Spotlight: Week of Street Fighter II!

Day 4: Defection!

After discovering that the local Laundrette/cornershop was home to a version of Street fighter II: Champion Edition (Capcom), most Saturday afternoons were spent raiding our piggy banks for the 10 and 20 pence pieces the coin operated machine required. I say ‘a version’ because this version of Street Fighter II was nicknamed ‘Rainbow edition’ or ‘Black Belt’ edition – a pirated hack version of the Champion edition release where, multiple firballs could be used in mid air, Zangief could perform a Screw Piledriver in mid air and other anomalies. We knew this was a hack, but it was the closest we would get to playing Street Fighter II until the following year.

Capcom launched a 3rd iteration of Street Fighter II in Japanese arcades. Street Fighter II: Hyper fighting was released in December 1993 and featured new moves for a number of the cast, increased gameplay speed and alternate colour palettes. In October of the same year, Capcom released the PAL version (titled Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting) on the Super Nintendo. In parallel, Capcom released a version of Street fighter II on the Mega Drive titled Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition containing many of the features that had been implemented on the SNES Hyper fighting release. This was perfect. We owned a Mega Drive and our favourite game was coming to OUR Console! To top it off, a special 6-button controller was also being released in conjunction. The perfect scenario.

Or was it?

Leading up to the Mega Drive release, Mean Machines Sega’s coverage featured many screenshots of the game and both and we were not impressed. Colours looked washed out and were not as plentiful as the SNES version – we were of a particular age where graphics were everything and Streetfighter needed to look as near to arcade perfect as possible. We panicked and made the decision to sell our Mega Drive to fund the purchase of a Super Nintendo and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting. That was it. We had officially defected to the other side and just for one game. Street Fighter II was our Killer app.

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