Hey Champs, this here is a little history lesson on the whole Street Fighter series just for a little warm up to our SF5 review. Now, I will not say it’s 100% accurate but I will pat myself on the back to say it’s pretty close! This will be a long read but at least, I warned you, right? I tried to shorten some things to keep you from passing out at least… Enjoy!
Long ago, before affordable home consoles, handhelds, and online interaction brought gamers together, there were magical places known as arcades. You may see some remnants of these in older shopping malls where parents send their kids and they usually only have a few shooters and claw-grabbers. The first version of Street Fighter, that came out in 1987, was in an arcade cabinet. You only played as Ryu and were limited to three types of punch and kick attacks and three specials (that we all know and love): the Hadouken, the Shoryuken, and the Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. The only other playable character, if you joined in as player 2, was Ken. Obviously, we’ve come a long way and it’s a beautiful thing.
From that original arcade cabinet we were given, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior in 1991. This was the first fighting game that had multiple character choices, each having 30 or more moves. As the series is famous for its updates in the form of additional games, this is where it began. Updates to this game included (possibly not in order) Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, and Super Street Fighter II: Turbo. There are a ton of differences between countries and home consoles in between there and it’s crazy so I’ll leave it at that. These were the first to be on home consoles from Capcom’s CP System to the Super Nintendo. There was also a collection release for the PlayStation and Sega. This is also the game where the Street Fighter animated movie came from.
Still trying to stay out of heavy details guys so bear with me! In 1995 we were given the Street Fighter Alpha series. Here is where tag team battles began. This included Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams, Street Fighter Alpha 2, and Street Fighter Alpha 3 (released after Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact and Street Fighter EX). Alpha 3 added the leftover characters from New Challengers and some other versions included characters from Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Capcom Fighting Jam.
Street Fighter EX began in 1996. Are you guys still following? I was in the 2nd grade… ANYWAY, the EX series was the first to go 3D for the PlayStation ZN-1 hardware. The series included Street Fighter EX Plus, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, Street Fighter EX2, Street Fighter EX2 Plus, and Street Fighter EX3. In this timeline, EX2 was reworked for the ZN-2 hardware, and EX3 was one of the launch titles for the PlayStation 2 in 2000.
Those crossover games we all know and love? They started in 1996 with X-Men vs. Street Fighter due to Capcom’s work with Marvel in 1994 and 1995. Other crossovers continue with Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, Street Fighter X Tekken, and Street Fighter X Mega Man. In between here is a lot of Capcom vs. SNK, Tatsunoko, etc. but I only included titles that actually contained the Street Fighter name just to shorten the list. Remember that anything with Capcom’s name on it could possibly contain these characters.
Next up is Street Fighter III starting in 1997, and it includes the “Super Arts” selection system and parry feature. This meant that the super moves during matches were up to the player to choose as one may fit their play style better than the other. This series includes Street Fighter III: New Generation, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. 6 characters were added to the series during this time.
Almost done, I promise! We’re up to Street Fighter IV, circa 2008 (the arcade cabinet version in Japan), with it’s iconic cel-shaded 3D artwork (meaning the game is actually 2D but looks 3D). It was originally planned as Street Fighter IV: Flashback but it never made it past the proposal stage. Chronologically, the game is set between Street Fighter II and III. The announcement was made in 2009 and released in 2010. Included in this series is Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, Super Street Fighter IV, and Ultra Street Fighter IV which was only a DLC.
Boom. History lesson over, put down your pencils kiddies. We’ve come full circle to the release of Street Fighter V in 2016. Four new characters, new combos, and new features. The story will continue, the fights will get crazier, and ain’t nothing wrong with any of that!