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Street Fighter II: the World Warriors
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 28, 2005   |   Episode 5 (Show Archive)  

   
Gamography: Street Fighter, Street Fighter II (all), Street Fighter Alpha (all), Street Fighter 3 (all), X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Like Ken, Ryu studied to master the Shotokan martial art at an early age. Before entering the original Street Fighter tournament, he and Ken fought together under the guidance of grand master Sheng Long. However, they parted ways after the last fight, and Ryu toured the world in search of a worthy opponent. Street Fighter 2 - Ryu Cyril Lachel: Some may consider Ryu the "old stand by", a character who is about as average as you can get. But I disagree; he's the quiet, lead actor type, sort of the Asian Clint Eastwood. He lives in a Pollyannaish world where it's all about the honor. Heck, he doesn't even stick around to take credit, now that's an upstanding citizen! You can say what you want, but I say Ryu is the world warrior to stack others against. VERDICT: A Justin Smith: I think we all agree that Ryu is a great character. He was definitely the 'original' world warrior, but I don't think time has been quite as kind to him as it has to some of the other characters. You say that he's all about the honour, but that's not really what fighting games are about. It's all about attitude and personality, and I think Ryu is a little lacking in that department. I'll take Ken any day. VERDICT: B+ Ken Gamography: Street Fighter, Street Fighter II (all), Street Fighter Alpha (all), Street Fighter 3 (all), X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: A disciple of the martial arts grand master Sheng Long, Ken's been cleaning house ever since the days of the original Street Fighter. After he and Ryu defeated Sagat in the original World Warrior tournament, Ken hit the sands and relaxed in paradise with his girlfriend. However, Ken considers himself the greatest fighter of all time, and returns to prove his claim in Street Fighter II. Street Fighter 2 - Ken Justin Smith: While he started out as just a second-player version of Ryu, I think he really came into his own in the Street Fighter II days. He was the quintessential American tough guy-sort of a blond-haired Karate Kid. While he and Ryu remained very similar throughout the series, I think Ken had more of an edge to him. He wasn't in it for the honor; he was in it for the glory! VERDICT: A Cyril Lachel: I think we are just going to have to agree to disagree about Ryu and Ken. I like Ken, but he's always come off as a real asshole. He leaves his girl to go off on this journey, and then when he gets back what does he do? He expects her to breed. And there's already somebody who looks and acts like him, and his name is Ryu! Ken is just the second player! VERDICT: B+ Dhalsim Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, both Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 3, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both of the Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Mentally and spiritually disciplined in the arts of Yoga, Dhalsim has nearly fulfilled the requirements of his art to join the elite Yoga masters in the higher states of consciousness. He now must test his abilities in the World Warriors tournament to prove his perfection of mind, body, and soul. Street Fighter 2 - Dhalsim Cyril Lachel: The "novelty" character of Street Fighter II tried to use new age mumbo jumbo to confuse the general game player. Even though he says he's empowered with Yoga, it looks more like he's just really, really dead. The stretchy limbs, Iggy Pop body, and necklace made of skulls don't help his case much. Screw Yoga; get this brother some Yogurt stat!! VERDICT: B+ Justin Smith: While I'm not normally a big fan of novelty characters in games, there was something about Dhalsim that was at the same time wacky and mysterious. He had that great emaciated look, and definitely sported some cool moves. For my money, there wasn't much funnier than giving your opponent Yoga Noogies over and over and over again. VERDICT: A- E. Honda Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both of the Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: As Japan's premiere Sumo Wrestler, Edmond Honda fights hard in the ring, and plays hard in his hot tub. After winning the "Yokozuna" title, he decided to enter the Street Fighter II tournament to demonstrate his abilities to the world. When the other contestants laughed and challenged the validity of Sumo in the martial arts arena, Honda vowed to prove his superiority by crushing the opponents. Street Fighter 2 - E. Honda Justin Smith: There are some martial artists that get way too little respect in the fighting game genre. As strange and out-of-place as a sumo wrestler may seem in a 2D fighting game, there's just something about E. Honda's character that works. Whether you're doing a belly flop on some poor soul or delivering a hundred-hand slap alongside your friend's head, E. Honda just seems to have a style all his own. VERDICT: B+ Cyril Lachel: I agree with you that Sumo Wrestling is unappreciated in most fighting games, but I'm not as sold on the silly