Street Fighter

REVIEWStreet Fighter debuted at the arcades in 1987, laying the framework for the fighting genre we know and love today. The player takes control of a lone martial artist named Ryu who competes in a worldwide martial arts tournament spanning five different countries (United States, Japan, China, England and Thailand). Ryu fights against ten different opponents in a specific order (two per country).


FUN FACT: The blonde-haired fellow who punches through the wall in SF1's intro is said to have inspired Fatal Fury's Terry Bogard.


Players can perform 3 basic types of punches and kicks which vary between speed and strength. There are a total 6 attack buttons and 3 special attacks (the Fireball, Rising Dragon Punch and Hurricane Kick) that could be performed only by executing specific motions. A second player can join in any time and take control of Ryu's rival, Ken, during competitive matches and play the rest of the game as Ken if they won.


In 1987, SF1 presented some of the BEST martial arts animation & visuals in a video game to date! In terms of gameplay, the game didn't reach maturity until the sequel, Street Fighter 2.


The original Street Fighter has been noted by fans of the series for its considerable difficulty in executing special moves in comparison to its more well known sequels. The original arcade cabinet also used "pressure-sensitive" pads to measure the three strengths of attack used in the game. The harder the player would hit the pad, the stronger the attack was. Alas, the pads quickly became damaged causing arcade owners to have to replace them (and they weren't cheap)... so Capcom wisely dropped this "innovation" and went back to using traditional arcade buttons for the game.


These graphics were revolutionary in 1987!


There's no denying Street Fighter's impact on the arcade scene. There was simply nothing else like it at the time, and it was definitely one of the best looking and most eye-catching video games in 1987. As someone who personally played on a mint Street Fighter cabinet in the late 80's quite frequently, I can vouch. This little game paved the way for one of the most recognizable video game franchises of all time... and inspired many other companies to venture into the realm of fighting.

Ryu breaking concrete in Street Fighter 1's Bonus Stage!

FUN FACT:  The director and producer of the original Street Fighter, Takashi Nishiyama, along with planner, Hiroshi Matsumoto, left Capcom after they created SF1 and later joined SNK where they would go on to design Fatal Fury and Art of Fighting.










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Page Updated: March 11th, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Takashi Nishiyama        Director / Producer
Hiroshi Matsumoto       Planner
Artwork by: Bengus (CRMK)
Platform(s): Arcade, PC, Commodore 64, Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, TurboGrafx CD, PSP, Wii Virtual Console
Release Date(s): August 30th, 1987         Arcade
Characters Ryu, Ken Masters, Lee, Eagle, Birdie, Geki, Joe, Gen, Mike, Retsu, Adon, Sagat

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter 2, Fatal Fury, International Karate, Yie Ar Kung Fu, SF2: Champion Edition, SF2: Turbo, Super SF2, Super SF2 Turbo, SSF2 Turbo Revival, SSF2T HD Remix, Ultra SF2, SFIII: New Generation, SFIII: 2nd Impact, SFIII: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4, Super SF4: 3D Edition, SSF4: Arcade EditionUltra SF4, Street Fighter V, SFV:AE, SFV:CE, Street Fighter 6, Street Fighter Alpha, SFA2, SFA3, SFA3 Upper, SFA3 Max, SFA Anthology, SF: Anniversary Collection, Street Fighter EX, SFEX2, SFEX3, Street Fighter: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Pocket Fighter, Art of Fighting, World Heroes, Fighter's History, Street Smart, Mortal Kombat

Gameplay Engine  7.5 / 10
Story / Theme  8.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  8.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.0 / 10
Innovation  9.5 / 10
Art Direction  8.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.5 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10

 8.5 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words:

The original Street Fighter holds a special place in my heart... I was 4 years old in 1987 when I first set my eyes on the arcade version of Street Fighter. Little did I know how much of an impact the game would have on me. I was already a fan of Yie Ar Kung Fu and International Karate (as I had the games at home on PC).

Upon its debut, Street Fighter (1) took the genre into the next generation with far more polished graphics than any fighting game before it. As an 80's arcade kid... I also remember that my quarters didn't go as far when I played SF1, comparatively to other arcade games. The difficulty was off-the-charts! Gimme a break... I was four (and couldn't practice the game at home). lol. Even if I did well in the early rounds, the later opponents would take my quarters every time.

Even so, Street Fighter become one of my favorite games to play at the arcades. SF1 in particular actually contributed to my early interest in actually learning Karate... Thanks to that "Ryu guy," I was dressing up in Karate uniforms before I became an actual martial arts student when I turned seven. (A good age to start, btw.) In case you don't know, I later began a martial arts career teaching for about 25 years. Good times.

For the record, I was actually never able to beat Street Fighter 1 at the arcade.  I think I could get to Stage 5 or so... but then my quarters started to run out (gotta conserve), so I probably decided to play another game that would last longer. See, I was learning money management at a young age! Damn, I miss the arcade days.

A few years later... the iconic Street Fighter 2 redefined the idea of "competitive fighting game" with a much more playable game. As you could imagine, SF2 was an even bigger deal to someone like me, a returning SF1 veteran (at 7 or 8 years old by then). Needless to say, SF2 immediately became one of my biggest video game obsessions. Later when the internet came out, I learned I wasn't the only one who these amazing games impacted... and I started The Fighters Generation website. Hope you enjoyed this nostalgia trip as much as me.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen


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