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Street Fighter II Special: What Did Critics Say in 1993?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on April 23, 2014   |   Episode 33 (Show Archive)  

   

Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition (Genesis)
Ever wonder what Electronic Gaming Monthly, GamePro and other popular magazines thought of your favorite 8-, 16- and 32-bit games? Now you can find out, thanks to Review Crew! This is the only show on the internet that is willing to go back in time to find out what old school critics thought of retro games at the time. Did they pan your favorite game? Did they love something terrible? Find out every week as Defunct Games presents Review Crew!

A year after hitting the Super NES, Ryu, Ken and the rest of the World Warriors were ready to make the jump to the Sega Genesis. Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition brought all the characters, moves and backgrounds to Sega's 16-bitter. Best of all, this version featured new characters that were unplayable in the original SNES release. But did critics like it? We turn to old issues of Electronic Gaming Monthly, Sega Force Mega, GamePro, Mega, and Game Fan to find the answer!

(NOTE: Although we occasionally cut for length, no other edits are made to the review. Defunct Games does not change any of the wording, grammar or punctuation use. Also keep in mind that our score is the average of all critics at the time, not just the sample that is reprinted on this page. If you still have more questions, I recommend you check out the Review Crew FAQ, where we address the review guidelines, converting scores, magazine covers and more.)

Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition
[ Company: Capcom | Console: Genesis ]

GAMEPRO (November 1993)
5 out of 5

"The heat's on the streets, and this time the system that's caught the Street Fighter fever is the Sega Genesis. Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition is a razor-sharp translation of the arcade Turbo Hyper Fighting. Without a question, doubt, or hesitation, the Super NES version beats out the Genesis edition by virtue of better graphics and sounds. If you don't own an SNES, though, Special Champion is the top-ranked Genesis fighter in town." -Slasher Quan

DIE HARD GAME FAN (October 1993)
99% out of 100%

"After playing this version extensively all I have to say is buy it. This 24meg monster is as close to the arcade as you can get. Everything from the playability to control is perfect! The only thing that could have been better was the music." -The Enquirer

SEGA MAGAZINE #1
96% out of 100%

"If anything, this conversion of the most successful video game in history is better than any other version outside of an arcade. Graphically, it's just as good as you'd expect from a 24-Meg cart. The six-button pad also make the special moves easier to pull off thanks to the rolling base of the D-pad, so real experts shouldn't be without at least one. Anyway, you should already know how great this is, so just nip out and buy it, eh?"

DIE HARD GAME FAN (October 1993)
96% out of 100%

"Finally! A Sega version. Now I can play a lightning fast 24meg SF2 with a controller that doesn't look like a Milk Bone. The music and voice may not be as good as the SNES but, with my Sega 6-button the combos are effortless and the graphics are superb. The tournament mode is also a welcome feature." -Skid

MEGA #16
92% out of 100%

"What can you say about a game that has been talked about for over a year? The game is a massive 24 Mbit affair, and if you take a look, you can see why they needed all the space they could get: It's got all the graphics from the coin-op, all the sounds and all the moves. There's nothing else to really say about the game except that you must go out and buy it NOW."

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #52
9 out of 10

"Every Genesis owner's dream come true is here! SF2 CE is a faithful translation of the arcade smash -- plus more. There are enhancements that aren't even in the Super NES version. Special matches and eliminations make this a great cart to play with a group of friends. The graphics have greatly improved and the speed is even faster, too! Problem #1: You need the 6-button control to enjoy it." -Martin Alessi

SEGA FORCE MEGA #6
90% out of 100%

Finally, it's here -- Streetfighter II: Special Championship Edition [sic] has arrived on the Mega Drive, warts and all! This is easily as strong as the SNES version. Okay, the graphics are slightly less colorful and the backgrounds not quite up to scratch, but it's responsive, swift and dark playable. Better than Mortal Kombat? A matter of taste, personally, I reckon that this whups it." -Mark

VIDEO GAMES & COMPUTER
ENTERTAINMENT (June 1993)
9 out of 10

"Well, I've played it and I still can't believe it. Street Fighter II has finally been crunched into a 16-megabit Genesis cartridge. All things considered, I'm happy to report that Street Fighter II Champion Edition [sic] for the Genesis is good enough to stand tall in the face of skepticism, and it holds up extremely well when compared to the legion of fighting games that have been introduced for home game systems during the past year." -Chris Bieniek

ELECTRONIC GAMING MONTHLY #52
8 out of 10

"It's here! SFII Champion Edition has all the aspects of the Super NES version and even more! The Team Match Modes are a big plus, and the special moves are even easier to get off! You should have the new 6-button controller (toggling between kicks and punches by pressing START on the 3-button 'troller is maddening), but the voices could have used MUCH more work. Overall, a very good fighting game." -Sushi X

SEGA FORCE MEGA #6
78% out of 100%

"Ahhh! The spectre of Street Fighter returns once more to haunt me. That may sound harsh, but I've always had an aversion to this game and beat-'em-ups in general. I concede I'm in the minority when you consider the success of this and Mortal Kombat, which is why I feel it's necessary to acknowledge its popularity rating." -Stix
REVIEW CREW AVERAGE: 89% - After falling in love with the Super NES game, critics were excited to see a brand new version on the Sega Genesis. For the most part, critics loved Special Champion Edition, praising Sega's new 6-button controller and added extra modes. Unfortunately, they weren't as thrilled with the graphics and audio. It also doesn't help that Sega Force Mega assigned a critic who actively dislikes the genre to review the biggest Genesis game of the year. Stix's questionable score aside, the general consensus was that it's a good game, but not as good as what was on Nintendo's hardware.

What's unclear is how much Street Fighter II Turbo on the Super NES hurt the Genesis scores. It's important to remember that Special Champion Edition was announced first, but was ultimately released after the SNES version. Turbo not only looked better on Nintendo's hardware, but also offered the new moves and alterations found in the upgraded arcade game. It's hard to imagine this not having an impact on the critics. I suspect the review average would be a point or two higher if the Genesis game launched a few months earlier.

WTF VG&CE: It's pretty clear Video Games & Computer Entertainment reviewed an early build of this Genesis cart. For starters, they called it Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, never once referring to it by its real name, Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition. They also state the cartridge is 16-megbit, when the finished product ended up being 24-megabit. What's more, this review was published half a year before other magazines, and quite a few months before the finished game hit retail. There could be a good explanation for this, but all signs point to VG&CE jumping the gun and reviewing an unfinished game. Not cool.

ON FRIDAY'S EPISODE: We're not even close to being done with Street Fighter week! Tune in on Friday, when the Review Crew takes on Super Street Fighter II for both the Genesis and Super NES. Did they like one more than the other, or are they just sick of annual Street Fighter II upgrades? Find out on Friday. Make sure and check out the Review Crew archive for more old school reviews, and don't forget to tweet me @DefunctGames to let me know what games you want to see next!

UPDATE #1 (JULY 24, 2014): We added a review from Video Games & Computer Entertainment, written by Chris Bieniek. To reflect the inconsistent information in Mr. Bieniek's review, we added another paragraph to the closing verdict.

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