High on hype, low on speed

Street Fighter 2 logo

US GOLD * £27.99 * 1 meg * Joystick * Out now

Eh, look here if it isn't an old friend of mine. Who is it, you cry? Ah, well it goes by the name of Mr Hype. Hello Mr Hype, do you mind if I ask you a question? Sure, fire away. What do you think of Street Fighter 2?

Street Fighter 2 is undoubtedly going to be the best beat-'em-up ever on the Amiga, is going to be faithful to the SNES version and will feature amazing graphics, mind-blowing sound and absolutely brilliant playability. SF 2 is the hottest two-player arcade action game you can get. It has gargantuan sprites and stunning fights - in fact it's the game that the Amiga was made for.

Hmm, thanks Mr Hype for your unbiased and objective comments. So kids, do you honestly think that Street Fighter 2 will be as good on the Amiga as it is on the SNES? Ha, well I personally think you've been ever so slightly conned.

Hands up who got the game from Granny and Grandad for Christmas and eagerly loaded it up and then wept buckets. If you have a friend who owns a SNES and SF 2 I would keep the fact that you've got a copy of SF 2 on the Amiga very quiet indeed.
Perhaps I'm going over the top because Street Fighter 2 isn't really that bad. It's not amazing, but thanks to Mr Hype your expectations have been unnecessarily raised and you probably think that the game is going to be the best ever on the machine.
That's Mr Hype for you, making the eager young(ish) devils that your are scribble the game down on your list to Santa and find out that it's not quite as good as everyone says it is.

Right, now I've got that grumble off my chest I might as well tell you about the game even though you probably know everything that there is to know about SF 2, from what moves Ryu does to the size and colour of Blanka's underpants.
The object of the game is simple because all you have to do is take your fighter around the world beating the crap out of all the other fighters.

It does have some things going for it and one of those is the fact that you have a choice of eight fighters.
You can pick Ryu, a sort of Karate kid lookalike; Ken, like Ryu with blonde hair; Dhalism, an Indian rubber man; Guile, an American GI with a Bart Simpson hairdo; Zangief, a wrestler who likes nothing more than throwing oiled men around a ring; E Honda, a fatty sumo wrestler who needs a bra; Chun Li, a Chinese Cynthia Rothrock type and last but not least, Blanka, a green-skinned monster with orange hair.

Each fighter has his/her own special moves. For instance Chun Li has the vicious spinning bird kick among others and Edmond Honda has the hundred hand slap, a sort of handbags at 40 paces kind of move.

Also included from the coin-op are the gratuitous violence bonus screens. The fighter is given the chance to earn bonus points by either smashing wooden barrels to pieces, punching and kicking three burning cans or wrecking and destroying a snazzy and very expensive car. Hey, if that isn't gratuitous I don't know what is.

Street Fighter 2 was never going to be as good as the Super Nintendo version, but I have to admit that Creative Material have had a damn good go and possibly done the best job that they could do considering the Amiga capabilities that they had to play with.
The graphics are almost identical to the coin-op with the exception of loss of colours, but unfortunately they're very jerky and also the collision detection is rather dodgy. It's not funny when someone hits you and you're nowhere near.
The sound is not brilliant and when Chun Li attempted her 1,000 kick manoeuvre she sounded like a dog yapping. Some of the original speech is included though with the fighters screaming all manner of obscenities that sounds like Japanese.

The game is slow - not as slow as a tortoise, but more your old age pensioner kind of speed. It's much better in one-player mode simply because it slows down to sloth proportions in two player. Some of the special moves will only work once in a blue moon and are more than a bit fiddly, but seeing that the SNES has six buttons and the average Amiga joystick only has one I can't really moan that much.
On the easiest level I completed the game in one go, but stick it up to the hardest and you won't have a chance.

Overall Street Fighter 2 will be a disappointment to most Amiga games players due to the fact that the game has been hyped too much.
When it comes down to the crunch SF 2 is just slightly better than your average beat-'em-up. If you've not bought SF 2 I would save your money and wait for Body Blows by Team 17 and if you have bought it, then tough.
As Chuck D and Flavor Flav from Public Enemy cried in unison: "Don't believe the hype!"


Street Fighter 2 logo

Did you hear those chattering schoolkids on the bus yesterday? Well this is the game they were all yapping incessantly about. Now it's on Amiga...

This is it, then. The much-vaunted Streetfighter 2. The game that, supposedly, everybody's discussing on buses. The game that's causing a generation of Far-Eastern kids to grow up with little joypad-pushing stumps instead of fingers. The game that's giving rise to a rash of children christened Blanka, Dhalsim, Edmund Honda and, worst of all, Ken. And you could be about to subject your Amiga to this.

The idea is simple. You choose one of eight characters, each with different skills and strengths. You must then fight the others in turn. Obviously, you're hoping to punch and kick them to death. If you succeed you get to fight a series of big bosses: beat them and you can rightfully claim to the best in the world.

There are seven skill levels per player, giving a total of 49 possible different combat ratings for each fight between contestants. These are the key to the bizarre longevity of Streetfighter 2. After a couple of hours practice, you'll be able to beat anybody when your skill is seven and theirs is zero. But working your way up through the levels until you're on zero and they're on seven will drive you mad with frustration.

