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Wednesday, June 25, 2008


posted by on June 25 at 13:48 PM

Last week, the folks at Capcom sent along a downloadable copy of Commando 3, the never-awaited sequel to their ’80s top-down arcade shooter (think Ikari Warriors or Smash TV). For $10, you get roughly an hour and a half of mindless dudes to shoot guns at. The demo got me excited, but the full game loses steam really quickly.

So why mention it? The game also includes a preview bonus for the online Street Fighter II remake coming later this year. That bonus was unlocked this morning, and since I’m a goddamned Street Fighter freak, I’ve since wasted a sunny Seattle morning getting beaten down by fireball-throwing 12-year-olds.

Previews for this game have emphasized the HD part of the game’s stupidly long title (“Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix,” choke). The whole game’s been redrawn to fill every overpriced dot on a 1080p display, and apparently, those new pixels are dedicated to man-muscle:


Giambi Fighter? Grody. But the exaggerated style works in motion, and SSF2THDR (sheez) winds up looking and playing fluidly, especially compared to preview versions that looked herky-jerky. An even bigger deal is that this is the smoothest online fighting game I’ve ever played. Weird that it’s taken ‘til 2008 to get this right, but fighting games can’t get away with the online tricks that World of Warcraft or even online shooters can. Nuts and bolts: Most other games guess what you’re doing between the milliseconds that go by with natural Internet latency. Fighting games are too twitchy for that, which means they often freeze to allow catch-up. Not here. I had nobody to blame but myself when I got my ass handed to me five times in a row this morning. For a “beta” test version of the game, this already runs quite well.

Also cool is the game’s online matchmaking. You typically land in a mini-lobby where two people are already playing, and a few contenders line up behind them. Everyone can hear each other’s microphone chatter. The winner of a given match then sticks around to take on the folks in line. It’s this sensation that got me antsy to write about the game. Just add the heavy aroma of greasy pizza, and you’ve got the corner-shop arcade experience that made Street Fighter II such a social gaming phenomenon in the ’90s—stacking quarters on the cabinet to wait your turn, cheering on the kid who was the corner shop’s champ, rooting for the eventual underdog victory. Arcades are a dying breed, so even though the base game is ancient, the authenticity makes this a worthy retread.

The full version doesn’t have a set release date; “before 2009” is the current claim. There’s also a 3D Street Fighter IV in the works, which is supposed to be a simple, “back to the roots” game with its own multiplayer modes, so I’m not sure why this one’s coming out, too. (Perhaps they felt like Street Fighter fans didn’t have enough options?) Still, for what this beta test gets right, I say bring on the ethnic stereotype fighting bonanza.

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12-year-olds can't school you in a game you've been playing since you were twelve. I'd be ashamed if I lost a single fight in SF to some punk who just came out of a vag.

-Mr. Poe

Posted by Rufio (From Hook) | June 25, 2008 2:15 PM

Did you know there is a BIG STREET FIGHTER (and other fighting games) TOURNAMENT in Seattle? It is THIS SATURDAY.

Details are here:

Lots of games will be there for casual play! The games that will have official tournaments are:
# Super Street Fighter II: Turbo
# Street Fighter III: Third Strike
# Marvel vs. Capcom 2
# Virtua Fighter 5
# Guilty Gear XX: Accent Core
# Capcom vs. SNK 2
# Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection

If you like fighting games, you should go! And you should think about entering a tournament, because it's okay if you lose, and because it will help support the event.

Posted by Grant Laughlin | June 25, 2008 3:19 PM

Sam, I will totally go if you go. Virtua Fighter (Any) and SSF2T?! Un-ts!

Posted by Rufio (From Hook) | June 25, 2008 3:36 PM

Dude! My room mate is working on this. He is currently redrawing every frame of Blanca. Cool beans.

Posted by The White Blackula | June 25, 2008 4:09 PM

You guys should seriously make it happen. It's gonna be a huge crowd, with some of the top players there to represent. But also there'll be lots of casuals to play, you can watch the majors go to it on the big screen, get your picture taken with famous players, or just hang out.

I'm gonna be there... obviously. :/

Posted by Grant | June 25, 2008 4:16 PM

-> Blanka. :/

Posted by Grant | June 25, 2008 4:17 PM

$15 fee day-of to participate? Yeesh. Even the pinball fest cost less. But I'll try to stop by. I'm a sucker for MvC2...

FYI: If you're looking to promote any gaming projects/events, please contact me. I don't have an official Stranger address via either e-mail or snail, so hit me up at "sam alt samred dolt colm" (remove the l's).

Posted by Sam M. | June 25, 2008 6:45 PM

Thanks, Sam. I'll try to remember that one, in case we can get any other things going.

Yeah, $15. But believe me, renting out the room and equipment were not cheap. None of the organizers are making money off of this.

Posted by Grant | June 25, 2008 9:14 PM

MvC2? O_o We have pretty regular tournaments for MvC2 still at my house (we moved it there after LanWerx closed). (Plus my site has tons of MvC2 videos if you're into that kind of thing.) It is kind of a sausage fest, but it's still fun. :)

If you stop by, say hi - I'll be in a blue Kobun shirt filming Marvel.

Posted by zachdms | June 25, 2008 11:52 PM

Actually, they just extended pre-registration!

So now it's just $10 to be in a tournament - just sign up here:

I'm pretty sure there's no excuse not to, at this point.

Posted by Grant | June 26, 2008 2:13 PM

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