DToid Interview: Rey Jimenez on Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix

With the announcement of a fancypants version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo hitting the XBLA and PSN, millions of gamers the world over took to the streets in a giddy orgy of violence not unlike the celebration following the end of the first Iraq War, or a college football bowl game. I was there amongst them and even though I’m completely fabricating this scenario, I singlehandedly burned three cars and punched a cop in the throat all in celebration of the second coming of what is widely considered the finest 2D fighting game in history.

With that in mind — and the questions you people kept e-mailing me with the expectation that I somehow magically know things — I shot a missive to Capcom and they kindly agreed to an interview on the subject. After asking the community for questions and coming up with some of my own I sent them back, and just a few moments ago I received the results.

Hit the jump to get in-depth info on Capcom’s most exciting project since the extremely underrated Mega Man: Powered Up directly from producer Rey Jimenez (the same fellow Nick interviewed previously — feel free to compare and contrast).

Nex: Why choose Super Street Fighter II Turbo to remake instead of a different SF title (such as the amalgam version from the Street Fighter Anniversary disc, or one of the Alpha titles)?

Rey Jimenez: While most people have their own opinion on which Street Fighter is their favorite, we made a very conscious choice when we picked Super Turbo.  The old sprite work is absolutely gorgeous looking, but in terms of actually up-rezzing them, an SFII game would have the most dramatic effect since (not counting the first SF game) they had the lowest resolution.  Another factor is that Super Turbo is very highly regarded by fans as one of the most refined and balanced SF games out there and the fact that it is still used commonly in fighting tournaments is a testament to how great of a game it is.  Lastly, this being the first time we’re trying this, the number of frames of animation used for an SFII game is more economic than doing one from another series.

N: Just how successful would SSF2THDR have to be to convince you guys to remake Darkstalkers (or Final Fight or Bionic Commando …) in the same stylized HD? Obviously there have been people asking you guys about this sort of thing, right?

RJ: Yeah…we’re getting a ton of requests for other series to do this on.  Even on lesser known, but just as great titles, like Saturday Night Slam Masters.  Exactly how successful this game has to be is another issue.  I really couldn’t tell you, but it’s a pretty safe bet that the more this sells, the better its chances are of happening. [Editor’s Note: You will all buy this game to ensure my Marvel vs Capcom 2 HD Remix. — Nex]

N: When will we finally be playing SSFIITHDR in our own homes?

RJ: At this time, we’ve currently only announced a winter release on the game.  It’s a bit hazy at the moment because there’s a lot of fine tuning that we’re working on, especially on the netcode.  When that’s resolved, we’ll have a better idea on the release date and make an announcement about it.

N: A large number of the rabid purists in the Street Fighter fanbase took issue with the modernization of the Balrog stage background art you guys recently released. How do you explain to that section of the fanbase design choices that go against almost two decades of gaming history?

RJ: We wanted to keep the aesthetics for the backgrounds the same as we are handling the characters.  They are all recognizable as the original, but there are just some changes to make them a little newer and fresh looking.  I will say that Balrog’s level will be on the more extreme side of the background changes we’ve made because there are a lot of elements in that background.  Others will have considerably less.

N: Taking into account hardware limitations, control options and online presence, which console would be the optimal choice on which to play SSFIITHDR

RJ: The game will run practically the same on both platforms and have the same features.  The only changes between the two I forsee will be in how they handle things like achievements.  The PS3 will have it’s own form connected with “Home”, but that’s really all I can think of.

N: Developing for both PSN and XBLA simultaneously must show both the strengths and weaknesses of each system. What was the hardest part about putting the title on each platform?

RJ: For a title like this, the pluses and minuses for the systems don’t really come into play as much.  The 360 was started first because the initial development was done on PC and they have similar frameworks.  But once a 360 build is made, the architecture of the game makes conversion to the PS3 fairly easily.  So the fact that we’re developing for both systems hasn’t really caused any headaches.

N: Obviously with the size limitations in place for downloadable titles — specifically on the XBLA — many developers have to cut corners when releasing downloadable titles. Did you have to drop anything you wish you could have left intact?

RJ: There were a couple of features that would’ve been cool to put in the game, but since we’ve had a good idea of how big the game was going to be from almost the beginning, they never really materialized.  I heard some stuff from the community that would be cool, like alternate uniforms, but we were limited by the size of the game.


I want to thank Rey for taking time off from his busy schedule of saving kittens from trees and blinding criminals with his glorious smile to answer our petty, mortal questions. While I detest undue hyperbole, I’m more excited about this game than I have ever been about anything in the history of mankind’s existence, and I will murder and steal to get a copy as soon as they hit the street.

And so will you, if you know what’s good for you …

Earnest Cavalli
I'm Nex. I used to work here but my love of cash led me to take a gig with Wired. I still keep an eye on the 'toid, but to see what I'm really up to, you should either hit up my Vox or go have a look at the Wired media empire.