Feature: ROAD TO STREET FIGHTER 4

With Street Fighter 4 just around the corner, we take a look at how the franchise has punched it's way through to a fourth round on the home consoles.

Gamers from the early 90's will fondly recall the day Street Fighter 2 made it's debut on the Super Nintendo/Famicom. This technologically advanced 16 bit fighter had it all from great graphics, superb sound and possibly the finest gameplay, comparable to an intense game of chess.
Endless playground fables of Sheng Long appearing out of the bell on the final stage and Guile's hidden pistol attack kept us all hanging in there until Street Fighter 2 Turbo was announced.

The runaway success of SF2 ensured that even Sega wanted a piece of the action with plans to release a Special Championship Edition announced for the Mega Drive/Genesis to the gaming press.

Both versions were met with praise, even though gamers argued for months after launch as to which version was better. In Japan this dispute was alittle more complex as the Championship Edition also saw a release on the PC Engine - HU Card format.

Super Street Fighter 2, the third incarnation of the series was met with a luke warm response by all but the hardest fans. The game was only stocked at selected retailers in the west and generally slated for flogging a dead horse even though a further four character were added to the mix.

There have been many spin offs as console hardware made the transition to the 32 bit era and beyond. The Street Fighter Zero/Alpha line up of games were a nice one step back and two steps forward for the franchise, although the EX series of games proved Street Fighter was not suited to the 3D world.

The lowest point in thw series has to be Street Fighter 3 that went largely unnoticed by the gaming world. The introduction of a parry system with cheesy rap music did little for a game that was stuck somewhere between SNK's King of Fighters series and some kind of Guilty Gear clone.

The highlights have to be the great cross over games such as Capcom Vs SNK, XMEN and Marvel which have rekindled the flame to make gamers stand up and take notice again. Most recently the Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix released on XBOX Live and the Playstation Store has done a great job of gearing us up for Street Fighter 4.