GSJ10: Get your spinning bird kicks

Street Fighter II was such a big deal for anyone who owned a Super NES. For me, the console wars didn’t actually factor in; it’s just that I constantly played the game in the arcades, and the idea of playing a version so seemingly faithful at home was too much to believe. Years of compromised arcade ports for NES had beaten down my expectations; Street Fighter II restored them. I was more than happy to drop the nearly $80 necessary to buy a copy the instant Toys ‘R Us had them in stock.

My friends and I were totally stoked to be able to play Street Fighter II. We also made a song about the game. Sung to the tune of “Happy Birthday”:

Shoryuken to you
And a Hadouken too
A spinning bird kick
And a so-o-onic boom


13 thoughts on “GSJ10: Get your spinning bird kicks

  1. It’s weird, after playing the increasingly fast (er, turbo) SF games, SFII (even all the other editions) seems so slow and unresponsive to me now. I think SFAlpha3 will always be my favorite.

    I remember SFII on Genesis, before I had a 6-button pad. It required you to switch from punch to kick by pressing start. It’s not hard to imagine the huge limitations this posed. I was never good at these games anyway, since I pretty much exclusively used Vega, who is notoriously weak.

  2. I remember Street Fighter II won Nintendo Power’s Best Super Nintendo Game of the Year over A Link to the Past for 1992. Let’s just say THAT decision looked silly pretty quickly.

    Still, SF2 was a really good game, and important for its time. Yoko Shimomura (later to gain fame as the composer of Super Mario RPG, Legend of Mana, and Kingdom Hearts) did an amazing job with the soundtrack.

    At the time it came out, I would argue that SF2 had the best soundtrack of any game, ever, besides Mega Man 2 and Mega Man 3. Its tunes and innumerable remixes are still beloved and recognizable, even today.

      • I’m guessing because Link to the Past would go on the dominate in Nintendo Power’s list of top SNES titles pretty much until they retired the category. SFII faded quickly from that list, as I recall.

      • Because a Link to the Past is a way better game that held up better over time and would rank higher on literally any list of “greatest games of all time”? SF2 is good, but it’s not “greatest game of all time” good. Especially when SF2 Turbo was better in every way, if not as innovative or groundbreaking.

        Remember that book you published, called “GSQ2”, where SF2 ranked #28 and ALttP was ranked #5? Yeah. That’s why the Nintendo Power award looked silly.

  3. it was an event for us, too, when my friend/neighbor brought home the game (who knows where a fifth grader gets the money such an expensive purchase.)

    it’s weird that out of the 10,000+ days i’ve lived my life, most of which i’ve forgotten, i remember clearly what that sunny morning was like — my friend’s uncle ironing a work shirt, us trying to figure out what Ken was saying when he did his hurricane kick, the bodyguard soundtrack playing on his mom’s stereo, and our joy when we put in the code that let us play as the same weaksauce character with the easiest moves (guile).

    we were both amazed by how much it played like the arcade game. when he dropped just as much money later on for the genesis port of mortal kombat, that sure was a disappointment.

  4. This was the game that convinced me to buy an SNES. Who knows how long I would have gone on, obliviously enjoying my NES in its twilight years. And why was I convinced? Because it was so damn fun. It wasn’t the feeling of witnessing a revolution (Super Mario 64), or the sense of obligation of buying a new console. It was because I so thorough and utterly enjoyed playing Street Fighter II with a friend that I knew it was fait accompli that I would get the console.

  5. I was the guy who owned the game and was therefore better at it than any of my friends but not as good as a typical arcade rat.

    And I think I started slipping off (comparatively) around the time combos became something that was deliberately integrated into the game instead of a bug.

    I’ve played a good bit of SF4 recently, and am not great at it. Part of it’s that I haven’t played much of the series in the past 15 years and what skills I had are largely gone; part of it’s that I wasn’t that good in the first place.

    Fun, though!

  6. In my tiny mind, as I played this game, I didn’t realize Guile was yelling “Sonic Boom.” And as he was notoriously difficult for me to beat (later found out to be in part the fault of Skynet or something), assumed he was saying “Nothing can move,” albeit fast. Like, really fast.

  7. Sadly, the only thing missing from the SNES version of Street Fighter II is the arcade attract intro, which is so awesome and I could probably watch on loop till my eyes burnout like dead light bulbs. I really love that intro.

    Otherwise, a sweet port of a really sweet game. I use to love trying to break the statues in M. Bison’s stage just to see the two background characters get angry. That was great too.

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