Ultra Street Fighter II: The New Challengers is Capcom’s laziest cash grab yet.
Essentially a re-release of Super Street Fighter II HD Remix, which itself was a remake of Super Street Fighter II Turbo (which, of course, was based off the original), this new Switch release is an over-priced piece of shovelware, offering far less in the way of quality as Injustice 2, a fighter released within the same time frame.
Evil Ryu and Violent Ken are the only new additions to Street Fighter II‘s roster, essentially pallet swaps with a couple new moves attached. Given the game has a pallet swap mode to do this type of thing with any available character, it shows just how little effort Capcom put into this release. The HD versions of the characters put to use were made in the HD Remix release and simply reused here — would it have been difficult to commission an artist to give the SFII HD treatment to other characters that have emerged in recent titles?
Those HD characters do look great in TV mode but are weirdly compressed in handheld mode. That’s perhaps fitting, as you do have the option to opt for compressed sound effects rather than crisp ones recorded for Street Fighter IV. The ability to swap between old- and new-school effects and sounds is appreciated, but that has to be done from a settings menu rather than with a simple button press, Halo: Anniversary-style. Again, it’s zero effort attached to the near-premium price tag of $60 AUD.
The first-person Way of the Hado mode is garbage. With a Joy-Con in each hand, you’re to perform different movements for punches, hadokens and the like, all as mindless Bison clones creep their way towards you in a near-featureless set of rooms. The mode is as soulless and unengaging as the rest of the package.
If you’re a Street Fighter II fiend and you enjoy matches against friends, Ultra isn’t a bad release. It’s the same fighters you know and love, essentially in the same package you’ve bought countless times previously. It’s a simple, refined fighter with years of polish attached to it. The question you have to ask yourself is if that’s enough to buy again.
If you’re a fan of fighters, you’ve no doubt been spoiled of late by high-quality offerings that come with a range of extra features and — perhaps most importantly — engrossing, engaging story modes that help to create an attachment to characters. Ultra has none of this.
There is online play available in the title, but our review embargo explicitly states we’re to make no mention of it. Oops.
This is Street Fighter II, guys and gals — though you’re best to stick to the version you already own. If it’s not in your library and you’ve still a last-gen console, get this for $15 AUD on Xbox 360 here or PS3 here. You’re welcome.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was reviewed using a promotional code on Switch, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.