The arcades were a thing of beauty. Every weekend trip with either my Mom or my Dad to one was filled with awe as we geared up to play a plethora of pixelated punchfests. I remember how amazing it was to see Samurai Showdown for the first time on a big red Neo Geo MVS cabinet at Dennis, The Place for Games in Chicago. I remember my Dad taking me to a suburban arcade after his basketball meetups in Addison, Illinois to mash bad guys on Konami’s X-Men or The Simpsons. I’ll never forget my Friday trips to Fun Zone by Lane Tech High School, where all I really did there was play the shit out of King of Fighters ’96. However, the allure of Street Fighter 2 was one of a kind, and you’d be a fool to walk by that awesome cabinet without dropping in a quarter to play. Street Fighter 2 mania was real folks and it was fantastic. I can attest to this, because I was there. I experienced it. I read it. I lived it. I breathed it. It was a worldwide phenomenon and when it got animated, it was a dream come true.
Street Fighter 2 has obviously gone through multiple iterations, but Super Street Fighter 2 – The New Challengers was glorious to me on so many fronts. First off, we got four new characters with four amazing stages. Secondly, new moves were also added to the old roster with even better animations. This followed with more color schemes for characters and we even had a kick-ass home version for the SNES. However, the glory exploded into full-on awesome sauce when the world was finally given an anime film based on the Street Fighter 2 story. None of us could believe it, but we flipped out and had to have it on VHS. Some of us were obviously disappointed with the Van Damme SF2 film (which, in hindsight, wasn’t all that bad), and this, to my eyes at least, was going to be the film that would get the real story right. We all knew that this would not only look awesome, but that it would have that feel of Street Fighter while bringing us back to the story of Ryu and Ken. However, is this anime film worth your time?