With a new system, there are always going to be concerns as to whether the online elements of games work well. You want to make sure you can connect to others and enjoy a match, as well as hope there are a competent suite of options available within the game. Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers doesn’t do anything revolutionary. At this stage in the Nintendo Switch’s lifespan, it doesn’t need to. It provides an experience that is often above average for anyone who gives it a go.
To start, Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers’ online offers Ranked Matches and Casual Matches. Each one offers Quick Search, Custom Search, and Create Lobby options. Casual Match also allows you to put together a Friend Match, automatically taking you into a fight with someone on your friends list when the conditions are right. Should you search for or create a room, you have more control over how you play. Ranked has region, control type, and opponent skill options, while Casual lets you choose the number of rounds you fight, if there is a time limit, the region players are from, what control types are allowed, and if it is a friends only room. Once you enter a match, you can add a comment and even choose to save replays. Keep playing, and you will earn titles you can assign to yourself and have appear when you play.
Creating a Casual lobby also allows you to set a comment so people searching have an idea of what to expect. While this may seem like a fun and goofy inclusion, it is actually rather helpful when preparing for Casual matches with strangers. There are about 70 comments to choose from. Some are designed to make you smile, like “The Team Chump” or “The answer lies in the heart of battle!” But many of them are actually a good way to find a room you might like. There are comments indicating skill level. Others note how many PP you have. A few show what kinds of characters you prefer to use, if you like a technique like turtling, if projectile attacks are allowed, or if you are even a professional. It is a telling way to express yourself, all while staying within the guidelines Capcom set. I like “Show me your custom colors!” best, because it means I get to see some creative characters while I get pummeled. (I am not the best at Ultra Street Fighter II: The FInal Challengers.)
It is also nice to have a game where the online multiplayer works well. I’ve had some issues with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Occasionally I get dropped from matches, but I more often see other people in the games I’m playing just disappear. While I have had a few instances where Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was laggy, I haven’t had a match drop since the game launched. Especially if I am playing with a friend or someone in my own region. It also isn’t difficult to find a match. The longest I have had to wait when choosing the Quick Search option is probably about three minutes for a Ranked fight and maybe a little less than that for Casual. I was concerned about how many people would be playing, but it seems like there is already a rather good number of people battling online.
What is also handy is the Fight Request option. This is great in the event that things do seem slow. I mean, the game has just launched and it was a holiday weekend. When going through the Arcade Mode, you can turn on the Fight Request option. This means you can get an online Ranked Match request while you’re playing. Of the two multiplayer options, I find it can take the most time to find a Ranked Match. Having the opportunity to do something else while we wait is nice. I like to think of it as having a chance to practice ahead of a regular round.
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers doesn’t do anything astounding when it comes to its online functionality. It lets you find Ranked and Casual matches with strangers or friends and face off so you can enjoy yourself and grow as a player. There are some niceties available. You can set lobby comments to give people an idea of what they are getting into or have Ranked fight requests come in as you go through the Arcade mode. Nothing revolutionary happens, but that isn’t such a bad thing. What does matter is that it hasn’t been difficult to find a match and, once you are in, the performance isn’t atrocious. There may be some lag, but it works well enough in general for one of the Nintendo Switch’s first fighting and launch window games.
Ultra Street Fighters II: The Final Challengers is available for the Nintendo Switch.