So often do we hear stories about games waxing nostalgic about the days when fighting games ruled the roost at the arcades, the crowds, the atmosphere, the competition (not just between players, but the games themselves…MK1 Vs. SFIIT for example) and that’s all good really, but how about some stories about the long wait and anticipation that people had for their favorite fighting games to come home??? I know that I have several… (walls of text)
Super Street Fighter II (16-Bit): After having been formerly introduced to SF via the classic-yet-obsolete Genesis SCE port back in the early '90’s, I was blown away when I first saw SSF2 running on the SNES at the house of a family friend. The new portraits, voices, backgrounds (and later on when I saw it, the now-legendary intro). It was a pleasant surprise after having played nothing but SCE (I was completely out of the loop back then as a youngster, I hadn’t gotten into reading gaming mags back then). I later on got my own Genesis and SCE around late 1995, and after seeing the Genesis port run in a demo kiosk at a store snatched it up shortly after. As (briefly) fun as it was, it lacked the “oomph” of the SNES port in many ways, and still does. The music…sounds like slightly better NES music. I eventually got the SNES port later on when I got my own SNES, and enjoyed that better.
Super Turbo (3DO): As a lowly owner of a hand-me-down Genesis with my inferior home ports of SFII, the 3DO port of Super Turbo became, in my eyes a sort of unattainable holy grail when I first saw it. It was at the very same house (and guy) where I first saw and played regular SSF2 (SNES). The graphics and sound looked even more fantastic than before, and most importantly it had this dark-skinned guy who I had thought at first to be a sort of fusion of E.Honda (the hair, the voice samples) and Ryu (same character model). I later found out that it was Akuma. I was so thirst to play it, but when I asked the guy if I could, seeing as I wasn’t around with my older cousins he coldly said “no”. Still haven’t played the 3DO port to this day. :shake: (Not that I need to with CCC2, SFAC and emu though, but still…)
Street Fighter Alpha (32-Bit): It was the first “new” SF game after what, 3-4 years straight of the same old SF2. New sprites, new artwork, new backgrounds, new storyline (“what, they’re younger now? And why’s Guy from Final Fight in here?”). I wanted to play it ASAP. I never got to play it when it first came out in arcades, and could only lust at the screenshots of the PS1/Saturn ports on EGM & GameFan (I didn’t own a 32-Bit console until 1998). My fever came to pass though when the superior A2 came out in arcades not too long after the A1 home ports…not to mention the U.S artwork for SFA1 was HORRENDOUS. Worst cover art for a console SF game. PERIOD. I imagine this game, on arcade or console and regardless of its crapiness, excited many because it was the departure from SF2 that everyone was waiting for.
Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter (PS1): I had a sort of love affair with this game throughout most of 1998. Even after the rest of the world have moved on to playing MVC1 (which aside from the novelty of seeing Mega Man & Strider in a fighting game, bored me quickly in the arcades) I was still hammering away at MSHvSF, intrigued by its presentation (it certainly was the most “liveliest” of the three CPS2 Vs. games). When the Saturn & Playstation home ports were announced in late '98 I was stoked, yet deflated that once again the Japanese Saturn would be getting the superior, arcade-perfect (visually anyways) port and would be too expensive for me to afford. Even after having a bad taste in my mouth by owning XMvSF for PS1 (yeah…THAT port) I eagerly awaited the PS1 port of Marvel Vs. Street Fighter. It was supposed to come out in late January '99 in the U.S and I frequented every store around my way weekly to see if it was in…nope delayed to February. I kept coming back like a crack fiend, until in mid-late February they finally got it in. I instantly paid my $40, headed home and played that shit for six hours straight, flawed port be damned. I was glad that it was much better than the previous XMvSF port. While in retrospect MSHvSF was indeed the “weakest” out of all the Vs. games, back then I LOVED it and its PS1 port was my most anticipated fighting game port ever.