Platforms: Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch has the Action RPG market handled with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe scratches the racing game itch. What it needs to handle now is the fighting game market. There are some throwback classics on the eShop like King of Fighters ‘98 but what really hits the mark is Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers.
Ultra Street Fighter II is essentially a beefed up version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD from 2008 with a bunch of additions. The game comes with a number of different modes and features that classic Street Fighter fans will appreciate.
This game is definitely one for the fans.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is a tribute to a classic. Street Fighter II made the fighting genre what it is today, and this game certainly celebrates it. To pay homage to the original, it offers the option to play the game in the present-day graphics or in the original sprite form. Separately, the music can also be changed between new remixes and classic tracks.
Once those preferences are sorted out, it’s time to start the single-player campaign. It’s just like the Super Nintendo days, but with more character choices. The enemies you face and their order is the same as they were in the original, so there isn’t much to say there except that it’s just as enjoyable as the original.
The feature everyone is probably wondering about is the controls, and to much surprise, they’re pretty good in the standard handheld mode. It’s probably best to play with the D-Pad as opposed to the thumbsticks, as Street Fighter is all about precision. The best way to play currently is the Pro Controller, but the previously mentioned set-up is definitely serviceable.
Multiplayer is an important feature in fighting games and Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers succeeds in it… mostly.
It should be noted that when played in the preferred conditions, Ultra Street Fighter II has a very good multiplayer. That being said, not all the options are great. The ideal setup would be two Pro Controllers with the Switch docked. The game can be played with two grip controllers, which is okay, much like the connected handheld arrangement mentioned earlier. But the worst option available is playing with a single Joy-Con per player.
Now, there are some games on the Switch that prove that a single Joy-Con is a decent way to control a game, but a game with as many complicated button presses as this needs something with more meat to it and distance between buttons and hands.
The additional features and modes of Ultra Street Fighter II really make this game different from the rest, aside from now being available on the Switch. Some of these features are welcome additions, but some are just amusing gimmicks.
Let’s start with the one everyone is probably thinking about: Way of the Hado. It’s a first-person mode where players take control of Ryu, detaches their Joy-Con, and start throwing Hadokens, dragon punches and hurricane kicks themselves. This mode is fun for strictly novelty purposes. It can’t be denied that seeing Ryu throwing blue fire from the first-person perspective is cool, but this mode doesn’t do much else. It’s inconsistent in registering moves, and it’s kind of repetitive. But with that said, it’s not upsetting that it was included. We can cross being a Street Fighter off of our bucket list.
Another mode is Buddy Battle. Some people just aren’t very good at Street Fighter and need to team up with another player to win. With Buddy Battle, two-on-one battles help even the odds and lets you play cooperatively instead of against each other. The A.I. is a bit beefed up to provide a challenge for the uneven odds too. Unfortunately, this mode is very short and leave you wanting more. It has great execution, however, but it ended after only four fights.
Servers were not online, so we weren’t able to check out the online mode, but if it’s as smooth as the standard game and latency isn’t an issue, it should be great.
If you like classic Street Fighter, you’ll like Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers.
It brings a classic title to a new system while also offering a generous helping of new features. Some of the features aren’t great, but those that aren’t are totally optional. The base game alone is worth it for fans of Street Fighter and fighting games in general.
Note: One factor accidentally left out of this review is the price. While the game is highly enjoyable, $40 is perhaps asking too much for an updated version of an old game with extra features.