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Super Street Fighter II X Sound Complete :: Review by Chris

Super Street Fighter II X Sound Complete Album Title: Super Street Fighter II X Sound Complete
Record Label: Shinseisha
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: 1994
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Capcom's attempts to create a perfect Street Fighter II soundtrack release concluded with the magazine bonus Super Street Fighter II X Sound Complete. This music features all the character themes from the last main version of Street Fighter II to be released on Arcades, Super Street Fighter II Turbo. Capcom's soundtrack release for Super Street Fighter II was rightly criticised for featuring short track times and far too much superfluous material. They remedy these problems somewhat on this album by limiting the track selection to just the character themes. There are absolutely no fanfares, ending themes, voice collections, or sound effects tracks to clutter the experience. But are character themes alone a satisfying representation of Street Fighter's music or did Capcom's reductionist approach go a little too far?


Ryu's theme is the first character theme featured on the disc. Written in the spirit of old-school game music, the melody is quite poppy and quirky. However, Yoko Shimomura develops it brilliantly and tempts listeners to whistle along. Ken's stage probably has the most memorable opening riff of any game music piece. The rocking melody is pretty good too and nicely reflects the character's American origins. Guile's theme holds many similarities to Ryu's, but distinguishes itself with a methodical bass riff. It's a pretty effective depiction of a lone wolf. The inappropriate but endearing themes for Zangief and Blanka also return and sound as groovy as ever. All these themes are similar to their Street Fighter II originals except with slightly modified, though still relatively low quality, Arcade synth. Cammy's theme, on the other hand, is a relatively fresh addition, having featured in just the Super Street Fighter II soundtrack previously. It's rich with Isao Abe's peppy jazz fusion work and also has a slight industrial tinge.

Moving on to culturally inspired tracks, Chun-Li's Chinese-influenced theme is back. The gliding melody is an ingenious representation of the female fighter and sounds even better than before with the revised synth. Other culturally inspired tracks were written for Japanese sumo-wrestler E. Honda and Indian eccentric Dhalsim. They are probably the weakest character themes melodically, but still add to the diversity of Street Fighter II. More impressive are the themes for Super Street Fighter II's T. Hawk and Dee Jay, presumably written by Syun Nishigaki. The former portrays the native American by blending an evocative flute melody with a rustic western style accompaniment. Dee Jay, on the other hand, is given plenty of bounce and charisma with its Caribbean-influenced rhythms. Isao Abe returns to his distinctive rock-influenced sound for Fei-Long's theme. He manages to inspire a strong image of the urban backstreets of Hong Kong.

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 is Vega's. Written in a flamenco style, it manages to be brisk, elegant, and intimidating all at the same time. Isao Abe's representation of Sagat combines abstract funk influences and meditative repetitions of the melody. However, it's ultimately left to Yoko 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. Yet that's not all! Akuma crashes the party at the end of the soundtrack to offer the sole character theme exclusive to Super Street Fighter II Turbo. It blends an obsessive oriental lead, hard rock accompaniment, and even some perplexing pitch shifting. A worthy accompaniment to the almighty foe!

All 17 character themes are actually present in two variations in the soundtrack. There's the regular variation used during the first part of a duel and an alternative variation used when the characters incur heavy damage shortly before K.O. They versions are all unspectacular; though it's a simplification to call them merely faster and louder variations, there are few subtleties in their presentation. They have a tendency to be quite jarring on a stand-alone level too, although the slightly smoother synth on Super Street Fighter II Turbo makes them tolerable. They could have been safely omitted like they were in the the Super Street Fighter II soundtrack release. Furthermore, though character themes are definitely the highlight of the Super Street Fighter II Turbo soundtrack, it would have been preferable to have at least some of subsidiary menu and cinematic themes to bulk up the soundtrack from its meagre 35 playtime. Even the ending themes could have been included if clustered at the end of the album.


Overall, Super Street Fighter II X Sound Complete is the definitive soundtrack release if you're only interested in Street Fighter II's character themes. It features all character themes from the various Street Fighter II titles, including exclusively Akuma's theme, in a very sensible order. The track lengths are adequate, though the decision to include the heavy damage variations does disrupt the release slightly. However, those who feel the Street Fighter II musical experience is about more than just character themes might find this release brief and hollow. It is not easily available, but is slightly more worthwhile than most other soundtrack releases for the mini-series.

Overall Score: 7/10