Monday has come and passed and upon checking the Virtual Console update we see that, holy cow, there are two games in this week’s offerings! That’s two weeks in a row we’ve received double offerings so I could only wonder what the special occasion could be. We’ve got two classic on tap for today, so let’s weigh in on Fighting Street (TG) and R-Type (SMS):
Fighting Street (TurboGrafx16 CD-ROM)
Publisher: Alfa System
Developer: Capcom (Originally NEC)
Original Release Date: 1989
Price: 800 Wii Points
Mark B.: Well, as a historical curiosity, the original Street Fighter, which this is, is certainly worth checking out. This was the first game in the series and while it’s an incredibly limited game by today’s standards, it’s generally amusing for about five minutes. You can play as either Ryu or (if you’re player 2) Ken and they play about as you’d expect, with their Hurricane Kicks, Dragon Punches, and Fireballs intact. The game essentially was the first try Capcom made at fighting games and as such is similar in many respects to Street Fighter II, so anyone who’s a fan of that game should be able to play it easily enough and have a bit of fun with it.
That said, the game is pretty much clown shoes at this point and the Fighting Street version doubly so. Since the Turbografx-CD didn’t have a six button controller, you chose the strength of the attacks you performed by holding the button down, which is only slightly less ideal than the “Press Start to change between punches and kicks” mechanic Sega employed in Street Fighter II Special Championship Edition when the player didn’t have a six-button controller. Further, the game is stiff, bland and one-dimensional, making it more of, as noted, a historical curiosity than anything else. If you want to see where characters like Adon and Gen came from it’s worth a look but, otherwise, don’t bother.
D.J. Tatsujin:Given as much as I loved every iteration of Street Fighter II and III Capcom threw at me, you would think I would be a fan of the original title as well. Not so much. Even though the name flip-flopped around for the U.S. TG-16 CD release, you can still say the console received a great port of the original arcade title, unfortunately, this title hasn’t aged well at all and even Capcom’s own fighting guru Seth Killian admitted on our own site that he doesn’t like to touch the thing.
Even so, it’s a great curiosity title, given that it lays the groundwork for the series’ humble beginnings, giving players their first glimpse of the future fighters in Ryu, Ken, Sagat, Adon, Eagle and maybe even the American boxer fighter Mike could have evolved in M. Bison, which the U.S. now affectionately knows as Balrog. It’s further humorous that the voices were translated to English, resulting in some phrases that are odd to hear when players are just used to hearing hadoken and shoryuken ring in their ears. Even the gameplay is more of an experiment as, just like Mark has already described, the TG-16 format uses the length which players hold the button to determine the strength of the attack, a method even later duplicated in Game Boy versions of games such as Street Fighter II or Killer Instinct. This scheme made sense at the time, though – you may not know this, but the original cabinet design had players physically hitting hand and foot pads on the cabinet, with the strength at which they hit the pad determining the strength of the attack.
Years later and after many successful and much more evolved fighting games have passed us, Fighting Street’s age doesn’t bode well for it. The game is jerky with its animation, special moves take away way too much damage, the controls were never too solid and the computer fighters are just plain cheap. There is a two-player mode, but players are never able to select a character other than Ryu or Ken, really shooting its replayability in the foot. If you really want to check out Street Fighter’s humble origins, I would really recommend the Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 disc if you own a Playstation 2 as you get a score of other games along with Street Fighter and a more comfortable control layout for around $10. Otherwise, unless you are seriously curious about this game or are a huge Street Fighter fanatic, I would say to pass on this title.
R-TYPE (SEGA Master System)
Original Release Date: 1988
Price: 500 Wii Points
Mark B.: Well, this is the version of R-Type I grew up with so obviously I’m going to be a little biased, but I think this version of the game is entertaining enough to be worth a look. The core gameplay elements remain the same: Grab your Force unit, power it up, blow things up like mad, you know how the game works at this point, I’d wager. The SMS version of the game is about as fun as the T-16 version, although not as exact a port and the SMS version offers a hidden stage and an invincibility code in case you completely suck at the game (like I did when I was a kid), all for three dollars less.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for arcade perfection and you only have a Wii, the T-16 version of the game is the better investment and your three extra dollars will be justified in that case. Further, you can get the game with two-player co-op and a bunch of extra features (including access to the sequel) in R-Type Dimensions on the Xbox 360, which is pretty much the best possible version of the game you’re going to be able to get your hands on pound for pound. If you’re cheap or don’t care about arcade perfection, however, the SMS version of R-Type isn’t bad by any means and it’s pretty much worth the five dollars you’ll spend, but it’s not the best choice available.
D.J. Tatsujin: I don’t have a huge amount of experience with this version of R-Type, but I do remember making a point of owning this for my Master System when I picked up years back. I owned a handful of painfully generic and mediocre shooters for the system, so, thankfully, R-Type kicked things up a notch for the Master System. I have to echo Mark once again in stating you get the typical R-Type experience even on this format and there is nothing inherently wrong with the title.
However, there are better alternatives to consider for this very same game, and, again, Mark has detailed those above. It’s not that R-Type for the Master System is a bad game, it’s just if I were going to spend my money on the title, I would choose a number of other alternative formats before I considered this specific version. At $5, though, you could certainly do worse and you’ll still find solid R-Type action housed in this Master System classic.
Tags: Virtual Console