In the early ’90s, fighting games took the world by storm thanks to Street Fighter II. Not only it’s innovation, but laying the foundation for the fighting game genre. As a result, Street Fighter II Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting (Turbo on SNES and Japan) came out. These included fixes to the gameplay and making the bosses playable. But in 1993 a major update launched with Capcom’s new hardware the CPS-2 (CP System II), Super Street Fighter II. A new update with the addition of including four new characters: Cammy, T.Hawk, Dee Jay, and Fei Long.
Yet, before the release of Super Street Fighter II Capcom began to face major competition. This hasn’t only included SNK’s Fatal Fury, Samurai Shodown, and Midway’s Mortal Kombat. It’d had appeared that several game developers wanted to cash in on Street Fighter II’s success. Not only that, Sega close to releasing the world’s first 3D Fighting game, Virtua Fighter. All these titles had diverted the spotlight away from Street Fighter II.
Feeling the pressure, Capcom listened to fan feedback for one last hurrah.
Super Street Fighter II Turbo (Super Street Fighter II X: The Grand Master Challenge in Japan or Super Turbo) came out to the CPS-2 on February 23, 1994. The final update to the iconic sub-series. If Street Fighter II made the foundation for e-sports, then Super Street Fighter II Turbo made it a reality.
First, Capcom reintroduced the speed setting from Hyper Fighting/Turbo responding to feedback. A necessary improvement as Super Street Fighter II felt slower than the competition.
Next, Capcom debuted a mechanic that has become a staple for the genre, Air Combos. An air combo is when the fighter launches their opponent into the air and continues to attack them before they fall to the ground.
As mentioned, Capcom looked at their competition thus introduced their own spin on the finishing move, the Super Combo. The Super Combo is a stronger version of the player’s special attack used when the player fills their Super meter. This would hit their opponent for many times. The only manners in which the Super Combo gauge would fill up is if the player hits or succumbs to an attack by their opponent. The opponent would have a small window of opportunity to escape it from attacking the opponent at the final minute, jumping, or by blocking it. These feels inspired by the likes of SNK’s Desperation Move or Mortal Kombat’s Fatalities. As a result, Capcom’s variation would become the staple for several other Fighting games.
An excellent decision was to bring everything back from Super Street Fighter. In fact, a majority of changes done in Super Street Fighter are among my favorites. The new arrangements using Q-Sound and hardware from the CPS-2 are among my favorites. Also, I never enjoyed the idea of having the near KO music in the first round and I’m glad they’ve changed it to keep it only in the second round. It definitely puts the pressure on the player! The controls have not changed since the original as well, which is definitely an awesome way to keep the fans coming back. Even so, the graphics with the new animations appear dated, but still do the job well. I’m always so fascinated by the amount of detail placed onto Guile, Cammy, and Barlog’s stages they’re sharp! Even the animation for Cammy, Ryu, and Sagat looking sharp to this day.
Yet, in the arcade version due to the Super Combos the bonus stages disappeared. Furthermore, the new voices for Sagat, Blanka, and Guile are still as awful as they were before. Even more, the translation is still as shoddy as before it’s as if Capcom didn’t even bother to reviseit this time around. Even the CPU felt cheap in the arcade version often being too difficult to fight.
The intro from Super Street Fighter changed to include new music and a scene where Chun Li and Cammy appear. This appears to be an area based on Cammy’s stage, which ends with Cammy licking her lips. To tell the truth, I never understood the purpose of this. It seems to be Capcom trying to draw teenage boys’ attention or showing off the CPS-2’s potential. Afterward, a mysterious figure dressed similarly to Ryu looks back with eerie eyes appears. Finally, Ryu finishes with a Hadouken. Who this, person is a mystery that Super Turbo wanted players to figure out.
Additionally, the player has the option to play as both the Old version instead through a cheat code. The Old versions exchange their Super Combos for skills from Super Street Fighter II. For example, Old Sagat has stronger damage, faster attack recovery, and a smaller hitbox.
Finally, remember the mysterious figure during the attract sequence? Well, if the player entered the final stage in less than 1,500 seconds or scored 1.2 million points players will be in for a major surprise. Before the final fight, the mysterious figure appears and waste M.Bison (Vega/Dictator) in no time. That mysterious fighter became a fan favorite villain in the Street Fighter series. Akuma (Gokui in Japan) made his official debut in Super Turbo as a hidden boss. As a boss, he’s infamous for being overpowered and difficult to beat. Actually, even though he’s still powerful and banned at competitive play, the playable version nerfs in comparison to the CPU. Nothing can stop the raging demon!
