I'm getting straight to the point here: Here Comes a New Challenger, is the Street Fighter 2 documentary I never knew I always wanted. It's tremendous. But what is it? Here Comes a New Challenger is an absolute love letter to the global phenomenon; Street Fighter 2.
Directed by Oliver Harper, the documentary covers a wealth of Street Fighter information; literally starting with Street Fighter. Now, we all know that Street Fighter was nothing in comparison to the monsoon of fame, hype and hysteria that arrived with Street Fighter 2. Here Comes a New Challenger takes a deep dive in to this world and to help the story along the way, the documentary is packed with some big names. From the likes of Mick McGinty (artist), Yoshiki Okamoto (Street Fighter 2 Producer), James Goddard (Dev),Steven E. de Souza (SF2 Movie Director) and many more key players that facilitated the Street Fighter 2 craze of the 90's.
Now I can assure you that throughout your two hours and twenty minutes with this documentary, there are some seriously juicy topics to sink your teeth into. The following synopsis is taken direct from the Here Comes a New Challenger website:
So what was my viewing experience like? Absolutely amazing. I was gripped from start to finish. I firstly fell in to a hypnotic trance over the stunning animation at the beginning of the documentary. The pacing, the music; everything ebbed and flowed in a way that hooked me in those first few minutes of: Here Comes a New Challenger.
It was interesting to hear about the Arcade market. It turned out that Street Fighter 2 helped revive the arcades in many ways and sales far exceeded what Capcom had expected. Being a consumer and a player of Street Fighter 2, I guess I never considered what went in to the graft of delivering Street Fighter 2 to arcades across the world. Watching the documentary definitely elevated my appreciation for SF2 in many ways.
Perhaps one of my favourite parts was the part about the hack: Street Fighter 2: Rainbow Edition. This hack found its way in to the arcades and a soon as players got their hands on it; there was no going back. Rainbow Edition made significant improvements to SF2: Champion Edition, by speeding up gameplay and adding crazy things like giving Ken and Ryu the ability to smash out five Hadouken's in one. How did Capcom respond? The easy answer is that they released Hyper Fighting. Adding Turbo to Hyper Fighting meant that players could still experience the speed that Rainbow delivered; whilst playing an official release. You will have to watch the documentary if you want the full scoop though.
Since watching the documentary, I purchased that Street Fighter 2 Player Guide VHS. This is something that was covered alongside the strategy guides. I did not expect to see the finer detail of Street Fighter Mania. I guess this proved to me, the influence of this documentary right? Right! The question on your lips is where can I watch it? There are 2500 limited run Blu-Rays that are due to be shipped at the end of May/beginning of June. You might be shocked at the hefty price tag of £34.99 but I believe it is worth it. Even though I've seen the press burner, I still snagged my copy. UK shipping is £3.50. Honestly guys, don't miss out. Enjoy.
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