Summer fight city
Each player has his, her or its own special moves. Putting these in was a brilliant touch by CapCom, and it's what makes the game great. For example, Ryu and Ken blast fire-bolts, Blanka electrifies himself and Dhalsim indulges in a harmful spot of yoga flame.

Apart from the specials, each character fights in a different manner anyway. Some are better in the air, some are better at punching and some kick like the very devil. Their relative speeds vary as well. Chun Li is certainly the fastest, but is easily stunned. Zangief is slow but practically unstunnable. Blanka will happily chew your head and E Honda is offensively fat. The game is done in such a way so that every player is about equal overall, but vastly different in their specific characteristics.


It's the best beat-em-up on Amiga. Get it, get good at it and have a large amount of fun

Of course, if you like a fair fight, Ken and Ryu are similar. The only difference is that Ken sports blond locks, while Ryu is more of a dark horse, with an attractive headband. When it comes to fighting they're exactly the same. Both can do fire-bolts and hurricane kicks.

So what about the two-player mode? Well, with a couple of humans behind the joysticks (or Mega Drive joypads - see below), it's the best beat-'em-up on the Amiga. The massive sprites, speed and endless variety all help, but there's something else. Something it's not easy to put your finger on. Something mysterious (Get on with it - Ed.) An indefinable playability which keeps you and a chum there after the rest of the human race has gone to bed.

There are so many playing styles, techniques and touches that you only pick once you've been playing a while. Some folk go for jabbing leg-kicks, others prefer flying punches and aerial assaults. You soon get to know your human opponents' little regular tricks, but it's the swines who vary their approach, drawing you into their lethal range before smacking your tiny head in, who are really annoying.

Does it wok?
Streetfighter 2 is a lot of fun, that much is certain. It looks nice and plays far better than it looks. There's so much in it that you can spend a long time just getting to know what's possible, and what the best moves are against certain attacks. Putting someone diminutive like Chun Li against a large person like Zangief can lead to the most dreadful of battles, with speed versus brawn being the crux.

The only thing wrong with it is that the sprites' huge size makes it a bit jerky at times. It's not too bad, but just enough to be noticeable, and to get a bit annoying after a prolonged playing session. People whiz around the screen very quickly, but there don't seem to be many updates as they do so.

So it only occasionally looks magic, the way they fly around. It's not a big point, but it does mean that Streetfighter 2 doesn't quite earn a Format Gold. It's certainly the best fighting game on Amiga, and no mistake. Get it, get good at it and have a large amount of two-player fun.


A1200 VERSION - A FISTFIGHT AWAY
If you've got an A1200, forget it. Forget this version of Streetfighter 2, anyway, because it's one of those few games that doesn't work with the machine. But fret, worry and pine not. There's a special A1200 versin being written at the moment. It's been reported as having 256 colours on screen, and the speed of a gazelle with a train to catch.
Streetfighter 2 A1200 version will be covered separately in Amiga Format, so watch out for that in the near future.
PAIN AS AN ARTFORM
Street Fighter 2: Chun Li
Chun Li is the fastest fighter of the eight. She's at her best in the air, where she can kick repeatedly, and even stamp on folks' heads. But her most lethal move is the 100-foot kick. This flashes out in front of her, and will cause repeated damage to any fool sad enough to wander into its range. Chun Li's weak point is her stunnability. Two or three good smacks will knock her out, allowing you to give her a serious shoeing.
Street Fighter 2: Ken & Ryu
Ken (and Ryu) can summon the forces of nature into a fireball, which, with a flick of wrists, can be directed at the opponent. The recipient can either leap over it, block it or take it in the mush. Ken and Ryu also have the Dragon Punch, which protects them from the air. But their weakness is their mid-range. Most of the others can hurt them before Ken and Ryu can get close ennough to do any damage back.
Street Fighter 2: E Honda
E Honda is tough, and he's got a wicked 100-hand slap, it's like Chun Li's foot thing, and woe betide any fool who gets in the way. The way to beat Honda is to take to the air and leap on him with a fusillade of kicks. Easily said, but our rubber chum, Dhalsim finds it difficult to bend his un-natural way around E's blubber, which causes all manner of problems. Luckily he can resort to using Yoga Noogles, a humorously vicious form of attack.
WILL YOU EVER REACH THE END EITHER?
Street Fighter 2: Super Nintendo gamepad
This is the device they use for playing Streetfighter 2 on Nintendo, you'll notice it has more buttons, but fear not...
Street Fighter 2: Amiga joystick
...You won't have any problems playing with a joystick, because of some astute Amiga programming.

The Super Nintendo (whatever that is) has six buttons, as well as the directional control. Three buttons control the kicking (soft, medium and hard) and likewise, the other three control the punches.

The Amiga doesn't have this number of irritating clicky things on its joysticks, so how are the multitude of moves reproduced? Punches are done by pressing the fire-button, or moving towards the enemy and pressing fire, but kicks are controlled by pushing away from the enemy and hitting fire.
It works much better than you'd think and is only a problem for those who are used to playing the Super Nintendo version. So it isn't a problem for us normal folk at all, really.

