REVIEW: Along with Super Street Fighter II
Turbo receiving a downloadable HD "remake" version,
Capcom surprised us all in 2007 with an "HD Remix" to a fan-loved classic, Super
Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo (properly titled
Super Puzzle Fighter 2
Turbo HD Remix). The HD makeover of the classic Capcom puzzle fighting game features
a variety of graphical enhancements,
remixed BGMs, online
play, and of course the same hectic gameplay that made the original so much
since its original release in 1996.
those crispy 1080p gems!
so "HD Remix" about SPF2T: HDR? (Yes, it's a ridiculously long name). For starters, the classic red, blue,
green, and yellow gems are all definitely in "HD" ... yup, those are some crispy
1080p gems alright! Cool... so what's next?
the best graphical enhancement are the completely redrawn backgrounds
done by UDON (the company behind the official US Street Fighter comics).
The backgrounds are based on the classic stages, but are noticeably far more
detailed and crisp. The cameos from several classic Street Fighter characters
are also much clearer! The background music in general hasn't been changed too
much (thankfully)... with a notable mention to Sakura's original theme appearing
on the main menu screen (Love that song). They did a nice job on the slick menu style
and it's easy to navigate as well.
Also retouched, is the character art for the character selection
screen and victory artwork, which can now be enjoyed at much higher resolution
before (and is shaded differently). "Gem
breaking effects" have been altered probably the most out of everything, and definitely look
a lot different from the original (good and bad, if you ask me). Also, instead of the "swirly" hurricane looking gem breakers, they are
now based on elements (red
= fire / yellow = electric / blue = water / green = smelly gas???)
Mei-ling are two of the secret characters.
The new gem breaking effects provide a "fresh"
new look and all, but I personally prefer the old style breaking effects by
far. The "glass shattering"
sound ,and the way that the gems break "in trails" in the original, is just eons
more satisfying to me... I think they should've just reworked the original
animation. The new elemental breaking
animations also appear to be much faster, even when breaking in
a long horizontal or vertical line, which takes away from the suspense
factor from the original! See, one of the best aspects of the original game is when a
player lands a huuuuge combo, and the opponent is forced to painfully watch and listen to all of the breaking
gems on the other players side.
This effect just doesn't play out as well in HD Remix, and it's kind of
a big deal (to me), since gem breaking kinda happens a lot in this game. No, the new effects aren't "bad," but I think they overdid it on this one.
original character sprites were resized and "cleaned up," but not completely
redrawn as the backgrounds were. They've also been outlined with a dark black
line to make them stand out more onscreen, but overall, the iconic Street
Fighters and Darkstalkers look slightly out of
place and somewhat dated. First time
players probably won't even be able to notice the difference, but I think fans
of classic will prefer the original pixels in all their mid 90's glory.
I wouldn't laugh Ken... Morrigan's bat
is no joke at Puzzle Fighter!
"new" features include all new game modes, such as: "X Mode" (Gems fall into your character's
"X' Mode" (Rebalanced X mode with adjusted drop patterns and damage to
level the playing field), "Y Mode" (a modified rules version of X
Mode that challenges players to connect 3 or more gems in a linear fashion:
horizontally, vertically or diagonally), and "Z Mode" (Place your
cursor over any group of 4 adjacent gems and rotate them clockwise or counterclockwise
to quickly join them to other same-colored gems). Of course, there's still the
option to play the original "arcade perfect" version.
online play is a great addition to this downloadable package, because playing
the game competitively is really where all the fun is. Although it's not the first time
I've personally played Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo online (thanks Kaillera),
being able to challenge other players across the world to find out who is the true master of gem
combos is still awesome. However, the
characters are still quite unbalanced, which makes the online mode
a bit gimmicky. Players that really want to win will pick the more
powerful (cheap) characters like Akuma & Devilot... come on you guys,
quit picking Akuma. Like in the
original, there are several hidden characters in the game, such as: Anita, Morrigan's bat, and
Mei-Ling (Hsien-Ko's twin sister, who is actually the talisman on her hat).
Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo
is still one of my all time favorite arcade puzzle games. I actually played it
semi-competitively with friends back in the day and online (thanks to
emulation). The game definitely offers a uniquely fun vibe and a frantic
gameplay experience that shouldn't be missed. As far as "fighting game
spin-offs" go, Puzzle Fighter is still one of the best in my book!
I was happy to see the game released to a wider audience with online gameplay,
but as a
veteran," I have to say I still prefer the original version of the game
when it comes to visuals and animation. The HD upgrade is nice in some areas,
but don't quite match in others.
Even so, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix is still a must have for
Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 owners who are fans of the original. And if for
some reason you haven't given this game a shot, you're missing out on some fun!