This video game franchise was developed by Capcom with its first game being released in 1978. Capcom are also recognized for the Resident Evil and Monster Hunter series. Ever since there have been 5 other games in its main series and the game has also had many spinoffs, crossovers and appearances across other media platforms. Street Fighter II is arguably their best-seller having been released in 1991 as a pioneer in the one on one fighting genre. Street fighter is considered one of the most profitable game franchises ever and especially so for Capcom having sold over 44 million units by December 2019. The franchises popularity has crossed many platforms and has even found its way to the online casino industry as seen with the hit NetEnt slot branded Street Fighter II. This article will look at how far this Franchise has come and the best of the franchise.
Street Fighter Video Games
Street Fighter (1987)
This game, designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Atsumoto, gave players a chance to play as a martial artist named Ryu. The player would guide Ryu through a tournament against 10 opponents and covering 5 countries. There was a provision for a second player to join in by playing as Ken, an American rival to Ryu. Gameplay allowed players to perform 3 punch or kick attacks with varied strength and speed. There were also 3 special attacks namely the Hadouken, Shoryuken and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku that were triggered using special key combinations. At the time the game was available for PC but was later availed for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2 and Xbox one. Recently the game was made available for 8th generation consoles in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
Street Fighter II (1991)
This game came as a sequel to the Street fighter and was the first one on one fighting game that gave players a chance to choose from a variety of players with varying moves and special attacks. This made the game have a more varied feel and as a result it was more captivating than its predecessor. There was a single player mode where the player faced the other 7 main characters before progressing to the boss level where they would face 4 CPU controlled opponents. Different variations of the game eventually grossed over $10 billion.
Capcom released this game’s first update to Street Fighter II: The World Warrior and called it Street Fighter II: Champion Edition. In this edition, players could now play as the 4 boss opponents or even select the same fighter with different colour variations when in 2 player mode. This edition had improved backgrounds and slightly better graphics. This was followed by Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, a second upgrade that had faster gameplay, new special techniques and updated fighter costumes and colours. Next was the Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers that came with a total graphics and audio upgrade and an additional 4 characters to play with. Then came the Super Street Fighter II Turbo that had faster gameplay just like Hyper Fighting and additional Super Combos and Akuma, an unlockable hidden character.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior was made available for Super NES in 1992 and by 2008 was still Capcom’s bestselling game. Later in 1997, a PlayStation and Sega version called Street fighter collection was released. The game was later fully adopted and is available for Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox.
Street Fighter Alpha
Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors dreams was designed after Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie. The Super Combo meter that was introduced in Super Turbo is extended by three levels and concurrently introducing Chain Combos and Alpha Counters. Alpha is set between the first two games and helps players fill the missing blanks in the story. There are 10 available fighters and 3 who are unlockable. Street Fighter Alpha 2 came with new stages, audio and gave an ending story to some of the characters. The Chain Combo system is replaced with the Custom Combos and new characters are added to the game alongside hidden versions of returning fighters. In 1998, Street Fighter Alpha 3 that came with a roster of 28 characters and 3 fighting styles to choose from. This version was made available for Game Boy Colour, Dreamcast, Windows, SuperNES, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. For gaming enthusiasts, you might want to note that the PlayStation plus June 2020 line-up has been announced.
Street Fighter EX (1996)
This was a 3D fighting game in this series that was released in 1996 for the ZN-1 hardware from PlayStation. In 1997 an upgraded version called Street Fighter EX Plus was released that had an expanded roster that was accompanied by Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha that was released for PlayStation and had additional features and fighters. Street Fighter X2 followed in 1998 and was followed by an upgrade Street Fighter EX2 Plus. PlayStation 2 was launched with Street Fighter EX3 in 2000 and had a tag team system. It also had a single player mode to enable players fight up to 3 characters simultaneously. A new character, Ace was introduced and players could buy special moves using experience points
Crossover Series (1996)
This series saw Capcom release fighting games with licensed characters from other of their properties or other companies. Their players have also featured in some titles from other companies as well. Some of the titles in this crossover series included:
- X-Men Children of the Atom (1996)
- Marvel Super Heroes (1995)
- X-men vs. Street Fighter (1996)
- Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997)
- Marvel vs. Capcom (1998)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000)
- Capcom vs. SNK (2000)
- Capcom vs. SNK Pro (2001)
- Capcom vs. SNK 2 (2001)
- SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium (1999) Produced by SNK.
- SNK vs. Capcom SVC Chaos (2003) Produced by SNK.
- Namco x Capcom (2005)
- Project X Zone 2012
- Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All Stars (2010)
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011)
- Street Fighter X Tekken (2012)
- Namco’s Tekken X Street Fighter
- Street Fighter X Megaman
- Marvel Vs. Capcom Infinite
Street Fighter III (1997)
In 1997, this game with the title New Generation debuted on CPS3 hardware and was different in that it only kept Ken and Ryu from the original roster of gaming characters. It was followed by Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact which had the return of an Unlockable Akuma, 2 new characters and improved gameplay. Street Fighter III 3rd Strike was the last in this series and brought back Chun-Li accompanied by 4 new characters in 1999. Street Fighter III 3rd Strike was revisited in 2010 as an attempt at giving player’s access to an Online Edition
Street Fighter IV (2008)
This started out with a concept called Flashback that was not able to pass the proposal stage. It was released after almost 8 years since Capcom released the arcade game Street Fighter III 3rd strike in London. It was to be a direct storyline sequel to Street Fighter II and had the return of the 12 World Warriors, Akuma, 4 new characters and a boss character. Super Street Fighter IV released in 2010 followed and had 10 additional characters and each player got an additional Ultra Move. In 2014, an update called Ultra Street Fighter IV was released that came with new modes, stages and characters. There was even a PS4 version release for this game in 2014.
Street Fighter V (2016)
This game was released exclusively for PC and PS4 in 2016 and had enabled gameplay across platforms. This title was however received with a lot of scepticism upon its release for being incomplete. It had an array of problems such as busted online modes, the absence of an arcade mode and a story mode that was more cut scenes than actual gameplay. This is what prompted the release of the story mode, A Shadow Falls. This was followed by a huge update in 2018 with the Arcade Edition that was followed by a Champion Edition that was released as downloadable content.
For over 30 years, this franchise has entertained and captivated enthusiasts all over the globe and has managed to make a name for itself by constantly supplying smash hit games, some of which feature top on the list of 21st century games. If you haven’t been a part of this franchise you are definitely missing out. Some of the must play titles in this series include:
- Hyper Street Fighter II: Anniversary Edition
- Street Fighter III Alpha
- Street Fighter: The Movie
- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
- Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha
- Capcom vs. SNK 2
- Ultra Street Fighter IV
- Street Fighter V
- Marvel vs. Capcom: New Age of Heroes
- Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers
There is talk of an upcoming release in 2020 and this only shows that this franchise is here to stay and has even more to offer. This is especially since we still haven’t known what the mysterious Q is up to and who he is. The game has also not given the bearings of an end-game and as such players keep waiting to see what the next title from this franchise will churn out. The franchise is also expected to expand into other media as seen with their venture into online casino slots and Japanese anime.