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Title: Street Fighter 2010
Rom Player: NESticle
Reviewer: Dr. Boogie

Synopsis: The late eighties and early nineties brought an interest in the brand new Nintendo gaming console. Companies with little in mind in the way of story and gameplay began turning out shoddy products in the hopes of making a quick buck. Going into this particular game, I expected very little from it, yet I was surprised to find that it was not the budget title crapfest that I thought it would be.

In the spirit of the action game genre, very little thought has been put into the story of Street Fighter 2010. You play the role of Ken (not the androgynous doll that hooked up with Barbie, mind you), a world-class street fighter that had won a tournament that proved him to be the best in the world years ago. Recently, he and his scientist friend, Troy, had been working in their lab when they discovered a strange material they called cyboplasm. It is said that in small doses, it can promote tissue growth, enhance strength and agility, create world peace, etc. In large doses, and here is where the foreshadowing starts, it transforms people into dangerous humans, or dangerous aliens, as it were. Also around that time, other, non-related scientists discovered a way for a person to transport themselves to different worlds via interdimensional jumps. Ken has no interest in such things initially, but one day, he arrives at the lab to find the cyboplasm gone and his friend reduced to a pile of goo. Now, with revenge on his mind, he sets out to capture his friend’s killer and bring back the cyboplasm before we’re all up to our eyeballs in deadly mutants.

Like I mentioned before, the plot isn’t very cerebral. Once you begin the game, you get a little more information from some woman about how your suit has a built-in teleporter to help you get around. The suit itself, and why you’re wearing it, is explained a little bit in spots throughout the game, but no really concrete conclusions are made about it. What is known about it is that it is composed of numerous bionic implants that let Ken tap back into his old fighting days, giving him superior strength and agility. The game says that the tournament Ken won was twenty-five years ago. At the same time, however, the man doesn’t look very old at all, so unless he won the tournament when he was ten, he’s got some ‘splainin to do.

Like I said, this is an action game, so try not to think about it too hard. The important part is that our hero is ready to fight evil with an array of punches and kicks. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. There are quite a few maneuvers that can be pulled off, but the manual doesn’t tell you any of them, opting instead to give you a message about experimenting to find them out. While they are fairly easy to figure out since Nintendo games were never startlingly complex, getting all of them to work for you can be tricky. Several moves, such as one move that involves a back flip, require precise timing. Plus, you need powerups to make your punches travel farther and faster.

Perhaps by now you’re asking yourself, “make my punches go farther?” Yes, the powerups do just that. To get these wonderful things, you’ll have to find their containers on the level, which vary from one set of levels to the next. They only work in pairs, though, so your punching ability won’t be affected unless you find a second one to go along with the first. There are five levels of punching power. The problem with that is that once you’re hit after the second set of powerups, you’ll lose some with each hit until you only have the two left. This can be a problem, since many levels are small enough that only a few powerups can be on screen at once. Thus, like many other good games from that era, you are expected to demonstrate a certain level of skill while playing the game in order to get far.

The other thing is that there are a few other powerups as well. On very rare occasions, the containers will dump out a small orb that will hover behind your back. This gives you some minor protection, as it takes out smaller and weakened enemies while you deal with more dangerous ones in front. The containers also spew out another nifty powerup later on that lets you do back flips that cause harm. Said two powerups make escaping from groups of enemies much easier, but unfortunately, you lose them when you lose a life, and as I mentioned before, they are extremely scarce.

Whereas destroying containers will warrant offensive powerups, destroying enemies will yield precious life-giving powerups. Health is dispensed in a small and large variety, and some enemies will give you a 1-up. The 1-ups are pretty pointless, however, as there is no limit to the amount of continues you can take. The health is somewhat pointless too because you’ll have to beat the living crap out of dozens of tiny enemies before you get some, and more often than not, you’ll only get a small one which will only help you in the least. Again, the game teaches you to be good, or else.

Anyway, each stage in the game requires you to take out a specific enemy character identified before the beginning of each level. While you’re doing so, smaller enemies, leaping and flying about, will hound you. Some of the levels begin with you and the boss character facing off in a small arena scene, while others require you to make your way through a scrolling level and then battle the boss at the end of it. The bosses themselves range from a sort of winged scorpion, to a sand monster, to a thing that hangs down from a moving ceiling. Once defeated, they will explode for some reason, and yield some flashing energy that will open the door to the next level. After some levels, you’ll be warped not to the next encounter, but rather to a peculiar side level where you’ll battle several little enemies, snag some extra powerups, or just go right to another portal. These scenes seem pointless, and they aren’t explained at any point. I guess you teleporter just needs some work.

Another aspect that needs some work is the game’s sound department. There are only a handful of sounds effects in the whole game, and they’re nothing more than explosions and punching sounds that sound like a record being scratched. The music adds to the problem, also being measured in handfuls. The few songs in the game are used repeatedly for the dozens of levels. Don’t expect to hear anything award-winning- either, as the music seems to have been little more than an afterthought.

Still, if I wanted to hear great music I’d go find a CD. The action is what this game is all about, and it is solid. Granted, it may take a little bit of practice before you can truly embrace the martial arts as our hero has, but you’ll enjoy yourself in the end. Just don’t try to make sense of the story.

Best Cheats: None

Game Play: 9
Graphics: 8
Music/Sound: 6
Originality: 9
Overall Rating: 8

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