There have been a lot of mixed reviews about this game. A lot of them pointing to the lack of anything really new or the high asking price. Well after playing the game, I thought it would be a good time to chime my thoughts in.
I will be honest, I am not the best Street Fighter player in the world but this game offers several difficulty options so even the most “Noob” of players including myself can easily get in on the action. There are several modes which include Arcade, Versus, Buddy Battle, Training & Way Of The Hado. The bulk of the game really comes down to Arcade & Versus mode and probably Buddy Battle as well in which you and a friend or the CPU team up and take on stronger opponents at the same time.
The Way Of The Hado is a new mode that puts you in the eyes of RYU in first-person mode in which you must take on multiple enemies from M. Bison’s army using special attack like the Hadoken (Dragon Punch/ Fire Ball), Shoryuken (Jumping Uppercut) and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku (Spinning Kick). Those are probably not the correct translations but those unfamiliar with the series will at least know what the moves are. After beating the round in The Way Of The Hado, you will earn skill points in which you can upgrade, RYU’s parameters like making him faster, stronger, etc. This of course only applies to the Way Of The Hado mode and has no effect in the other modes.
Another welcoming addition is the Gallery which contains artwork & illustrations from over 30 years of Street Fighter History with a music player including remix & classic covers of each character’s theme music. There is also a colour editor where you can alternate the colour palette of your favourite characters and save them to use in fights. For those that like to watch replays of their best fights, can in the Player Data option. You can also view character records and personal records in this option too.
There are two graphic aesthetics that allow you to play in colourfully sharp cartoon HD or 16-bit old school goodness. Sound effects can also be changed so you can play with the new style or the classic. The sounds are locked to both music and sound effects so you can’t have new background music with old sound effects and vice versa but you can play with classic sounds with HD graphics or Classic graphics with new style sounds.
I suppose the most important of all is controls. Other than the insumountable difficulty to pull of the spinning kick (Tatsumaki Senpukyaku) in Way of the Hado Mode, most combo moves are easily enough to pull off. For those that could use an extra hand, you can use touch controls on the screen to pull of combo moves at a single press by changing the setting to “Lite” in Controller settings in the pause menu.
Now down to the nitty gritty stuff. This game is obviously much better to play friends than it is alone but you can still enjoy single player to hone your skills. The cost may seem high for what the game is but bear in mind that it is on a Switch cartridge which makes it more costly to produce, which is a similar problem to what RiME is facing, where it is 10$ more expensive on a Switch cart than it is on a PS4 or XBox One disc. True Capcom could lower cost with a digital only version of the game but some folks out there, myself include still prefer physical over digital.
The other matter is the size of the character roster. There are only 17 characters out of the whole street fighter universe and two of theose are basically ramped up versions of Ryu & Ken but to be fair, each character offers plenty of variety from each you can never really get bored of playing with them.
Other than that people Is there enough in this game to keep players satisfied? Well I think we should look at it from a different perspective. This game is probably angled at the more die-hard fans of the series that want to be able to take the fight to the streets, literally. New players to the series will also enjoy the game as it offers training and different difficulty modes to help players at all levels of skill to improve themselves.
The ability to play a game of street fighter anywhere with anyone means you no longer need to go to the arcades for a random match but you can take the arcade with you on your Switch and play against anyone, you will also be able to take the fight online against players all over the world so its time to break out the Stree Fighter II World Tour T-Shirt as you make your mark on the world to be the ultimate Street Fighter.
Controls can be a bit fiddly if playing on a single Joy-con but I think what really needs to be taken into account is that you can still have an enjoyable experience with a friend on a single Switch console and that if you really want a more competive experience, there is always Local Play which you can connect to Switch consoles together which will give you more control with the Joy cons or worst case, there is always the Pro Controller.
Of course, whether there will still be people playing Ultra Street Fighter II after ARMS comes out next month will be interesting but I think if I am honest the two games offer something totally different from each other. Though ARMS offers plenty more game modes and styles of play, when it comes to bare bones, hard-core mano a mano fighting games, Street Fighter is where it’s at.
I feel it is only fair to give Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers 8/10 as it still brings that great Street Fighter Experience which can be enjoyed in both handheld mode or docked mode.
THE VERDICT: 8/10