Destructoid interview: SSFII Turbo HD Remix producer, Rey Jimenez

There are few remakes that gets the blood boiling quite like Capcom’s upcoming Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix. While the game is essentially a fancier version of the game we’ve all come to know and love, it happens to be a fancier version of arguably one of the best 2D fighters … ever. 

Not too long ago, Destructoid community member Bluewolf72 hinted that he wanted to see a SSFIITHDR related interview. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but we pay attention around here; we have a crush on our community, so to speak.

Hit the jump for a short interview with Capcom’s Rey Jimenez, producer of the upcoming PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade title.


Destructoid: So just so we’re 100% clear: Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is, at its core, a “remake” of Super Street Fighter Turbo II, correct? You’re actually using the original game code, and since you’re not programming from the ground up, how does something like that work? I’d imagine you’d run into a few challenges.

Rey Jimenez: Some of the biggest challenges with the title are “decoding” the old code.  The original games are written in an old code format that are not common today and were also mainly written by the same guy or team.  They took a lot of genius shortcuts and workarounds that took a lot of time to figure out. 

In looking at the code for Super Turbo, you can see the layers of code for the previous Street Fighter II games as they evolved and moved from the CPS1 arcade board to the CPS2.  As a result, the programmers have had many challenges learning how the old arcade games were developed and how to use this with today’s hardware.

You’ve maintained that the game should play the same, and that the team is dedicated to keeping the original feel … still, I’d imagine tweaks will have to be made. What are some of the expectations players should or shouldn’t have?

Players should expect the gameplay they know and love from the original game.  Great pains are being made to make it so.  Any tweaks we decide to make with the gameplay should be practically invisible to most gamers.

How has it been working with UDON Comics on a project like this? What kind of stylistic changes, if any, might need to be made to their character designs?

One of the first things we needed to collaborate on was finding a style suitable for animation.  It had to be easily reproducible through thousands of frames, but still detailed enough for an HD Street Fighter game.  Udon has done a great job in coming up with that style.  They have many artists, and some had different — and arguably better — styles, but again, we needed to make sure it would work right for animation.

You guys took a bit of flak for certain aspects of the Guile sprite you guys revealed. You’ve mentioned you’ll be making some changes based on feedback, and that’s great that you’re listening to the fans. But at what point do you say — and this applies to any game — “We hear your concerns, but we’ve made a decision and we know what’s best for the game”? 

That’s a bit tricky.  Sometimes you need to step away from a project to get perspective on it.  Feedback on the blog has helped a lot on that.  There is no real line on what we should and shouldn’t change based on the blog feedback, it just has to be from our best judgment.  If I hear feedback that the rest of the team and I agree on — and given many factors, including where we are in the development stage — a suggestion may be implemented. 

At the same time, we cannot address every issue that comes up from the blog because we’ll never finish at that point.  Plus, you just can’t please everyone.

The online play in Street Fighter II for XBLA was spotty, and that’s putting it politely. Can you give me any insight as to what happened there and how you’re going to avoid that with the release of SSFIITHDR?

For one, we are using a totally different developer for this.  Also, we are using that title as a learning experience on how to fix a lot of the issues that came up.  It was one of the first things I did to start this project — I asked the producer for Hyper Fighting on XBLA for his post mortem on the project, and a list of every issue that came up.

Are you going to run into any issues with the 250 meg XBLA size limit? (and) Will the lack of this limit on the PSN benefit that version in any way?

We are not currently anticipating any issues.  Gamers on both systems should be able to fully enjoy the game.

You’ve also said you’re on schedule. So you’re scheduled to release the game when exactly?

We don’t have an exact date set yet, but I can say that we’re shooting for a release this winter.

The Xbox 360 d-pad is for the birds, and arcade purists demand only the best — any plans for a licensed arcade stick for the true arcade experience, or should 360 owners start shaving down their d-pads now?

I’ve talked to the appropriate people about that and told them that there’s an interest for a licensed stick for the game from the fans.  As of yet, I haven’t heard of one being announced yet.  

I’m bracing myself for a no comment but … pricing?  

We have not yet released an official price for the game.

Is this game just the beginning? How about a Final Fight HD Remix? Or better yet, I hear a small, but vicious crowd chanting for an updated Saturday Night Slam Masters.

If they buy it (Super Turbo HD), it could (possibly) come (someday).


Thanks to Capcom and Rey Jiminez for their time! 

Nick Chester