Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strip Fighter II

Games Express - 1994 - Japan

Inspired by my brother IvaNEC's recent coverage of fighting games on the Turbo, I decided I'd follow his lead and do up a little review on the infamous Strip Fighter II.

Contrary to the implications of the name, Strip Fighter II is not a sequel to anything. Rather, it's a fairly blatant clone of Street Fighter II, released during the height of the SF2 craze. Only, there's a twist: all the fighters are female, and you are treated to digitized photographs of naked women after winning a match. And win you will.

As far as fighters on the console go, Strip Fighter II is fairly middle-of-the-road. Control is a bit stiff, but far from the atrociousness of the original Street Fighter (Fighting Street). It's also a far cry from the smooth-as-butter manipulation of avatars in Kabuki Ittouryoudan.

Visually speaking Strip Fighter II really shines, and I don't say that because of my predilection for naked women. It actually brings competent stage design to the table, somewhat surprising for a game many write off as a mere novelty. You'll find colorful and lush scenery here, as well as character design that's not half bad. The stage floors even line scroll for a correct aspect! Music isn't bad, but hardly memorable.

More than anything else, it's the "reward" photos of naked women that really date the game. Be prepared for cheesy late 80s/early 90s hairstyles and pixelated bush. On the other hand, what better way to fit in with classic TurboGrafx kitsch?

Special moves are executed via your standard Street Fighter II button combos, which isn't really surprising for a product of the era. Like its big "brother," you are much better off playing Strip Fighter II with a 6 button pad or stick as opposed to a 2 button controller. Unfortunately, even with a 6 button pad Strip Fighter II plays a bit too clunky for it to rank with the best. Despite the unresponsive controls, Strip Fighter is ridiculously easy and you shouldn't have much trouble clearing the game with all 6 characters.

It's the unbalanced nature of the game and the aforementioned shortcomings that ultimately motivate most people to pass over it in favor of one of the more "traditional" fighters. Pick it up if you like fighters and you see it for a reasonable price, you'll get at least an afternoon or two's worth of enjoyment out of it. You might even come back to it from time to time. I'll freely admit it's a guilty pleasure of mine.

A few of the "beauties" you'll get to disrobe by achieving victory.

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