Ever since it’s release, it’s become the definitive way to compete in the fighting game scene. All over the world, several Super Turbo tournaments became a popular event. Even being the headlining game at Evo (Evolution Championship Series) for 12 years! Thanks to the internet, fightcade became a fantastic way to play Super Turbo online. Particularly in Japan, where major tournaments include Super Turbo. Many famous players have participated in such tournaments, including Tokido and Daigo. Matter of fact, there is one held today in honor of the 25th anniversary.
Luckily, if you’re interested in playing Super Turbo, there are a plethora of options. Super Turbo was ported to the 3DO hailed as an excellent port at the time. It’s often remembered as being one of the best games released for the system. The 3D0 has missing frames of animation and no parallax scrolling yet offers amazing arranged soundtrack and CPS-1 Chains.
Next, came the MS-DOS version ported by Eurocom in 1995. This port has a smaller aspect ratio that makes the characters appear larger and a new remixed soundtrack different from the 3DO version. This isn’t that remarkable but is interesting that this running well on PCs back in the day. As a result, several patches became distributed to fix glitches and bugs that came with the initial release.
Then came the Amiga port released in 1996 by Human Soft and Gametek. The graphics are all ported and that’s all the nice things I could say about it. It’s jerky with loads of animation cut and a mediocre arranged soundtrack. I’d say to grab this one if you’re curious.
The Sega Saturn and PlayStation ports are where things become better. Both released under the Street Fighter Collection, this version features glitches, but the best way to play the games at this point. Both versions bundled with Super Street Fighter II in the same disc and Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold in another. On another note, this port feels easier to complete in comparison to other versions, not sure why, but I noticed that when playing the game. Choosing between the two, I’d pick the Saturn version since it has extra frames of animation in comparison to the PlayStation version.
Things go better once the Dreamcast port arrives. This is a Japanese exclusive, arriving late in Dreamcast’s lifespan in 2000. This was part of the Matching Service exclusive to Japan, where players could connect and fight each other online using the modems. Not only that, but this returns the Bonus stages cut from the original arcade release and offers extra speed settings. But there is a slight issue with the HUD display that doesn’t appear Arcade perfect. Nonetheless, this port is sought after and is still fetching a large amount of money online.
Next, a remixed port for the GameBoy Advance was released known as Super Street Fighter II Turbo Revival. This remixed port features new art from talented Edayan (Rival Schools). Not only that, Revival’s graphics are from the SNES port of Super SF II in combination with the Super Combo attacks taken from Super Turbo. The game also offers new backgrounds which are quite refreshing too! I remember playing this version back then and having an absolute blast with it. To be frank, for an early GBA title, it’s definitely an introduction to what the system can offer despite its limited button and screen size. This is not the case when playing on a Gameboy Player/Interface.
Then comes the version released inside the Capcom Classic Collection Vol. 2 for Xbox and PS2. It seems that this version is running off MAME which introduces new glitches and hiccups not seen in the original version. Once again the best way to play the game for the time being.
An HD port released for the 360 and PS3 known as Turbo HD Remix based off the Dreamcast port source code. This features new graphics drawn by the folks at Udon, the company responsible for making Street Fighter comics. Also, a newly remixed soundtrack brought to us by Overclocked remix, a group of fans remixing or rearranging video game music. This was used at EVO at a certain point, but I have not played this version.
Finally, Super Turbo became bundled with the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. This version seems based on the initial American arcade release and has the ability to be played online with others.
In the end, Super Turbo signified an end of an era. An era where fighting games being simple to pick up and you could play with your friend. Yet, with the domination of 3D increase, 2D games need new ways to entice players into playing their games. In the case of fighting games, Super Turbo an wonderful inspiration. Capcom used Super Turbo as the inspiration for future titles including X-Men Children of the Atom and Darkstalkers.
All in all, Super Turbo is the definite way to play Street Fighter II. It’s stood the test of time is one of the oldest games still having a healthy competitive scene. Capcom decision to include elements from their competitors severed them well. It’s balancing of such a large roster, at the time, did justice to those wanting to explore new fighters. But to tell you the truth, the utmost celebrated fighting games are usually the broken and exploitable games. Look at Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Melee if you don’t believe. Being honest here, this is the second best Street Fighter game and in my top 10 list of best 2D fighters. It’s a game that I always return back to and recognize not only its impact in the fighting scene but the enjoyment I have playing through arcade mode.