Monday, June 17, 2024

Say “Hello” to the Bad Guys in Super Street Fighter II.

( Super Street Fighter II was a landmark in the Street Fighter franchise. It featured the best roster of fighters, a graphical improvement, and was just tons of fun to play and sh** talk with friends.

The Super Nintendo version was the one I regularly brought to school during the last few days. Someone would bring their Sega Genesis for a little Mortal Kombat II while I had Super Street Fighter II and Killer Instinct.

Good times, folks.

Before the pick and ban phase became a thing in competitive gaming, there were just characters players hated to fight against or felt were too cheap to use. If they were too cheap to play with, they were automatically too annoying to fight against.

It’s almost as if people knew they were looking at a pending beatdown with a character that either had a reach advantage or could hold an opponent off with a rapid striking attack.

For classic fighting game fans, you know what characters I’m talking about. Here are my three usual picks from this classic arcade fighting game!

Vega AKA Balrog (Debut: Street Fighter II)

I love playing as the Spanish assassin Vega. He was bullfighter who mixed his experience with ninjutsu to make an exciting fighting style. By 90s console standards, Vega moved in the same way as other characters in the game only faster.

The best comparison would be a slightly faster Chun Li. Actually, my best fights with Vegas were against opponents using Chun Li and they were pretty much air battles. He flips, dives, rolls, and even climbs the fence in this tavern stage!

When I saw that he could do that and flip off the “walls” of a stage, I was hooked on him. I put a ton of time into figuring out how best to use him to fights. That’s the indication of developers creating interesting, fun to use characters.

I mean, people figured out how to use Dhalsim and E. Honda—who were usually mentioned as cheap characters but actually required patience and practice.

At any rate, Vega was one a few fighters with style along with Fei Long and M. Bison. There was another reason why Vega is my favorite: his victory taunt and his victory screen quotes are so arrogant and golden.

Sagat (Debut: Street Fighter)

Powerful but slow as hell, Sagat was the other fighter I practiced with quite a bit. This was purely because I learned about his rivalry with franchise main character Ryu and wanted to find out if he was actually a match for him.

He’s just about the polar opposite of Ryu. As I said, this dude is super slow. He doesn’t even have an attack that makes up the lack of speed like E. Honda’s Sumo Headbutt or Dhalsim’s Yoga Teleport.

The thing I learned with Sagat is patience. It’s something I wasn’t going to learn in playing as the boxer Balrog (M. Bison in Japan). I mean, he couldn’t even kick at least Sagat gave me options in a fight and when Street Fighter Alpha dropped, it was easy to pick up Adon.

Another reason I picked up Sagat is that everyone I played with at the time avoided playing with him because he’s one of the slower fighters. Getting clapped by one of the slowest fighters in the game just amplifies defeat—especially when someone has picked the fastest fighters.


M. Bison AKA Vega (Debut: Street Fighter II)

Yes, my top three are basically the top three of Shadaloo line-up. I remember when I first beat the solo mode—I used Ryu—and got to fight M. Bison. His movements are what absolutely amazed me.

Bulky and wearing a red military dictator suit, his control of “Psycho Power”, he was able to slide and trip opponents, fly across the screen with the Psycho Crusher attack, and—most importantly—he could jump up and do a double-foot stomp on opponent’s heads.

That move—the Head Press—was selling point. It was the main reason I rocked with M. Bison early on, just to constantly Head Press other players for fun and hit them with the Psycho Crusher for good measure.

Of course, to successfully pull off any move practice is necessary. Training with characters then was mainly playing on the hard difficulty while learning their moves. M. Bison was harder since he wasn’t as fast as Vega but not Sagat slow.

I was used to playing mainly with fighters at the extreme ends. While I had an interest in playing with M. Bison, I kind of got around to him since I was doing well against my friends with Vega and Sagat.

Once I finally got to play with M. Bison I was getting clapped by the likes of Dhalsim, Blanka, Chun Li, and Guile. Things got better once I learned M. Bison’s Psycho moves but the goal was always the Head Press.

It’s never good to base everything you do in a fighting game around one attack but I was obsessed with that move. The same happened with Vega and his Rolling Claw and the Izuna Drop. I spent a ton of time learning timing with Vega and the same was necessary with M. Bison.

As for Sagat, there was little practice since he was basically bulky Ryu and Ken.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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