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31 Bonus Levels of Christmas
Super Street Fighter II: Brick Pile
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 15, 2010   |   Episode 21 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 31 of the best-known bonus stages in all of video games. Each day we're going to look at a different level and review it, while also trying to figure out what makes it tick. Join us as we post a new episode of the 31 Bonus Levels of Christmas every day leading up to the biggest holiday of the year!
Super Street Fighter II: Brick Pile
[ Console: Genesis/Super NES | Year: 1994 | Grade: D+ ]

I'm not sure why, but beating up a pile of bricks seems like it's beneath Chun Li!
The Context: By all accounts the home console ports of Street Fighter II are remarkably good. They weren't arcade perfect, but the one-on-one fighting is spot on and everything else was close enough. However, in tweaking the combat, Capcom was unable to deliver the arcade bonus stages. In some home console ports, the World Warriors are made to go head-to-head with a pile of bricks. I suspect that this is a compromise most 16-bit gamers were willing to accept in order to get a great playing version of Street Fighter II.

The Rules: Players are given 40 seconds to tear down a large pile of bricks using only their fists and feet (and fireballs, electricity, flame, etc.). Much like Street Fighter II's car bonus stage, this

Hey Ryu, now is not the time to take revenge. You must spend your time kicking a pile of bricks!
brick pile features several sections that will need to be destroyed before moving on. After sustaining several heavy blows, the section of bricks will show signs of damage before eventually crumbling (and disappearing). If players can tear down this pile, they are rewarded with 30,000 bonus points.

The Verdict: There's a reason this was not one of the original Street Fighter II bonus stages. There's something inherently boring about beating up a pile of bricks. After fighting off falling barrels and tearing apart a car with your bare hands, kicking a pile of bricks feels a bit anticlimactic. To add insult, this bonus stage isn't visually pleasing in any way. Even more insulting

No, not me. It's that brick way BEHIND you!
is the fact that this was intended to be a replacement for a much better stage. This bonus level is one of the worst things about Street Fighter II.

Completely Missing the Point: Forget making another movie, because Street Fighter is destined for reality TV greatness. If there's one thing couch potatoes can't get enough of, it's watching people beat stuff up. Put a testosterone-filled twenty-something in a room with a giant pile of bricks and don't let him out until he's kicked, punched and uppercutted every last one of them. And don't stop there, for the grand finale brings everybody out to destroy a car. Perhaps if this catches on, they'll start dropping barrels on people, just like in the game. Better yet, bring in annoying celebrities and drop barrels on them. Actually, forget Street Fighter, there should be a whole show based on dropping barrels on unsuspecting people. It looks like NBC has room on their schedule for this sure fire ratings hit.
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