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Street Fighter II: the World Warriors
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on August 10, 2003   |   Episode 1 (Show Archive)  

   
Street Fighter 2
When it came down to picking the first game for this new feature, only one game came to mind. A game that has influenced just about every fighting game since it's release. A game over a decade old, but still going strong. A game that defined what it was like to come up with multiple characters, each with their own arc. We could only be talking about one game, a game called Street Fighter II.

In the beginning there were only eight playable World Warriors, but as updates were released Capcom added more and more characters. By the time Super Street Fighter II Turbo had been released, Capcom was up to 16 playable characters. But were all the characters worth adding to the roster? Should Capcom have spent more time working on some of the fighters? We'll see as Cyril Lachel and Justin Smith spend some time reviewing the characters, in a feature we call Player Select.
Ryu
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 Li
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
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