Arcades were and still are, the exotic place to be at as a gamer. Young or old, the arcade scene was the way to meet and learn the world. There would always be someone out of town, some kids, and serious players, mixing it up with their way of enjoyment. With a little game well known as Street Fighter, Karate Champ seemed to be extinct on how fighting games can be done. For those who owned Double Dragon on NES, there was an arena style fighting mode. Problem was that it wasn’t on a 2D plain. You ran, walked, and used basic moves and really didn’t have any combos.
Enter 1991. Street Fighter II: The World Warrior arrives in arcades and a new generation of gaming, skill, ego, and focus, has risen. The token gain a new respect and losing meant that your level of expertise didn’t bow well for you. You respected the player and if you wanted revenge, that token was your key. Capcom had another hit on their hand. What they didn’t know at that time was that they had once again made video game history that wouldn’t happen until Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, and King Of Fighters came into the scene.
Street Fighter: The World Warrior, for being a one on one fighter, delivered one of the most recognizable cast of characters, directional special moves, a voice for the countries you visit, and one of the most Non-Nintendo iconic sayings. The Hadouken had players imitating the movement and saying it because of how it made people feel and how much attention it got you. It may seem ridiculous now, but still, til this day, I do it.
The game contains 8 playable characters and 4 fighters to reach for an ending of the character you choose. Ryu, Ken, E.Honda, Blanka, Chun-Li, Guile, and Dhalsim, each have their set movements and specials with stages dedicated to their country. The 4 elite you have to defeat are Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and the Shadowloo Boss himself, M. Bison. It was slow yet simple with bonus stages to break up the game.
It was the game who had many iterations but World Warriors was the Alpha and OG.
Then it came to the Super NES and it changed the game more.
My best friend and I never played or I should say, got the chance to play SF II. During its arcade release, it was only at one location in our local mall. It stayed surrounded by teens and adults. We feared our tokens would be taken away and we were on a time limit. When it came to Super NES, we did what other 12-year-olds would do. Button mash it to death. We would just pick a character and fool around. We did try the single player but we didn’t get far.
We thought it was ok and didn’t pay any attention to it until the next summer. For me, my cousin was visiting and staying with our grandma. One day, I came to visit and catch up with him. With him being older and able to buy his own games, he owned Street Fighter II. I notice the game sitting the SNES and ask him if he liked it. He replied “yeah man! What? You don’t own it” and I told him no. I didn’t under how to play it.
Well, within 2 hours, I learned what I needed. How to do the Hadouken. Learn the timing for Dragon Punching and Hurrican Kick. With all this knowledge, I would practice Ryu as my main. Not realizing that I had this advantage over my friend, it wouldn’t be fair to keep him out the loop. I started learning all the other characters and tested my new found skill against the CPU. It took a while but I learned. It was fascinating to finally learn not only a new game but a genre. I didn’t think it would be important for me to learn Street Fighter II but it did. I was able to play Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct, Samurai Showdown, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters, and even Street Fighter games of now.
I did teach my friend how the game works and we would battle each other for good long periods. We even each other eventually, so we had to make up different ways to fight each other. Sadly though, World Warriors didn’t last too long for our interest. Yet, SF II Turbo bought us back.
It was a fun time for me. Even when Super and Alpha came into the series and I would learn new characters. The best moment though was just learning the game and being taught. I’ve never been taught a game or a genre. I had to learn it on my own. It was the perfecting the timing, the frustrations and break I took, the fights and learning from my mistakes, the balancing, and focusing on why practice makes perfection. I enjoyed all of that and with Ultra Street Fighter coming to Switch, I want to relive that time. Unfortunately, I just had a preference of playing Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, or Marvel Vs. Capcom, when it comes to fighting games of my personal choice.
Though Street Fighter II World Warriors will alway be important and historic for me. For that, I will always treasure that moment.