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Das angeblich erfolgreichste Arcade-Game aller Zeiten läßt es dank U.S. Gold nun auch am Amiga krachen! Und zwar richtig – im Gegensatz zum Vorgänger, der in konvertierter Form nur noch ein schatten seiner selbst war...
Street fighter 2 Wer alt genug ist, um schon etwas länger Einlaß in die geheiligten Arcade-Hallen zu finden, erinnert sich unter Garantie noch an die ersten Straßenkämpfer, bei denen spezielle Gumminoppen zum Draufkloppen die üblichen Feuerknöpfe ersetzten. Tolle Sache, doch leider blieb von der Racht des großen Standgerätes am Amiga bloß eine unausgegorene Dilettanten-Rangelei übrig, die selbst friedliebende Zeitgenossen in einem Tag durchgespielt hatten.

Beim Nachfolger kehrte man dann wieder zu den normalen Buttons zurück, allerdings unterstützte der Automat gleich sechs Stück davon! Die folgende Umsetzung fürs Super NES ließ auch die Stubenhocker unter den Raufbolden neue Hoffnung schöpfen, denn Konsole und Spielhallenwirklichkeit waren hier kaum noch voneinander zu unterscheiden. Im letztjährigen Weihnachtsgeschäft verkaufte sich das Modul mancherorts besser als Nintendo’s „Mario“, die englischen Fachzeitschriften sind seit Monaten voll mit Tips, Umfragen etc. Zu den Prügelknaben, und in Japan wurde sogar ein spezieller Joystick mit fünf Knöpfen für sie entwickelt. Aber das alles sagt natürlich noch nichts darüber aus, wie sich das Game auf dem Amiga mit einem Amiga-Joystick spielt. Um das beruhigende Ergebnis vorwegzunehmen: Klasse!

Street fighter 2 Bevor man den Asphalt zum Beben bringen darf, muß man sich erstmal mit den bohrenden Fragen im Optionsmenü herumschlagen. Ein- oder Zwei-Spieler-Modus, auch verschiedene Schwierigkeitsstufen und ebensoviele Kämpfer sind anwählbar, außerdem kann man sich freiwillif ein Zeitlimit auferlegen. Im Unterschied zu vielen anderen Bildschirmprügeleien hat man es bei Street Fighter II nicht mit gesichtslosen 08/15-Raufbolden zu tun, es sind allesamt höchst individuelle Kampfmaschinen mit jeweils eigener Lebensgeschichtte und eigener Weichklopf-Technik. Stellvertretend sei hier Blanka angeführt, die Bestie aus dem Regenwald, halb Mensch, halb grünhäutiges Untier. Das Monstrum traktiert seine Gegner bevorzugt durch das Austeilen von elektrischen Schlägen oder :uberrollt die bedauernswerten Opfer einfach. Ganz ähnlich verfahren die Kollegen, vom Kampf-Yogi über eine Amazone und den Ex-Sumoringer bis hin zum russischen Wrestler mit Irokesenschnitt verfüfen sie alle über ein mehr oder weniger großes Sortiment sogenannter „Special Moves“, deren Wirkung ungleich größer ist als die der normalen Schläge und Tritte. Neben diesen Glorreichen Acht gibt es weitere vier Streithähne, die ausschließlich der Rechner übernehmen kann – und die natürlich ebenfalls eine ganze Latte von fiesen Tricks im Repertoire habe.

Sobald das Vorgeplänkel abgeschlossen ist, düst man auf einer Weltkarte zum ersten Austragungsort, der z.B. aus einer russischen Fabrikhalle, einem japanischen Badehaus oder einem indischen Tempel bestehen kann. Dort macht man in maximal drei Runden entweder mit zwei K.O.-Siegen alles klar, oder behält nahc Ablauf des Zeitlimits zumindest mehr Energie übrig als der Gegner – ansonsten bleibt nur der Griff zu den drei Continues. Nach vier Kämpfen kommt dann zur Auflockerung eine Bonusrunde, bei der innerhalb von 60 Sekunden Ölfässer, Ziegelwände oder ein Auto zerhackstückt werden müssen. Zum krönenden Abschluß dürfen Solo-Rambos gegen die vier Computerhelden antreten, der im übrigen identische Zwei-Spieler-Modus hat dafür den Vorteil, daß man sich die insgesamt zwölf Kampfarenen nach Belieben aussuchen kann.

