Biggest retro gaming disappointment?

It’s easy to look at our personal gaming history through rose colored glasses, remembering only the gaming greats, the titles that held you captive for hours and hours on end while you basked in the warm glow of a CRT TV or monitor.  Like most historical views, we tend to suppress, forget or smooth over those heart-aching gaming disappointments that were never quite as crushing as when we were young.  Obviously, I’m going to drag my biggest retro gaming disappointment out into the light for all to see, are you ready? Can you deal? Good.

For me, there was nothing quite so gutting as firing up Street Fighter 2 on the Amiga 2000HD.  Now it would take a person who was simultaneously blind and dead to not notice that the Street Fighter series is a smoking piece of Capcom goodness, and I’d been witness to this phenomenon thanks to Street Fighter 2 on the SNES. The SNES version is about as close to perfection as any game has been, ever.  It is – to use the parlance of a Street Fighter competitor – a flawless victory in the gaming world.  Gorgeous, vibrant graphics, well drawn sprites, a smooth arcade feel to the entire title and faithful sound effects all made SF2 on the SNES a perfect bite-sized version of the arcade great.

That’s what made the Amiga port such a fuck off slap in the face.

Now obviously the two versions were never going to be identical. The SNES was released years after

the equivalent Amiga, could display 256 colors without breaking a sweat compared to the Amiga’s 32 (without trickery) and a few other things besides.  But none of these things should have made it mandatory to produce the squealing, flailing mutant that was the Amiga SF2 port.

The backdrops were lfieless, the parallax scrolling floors were gone, the background animations were cut back to minimum frames and that’s just the start.  Rather than fluidly jumping around the screen, fighters jerked from position to position and move to move, seemingly missing most of the in-between frames that give the title its smooth game play feeling.  The sound – an area Amiga games normally excelled in – was bland and tinny.

I could go on, but let’s see if we can get a punchy summary going; it’s shit. I was mortified. I had such grand plans of no longer paying 2 bucks for 30 minutes of SNES SF2 at the local video store, instead whiling away hours and hours at home on my very own Amiga Street Fighter 2.  Instead, I had experienced the first in a series of terrible truths  that would leave me convinced beat-em-up games are diametrically opposed to the computer platform.

A school of thought I still largely subscribe to today.


8 Responses to Biggest retro gaming disappointment?

  1. I remember the Amiga version of Street Fighter 2 as quite good. Used to play it a lot back in the days. I’m a bit afraid of testing it again now after reading your article, but I’m going to do that anyway. 😉 Now I’m very curious about how it looks today.

    Good article by the way. 🙂

  2. amiga4eva says:

    I eagerly await your testing results 🙂 For me, I’m going largely off the memory of the Amiga version and my recent re-playing of the SNES version, but I stand by my conviction – the Amiga version really did feel as though it had all the goodness sucked out of it!

  3. I’ll be back with the test results. 😉

  4. ted mahsun says:

    I had a similar experience with SF2 but unlike you, it was with a pirate Famicom-port and not with the Amiga.

    I’m Malaysian and when SF2 was at its height of popularity, most of us only had famiclones as our sole gaming system. Being young at the time, I didn’t realise there was a huge difference between the capabilities of an arcade machine of the time and a Famicom.

    Goes without saying that I was very distraught when I brought home a copy of “Master Fighter 2” to play on my famiclone and discovered it was utter crap.

  5. I’ve now given Street Fighter 2 a go on the Amiga. I must admit that the game hasn’t aged very well. It didn’t look as good as I remembered it. A bit sad, but that’s life. 🙂

    Now I’m off to give Super Street Fighter 2 a test as well. 😉

  6. amiga4eva says:

    Looks like we have a total SF2 conspiracy here! 🙂 Or maybe the arcade was just that good there was never going to be a comparison – but then, how did the SNES get it so right?

  7. Good question. 🙂 Those coders that did the SNES version must have been excellent. 🙂

  8. Well, gave Super Street Fighter 2 a try on the Amiga and it was OK. The playability is fine, but the graphics aren’t as good as they could have been. Not the best conversion in my opinion. Still, I think it is a better game than Street Fighter 2 for the Amiga 500. 🙂

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