX. So there's a slither of a chance for Tekken...

Mind you I guess with that methodology you could argue DOA (after FE:Warriors)

Well, Koei Tecmo and Namco are definitely supporting Switch quite favourably, so you can't rule their fighters out completely. I would revert to my natural home on PS4 for a DOA6, as I don't think my online DOA pals would end up buying Switch, but it would be great to see a version on there, even if downgraded slightly. Cross-play would be brilliant, but DOA has struggled with good netplay for a while, so that might be a big ask.

It's certainly going to be interesting to see what it's like going back to SFII on the SNES... I've not tried the SNES Mini version yet as I had to take photos and only had time to play a bit of Super Mario Kart (still amazing) and the first level of Star Fox to unlock the sequel.

I'd read this version of SFII has been tweaked compared to the classics to make the gameplay a bit more accessible for newer audiences, so I wonder if SFII SNES will feel odd now.

Adam Riley [ Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited ]
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

To be honest I can't see any discernable difference with all the different iterations of SF2 out there. So I doubt i'll notice if they make any tweaks to it! 

Bunch of Warriors games announced for Switch... Still hope for DOA5!

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