Monday, 30 May 2011

Surreal Fighter II: Hyper-Condriac Edition. No You Are Not Ill... It Really Happened: Game 0010

OK, this one's just odd. But where else can you watch a poor man's Scott Bakula do a dragon punch? take into battle the scrawniest 'digitised' versions of your typically muscley World Warriors? and feast upon Kylie Minogue's first and last ever appearance in a video game? Only in legendary developer Capcom's bizzarro series offshoot: Street Fighter: Real Battle on Film, their ill judged attempt at making the game of the movie of the game, phew. After all I can think of no more a fitting tribute to the late Raul Julia then digitising his stunt double to star in a game that would be released just as his actual body laid still cooling in the morgue. His family must have been touched.

So is the game really as bad as it should be? The answer is a resounding and rather pleasing no. Developed by Capcom of Japan the game is a pretty faithful recreation of the Super Street Fighter II Turbo game engine, employing all the mechanics of the above installment and doing so with the solid controls expected of Capcom. It's clear that the game was developed as a product to export to the West, cashing in on the (debatable) success of the Street Fighter movie. Similarly its digitised visuals are a clear attempt to compete with Midway's Mortal Kombat, that fleeting threat to the beat 'em up crown of the early nineties. Though I have always maintained that anyone who championed Mortal Kombat as a serious contender must have been something of a Kock.

Graphically the animations are not as fluid as the hand drawn sprite work of the previous games in the series, with low frame rate animations and equally horrible environment graphics that are often laughable. The familiar riffs and beats of the series have also been ditched in favour of more generic music filler. But I really can't say I didn't enjoy the whole experience. For all intents and purposes this is a perfectly playable Street Fighter II, albeit a rather surreal one. Fans of the series should definitely give it a look, if only for the fact that Capcom will never take this kind of risk again.

Favorite Moment: Its often a hoot to see the actors giving it their best shot at replicating poses ingrained in most die hard fans memories. But there's just nothing menacing about a skinny bloke with a neat side parting in over sized red pyjamas grimacing at you after a fight.

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