When asked about the greatest fight game series of all time, it is a guarantee Capcom’s Street Fighter will get brought up. The way Street Fighter II revolutionized the fighting game genre. Third Strike and Alpha 3 had amazing mechanics that are still used in some modern fighting games. Street Fighter IV revitalized the once-dying fighting game console scene. Even Street Fighter V, with it’s rocky launch, is regarded as one of today’s best fighters.
You know what is almost never discussed? The very first Street Fighter.
Street Fighter II cabinets were, and in many places still are, damn near everywhere. With the handful of re-releases and updates, it was pretty much a given any arcade would have a Street Fighter II machine. But the same just wasn’t true for the first Street Fighter.
Featuring just one playable character (two, if another player went head to head) and a handful of semi-familiar faces, Street Fighter is a very different game from what it has become. The fighting is still one on one, there are still special moves and rudimentary combos, and there are still fighters from across the globe. But the execution and style is all very different.
Taken as the beginning, it is kind of cool to see where it all started. Ryu and Ken are there, their hadoukens are there, and even the end of battle victory quotes are there. The major, MAJOR thing missing are the tight controls a fighting game absolutely needs. It’s difficult to pull off super moves, jumping feels kind of floaty, and overall the game feels slow and sloppy, never a good combination for a fighter.
If you see an original Street Fighter cab somewhere, give it a shot. It’s an experience that not may get to have (partly because the machine itself is difficult to find nowadays).
Played at Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfiled, IL – 2019