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Street Fighter 2 and Samurai Shodown

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Reviewed by Diane Cote Both of these games are classics. They both brought fighting games to a higher level. Each was developed by the best in the biz. And, although Samurai Shodown is indebted to Street Fighter II for paving the road to world wide fighting game success, Samurai Shodown exists as much more than just a knock off of the old master. Now, as Game Boy games, both of these fighters are worthy of your attention but only one can be EP's top pick. For those of you who hate to be kept in suspense, I'll sum this up by saying, that as far as Game Boy competitors go, Samurai kicks Street's butt all around the block. And, Samurai's been out for almost a year. The first thing you'll notice about Samurai Shodown is the shrunken characters. The next thing you'll notice is that they're all there. Unlike other interpretations of Samurai Shodown, the Game boy features all twelve playable fighters (plus three extra) and all of their special moves. The Game Boy's Street Fighter, in contrast, has only nine fighters, although, they are larger and all of their pre-Super Street Fighter II moves are intact. We haven't discovered any secret characters in Street Fighter yet, but knowing Nintendo and Capcom's craftiness, there's gotta be a little more than the eye can see in here. The larger characters in Street Fighter present a slight problem on the Game boy; choppy animation. The fighters are well detailed and I must admit, it's quite a kick seeing Ryu, M.Bison and company minaturized and still beating the tar out of each other but it is difficult to lose yourself in the action when the fighters flicker. Two player contests on the Super NES' Super Game boy are cool but there's nobody on earth that doesn't have a version of Street Fighter for the Super NES already, so, playing mini Street Fighter on Super NES isn't going to hold anybody's interest for too long. The smaller characters of Samurai, who all look like Dr. Suess creatures now, are still fiesty little mothers. Shrinking the characters hasn't made their blades any less sharp. It feels great moving in for the one-two, sweep-klank of steel on armor. And, although, the sound effects and music are equally diminutive in range, they still adequately convey the heat of battle. Street Fighter II is also filled with darn good renditions of the Street Fighter musical legacy. The fighting sounds in SF, however, bite. Except, for some reason, the "dizzy" sound, which comes across better and more cartoony than I remember it. Control for both games is similar, seeing as there are only two action buttons on the Game boy. Punching and Slashing are relatively the same in both games. Samuria Shodown fighters have Strong Slash activated by you pressing A & B simultaneously, whereas Street Fighter has you pressing and holding either A or B to hurl a Fierce Kick or Punch, respectively. Neither control system is perfect although both are adequate - you'll be able to land 'em and block 'em properly, in no time. Special moves, which are handled virtually identically on both games, are easily pulled off. The Game Boy's pad is no substitute for a fighting stick but the programmers for both games took that into account and made it exceptionally easy to get your point across to your opponent. In terms of their control interfaces, I'd have to say that Street Fighter and Samurai Shodown come out dead even. So, why does Samurai kick Street's butt? The major reason is that with the number of playable characters in Samurai (not to mention the fact that they all are completely different with their own special moves and weapons), you're just getting better value for your game playing dough. Let's face it, how many fighters can you have for your Game boy? You know Killer Instinct is on the way, Mortal Kombat 3 is already here and since there's probably way too many Street Fighter games in your collection already, I just think you'll be more impressed by Samurai Shodown. Neither game is bad, mind you, and both of them pass the EP "take-on-the-bus" test with flying colors but if I had to make a choice, I'd go Samurai. And, I'm not just saying that 'cause Haohmaru's holding me at blade point either.

I'm giving Street Fighter 2 8 out of 10 I'm giving Samurai Shodown 9 out of 10

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