Guile, the Air Force Major and his unforgettable hairstyle.
[Every week one video game will be reviewed on its innovative and paradigm-breaking values, and readers will get to decide whether or not it belongs to the most selective list of video games: The Video Game Canon.]

Before there was Fight Club there was Street Fighter II. Before Dana White introduced the world to UFC, there was Street Fighter II. Before there was Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soulcalibur or Virtual Fighter, I was eating Hadokens every other weekend on my best buddy’s SNES.
Released in 1991 by Capcom as a sequel to the original Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2 took the one-on-one fighting genre introduced years earlier by Heavyweight Champ, into a choke hold and electrified it Blanka-style, with better graphics, improved resolution, kick ass voices and sound, memorable music, detailed backgrounds and unforgettable characters.

Guile, the Air Force Major and his unforgettable hairstyle.

You get to pick one of eight characters, namely Ken, Ryu, Guile, Chung Li, Blanka, E. Honda, Dhalsim and Zangief, then challenge the CPU or a friend to a best out of three bouts and progress by defeating each character to have a chance at taking down the bosses Barlog, Vega, Sagat and ultimately, the boss of all bosses ( sorry Rick Ross ), boss of the Shadaloo organization, the one and only M.Bison. Add the break-as-many-thing-as-possible-within-a-given-time bonus games, and we got one solid Video Game Canon contender:

1. Combos
Awarded by the Guinness World Records for being the, “First fighting game to use combos,” SF2 owes a great part of its success to a technical overlook. Yes, the sequences of simple and special attacks, better known as combos, were never meant to be. Not quite a bug but boy did it make a difference, raising the kumite ( sparring between two karateka ) fighting style above the at the time more popular beat ‘em up fighting games like Double Dragon and Street of Rage.

Dragon Punch Hit Your Head Against The Barrel Combo

2. Multiple Narratives
Also awarded for being the “Most Cloned Fighting Game”, another major improvement is the ability to control a large selection of characters, each with their own fighting style, location, special moves, combos, rivalries and story, adding an unprecedented layer of storytelling intertwined within the game-play. Vega wears a mask to protect his ‘beautiful’ face from injuries and removes it after a victory while Sagat, the boss of the first Street Fighter, has a scar from his defeat to Ryu in the previous tournament in the original

3. Convergence

Not quite an award but Blanka has recently been recognized in europe as the third most famous Brazilian personality behind Pele and Gisele Bundchen. SF2 is one of the first video game to introduce characters with real convergence power, appearing in other video games and crossing over from the video game world to comic books, manga, anime, movies and pop culture. Clint Hocking, Creative Director at LucasArt said it best, convergence is:

“Weaving together the shared experiences of differing peoples to form the very fabric of our culture.” – Clint Hocking, Convergence Culture Part One: The Vampires of Culture.

So, with that said,

[poll id="2"]

Leave a Reply

(required)

(required)