Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition
From Sega Retro
|Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition|
|System(s): Sega Mega Drive|
|Publisher: Capcom, Sega (EU)|
|Original system(s): Capcom CPS-1|
|Peripherals supported: Six Button Control Pad|
|Number of players: 1-2|
Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition, known as Street Fighter II' Plus (ストリートファイターII ダッシュプラス, pronounced Street Fighter II Dash Plus) in Japan, is a versus fighting game released by Capcom for the Sega Mega Drive in 1993.
It stands as the first Street Fighter II game to be released on a Sega system, being a two-in-one compilation of the arcade games Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting.
Street Fighter II has a long (and often complex) lineage dating back to the 1991 release of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, a sequel to the 1987 arcade game Street Fighter. Two updates to the game were released as Street Fighter II': Champion Edition and Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting in March and December 1992, respectively. Each of the updates attempted to further balance gameplay as well as offering new features such as faster gameplay and more moves.
Special Champion Edition, unique to the Mega Drive, is a version of the game that incorporates the two rulesets of Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting, allowing players to toggle between the two if desired.
Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition was built to utilise the six button control pad (the first Mega Drive fighting game to do so), however it is fully compatible with three button controllers too. When playing with a three button pad, the player has to press to switch between punch and kicks (effectively turning , and into , and , respectively).
Beating the game on the highest difficulty level unlocks a special ending sequence.
Special Champion Edition contains the eight original cast members of Street Fighter II, plus the four originally unplayable "Grand Masters".
|Balrog (M. Bison)|
|M. Bison (Vega)|
Street Fighter II′: Special Champion Edition began development as a straight port of Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition scheduled to be released worldwide on Summer 1993. Initially Capcom outsourced the development of the Mega Drive version to an undisclosed developer while they were working on the Super NES version of Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting (which was actually a port of both, Champion Edition and Hyper Fighting, allowing players to use rules from either version).
However, Capcom was ultimately unsatisfied with the way the Mega Drive version was turning out and choose to delay the game to an October release so they could develop a better version in-house with all the added content from the Turbo version. Due to an exclusivity clause with Nintendo, Capcom couldn't use the Street Fighter II Turbo title on a competing platform, so they used the subtitle Special Champion Edition instead to make the Mega Drive version stand out.
The development and release of Special Champion Edition is notable for other, arguably more important reasons. It was the first Sega game to be produced in-house by Capcom (previous Capcom ports had been handled by Sega under license) - a relationship that would continue on with the Sega Saturn and Dreamcast (and even in the arcades, with Capcom's use of the NAOMI platform). It was also developed in conjunction with the Mega Drive six button control pad, which debuted in most regions at the same time and whose design became a staple for console fighting games going forward (not to mention the basis for the Sega Saturn control pad).
Whilst not selling as many copies as the previous Street Fighter II releases on Super NES (6.3 million and 4.1 million respectively), Special Champion Edition managed to sell 1.65 million copies, becoming Capcom's only Mega Drive title to surpass more than a million unit sales (a feat only repeated by one other Capcom title on a Sega system; Resident Evil Code: Veronica on the Dreamcast).
Special Champion Edition brought Sega's console onto a level playing field with Nintendo, and particularly made an impact in regions where the Mega Drive was the dominant system over the Super NES (specifically countries like the United Kingdom, where Special Champion Edition was a highly publicised best seller). Computer and Video Games, for example, hyped it as the world's first 24 megabit console cartridge, and said it has better graphics and faster performance than the SNES version of the original Street Fighter II.
The game's scratchy voice samples were a subject of criticism upon release, but rather than being attributed to hardware limitations, it has been proven that it is a result of poor programming. A fan made hack of the game testing this theory exists on the internet, showing that one can successfully replace the sound driver (leading to higher quality sample playback) without changing the ROM size significantly (i.e. it would still fit on a 3MB/24Mb ROM cartridge like the unmodified version).
Both the Mega Drive and Super NES would see the following upgrade, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (though neither console would see its Turbo (X in Japan) update). With more cartridge space and greater experience, Super Street Fighter II fixes many of the concerns with Special Champion Edition such as the missing announcer.
Graphically the arcade versions of Street Fighter II′: Champion Edition and Street Fighter II′ Turbo: Hyper Fighting are very similar (save for character palette changes and a new title screen), meaning Street Fighter II': Special Champion Edition is able to recycle graphics for both modes. However, the Mega Drive is unable to match Capcom's CPS arcade hardware, and so is forced to make noticeable cutbacks in graphical fidelity (perhaps most obviously, the lower resolution, with the Mega Drive game outputting at 256x224 at all times (versus 384x224)).
Many background animations are missing in the Mega Drive version, such as the water in E.Honda's stage (alongside the left red lantern) and the scrolling clouds in Blanka's. Where animations are retained, frames are often dropped, which is particularly evident with crowds. While the introduction cinematic is retained, in the West both of the unnamed fighters are white.
While Special Champion Edition delivers more content than its closest SNES counterpart (Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting), the Nintendo version, while again sacrificing background detail over the arcade version in many of the same places, offers tiny improvements over the Mega Drive version in some stages and offers a wider colour palette, as well as clearer speech samples.
It is not a clean sweep, however, with many stages in the Super NES version missing background details or animations present in the Mega Drive port, and it omits the intro sequence being completely. Blanka's defeat portrait has also been lightly censored in the Super NES version, appearing less gruesome than on the Mega Drive.
Some of these gaps between the Mega Drive and Super NES ports would be closed with Super Street Fighter II (though widenend when both compared to the CPS-II-powered arcade version). ROM hacking communities have also released fan-made patches to improve the quality of the audio and bring the colour palettes more in-line with the arcade version.
- Planner: Tatsuya "Mickey" Minami
- Software Design: Yoshito "Leo" Itoh, Tomoyuki "E-Hito" Ohta, Koji "Yoshilim" Yoshida, Kiyomi "Kanekon" Kaneko, Harunobu "Img" Imagawa, Koji "Cuty" Ueyama, Hisashi "Kurarin" Kuramoto, Tadashi "Sanchan" Sanzen, Syuichiroh "Luck" Chiboshi, Hiroki "Chun" Bandoh
- Music Design: Tadashi "Elf" Joukagi, Setsuo "Kashira" Yamamoto
- Sound Design: Tatsuya "Anie" Nishimura, Tadashi "Elf" Joukagi
- Object Design: Masao "Sakusan" Sakurai, "Nabe-Chan" Mayumi, Akemi "Zizi" Iwasaki, Hajime‑Chan, Naokazu "Sailor-V" Saitoh
- Scroll Design: Shizuyo "R.H.C.P." Ukai, Ryutaro's Mama, Jun "Bunny" Takeuti, Joe Yabuki
- Very Special Thanks: Masayuki "Imo" Akahori, Professor F
- Special Thanks: Hyper Bengie, Mizushima "Afh"‑Ya., Mr. Sawalim, Factory Matsubara, Hironobu Takeshita, Mr. Makino, Osu Nakajima, Capcom All Staff, and You
- Presented by: Capcom
|Sega Retro Average|
|Mega Drive, AU (Sega Platinum Collection)|
ROM dump status
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