Street fighter 2 Trotz der relative komplexen Handlungsmöglichkeiten (acht dosierbare Standard-Bewegungen plus unterschiedlich viele Special-Moves wie „Teleskop-Arm“ oder „Energie-Torpedo“) bekommt man die Sache steuerungstechnisch verblüffend schnell und gut in den Griff – und das sogar weitgehend unabhängig davon, ob man die Tastatur, einen Ein- oder Zwei-Knopf-Joystick benutzt. Die fein abgestuften Schwierigkeitsgrade, die gerechte Verteilung der Spezialgriffe und –finten sowie die Zeit- und Energie-Boni tragen ebenfalls ihren Teil zum gelungenen Gameplay bei, einzig die unvermeidlichen Disk-Wechselorgien zerren leicht an den Nerven. Grafisch ist das Game eine Wucht, die Hintergründe und die riesigen Sprites sind äußerst farbenprächtig und erstklassig animiert, allein der Jubel des Siegers ist schon eine Augenweide. Das Scrolling ist flüssig und flott, sogar deutlich flotter als auf dem (deutschen) Super NES. Auch die Lauscher werden von knackiger Musik, jede Menge FX und gelegentlich etwas Sprachausgabe verwöhnt.

Wenn man unbedingt etwas kritisieren will, wäre vielleicht an den fehlenden Turnier-Modus und die leider nicht speicherbare Highscoreliste mit ihren schlappen fünf Plätzen zu denken; doch was die Disziplin des Staßen-Zweikampfs betrifft, holt Street Fighter II wirklich das Maximum des Machbaren raus. Wer also schon ewig nach einem vernünftigen Wrestling-Game sucht, sollte sein Glück doch einfach mal mit den Fantasy-Catchern von Street Fighter II versuchen. Und wer einen 1200er besitzt, darf sich gar auf eine spezielle Version mit 256 Farben freuen – vielleicht sieht die am Ende sogar schöner als das Coin Op-Original aus?! (mm)

Amiga Joker, February 1993, p.p.16-17

STREET FIGHTER II
(U.S. GOLD)
STRASSEN-ZWEIKAMPF

80%

"KNACKIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
86%
82%
77%
75%
72%
77%
VARIABEL: 8 STUFEN
PREIS DM 69,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
512 KB
4/JA
NEIN
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Street fighter 2 logo  CU Amiga Screen Star

Tony Dillon finally gets a chance to show the world that he can dish out a good kicking as well as the next bloke.

Street fighter 2 IT’S PHENOMENAL
Everywhere you turn, you cannot miss it. Street Fighter 2 has become a phenomenon unto itself: not quite as big as Mario, but twice as exploited. The Street Fighter 2 coin-op has already become a classic of the Nineties, with more than a little help from Nintendo’s spurious advertising campaign. It all seems a far cry from the days of the original coin-op, made famous by its gigantic, pressure-sensitive fire buttons that you literally had to pummel if you were going to make any indentation on your opponent’s energy level

SURPRISE ATTACK
But that was years ago, and now Street Fighter 2 rules the arcades in a way that no other game has. Nintendo are not complaining, as their SNES version has become the flagship title for their machine. There are even stories circulating of people being mugged as they take their newly-bought carts home. Has a game ever caused such ‘enthusiasm’ – I think not. Now, after nine months of solid coding, the Amiga version is unveiled for all to see, and sat in a backroom of US Gold’s plush Birmingham offices. I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. Street Fighter 2: Amiga is as close to the arcade version as a 68000 with a single fire button is going to get.

In case you did not already know, SF2 places you in the middle of the hottest street competition ever. The best fighters from around the globe have been gathered to battle it out in a series of man-to-man style rucks against the clock to find out who exactly is the ‘ardest geezer on the face of the planet. Eight persons (six mail, one female and one thing) from locations as diverse Japan and Brazil come together to fight it out, and all of them make the WWF wrestlers looks like a bunch of ballet enthusiasts. Single player, you have to work your way through them all to take the title. Not that you can just walk in and take the title, of course. Once you have defeated the seven basic opponents, you have to fight the four big bosses. That is where things get really hard. If they were not hard enough already. Alternatively, you could just stand to one side and let them all give you a kicking. Defeat the four bosses, and you have beaten the game, or have you?

