Back in the 90s Street Fighter 2 was the fighting game. Gamers of a certain pedigree will have fond memories of lining up their 50c pieces on the arcade machine down at the local takeaways and battling it out to be king of the streets.
When Capcom revealed they were bringing Street Fighter 2 to the Nintendo Switch I was amped. The HD graphics looked great, and the option to revert to its classic style was a nice fanboy touch.
As my console is rarely docked - I mainly play on the move - the thought of having the classic (and quick-playing) fighting game on me at all times was exciting. That coupled with the Switch's "tabletop" mode (which transforms the unit into a screen and two mini controllers so you can play with a pal anywhere-anytime) made the game seem liked a guaranteed KO. Sadly, it doesn't quite hit the target.
The joycon's buttons and sticks just aren't really suited to the fast, accurate precision demanded by a fighting game. At first I couldn't tell if my years of Tekken loyalty had made my Street Fighter timing all screwy or if the controls really were a bit janky.
Extensive testing proved the latter to be correct. When attempting to pull off a simple hadouken, it often didn't register, leaving me either vulnerable and exposed or limply jabbing the air. Other times I'd be halfway through inputting the command and the fireball would launch before I'd even hit the button to finish the move. This meant I never felt totally comfortable knowing if my attack was actually going to register.
Surprisingly, this isn't a deal breaker. This is still Street Fighter 2, a classic. And it's still a lot of fun. Especially when fighting a friend. Even though the bouts can get a lot more button mashy than you'd like.
Word has it that the pro controller alleviates the controls problem. Which is all well and good, but my pro controller is at home and not with me and my Switch on the train each day ...
That said, it's hard to beat Street Fighter 2's classic gameplay, and when it all comes together, as it often does, the game still remains king of the streets.
Not the KO it should be, but still a solid challenger