concept of E. Honda. I'm not sure if the face paint, towel, and flying moves really do anything for me. I like the idea that he's different, but then, the Scottish dude with the kilt in Kasumi Ninja was different, that didn't make him cool. VERDICT: C- Dee Jay Gamography: Both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, as well as Street Fighter Alpha 3. Details: Dee Jay is one of the characters created for Super Street Fighter II, he's your average Jamaican D.J., and even sports some fancy duds. He has no reason to fight against the dreaded M. Bison, but is easy to make fun of. His smooth moves took the rest of the world warriors by surprise, and was one of the most unique fighters in the game. Street Fighter 2 - Dee Jay Cyril Lachel: Let's face it, the only reason people enjoy Jamaica is the bong hits, reggae music, and great culture that is ready to embrace tourism. But for some odd reason Dee Jay doesn't represent any of these aspects. He's a grinning buffoon with loud MC Hammer pants that say "Maximum", not exactly the fashion statement of the 1990s. And don't even get me started on that ponytail. VERDICT: D- Justin Smith: Ugh. Talk about your novelty characters! Am I the only one who thinks that pretty much all of the Super Street Fighter II characters were downright lame? Fighting games are all about personality, but his personality simply rubbed me the wrong way! I think you hit the nail right on the head with the stupid pants and the ponytail as well. Dee Jay is one character they should have left out! VERDICT: F Chun Lee Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, Street Fighter Alpha (all), Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Chun Li suspects that her father may have been killed by a mysterious crime boss. Now she seeks to avenge her family and disrupt Bison's Shadoloo smuggling operation, which originates from a concealed hideout in Thailand. As a determined student of the Wushu martial art, Chun Li has risen to the top of her class by proving her talents time and again in the Street Fighter arena. Street Fighter 2 - Chun Lee Justin Smith: She was one of the original video game chicks, and I think she still ranks way up there. There was just something about Chun-Li that was sexy and powerful at the same time. Was it the spiked bracelets? The lovely long legs? The oh-so-cute victory dance? Who's to say? Whatever it is, all I know is that it worked for me. VERDICT: A- Cyril Lachel: First and foremost, let's start where we agree. You see, I concur, Chun Li is indeed the woman that started it all, sort of the Oprah of the video game industry. But where I don't agree is her sexiness. There's something very reserved about her, something that seems very conservative these days. And I have to admit, I don't like the shoulder pads. Sorry. VERDICT: B+ Fei Long Gamography: Both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, as well as Super Street Fighter Alpha 3! Details: Another character from Super Street Fighter II is Fei Long, a character who looks and acts like the late Bruce Lee. He used an expressive fighting style that was easy to mock, and made sounds after even the lightest punches. But don't under estimate Fei Long, given the chance he'll send you packing in short order. Street Fighter 2 - Fei Long Cyril Lachel: I don't like Fei Long. I'm not sure if it's his boring design or the fact that there is a Bruce Lee look alike in just about every fighting game. But whatever the reason, I don't like him. While I have an easier time swallowing his design than, say, Blanka, he's just not that interesting, and we've seen characters like him before. If he brought something new to the table, perhaps, but as a character, I just don't like him. VERDICT: C- Justin Smith: I think you're being far too kind to Mr. Long. Here's what I want to know. What is it with fighting games having to have a cheap rip-off of Bruce Lee? I mean, Tekken has one, Mortal Kombat has one, even Dead or Alive has one! Can't we just leave the master's memory alone? And as if the Lee rip-off weren't bad enough, I think his high-pitched screaming ranks him up there as one of the most annoying fighting game characters out there. VERDICT: D Guile Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both of the Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Guile suffered greatly when six years ago, an evil tyrant named M. Bison captured him and his best friend Charlie during a special mission in Thailand. After Charlie's death, a weakened and wounded Guile barely escaped Bison's chambers. While stationed at a military base in southeastern U.S.A., Guile slowly rebuilt his strength by lifting weights and honing his special forces fighting techniques. Street Fighter 2 - Guile Justin Smith: In these days of mindless flag-waving and military overexposure, a character like Guile would just seem way too silly. However, 12 years ago he was a little more novel. He had a great style, some wildly outlandish hair, and kick ass moves to boot. What he seemed to lack in originality (every other game out there had a military guy of some type or another) he more than made up for in flair and attitude. VERDICT: A- Cyril Lachel: Wow. I'm shocked with your review. Even twelve years ago Guile was pretty unoriginal. His