Otaku USA Magazine
A Beat ‘Em Up Facelift

For many diehard fighting enthusiasts, Street Fighter II was one of the ultimate escapes from the outside world during the arcade boom. In 1991, the arcade release set a precedent that has been credited with launching the fighting genre into the mainstream and giving the US arcade scene several more years to thrive. Its popularity sparked the development of several subsequent revisions (as well as home versions released on numerous platforms) and would eventually become the template for future fighting games.

Out of all the iterations developed, Super Street Fighter II Turbo has been an all-time favorite for fans. We’re sure many of you wondered how Capcom could possibly top one of their all-time classics; a total overhaul or simply another sequel (as has been the custom for the franchise)?

Fast forward to April 13; Capcom sends a shockwave of intrigue with the announcement of Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix, a new project in which SSF2T would be getting a digital facelift from the comic masterminds at Udon Studios recruited to redraw every visual element. Assisting them on the development end is Backbone Entertainment, which has worked on several other projects involving the Street Fighter II series.

As you can imagine, this announcement sparked a lot of interest, mixed emotions, and tons of questions. Like most of you, we were extremely curious about the project. Recently, we caught up with the game’s producer, Rey Jimenez, who was generous enough to share a few words with us about this highly anticipated release. 

Can you give us an update on where Super Street Fighter II Turbo: HD Remix is in the development cycle?

Right now we’re working on completing all of the frames of animation and other art for the game. Code-wise, the game is up and running on the PS3 and 360, though not quite ready to show off yet. We’re currently fine tuning the netcode for optimal online play.

We know that Backbone Entertainment has worked on multiple Street Fighter II compilations; can you give us some background on other titles they’ve recently worked on?

For Capcom, they have done some great work on the Capcom Classics Collection series as well as some titles currently in development. I won’t go into titles they’ve done for other publishers, but they have a pretty impressive library of games across the board.

In a few words or less, tell us what factors influenced the decision to select Super SF2: Turbo for the remixed HD project.

In a nutshell, we wanted to take the best Street Fighter game that had the most outdated graphics and therefore would benefit the most from a graphical overhaul. Super Turbo is essentially the last of the SFII games. After many iterations of that series, it is generally considered the pinnacle of refinement in balance and play style among all of the SFII games.

Udon Studios was chosen to redraw select art elements for the respective high-definition remixes of Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Puzzle Fighter. What has been their greatest challenge(s)?

The biggest obstacle would be in creating a style that is still Udon’s, but at the same time, definitely Capcom. As many fans know, going way back, Capcom art has always had a definitive style and Udon has their own style also. The challenge was finding a style that expressed the unique attributes for both.

Naturally, a lot of fans have become accustomed to the look, feel, and subtle nuances of the original code. How much of the original programming code has changed from the remix edition and what can diehard players expect from the final product?

Our goal is to have the gameplay between the original and the HD version be identical. We’re using the same gameplay code and doing our best to keep the hit detection identical, so the final product should be the same. Some tweaks may be needed, but we’ve got some hardcore Super Turbo players on staff to ensure that the game that is released will be the same game everyone remembers.

The Quarter Match Mode featured in the Xbox Live Arcade edition of Hyper Fighting was a welcome addition for anyone looking to enjoy casual play with friends and fellow competitors. Is there any possibility to include a tournament mode as seen in the SNES version of Super Street Fighter 2?

We are definitely considering a tournament mode. I can’t promise it, but it is one of the features I’d like to personally see in the game.

Capcom recently announced a partnership with Steam, a service that has been extremely popular with the PC crowd. How likely is it that the remixed edition will be released for it?

(Just a minute while I put on my corporate hat.) At the moment, Capcom has only announced Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix to be coming out for PC/Steam. Super Turbo has not been announced for a similar release.

Recently, a few members from the Street Fighter community launched GGPO.net, a new online multiplayer networking service created as a means to eliminate latency issues that currently affect console gaming. To date, the support has been very positive. Is there a possibility that Capcom might consider incorporating it into the HD projects currently in development?

I’ve been aware of GGPO.net for a while now and I think it’s a great piece of code. At the moment, we’re using newly developed netcode by Backbone. Don’t count it out until you’ve seen it.

Multiplayer betas are starting to become a bit more frequent on Xbox Live and PS3. Any chance gamers will get their first hands-on taste before the official release?

It would’ve been great to have at least an online demo, but there’s not enough development time for it. It was a choice between getting the game out sooner, or dedicating some time for developing a demo. We chose getting it out sooner.

There’s been some speculation at the Capcom Digital blog that additional remixed editions of other popular Capcom fighting game properties might be released in the future. How likely is that the Street Fighter Alpha or Darkstalkers series would be considered next?

I can’t make any promises. However, if Super Turbo does well and we get positive feedback from fans for this kind of remake, the more likely it would be to see future titles of this nature.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us!


[Excerpted from the December 2007 issue of Otaku USA]