Ultra Street Fighter II’s Buddy Battle Makes You Feel Powerful

By Jenni . May 17, 2017 . 12:00pm

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We’re used to Street Fighter games receiving updates. Toss a “Super” or an “Ultra” onto the front of the game, perhaps prepare a snappy subtitles, make it look and run better, offer a few new characters, gameplay systems, and features, and we’re good to go. Street Fighter II is a particularly notable example of this, as we have seen Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Hyper Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, and now Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. One of the newest features here is Buddy Battle, a cooperative mode, gives you the opportunity for you and a friend to feel like a star.

 

Buddy Battle is all about working together to defeat your opponent. Going off on your own and taking risks isn’t encouraged. While both you and your ally, who is either an actual person or a CPU AI, each have your own Super bar, you share a health bar. This health bar isn’t restored after a round. So if, say, Cammy and M. Bison team up and lose half their collective health against Evil Ryu. When the next round against Evil Ryu begins, he will have a full health bar and Cammy’s and M. Bison’s will still be half-empty. (Or half-full, if you prefer.) When that bar is empty, your opponent automatically wins the match.

 

This means Ultra Street Fighter II’s Buddy Battle isn’t going to automatically be an “easy mode” version of the game. Especially if you choose the World Warrior difficulty before beginning your run. You will actually need to work together and think things through. You have to work together to time attacks, pull off combos that use both of your attacks, and take advantage of an opponent. You may want to actually practice on a lower difficulty level when playing with a skilled friend for the first time. The enemies will actually be stronger than usual here and coordination is necessary. Especially if you want to attempt some sort of pincer attack or unleash specials in succession.

 

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With World Warrior being one of the Ultra Street Fighter II Buddy Battle options, this mode can prove quite a challenge. I would even go ahead and refer it as a “dramatic battle.” Which is what this mode was known as in Street Fighter Alpha. The AI on World Warrior feels like it knows exactly what it is doing, so both you and the person you’re playing with do to. If your partner is the CPU, it actually does a good job of having your back. Especially if you pick a partner that compliments your own. I like pairing Dhalsim with Dee Jay or Blanka. Finding a good partnership and working together in tandem can make you feel unstoppable.

 

This isn’t to say this mode can’t be made more accessible. There is a control scheme that adds buttons to the touch screen that allow a player to tap and immediately unleash a special or super. When they’re assigned there, Ultra Street Fighter II makes them happen. Combine this with a Buddy Battle where the CPU is your BFF, turn down the difficulty, and pass the Nintendo Switch to a beginner who has never played the game before. I did this with my friend’s six year old, and the kid was enthralled. He’d always had to make due with Super Smash Bros.’ Team Battles to feel like he was winning and in control. This gave him an opportunity to see how the game worked. After a few rounds of seeing how things worked, it was possible to transition over to a standard control scheme, do a two player Buddy Battle, and let him continue to practice with a more experienced player waiting in the wings to help.

 

Ultra Street Fighter II’s Buddy Battle is a mode that can appeal to people of multiple skill levels. Younger players or people who have never played a Street Fighter game before could use it to learn the ropes while working alongside another player or the computer. Those who know what they’re doing can crank the difficulty up and see how in tune they are with a fellow fighter. There are multiple ways to enjoy this new feature.

 

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers will come to the Nintendo Switch on May 26, 2017.


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