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Street Fighter II Collector's Box Perfect Original Version :: Review by Chris

Street Fighter II Collector's Box Album Title: Street Fighter II Collector's Box Perfect Original Version
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: PCCB-00124 (with VHS); PCCB-00125 (with LD)
Release Date: September 17, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Exclusive to the Street Fighter II Collector's Box, the Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version is the main soundtrack release for Street Fighter II. It is the superior rendition of Street Fighter II's score for several reasons. For one, it is complete — featuring all the character, heavy damage, ending, menu, and subsidiary themes from the original version of the Arcade's Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Second, it is not interrupted by sound and voice effects like Street Fighter II Complete File and Super Street Fighter II The New Challengers are. Finally, each theme is its own fully length track unlike the related medley-based albums Street Fighter II ~ G.S.M. Capcom 4 and Street Fighter II Nintendo Magazine System Promo. Could this really be Street Fighter II's perfect soundtrack release? Is it worth purchasing a box set for?


Ryu's theme is rightly the first character theme featured on the disc. Yoko Shimomura wrote this one in the spirit of old-school game music — creating a melody that was simultaneously poppy, quirky, and uplifting. Though it may seem superficial, she developed it brilliantly and just tempts listeners to whistle along. Ken's stage, in contrast, probably has the most memorable opening riff of any game music theme. The rocking melody is pretty good too and nicely reflects the character's American origins. Guile's theme is an effective depiction of a lone wolf; it holds many similarities to Ryu's, but distinguishes itself with a methodical bass riff. The other leading character of Street Fighter II, Chun-Li, has an appropriately Chinese-influenced theme — the gliding melody is just an ingenious representation of the female fighter.

The themes for the remaining characters are also interesting. There are culturally inspired tracks for Japanese sumo-wrestler E. Honda and Indian eccentric Dhalsim. Though probably the weakest character themes melodically, they still add to the diversity of Street Fighter II. The themes for Zangief and Blanka, in contrast, both feature groovy bass riffs and light-hearted melodies. They don't quite fit the characters and locations they portray, but there is something strangely endearing about them; Zangief's disco-influenced theme is just a hilarious mismatch for the stereotypical Russian. There are also variations of the character themes used when the characters incur heavy damage. Most are simply faster and louder of the original versions, so they have a tendency to be quite jarring, especially on Arcade synth.

There is something euphoric about coming to the last portion of the game and hearing Balrog's synthy theme. Out of context, it's bound to inspire nostalgia for all those who played Street Fighter II back in the day. Probably my favourite character theme of all, though, is Vega's. Written in a flamenco style, it manages to be brisk, elegant, and intimidating all at once. Whereas all the other character themes were crafted by Yoko Shimomura, Sagat's theme was composed by Isao Abe; it's therefore quite a stylistic contrast, featuring abstract funk influences and meditative repetitions of the melody. However, it's left to Shimomura to take the score to its climax by portraying the final encounter with M. Bison. This differs from her other compositions given the melody is drowned out by formidable percussion use.

The album is wrapped up by short ending themes for the eight 'good' characters. There are quite personal themes to accompany Ryu's motivational journey, Guile's soothing reunion, and Chun-Li's passage of discovery. In contrast, the wrap ups for Dhalsim and E. Honda once again depict the characters' nations in a brash and stereotypical manner. The more bizarre endings include the light-hearted jingle for Blanka, a wedding march for Ken, and a Russian folk dance parody for Zangief. The staff roll is a decent effort, but not among the many classics. Ironically, the short tracks for the title, character select, and continue screens will probably be more memorable to most gamers. The soundtrack concludes with a character voice collection, a announcer voice collection, and a sound effects compilation.


The Street Fighter II score is filled with memorable melodies, plenty of personality, and a worldly aura. Though the Arcade synth is primitive compared to the sound quality of many of the ports and arrangements, the character themes are still instantly charming. Just like the game, Street Fighter II's score has a tendency to depict most characters and their nations stereotypically. However, it tends to be more goofy and amusing than particularly offensive. The Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version gets plenty of things right. Each theme is given its own full length track free from sound and voice effects. The character themes are just interrupted by the speeded up versions and the short ending themes are fortunately clustered together at the end of the album. The downside? It is exclusive to a three disc box set that is now very difficult to find and expensive to buy. Capcom would make a fortune if they decided to re-release this soundtrack in a stand-alone easily accessible form. Throw in the tracks for T. Hawk, Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei-Long, and Akuma from Super Street Fighter II Turbo and it'd be the perfect release.

Overall Score: 9/10