Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers costs $40 on Nintendo Switch. To justify this price Capcom has taken what is arguably one of the greatest games of all time and updated it in a number of ways. However, many of these updates came in previous iterations, some of which are still readily available and easy to play. So what justifies this high price tag for this latest release? We’ll break it down based on our short time with the game, though the ultimate answer to “is Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers worth the price” will come in our review.
Kicking things off, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers offers one of the best experiences of Capcom’s classic fighter. Delivering solid and crisp HD visuals, the updated graphics are great to look at. Animation still has some issues, but as long as it looks decent and plays well I think most fans won’t have a problem there. You can toggle between the newer, updated graphic style and the classic sprites, which allows for that extra bit of nostalgia. It is unfortunate though that you can only do this in the main menu, and not during a game like we’ve seen with other remasters and remakes.
The fighting is all up to snuff with what fans expect out of this series. It’s still fast, fun, and challenging. Without knowing what you’re doing you can make it deep into the Arcade mode, but only if you get lucky. There are also a lot of ways to learn, with a training mode and a list of combos. These are unfortunately not tailored to the Switch controller scheme, so hopefully you’re familiar with higher fighting game mechanics at this point.
All the classic fighters are here, with a couple of additions. The titular “Final Challengers” are Evil Ryu and Violent Ken. It’s nice to get something fresh for this release (though these fighters have appeared elsewhere before), but it would have been far better to have something totally new. As someone who’s not ingrained in the Street Fighter mythos or its deeper mechanics, these two felt pretty similar to their non-evil counterparts.
So for $40 you get a solid recreation of the classic Street Fighter II, but what other new stuff is here for Switch? Well, not much.
Buddy Battle lets you team up with another player or an AI teammate to go against a single fighter. This is interesting but ultimately not intriguing enough that I see many players using it as their main mode. Maybe it’s a “little brother” mode or something that has specific uses, but as it is I’m not seeing a lot of value here.
The big new game mode that is exclusive to the Switch is called the “Way of the Hado”. This mode is in full 3D and uses the Joycon to let you control Ryu as he fights of tons of opponents. Sounds great, right? It’s fresh, it’s new, and it is tailored for the Switch. Unfortunately it’s also a massive disappointment so far. The Joycon controls simply don’t work a lot of the time, and even when they do they are woefully clunky. I’m hoping this improves as I get more time with the game, but so far it’s not looking great.
And that’s the story of the whole Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers experience so far, which admittedly is not enough time at all to give a full assessment. This is a preview, and previews are built on limited info. The full answer to “is Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers worth the price” will come later, but hopefully you’re getting an idea of whether or not it is for you. Check back later for my final review.