If you want, though, you can even kick your kid brother off his Mega Drive and use the joypads from that. Now, of course, you get two fire-buttons; one for punching and one for kicking. It is better than a joystick, but if you swap between the equipment too much your playing skills will suffer.


Street Fighter 2 logo

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...

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!

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: überrollt 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.

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)


Street Fighter 2 logo

After months of waiting, the most fierrcely hyped game has arrived.

There's a great bit in this game where Guile (super-butch bequiffed Vietnam veteran in combat trousers) kicks lumps out of petite-but-deadly Chinese babe Chun Li. As our powerfully-thighed heroine lies bleeding on the ground, Guile runs manly, if bruised fingers through his impressive hair and sneers at the humiliated figure on the ground. 'Go home and be a family man,' he growls. The clot.

Perhaps surprisingly though, that's just about the biggest cock-up we've found in a couple of days of extensive play-testing of the long-awaited Amiga version of Street Fighter II. Since this coin-op conversion was announced, arcade devotees, SNES owners and plain old-fashioned cynics alike have been expressing serious doubts over the possibility of the original's impressive graphics and six-button control mechanism making a successful journey onto the 'humble Amiga', but now it looks like a fair old amount of words are going to have to be eaten. It's not a perfect conversion by any means, but it doesn't do a half-bad impression of the £65 SNES game, and that'll be more than enough to make your Nintendo-owning chums feel just a little ripped off.

So let's take a closer look. We've got a fair old mix of players here at AP - there's me, who thinks Street Fighter II as a game is good fun, but one of the most over-hyped and over-rated games in recent memory, and there's Mark who just thinks beat-'em-ups are crap full stop. Then there's the new Mark, who really likes the arcade and SNES versions of the game, and the new Tim who's one of those people who thinks SFII is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Finally, we've got the old Tim, who was a complete Street Fighter virgin until the Amiga game showed up, and who we're going to use as a sort of experimental control. And, just because this is such a big game for once we're going to be flawlessly democratic. Everyone's going to get their say, then at the end of it we're going to take the five individual marks and award the final percentage as a straight average. Blimey.

MR: This kind of thing's not usually my cup of tea, and it's pretty limited compared to the likes of Final Fight, but it's got a certain something and it's one of the better two-player games around. It's certainly got the flavour of the original, and it's worth a good 75%, in my book.

MW: My general view of it is that you just help the players along and don't really control them. There's too much context-sensitivity in the control - the whole point of the original was being able to learn the moves, and just waggling the stick and hitting fire a lot loses most of that skill. I'd say about 65%.

TT: Inevitably there's less control than on the arcade version (I don't think it was inevitable at all - MW), but it still manages to feel like you're in control to a certain degree, retains the flavour of the original, and fans of the coin-op will certainly appreciate it. I'd give it 78%.

TN: I fully expected to hate it, and was quite surprised when I didn't. It's still not much fun as a one-player-game, though, but in two-player mode it's pretty good. Overall, I'd go for 76% or thereabouts.

And as Mike Yarwood would say, this is me. The first impression you get when you load this up is "Urgh, cheapo graphics or what?" This doesn't last long, though - after a while you get used to the unsubtle colouring, and the backdrops are very pretty, although they lack the nicer bits of animation from the other versions (like the cyclists on Chun Li's stage, for example) and the parallax scrolling.
While the manual claims the game has redefinable keyboard control, it doesn't tell you how to use it, and after two days of trying to define myself a set of keys I'm still completely stumped.


I reckon you're going to be impressed

In fact, the manual in general is almost completely without practical use, but luckily the fighting moves are fairly easy to get to grips with by just experimenting a bit. That said, you never get to feel 100% in control - in order to keep as many of the coin-op moves as possible, the programmers have had to employ a large degree of context-sensitivity into the control system, which means you can never be certain that you're going to pull off a particular move when you really want to.

Also, on the characters whose special moves involve anything more complicated than up and down movements of the stick, you'll have such a hard time persuading them to do 'em that your opponent will more than likely kick you to death before you can manage to send a single burst of Yoga Fire (or whatever) in his direction. As I recall, that was a bit of a problem even on the SNES version, but never quite as insurmountable as it is here - in two days of trying, I didn't manage to pull off Dhalsim's special moves once.

The game comes on four disks, with a lot of swapping whenever you change venue or encounter one of the three bonus games, but since SFII is by its nature a very stop-start kind of game, that's not as much of a bugbear as it might have been.
In solo mode, you'll complete it the day you buy it and, as with any game, the compulsion to play through again at a tougher setting is pretty minimal.

Enough quibbling, if you're a Street Fighter II fan, and it seems everyone is these days, I reckon you're going to be impressed with this. It feels like the real thing, it looks more or less like the real thing, and it sounds - well, it sounds a bit crap, actually, but you can't have everything, can you? I'd give this about 76% personally, and that's about 40% more than I thought it was going to be worth. Not bad.


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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.