Two player, the action really heats up. Needless to say, this is a very violent game. And there can be little as entertaining as knocking seven bells out of your friend/brother/sister/whoever. If you think that selecting different characters creates a disadvantage, then you will be happy to know that the Character vs Character mode from the Championship Edition has been added (but accessed via a cheat mode) so you can both be Blanka and spend many an hour rolling at each other.

BONUS BASHING
Don’t worry, though. It is not all mindless fighting. There are a few bonus stages to fight your way through, too! These occur quite late on in the game (after the 7th fight, after the first boss and just before the last boss) and are based on the arcade version rather than the SNES. Your first challenge is to wreck a car in the shortest time possible. You are up against a time limit, and if you manage to turn a once-fine family saloon into a pile of melting slag, you will get yourself a handy bonus! To demolish it, you simply have to punch and kick the various parts (headlamps, bonnet, engine, windscreen, doors, etc.) until it collapses in on itself and the police drag you away for vandalism.

Street fighter 2 Next comes the bouncing barrels. You stand at the bottom of the screen while someone throws beer barrels from somewhere above the screen. The barrels fall onto a small platform above you. After that, they could fall in any direction – you cannot tell. All you need to do is smash as many of them into pieces as quickly as possible. The problem here is that the barrels are actually filled with Mexican Jumping Beans, so every time the barrels bounce, they could bounce either way, just like the balls in IK+ could change height. Should you be hit by a barrel, that is the end of this particular bonus stage.

Finally, you are confronted with three piles of oil barrels which, yes you guessed it, you have to smash to smithereens. However, every time you hit a barrel it sends out a lick of flame, which incinerates you on the spot, so you have to move fast. Well, I did not say it was not all mindless violence, did I?

To be honest, I kept away from the arcade machine for quite a while. I do not like hypes, so I thought the only way to judge it fairly would be to play it once the hype had died down. Sticking in my coins, I assumed It was just going to be ‘just another beat ‘em up’. How wrong I was. If you have not played it, and let us be honest, who has not played it at least once, then you will not know that this game has more to it than the ‘repeatedly stab at the fire button while trashing the joystick about and hope you get a hit on them first’ variety, where your only advantage is the speed of your index finger. SF2 involves the careful planning of moves, as well as the reactions to use them at the right moment. Going in headlong is not going to win any battles, so save that for the pub.

SIX FINGERED FIGHTERS
Unfortunately, the original arcade version has six fire buttons. Three for punches and three for kicks. That, plus the fact that secret combination of these, along with timed movements of the joystick, brought up special moves such as fireballs or an electric field made the Amiga version a tad different. Programmer Tony Bickley had to give some serious thought as to how to translate the controls to a single button joystick, or even twin button joypads, such as a SEGA controller. At one point, Tony even considered bundling a special six-button joystick with the game, but found the costs involved too prohibitive. What he came up with instead is a game with standard beat ‘em up controls, but which still gives the tactical feel of the original game. By thinking logically, USG have managed to come up with a way of using all 32 moves from a standard eight-way joystick and this is how it works:

While standing, without the fire button pressed, you have eight moves open to you, such as walking, jumping and crouching. Pressing fire then allows you to select from the first set of attacking moves (four kicks, four punches). If you crouch, you can select another eight attacking moves, as you can while in the air. 8 plus 8, plus 8, plus 8 makes 32!

On a two-button joypad, things get even easier. The eight way controller moves your character around in much the same way, only now one fire button controls the kicks and the other controls the punches. The big difference here is that now there are two versions of eight kick and punch. Pushing the way the character is facing makes them attack with their leading limb, whereas pushing in the opposite direction makes them use their trailing limb. Easy, innit?

KARATE CHOP
Of course, you cannot take a game as memory-hungry game as SF2 and fit it into an Amiga without some chopping, and the first thing to go were some of the special moves. In the arcade, each character had up to five secret moves. On the Amiga, each has only two. Thankfully, they are all documented in the manual, so you need not spend half your life trying every combination you can think of.

