Street Fighter II, as we know, got ported to a lot of machines – even ones which perhaps weren’t up to the task of actually playing the game properly, like the Game Boy.
With its monochrome display, feeble processor and two (count ’em) buttons, it was far from the ideal platform to host Capcom’s cutting-edge one-on-one fighter – but that didn’t stop the Japanese company from comissioning a port, because the Game Boy market was huge.
That port has come in for a lot of negative press over the decades, and it’s easy to see why – it runs at less than 10 frames per second and suffers from horrendous input latency, making even the most basic of moves difficult. In fact, it’s long been assumed that the Game Boy version is so bad that you can’t even perform combo attacks in it – something that Street Fighter combo fiend Desk decided to put to the test:
I watched a bunch of footage of this game while researching this video and was 100% convinced that the game didn’t actually have combos. There were also no combo videos to be found anywhere.
However, as you can see from the footage above, Desk was able to pull off combos in the Game Boy version – and pretty decent ones, too.
This wasn’t an easy process, as Desk explains:
It’s possible that, under the hood, the game updates quicker but after running lots of the footage in slow motion, the character sprites never update at more than 7 frames per second. This makes things incredibly difficult. Combined with the input latency, sometimes you literally finish the inputs for a combo just as the first attack is connecting. So there is no visual feedback to help your timing.
Even when playing the game myself it took a little while to prove that the game system allowed for true combos. It’s possible that some of these combos have never actually been done before now (In a 26 year old game!).
You cannot cancel any attacks, so no 2-in-1 combos (everything has to be linked). Also, all of the footage was captured with DIY, 2 Player autoblock. So, player 2 was holding down-back throughout the combos with one hand.
Still, we now know that the Game Boy version of Street Fighter II – which has to rank as one of the worst ports – does at least allow you to pull off combos. So there’s that, at least.