We established yesterday the history of any great fighting game franchise, especially Street Fighter, is far too great and expansive to cover in just one sitting. Let us continue on our trip down memory lane with our Street Fighter retrospective! And what better place to begin part two than with one of the major turning points in the “Street Fighter” series than…
Capcom VS Series
The popularity of both Street Fighter and the rest of Capcom’s gaming stable remained on the rise, and with Capcom having already produced two games under a licensing agreement with Marvel Comics – X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Superheroes – the time had come for a crossover. Thus was born X-Men vs Street Fighter in 1996.
It was a dream come true for fanboys the world over – for the first time, classic characters like Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li could square off against titans of the X-Men franchise like Wolverine, Cyclops, and Gambit. Capcom opened those floodgates even further with its 1997 follow-up Marvel Superheroes vs Street Fighter, expanding the pool of Marvel characters to include the likes of Spider-Man, the Hulk, and Captain America.
The crossover would hit its zenith in 1998 with Marvel vs Capcom: Clash of the Superheroes, allowing Capcom to incorporate any Marvel character in existence with the pool of characters from Capcom’s entire gaming stable. Now, players could pit characters from the stable of the X-Men or the Avengers against not only Street Fighter characters, but also other characters such as Strider Hiryu, Captain Commando, and Mega Man.
The game was a smash, spawning two sequels, Marvel vs Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes in 2000, and Marvel vs Capcom 3: Battle of Two Worlds in 2011, along with an update Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, the latter being the first in the series to incorporate Marvel’s legendary King of Kung Fu, Iron Fist, a natural fit for the game’s roster.
The crossovers wouldn’t stop there, with fans finally seeing Street Fighter X Tekken in 2012. Due to the distinctive gaming dynamics of both franchises, the game would essentially transplant Tekken characters into Street Fighter, with the forthcoming follow-up Tekken X Street Fighter intending to do the reverse. Now if someone at Capcom would just get on that Street Fighter vs Mortal Kombat game we’ve all been waiting on for the last twenty years…!
Marvel vs Capcom 3 gameplay
Street Fighter III Series
With crossovers and prequels receiving worldwide acclaim, the day had at last come for the Street Fighter universe to move forward in time. Enter Street Fighter III: New Generation in 1997. Intended as a direct sequel to Street Fighter II, this installment would introduce a new lead character in the form of Alex, with further character additions in the form of Dudley, Ibuki, Elena, Necro, Gill, Sean, Oro, Yun, and Yang.
As with previous entries in the series it was followed by two updates. The first, aptly titled Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact, would add the characters of Hugo and Urien to the roster while bringing Akuma back into the mix. The third and final installment of the sub-series, Street Fighter III: 3rd Impact, would introduce Makoto, Twelve, Remy, and Q into the franchise while bringing Chun-Li back into the equation.
After a well-received series of detours from the franchise’s main story, Capcom had moved Street Fighter forward, but it would be with the next installment that the series would once again venture into the past.
Street Fighter IV Series
Released in 2008, Street Fighter IV would be the first numbered game in the series in almost a decade. Like the “Alpha” games before it, Street Fighter IV would delve into the past, taking place between the second and third games in the series. This would afford gamers the most comprehensive character roster in the series yet, incorporating just about every known character from the first two games while adding all new fighters such as El Fuerte, Seth, Abel, Rufus, and Crimson Viper (with a character very debatably based upon her appearing in 2009’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li.)
Additionally, Gouken, the legendary mentor of Ryu and Ken, would become a playable character for the first time, after almost two decades of being consigned to background character status. The expansive character stable would only expand when the update Super Street Fighter IV was released in 2010 with two all new characters, Juri and Hakan.
The graphics and gameplay were nothing less than stunning, reflecting the decades of history and mythology behind one of the most beloved series in the gaming world. That greatness will continue to be reflected in the upcoming update, Ultra Street Fighter IV, which will bring in the characters of Rolento, Elena, Hugo, Poison, and Dacapre in her first-ever playable appearance. Scheduled to be released in the summer of 2014, the update will be available both as a standalone title, as well as a downloadable update to Super Street Fighter IV for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Street Fighter IV trailer
Super Street Fighter 4 – All Character Super and Ultra Combos!
Trailer for Ultra Street Fighter IV
As the release of Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist nears, the impact that the series has had on fans couldn’t feel more profound. It is the series that sparked a phenomenon in the video gaming world, one that inspired and continues to inspire fans to this day. The experience of trading Hadoukens and Shoryukens would turn millions upon millions of gamers into martial artists, and vice versa.
The legacy of the Street Fighter series that back nearly three decades is the legacy of an entire generation. Street Fighter V will get here in good time, until then, may Assassin’s Fist be the catalyst igniting the fire in the next generation of Street Fighter fans.