Street fighter 2 As far as presentation goes, the game is almost flawless. Perhaps lacking some of the speed of the original in places, all in all, the game is as close as you could come. The sprites are massive, it must be said, and the pleasing thing about this game is, unlike other titles with similar size sprites (Sword of Sodan, for example), the animation is as fluid as you could want. Each character has an unbelievable 255 frames of animation! The sprites alone take up around 5Mb of memory! And that on top of the glorious 32-colour backdrops makes for a fairly stunning looking game. It does not look exactly like the arcade machine, though, but that is just because the Amiga cannot generate the same sort of screen luminescence that arcade cabinets and consoles can.

A great deal of attention has been paid to the sound too. Not surprising, really, if you think of the difference between hitting someone and hearing a slight pop and hitting someone and hearing a car door slammed. Just look at the Rocky films to see what I mean. Creative Materials obviously think that the arcade versions had just the right effects, as they have sampled all the sounds for the Amiga.

The game is fast. Perhaps not as speedy as the SNES, but then again your basic Amiga is not built with the same graphic chipset as a SNES. It does, however, run a lot faster than the rolling demo on the cover of last month’s issue, so do not be too put off.

But, after all this, the proof of the pudding is in the playing Street Fighter 2 is immensely enjoyable, right from the word go. I have to admit, I was surprised, especially when you consider that Creative Materials were the team responsible for Final Fight which received a paltry 60%. The thought that has gone into the control really pays off when you pick the joystick up for the first time you can lay a pretty formidable offensive line, if not exactly the most tactical or defensive. Street Fighter 2 is very playable, and genuinely does stand head and shoulders above any of its rivals. Naturally it will take some time before you will be able to use all the moves to their fullest advantage, but that is part of the fun.

AH-SO!
If your SNES-owning friends have been driving you insane with jealousy, now is the time to strike back. OK, it is not arcade perfect and the SNES version is. On the bottom line, though, it is a perfect example of what an Amiga beat ‘em up should be, and an excellent conversion at that. Without a doubt the best beat ‘em up to ever grave the Amiga, even better than the fabled IK+. Whether it will hold that position for long is uncertain, as rumours currently floating claim that an IK+ 2 is on the way, although the same rumour states that Archer Maclean may not be involved. For now though, Street Fighter 2 is the thumper to have. Plus the fact that it is half the cost of the console version, you cannot really go wrong. Well done, US Gold.