attacks were unique, I'll give him that, but that hair is beyond dumb. Maybe I'm just biased against soldier related characters, but to me Guile just seemed like everybody in Top Gun. And if you don't agree with that, let me ask you, who was the only character that could lock up the system with a glitch? That's right, Guile! VERDICT: C Gamography: Both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, as well as Street Fighter Alpha 3. Details: After M. Bison destroyed sacred land, T. Hawk knew he had to do something. As yet another one of the characters made for Super Street Fighter II; Mr. Hawk brings the Native American vibe to the Street Fighter tournament. Can he take back his land? Can he defeat Bison's even organization? Is it even in doubt, he's a good guy! Street Fighter 2 - T. Hawk Cyril Lachel: Poor T. Hawk, he looks so lonely without the policeman, construction worker, and cowboy by his side. Otherwise, this character is a walking clich?; he's this close to being an insult to Native Americans everywhere. Just like the name, there is nothing subtle about T. Hawk. Perhaps that's my problem with him, he's just what he is, but whatever you call it, I don't like it. VERDICT: D Justin Smith: Aren't you being a little hard on T. Hawk? I mean, sure, he's a lame character and all, but I think he ranks as one of the least lame out of the Super Street Fighter II characters. He wasn't quite as outright annoying as Dee Jay, Fei Long, or even Blanka, but on the other hand he wasn't super exciting either. He just seemed painfully average to me. VERDICT: C Zangief Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, both Street Fighter Alpha 2 aned Street Fighter Alpha 3, X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Born to be a bruiser, Zangief trained for the Street Fighter competition by grappling with grizzly bears in the snow-covered Siberian mountains. Now battle-scarred but wiser, he's respected as the world's foremost authority on the face-planting pile drivers. Street Fighter 2 - Zangief Justin Smith: Every fighting game needs its own wrestler. However, unlike a lot of games that use either some sort of Hulk Hogan-style cheesy pro wrestler or a giant fat guy, Street Fighter II gave us a truly fearsome character. I mean, how many other games can you name that feature a scar-covered Russian strongman who wrestles bears? VERDICT: B Cyril Lachel: Zangief always seemed like Capcom's attempt to make a technical fighter. With all those grappling moves and pile drivers, good old Zang seemed more at home in Virtua Fighter than Street Fighter. But as mostly naked men go, Zangief was one sexy beast. And that whole "wrestling grizzly bears" bit is quite good padding on the resume! VERDICT: B Balrog Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games (only playable in a few, though), Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Balrog ruled the fight game as a top-ranked heavy-weight boxer, but he lost his title shot after a controversial knock out. Unable to reclaim his place among the elite, Balrog's turned to the no-holds-barred Street Fighter style to prove his worthlessness in his own eyes. Street Fighter 2 - Balrog Cyril Lachel: While a Mike Tyson rip-off might have made sense a dozen years ago, these days it's more of a liability. Between the ear biting, random battery charges, anger management, bankruptcy, and pigeon problem, Tyson isn't exactly the best role model for game characters. On the other hand, at least he's interesting; Balrog could only hope to be that exciting. There is no character more average than he. VERDICT: C Justin Smith: I think we're definitely on the same page when it comes to Balrog (or M. Bison as I like to call him). He is a pretty average character, and yes, he is a spitting image of Mike Tyson. I think the only thing that sets him apart from other video game fighters is the fact that he doesn't have any kicks, only punches. I suppose that's only logical for a boxer, but hey, it's something. VERDICT: C+ Blanka Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both of the Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: A young boy named Jimmy disappeared into Brazil after a plane crash. He was raised by wolves. In a mysterious accident, Blanka was mutated and gained him the ability to channel 1,000 volts through his skin. With this shicking technique discovery, Jimmy realized his dream of becoming a World Warrior. Street Fighter 2 - Blanka Justin Smith: I've never been a huge fan of Blanka. It always seemed like he had the weakest back-story in the game, and he didn't have much in the way of personality to balance it out. There's only so much you can do with grunting, growling, and screaming. The whole electricity thing was novel, but it didn't help much to improve this reject from a bad Sci-Fi movie. VERDICT: D Cyril Lachel: Man, I hate to say this, but I completely disagree with you. Every good fighting game needs a wacky character to offset its seriousness. Blanka did a much better job of doing that than Dhalsim, a character who defies all logic. I'll give you that Blanka's story was silly, but then, I liked the idea of a big hairy fighter going up against all these serious characters. VERDICT: B Vega Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II (only playable in some, though), Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Vega accrued a wealth of fast moves by battling bulls in the pastures of Spain. Entered in the Street Fighter tournament to demonstrate his fighting skills and graceful body, he dons a mask to protect himself and wears a claw to defend himself against his opponents. Street Fighter 2 - Vega Cyril Lachel: I love Vega! I mean, what's not to love about Vega? He's like the gay ballet dancing Freddy Krueger! He's got a mask like Jason (from the Friday the 13th series), and can jump around like he's at the Olympics. And let's not forget that Tattoo, a giant snake that slithers around his entire body! This is one heck of a stylish dude, and there has never been another like him. VERDICT: A- Justin Smith: I'm with ya there, I think Vega was one of the most unique characters in the Street Fighter universe. He could certainly fly through the air like no other, and was quite a fearsome opponent. There was always a certain mystery around him, and let's not forget that he set an interesting precedent in the Street Fighter world as the first character to use a weapon! VERDICT: B+ Cammy Gamography: Both Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Capcom vs. SNK, Capcom vs. SNK 2, and the action game Cannon Spike. Details: For a time the only sex appeal in Street Fighter was the straight-laced Chun Li, but then came cute little vixen Cammy. This British muffin knows how to use her sexuality against her foes, and can back up any attack with a full knowledge of her martial art. She was one of the characters created for Super Street Fighter II. Street Fighter 2 - Cammy Justin Smith: Ah yes ... with the possible exception of E. Honda, this is the first character that introduced us to the 'jiggle.' While she had some very interesting (and painful looking) moves, and while she ranks among the sexiest of video game ladies, she just never struck me as a very deep character. In a sense, Kylie Minogue was just about the perfect person to play her in the movie. She's pretty lame, but at least we know fan service isn't dead. VERDICT: C+ Cyril Lachel: I can't believe what I'm reading here. Oh sure, Kylie Minogue is about as annoying as sand in your bathing suit, but then, so was the entire Street Fighter movie! I think my Cammy is a little misunderstood, sure she's a cute little sexpot, but that doesn't mean she's not fun to, um, play with. She also has the two greatest winning stances of any character in Street Fighter II. And besides, at least she wasn't as uptight as Chun Li. VERDICT: B+ Sagat Gamography: Street Fighter, all of the Street Fighter II games (only playable in some, though), Street Fighter Alpha (all), and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: Sagat dominated the Street Fighting circuit as the greatest kick boxer ever to walk the Earth , but Ryu's strength, discipline, and lethal dragon punch burned a scar in his chest. After suffering this humiliating defeat, Sagat retreated to his home in the Thai jungles to train for revenge. Street Fighter 2 - Sagat Cyril Lachel: While M. Bison is the clown dictator, Sagat is that type of character you'd expect to see at the end of one of these Street Fighter tournaments. Now in his second game, Sagat is looking a little beat up, slightly more rugged. That eye patch doesn't look so bad when compared to that scar. Of course, it's true what they say about women and scars, so who knows; Sagat may be one smooth operator. VERDICT: B+ Justin Smith: I always found Sagat to be one of the most interesting characters in Street Fighter. He had a great Muay Thai fighting style, the bitchin' scar and eye patch, and even a projectile that could go both high and low! I also really liked his back-story, and the rivalry he had with Ryu. Why they didn't keep Sagat as the end boss, instead of bringing in that silly, non-threatening M. Bison I'll never know. VERDICT: A- M. Bison Gamography: All of the Street Fighter II games (only playable in some, though), Street Fighter Alpha (all), X-Men vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and both Capcom vs. SNK games. Details: The ultimate grand master in the Street Fighter II tournament, M. Bison is a long-standing Thai dictator who rampaged through the world many years ago, spreading death and destruction in his wake. He now controls the secretive Shadoloo smuggling hide-out in Thailand. Street Fighter 2 - M. Bison Justin Smith: Am I the only person who found it hard to believe that a character as hokey as M. Bison could take over the world? I mean, sure, he had the cape and the hat and the big boots and everything, but to me he just came off as corny-like some sort of Nazi reject. How the hell did he ever beat anyone as menacing and tough as Sagat? VERDICT: C- Cyril Lachel: No, this is really one of the silliest characters to ever rule anything. The one thing that Capcom forgot is just how stupid most dictators look. Look no further than Kim Jong Il over in North Korea! M. Bison is to Sagat what Bob Sagat is to Arnold Schwarzenegger! And I don't even give him credit for the hat and cape, he reminds me more of an Austin Power's villain than a Street Fighter!! VERDICT: D+
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