Street Fighter

Street Fighter (Japanese: ス ト リ ー ト フ ァ イ タ ー), or SF for short, is the name of a popular series of combat games for gaming machines and gaming consoles. In these games, characters from different countries and continents face each other. Each figure uses unique special attacks that he can use to fight his way to the final. Capcom released the first computer game of the series in 1987.

The first Street Fighter game

The very first Street Fighter computer game was programmed by Takashi Nishiyama and Finish Hiroshi. It was a arcade game that came out in 1987. The player controlled a karateka named Ryu who participated in a combat tournament that took place in five different countries, namely the United States, Japan, China, England and Thailand. Ryu faced two opponents in each country. Using six buttons, the player could distribute different strokes and stairs, varying in speed and power. In addition, the player could have the character perform three types of special attacks through specific joystick movements and / or button combinations: the fireball, the Dragon Battle and the Tornado Staircase. For a possible second player there was the possibility to participate in the game at any time by throwing a coin into the gaming cabinet. Player two got Ryu’s rival, the character Ken, in this way, and both players have to eliminate each other. If player won two then the rest of the game – assuming that another coin was not thrown into the slot – was followed by Ken.

The Street Fighter II series

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior from 1991 was the first sequel to Street Fighter. It was one of the first arcade games to use Capcom’s CPS arcade system board and was programmed by Akira “Nin-Nin” Nishitani and Akira “Akiman” Yasuda, who previously worked together on Final Fight and Forgotten Worlds.

Street Fighter II built on the one-to-one fighting system of its predecessor. The animation quality and playability were increased, the possibility to perform throws, handles and combos was added and players could choose from eight different characters, including veterans Ryu and Ken. Each figure had its own fighting style and special attacks. In the single-player mode, the chosen character faced each of the seven remaining characters before competing against the last four fighters. These were computer-controlled and not selectable for human players. Just like in the original Street Fighter, a possible second player could participate in the game in the new game. Player two then had the choice of the seven remaining selectable characters. Thanks to all these improvements and possibilities, Street Fighter II became a big hit. In the end, it was made into countless game computer versions and revised editions.

The first revision was Street Fighter II: Champion Edition (or Street Fighter II Dash in Japan), which allowed players to choose the same character and play against each other. To keep them apart, one of the two fighters had adapted colors. In addition, it was possible to choose the previously unplayable bosses. The game had slightly improved animation, including backgrounds in other colors, and refined playability. A second upgrade called Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (or Street Fighter II Dash Turbo in Japan) was brought to market following the many bootlegs of the game. SFII Turbo had a speedometer that could speed up the pace of the game and new moves were added, such as Chun-Li’s fireball and Dhalsim’s special attack Yoga Teleport.

For the third revision, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, the game received a full graphic revision and four new playable characters. This was Capcom’s first game with CPS 2 hardware. The fifth and final arcade version, Super Street Fighter II Turbo: The Ultimate Championship (or Super Street Fighter II X: Grand Master Challenge), reduced the speed of SFII Turbo. Further additions were the super combos, a whole new kind of special attack, and the hidden character Akuma.

Over the years several home versions of the game were released for different game computers such as the SNES, the Mega Drive, the PC Engine, the 3DO, the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn. The SF games were individually transferred to home versions, or as part of a compilation such as the Street Fighter Collection and the more recent Capcom Classics Collection series. Capcom also released Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition for the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox, which was also released on a small scale as a Japanese arcade game.

The Street Fighter Alpha series

The Street Fighter EX series

Street Fighter EX was a 3D version of the series developed by Arika, the company of the aforementioned Capcom programmer Akira “Nin-Nin” Nishitani. The arcade game was released at the end of 1996. The series consisted of six games:

  • Street Fighter EX (arcade, 1996)
  • Street Fighter EX Plus (arcade, 1997)
  • Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (PlayStation, 1997)
  • Street Fighter EX2 (arcade, 1998)
  • Street Fighter EX2 Plus (arcade, 1999 / PlayStation, 2000)
  • Street Fighter EX3 (PlayStation 2, 2000)

Arika also released a spin-off from Street Fighter EX called Fighting Layer for the arcade. Although the controls were similar to those of the SF EX games and the EX characters Allen Snyder and Blair Dame appeared in it, it was not a real Street Fighter game. It was distributed by Namco.