CU Amiga, January 1993, p.p.59-61

THE FIGHTERS
Eight computer opponents might not seem like much in these days of digital Armageddon, but nowhere will you find a bunch of nuts as hard to crack as these. Here is the full run down of who you will be taking on.
Street fighter 2 – Edmond Honda Street fighter 2 - Ryu
EDMOND HONDA We have all seen Sumo wrestlers. Great girly blobs of lard that do not seem to do anything more daring than lean on people. Not Eddie. He is the meanest Sumo of them all, and knows how to use his 304 pound frame to his ultimate advantage. Favourite tactics include squashing, leaning on, and trapping in small places before grinding into the dirt.
Through some tortuous mental exercises, Edmond is able to channel the full impact of his body through the top of his head, so a Sumo head butt is something to be avoided – along with his amazing hundred hand slap.
RYU Ryu was once a simple farm boy. Now he is a simple killing machine. He was trained from a very early age by Master Sheng Long. Dedication is one thing, but this guy has been more than happy enough to drop everything else in his life for the sake of combat. A fierce fighter, he hides a couple of mean moves up his sleeves, including fireballs and a sizzling hurricane kick, which sees him spinning at extremely high speed in the air. Three of these and you are on your back. If that isn’t enough, then how about the vicious Dragon Punch. Ryu practised for years until he mastered this diving punch.
Street fighter 2 – Guile Street fighter 2 - Dhalsim
GUILE Guile is hacked off. After a routine Special Forces mission in Thailand, he was captured, tortured and kept prisoner for longer than he could care for. Now he is back and is determined to take his share of any action that is going.
Guile’s special moves include a lethal Sonic Boom, created by swinging his arms at Mach 2. If that doesn’t grab you enough, then how about an energy barrier created by some seriously fast kicking or a back breaking body-drop if you get too close?
DHALSIM Take children’s favourite Plasticman. Now warp his mind so that the only thing he can concentrate on is destroying people and you have got Dhalsim. A true master of Yoga, he can change his size and shape to a certain extent, but only far enough to cause pain for other people. Dhalsim will catch you… wherever you run. His party pieces are fireball throwing (a trick quite a few people enjoy, now I come to think of it) and breathing fire. Makes you think twice when you ignore monks in the street, doesn’t it?
Street fighter 2 – Chun Li Street fighter 2 - Blanka
CHUN LI The only woman in the contest, and a woman with a mission, at that. Chun Li is here to track down a secret organisation called Shadoloo, and if she has to kick a few butts on the way, well that is just dandy with her. A rather sexist touch this, but she apparently – and I take no responsibility for writing this – uses her looks to charm her opponents who, while underestimating her strength, are flattened in no time at all. High kicks aren’t her only speciality either.
Lightning Kicks are as fast as their name suggests, and if you think you can take any more, then how about a couple of Whirlwind Kicks, where Chun Li spins like a top. From which point she will attack is anybody’s guess.
BLANKA 6 foot five inches of pure muscle and hair, this is one beast that will never get the beauty! Born in Brazil, he has spent most of his life terrorising villagers by leaping at them from the jungle. Only recently did he step forward to challenge anyone who was asking for a fight.
After spending a large part of his life studying electric eels. Blanka can charge 1000 volts through his skin without blinking. While his opponent is reeling in shock he strikes back with his second special move, a rolling attack that forms part of a lethal game of bowling.
Street fighter 2 – Zangief Street fighter 2 - Ken
ZANGIEF Zangief, the Russian with the moustache, loves his mum and his country. Applaudable attributes, wouldn’t you say? The problem is, he hates everything else, and loves to use his wrestling skills as often as possible. If you’ve ever wanted to be spun dry, or would like to knock nails in with your head, then this is the guy to help you achieve your goal.
His favourite moves include the Spinning Clothesline, useful for avoiding fireballs and causing heavy amounts of damage to opponents, and the Spinning Pile Driver, only instead of using you as a jack hammer, he uses you as a giant drill bit. Ouch!
KEN Ken’s superhuman and athletic abilities are matched only by his ego, which is odd considering he has a name that ranks with Kevin and Barry in the hardness stakes.
As a former disciple of Sheng Long Ken can create Fireballs with minimum fuss, and can manage the odd Dragon Punch and Hurricane Kick. The only real difference is that Ken could have Ryu. Anytime. With both hands behind his back. Go on. Outside. Now.
A1200
Many Amiga-owners are already pawning the family silver to get their hands on a new A1200. however, how many will experience that old sinking feeling when they find that their games collection won’t work? Street Fighter 2 is fully A1200 compatible, you will be happy to know, but at the moment there are no firm plans to create an A1200 specific version. It might happen, we are told, but not until the middle of the next year. Is it worth waiting for sumptuous 256-colour backdrops and the enhanced speed, we ask ourselves?

SPECTRUM VERSION
For those of you old enough to remember the Spectrum, or indeed to have actually owned one, will be pleased to know that the Speccy version of Street Fighter 2 is also looking rather good, given the limitations of the machine. Why are we mentioning this? Well, when we saw it up and running we all got a bit misty eyed and just had to tell you about it. Yes, we know, we are old fa*ts when it comes down to it!
Street fighter 2 running on a ZX Spectrum

ARCADE VERSIONS
With the possible exception of Space Invaders and Breakout, never has there been so many variants of the same machine in the arcades of the world. At last count there are no less than 13 different Street Fighter 2 games knocking about the place, including Street Fighter 2 Championship and Street Fighter 2 – 92 Rules, in which you can pit two players against each other with the same character. Also, due to hacking, there are eight different SNES versions floating around, some of which allow you to jump that little bit higher, or let you do two dragon punches for the price of one.

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US GOLD £27.99
The best beat ‘em up on the Amiga – ever!
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
91%
86%
82%
87%
OVERALL 90%