2D street fighting straight from the arcades to the home computer.
In order to put his fighting skills to the ultimate test, Ryu travels around the globe to combat all the best fighters in the world. Will he be able to beat them all and finally stand as ”King of the Hill”?
Street Fighter is a 2D arcade fighting game where you play as the champion Ryu who travels around fighting people. The goal of the game is simply to beat all the opponents and become the “King of the Hill” – in other words the best fighter in the world.
Commodore 64 has two versions of Street Fighter; The European Tiertex developed version and this one, developed by Pacific Dataworks International and released in the USA. Comparing the two, it’s easy to pick the US version as the better game because of its superior graphics, smooth animation and better controls.
There are nine fighters to fight across five stages; Japan, USA, England, China and Thailand. Each opponent that you face will use its own tricks and fighting styles against you. The opponents are thus;
Retsu, a Shorinji Kempo instructor.
Geki, a shuriken expert ninja.
Joe, an American street fighter.
Mike, the hard-hitting boxer.
Birdie, a gigantic bouncer.
Eagle, a body-guard.
Lee, an expert in Chinese martial arts.
Gen, an elderly martial arts expert.
Adon, a champion Muay Thai fighter.
The game features a two-player VS mode as well as three difficulty levels in the single-player mode. In the VS mode you can play as either Ryu or Ken, depending on which controller you are using. The difference between these two playable characters is only their names and the color of their clothes. Each fight consists of two rounds, and the VS mode is a single fight between two human players.
When playing the single-player mode you only have one try to beat the game. Even if you get to the final round and lose, you must restart the game from the very beginning. This is, of course, a very strange design choice especially when considering that the entire game is relatively easy even on the hardest difficulty level up until Adon, the final boss. It’s obvious that they’ve ramped up the difficulty on Adon by a whole lot so that players wouldn’t be able to beat the game too easily.
You can perform various punches by tapping the fire button, and doing kicks will require holding fire and pulling various directions on the joystick. Punches typically come out instantly while kicks will have a delay of a half second or so. It isn’t the most fluid control scheme for a fast paced fighting game, but it has at least some precision and is easy to understand once you’ve played with it for a while.
Jumping kicks fly a good distance on the screen and is therefore tricky to land, but it can be very useful if you can foresee your opponent’s movement.
Performing the special moves such as the Hadoukens, Shoryukens and Tasumakisenpuukyakus is sadly as awkward as ever though, because it doesn’t seem to register very well. When you succeed in landing them though, they do inflict loads of damage and can really turn a fight to your favor.
The CPU controlled opponents are somewhat predictable after a few minutes of studying them. If you manage to get someone into a corner, you can pretty easily land multiple roundhouse kicks and take him out in a few seconds. The CPU seems to have some problems getting around such easy exploits, and there are other occasions when it gets stuck doing the same move multiple times in a row.
The graphics are really nice and detailed for a Commodore 64 game, and the character animation is pretty good, too. There are some wonky looking animations there, but overall it’s quite charming, and delivers on its presentation. The art style is rather cartoonish and colorful.
The game does not support scrolling in any direction, which can make this game look more stale than other Street Fighter ports.
The music is really bland and doesn’t make much of an impact. There are some different songs in there, but none of it manages to stick out and make an impression. The melodies are dull for the most part, and some of it sounds quite tone-deaf. The music can be turned off, but that only leaves a vacant silence. The game does have sound effects, and even if it is minimalistic, it does spice the whole experience up a bit.
The US version of Commodore 64 Street Fighter is an okay game. It’s a bit too easy, and the controls certainly aren’t great, but they’re manageable. The game has some graphical qualities that are worth looking back at considering that the game was out 1988, but other than that there’s not much joy to be had with this game. The first Street Fighter game is just like that… even if you play the original one on the arcade.