Retail Price: £8.99 cassette, £12.99 disk
Author: Tiertex from a Capcom coin-op
Street fighting has taken on international status. Across the world candidates are lining up to take on Ryu, a skilled oriental fighter, in various forms of unorthodox urban combat.
The contest is set against horizontally scrolling backdrops from five different countries which are loaded individually.
Ryu has a catalogue of different moves at his disposal. Leaping jumping, punching, crouching and side-kicking, he attempts to reduce his opponents strength to zero without losing too much of his own. The best of three timed bouts wins a match.
At the end of each level the player tests his strength in a bonus game. Ryu is seated before a pile of bricks where an energy bar at the top of the screen flashes rapidly between maximum and minimum strength. A press of the fire button halts the energy bar to determine the number of bricks Ryu can break.
The player is permitted to lose up to three matches before he is knocked out of the contest and the game ends. If the two-player option has been selected, the winner of an initial match between Ryu and Ken goes forward to play all the other champions.
Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: large characters with poor animation. Attractive backgrounds
Sound: mini-tunes on each level, with mediocre crunch effects
Options: multiload on/off, one or two players, selectable background colour
There's no doubting the quality of Street Fighters large and detailed graphics, but when it comes to the playability and addictiveness the game is sadly lacking in both aspects. The main fault for this lies with the poor animation on the characters and the dumb computer opponent. There are very few frames of animation and the computer opponent is easily beaten by constantly ducking and kicking - a very old method. There are a few variations in opponents but the basic gameplay characteristics need not be changed on each level for guaranteed success - thus quickly inducing a state of boredom at the repetitiveness of the game. At a pound under a tenner it doesn't represent very good value for money.
What there is of Street Fighter is enjoyable and well presented. The monochrome backdrops are finely drawn and detailed enough to create a distinctive international atmosphere. All the different challengers have their own distinguishing and humourous characteristics. Gameplay is smooth (except for some awkward scrolling) and intially very addictive - it's just that there isn't anywhere near enough of it. My third go got me to the fifth level; the game as a whole isn't likely to take anyone more than two or three hours to complete. Once you've sussed that it's best to crouch down and keep punching, none of the ten opponents present more than a passing challenge. The two-player option adds just one extra and fairly redundant match. All the ingredients of an excellent game are there - somehow GO! have managed to burn the cake.
Yet another great Capcom arcade game comes to the Spectrum, and Street Fighter has survived it's conversion quite well. The backgrounds are all excellently drawn and the various characters move around on-screen with all the elegance and might of real street fighters. The moves that you can use on your opponents are the same as in older games such as Way Of The Exploding Fist and the more recent IK+ but this doesn't mean that Street Fighter holds nothing new. The wide variety of enemies that challenge you are enough to keep any hard guy happy for an hour or two. If you're looking for a quick trip around the world beating people up, then look no further - Street Fighter is here.
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