The Street Fighter III series

The real sequel to Street Fighter II appeared in the arcade in 1997 with the title Street Fighter III: The New Generation and ran on CPS 3 hardware. Of all the characters from earlier SF games, only Ryu and Ken came back in this third part. New characters include the female ninja Ibuki, twin brothers Yun and Yang and the new main character Alex. Street Fighter III introduced the “super arts” selection system and the ability to dodge an opponent’s attack. A few months after SF III: The New Generation, 2nd Impact: Giant Attack was released. The game had custom controls, contained two new fighters and was the return of Akuma and the bonus rounds. 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future was released in 1999. This third and final version of Street Fighter III brought Chun-Li back and added four new characters to the playable fighters.

The first two Street Fighter III games were merged into a Dreamcast compilation game entitled Double Impact. Game console versions of 3rd Strike were released for the Dreamcast, the PlayStation 2 and the Xbox.

A downloadable online version titled Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition was released on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in August 2011.

The Street Fighter IV series

On October 17, 2005, more than nine years since the release of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike for the arcades, Capcom unveiled Street Fighter IV in 2008 at a Capcom Gamers Day event in London. Designed as a direct sequel to the beginning of the Street Fighter II games (in particular Super Street Fighter II Turbo), Street Fighter IV features the return of the original twelve fighters and recurring hidden character Akuma, along with four new characters and a new boss in a story chronologically placed between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III. The gameplay, still 2D, features cell-shaded 3D graphics inspired by Japanese sumi-e paintings. The Super Combo system, a Street Fighter mainstay since Super Turbo, returns with the new counter-attack techniques called “Focus Attacks” (“Saving Attacks” in Japan), as well as new “Ultra Combo” movements, similar to the “Rage” Gauge ‘in games from SNK Playmore.

The arcade version, which runs on the Taito Type X2 hardware, was distributed in Japan in July 2008, with a limited release in North America and the UK in certain arcades in August. A home version was released in the US and Europe in February 2009, on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and in July 2009 for Windows. It features extensive characters, as well as all new animated segments that show a background story for each character, and a training mode that is similar to the Expert Challenges from Street Fighter EX.

There are six new characters in the Street Fighter series. Abel, a French wrestler suffering from memory loss, secret agent C. Viper, obese kung fu fighter Rufus, and Luchador chef El Fuerte. The other two new characters are Seth, the final boss, and Gouken, a secret character and the master of Ryu. Recurring characters are Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, Akuma, Sakura, M. Bison, Sagat, Balrog, Vega, Blanka, Guile, Zangief, Dhalsim, E. Honda, Fei Long, Rose, Gen and Dan. Yoshinori Ono announced that the only two Street Fighter II characters absent from the game, Dee Jay and T. Hawk, would be available in the game at a later date. Instead, they had to be included in a completely new version of the game.

Street Fighter IV was released on iOS in March 2010. It includes Ryu, Ken, Guile, Blanka, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Bison, and Abel, with additional characters added via free updates.

Street Fighter IV was released on iOS in March 2010. It includes Ryu, Ken, Guile, Blanka, Chun-Li, Dhalsim, Bison, and Abel, with additional characters added via free updates.

On September 28, 2009, Capcom announced Super Street Fighter IV. The game includes ten additional characters, including Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Cody, Guy, Adon, Ibuki, Makoto, Dudley and two characters new to the franchise – the nimble Korean female rogue Juri and bulky Turkish oil wrestler, Hakan. Capcom implemented character balance adjustments and added two ‘ultra moves’ for each character. The game has an improved online experience with new game modes. Super Street Fighter IV was released as a standalone title on CD when developer Yoshinori Ono stated that the changes were too extensive to release as downloadable content. The game was released on April 27, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 at a discounted price. If a Street Fighter IV game file (save file) is found on the system, two additional character colors (ink and sketch effect) are available.

An arcade version was released on December 16, 2010 and includes all contents of the console release, and with additional characters including Yang and Yun from Street Fighter III.

On June 15 at E3 2010 during the Nintendo press conference, a portable conversion of Super Street Fighter IV was confirmed for the Nintendo 3DS. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition features 3D stereoscopic technology, multiplayer, and all 35 characters from the original Super Street Fighter IV.

A new update for Street Fighter IV, entitled Ultra Street Fighter IV, was announced at the 2013 Evolution Championship Series. The update was released as both a paid downloadable update for Super Street Fighter IV and Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, and as a standalone title. This edition was released on June 3, 2014 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. On August 8, 2014, the PC version followed. The PlayStation 4 version of Ultra Street Fighter IV was released on May 26, 2015.

The Street Fighter V series

Street Fighter V was officially announced on December 6, 2014 and released for PlayStation 4 and PC on February 16, 2016.