Fighting Street review –

Developer: Capcom   Publisher: NEC    Release: 11/89   Genre: Action

Street Fighter II revolutionized the arcade industry and is still celebrated to this day, especially by Capcom. While the various re-releases do seem a bit indulgent the game more than deserves it. But rarely does anyone ever speak of the original Street Fighter. That is because the game is terrible. It is so bad in fact that there were few home ports. The one most are familiar with is for the Turbo Grafx CD as Fighting Street. I wish I could say this is a misunderstood gem but honestly there is a reason no one talks about it.

In Fighting Street you play as Ryu in the game’s single player mode as he travels the world fighting random opponents. In multiplayer player 2 can play as Ken which is wholly unsatisfying. Like many early fighting games from that period the rest of the CPU lineup are unplayable. Even if you had access to the whole roster for head to head matches the system’s single controller port without a multi-tap would still hinder your fun.

It is interesting to examine the roster of characters. For a long time even up until the later Capcom vs. SNK 2 most of Fighting Street’s characters remained exclusive to the game. Birdie, Gen, and Adon would be redesigned for the Street Fighter Alpha series and Eagle would lose his obscurity to join the previously mentioned versus title. You could argue that Mike served as the basis for Balrog and Joe is the loose inspiration for Guile. Retsu, Geki, and Lee are still the only ones time has forgotten.

The control is the biggest issue with Fighting Street and was a problem in the arcade as well. The standard cabinet used the six buttons that are now familiar. The more popular deluxe cabinet used pressure sensitive buttons to determine the strength of your attacks. It kind of worked but was a less than ideal setup. The buttons were also subject to wear and is probably one of the reasons Capcom left it in the dust. Fighting Street tries the same thing but it fails spectacularly. Holding each button for medium or heavy attacks does not work considering the aggressive CPU. The controls and overall pace feel sluggish and things we take for granted now in fighting games such as characters auto facing each other are barely functional here. You can kind of see the foundation for what was to come but it is rough.

You have NO idea how hard that was to pull off.

Special moves play a different role here. A simple hadoken or shoryuken can remove 40% of your opponent’s life which is insane. Because of the game’s slower and sluggish pace you are suppose to be more strategic in their use. However that would only apply if they actually worked. The game does an absolutely terrible job of recognizing your button inputs and is among the worst I have experienced. I know my way around a quarter circle yet have never been able to do any special moves consistently even after hours of trying. I managed a shoryuken twice and they were lucky accidents. The only benefit this busted system has is that in trying to correct it Capcom accidentally created the combo system nearly all fighting games use to this day.

With a lackluster fighting engine and next to no options when it comes to modes or even characters for multiplayer Fighting Street has no replay value. It is questionable if you should even bother to play this game in the first place. Fighting games live or die by their multiplayer to keep players engaged after the single player content has been exhausted and that is not enjoyable in the slightest here. With an overly aggressive AI even playing against the CPU is a chore. I did this review out of pure curiosity as Street Fighter came and went in the arcade with little fanfare. I see now why no one ever speaks of it.

In Closing

Every series has to begin somewhere but Fighting Street did not have an auspicious start. That it would blossom in to such a legendary series is nothing short of a miracle considering the quality of this game or the lack thereof. There is no reason to play Fighting Street other than mild curiosity. Even then I would suggest watching a youtube video rather than wasting your time. This one is atrocious.

Post Author: lordmrw

I’m just a dude who has been playing video games for over 30 years and want to share my extensive knowledge with the masses.

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