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Street Fighter II: The World Warrior - Simon Harris :: Review by Chris

Street Fighter II: The World Warrior - Simon Harris Album Title: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior - Simon Harris
Record Label: Living Beat Records (Germany); Sony Records (Japan)
Catalog No.: LBECD-027; SRCL-3195
Release Date: October 11, 1994; March 24, 1995
Purchase: Buy at eBay


During the Street Fighter rage of the 90s, pretty much any Street Fighter II album was viable in any region. Prominent British record producer Simon Harris — previously known for the Ambassadors of Funk albums for the Mario series — took advantage of this with the single Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. He aimed to recreate all the emotions of the game with a remix featuring rap lyrics, in-game samples, and electronic beats. It was released in both Germany and Japan together with some bonus remixes. How does the release fare?


Simon Harris instantly establishes a good beat for the first track on the album, "Psycho Crusher - Radio Edit". He blends light hip-hop grooves and synthy treble frills with the distinctive bass riff from Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. However, he is also sure to add melodic hooks to the track with his dazzling use of the opening theme melody throughout. He even offers a welcome interlude featuring the opening riff of Ken's theme followed by the main melody. What is offered is undeniably catchy and captures much of the fun and nostalgia offered with the game.

Of course, the track features vocals too. Although many will find the rap quite lame, the lyrics nicely reflect the innocent fighting spirit of the characters. The iconic line here is "You betta watch out cos I'm a Street Fighter" and Simon Harris presents it quite well. The lyrics nicely intersynch with the instrumentals and add to the strong rhythmical feel of the track. The final layer are sampled voice effects from Street Fighter II characters such as Chun-Li, Sagat, and Dhalsim. Whereas the use of in-game sounds have been detrimental in all other Street Fighter II albums, they fit pretty well here and add to the quirky feel of the track. Overall, a very likeable tribute.

The worst thing about the album is that it relies on the same ideas too much. Those arriving at the second track, "Hyper Fighting - Club Mix", are bound to be disappointed that is essentially an elongated and repetitious version of the first track. The once charming lyrics become pretty irritating when reused so shamelessly. The opening theme's bass riff sounds very jarring too after it has been repeated at least a hundred times on tracks like this and "Championship - Club Remix". "20-Bit Super Instrumental" and "Bonus - Beat-Em-Up" are just instrumental versions of the first track with a slightly more pronounced hip-hop beats. Fear not, for the rapper makes a return in the last five minutes of the album with the very most boring and hollow version of the original theme.


Simon Harris does a good job recreating the ethos of Street Fighter II with his remix. He captures the attitude of the characters, enjoyment of the players, and nostalgia of the fans with his blend of rap, beats, and sound effects. As a result, the first track is a genuinely fun listen, even if it is very cheesy. The album goes downhill since the other tracks are simple variations on a theme that overuse all the features of the original track. The album as a whole is thus a repetitive and irritating one unworthy of your money.

Overall Score: 5/10