Review by Aganar
"Here’s what to expect in a few years, folks"
One of the earliest games I can remember playing is Street Fighter: 2010. As far back as my memories go, I spent most of my time playing on my NES, specifically this, and Super Mario Bros 2. Ironically, Street Fighter: 2010 came out before Street Fighter II or any fighting game, so I can’t say that Capcom wanted to make something different. But nonetheless, the game is quite an impressive piece of work. It takes the basic concept of the original Street Fighter, makes it futuristic, and adds some platforming aspects to it.
You start out as Ken, a futuristic warrior in the year 2010. Probably frustrated having never been able to win the Street Fighter Tournament, he decides to become a scientist. He searches for his friend, Troy. Soon he finds his friend dead (err...Sort of). Near him lays a new futuristic type of armor. Ken, vowing to avenge his lost friend, takes the new armor and sets out to find Troy's killer. The plot itself seems sort of typical, but it's really not that bad. Capcom took a very creative turn when making this game, so everything is still very good. There's even a good plot-twist here and there.
For the graphics, all I can say is wow. The atmosphere on the levels are simply incredible. Besides having some of the most large and interesting bosses on the NES, the theme to it is so amazing. The backgrounds are some of the most terrific and detailed graphics to appear on the NES. All of the levels are very morbidly, but interestingly colored. Everything has either a futuristic Blade Runner feel to it, or an organic Alien feel. Obviously being influenced by the aforementioned movies, Capcom really decided to push it into a Sci-Fi direction, and I just love it. There are even well done anime cutscenes.
Character designs are also really great. Ken is now in a very high-tech armor with a visor and everything. This redux, while certainly not the Ken we know, is a great design, and sure beats the crap out of the blonde Ryu-clone. All of the bosses and enemies have either become cyborgs, or are interesting alien creatures. Overall, these graphics are simply stunning. The backgrounds push the NES to its limits, and the whole game displays an artistic masterpiece.
The game is really an innovative piece of work. It combines the old action/beat-em-up genre with platforming, and even gives a bit of fighting game. Basically, there's a level. In the level is a boss you are supposed to kill. So, you go throughout the level searching for him, fighting little enemies along the way, until you find him. At that point you fight him and try to kill him. Some levels are freeroaming Megaman type levels, others are timed sidescrollers, and others are freeroaming, but the boss begins right near you.
Combat is easily the most interesting part of the game. Ken is extremely athletic, so during the game he will be bouncing off walls, doing back-flips, etc. But the levels can be vertical or horizontal, so he can also climb on top of walls or platforms. Given an arsenal of punches, and a few kicks, the boss fights are quite fun. The directional attacks allow you to aim more efficiently, instead of just straight. He can throw a kick to make a small diagonal blow up, use punches to hit in any direction, and jump into the air to do a down punch.
What I think is so fun about it is how you often manipulate the environment to face the bosses. Example: The first boss is a flying scorpion that chases you throughout the level. You see him hovering in one area. So, you climb up onto a small block right underneath him and fire up as fast as you can. He then goes to attack mode and charges at you. Immediately you backflip over him and land on a wall. After climbing up the wall, he goes back to regular mode, where you promptly jump off it and throw one punch down at him and kill him. Along with that is the small amount of RPG elements they stuck in. Throughout the levels, destroying certain blocks gives you power-ups. Once you get two, Ken flashes for a minute, reaching a new power level. His punches are now slightly stronger and have longer range.
So what really drags the game down? Well, I would've liked Ken to have some more moves. Maybe an uppercut or a fireball or something would've really made him feel more like a futuristic Ken. But the main problem is that the game's horrific difficulty. Now, I'm no expert gamer, but I have played alot of games, and have experienced extreme difficulty. So, take it with some merit when I say that this is the hardest game I have ever played! And yes, I have played Ghosts and Goblins, Advance Wars, and Ikaruga. This blows them all out of the water. With your four life orbs, you are expected to go through a level where you can be hit by spikes, kamikaze enemies, enemies which are too far away for you to hit but can hit you, and bosses, all of which take away one orb per hit. And not only that, but the levels have time limits!
Luckily, there are unlimited continues, but when you die at a boss you must restart the WHOLE level, which is already hard enough by itself. To give you a picture of just how hard this sucker is, I used to play this game with a game genie. The genie gave me infinite lives, full power-ups, super jumps, and invincibility. I still got my ass handed to me because enemies would hit me causing me to fall off a ledge, or I would die because the time ran out.
The music is by far one of the best soundtracks of any NES game. Every song is so catchy and well done. The tunes are very dead-on appropriate, and the harmony alot of them make is simply wonderful. The songs are fast-paced and always put you on edge, or beautifully coincide with the backgrounds to create the game's great atmosphere.
There unfortunately is no replay value, since the game is so long and hard by itself very few will finish it. Casual gamers, and even hardcore gamers lacking the utmost patience will quit this game in frustration of its difficulty.
Overall, Capcom almost created one of the best games ever. The combination of graphical style and music already made it one of the most atmospheric and interesting NES games ever, and the combat was really quite good. But, Ken had a limited amount of moves, and it was just too hard. Good try, Capcom.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/30/01, Updated 09/07/03
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