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Street Fighter II

A crucial chapter in gaming history is receiving a fresh look in the new book Like a Hurricane: An Unofficial Oral History of Street Fighter II by Matt Leone.

Whether you played the original 1991 cabinet version of this Capcom creation, its subsequent home console editions, one of its myriad updates, or, frankly, any video game released in the past 30 years, you’ve benefited from the game’s innovations:

  • The ability to battle another player in head-to-head competition instead of competing against a high score.
  • A six-button/joystick controller that allowed for unique combo moves and paved the way for more complicated controllers at home and in arcades.
  • A choice of eight characters, allowing players to develop attachments to specific characters’ visual presentations and unique moves.
  • Music and effects that have influenced pop culture works by everyone from the Arctic Monkeys to Nicki Minaj. (The 1994 movie adaptation, Street Fighter, starred Jean Claude van Damme.)

The game also became one of the first offer multiple upgrades and editions, perhaps inspired by the bootleg cabinet versions frequently found in arcades. Capcom had to keep up with the hackers to stay relevant.

Street Fighter II is estimated to have brought in more than $10.6 billion in revenue and was inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame in 2017.

Photo: Matthieu Tuffet / Shutterstock

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Kate Johanns

Posted by Kate Johanns

Kate Johanns is a communications professional and freelance writer with more than 13 years of experience in publishing and marketing.

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