Street Fighter EX2 / Street Fighter EX2 Plus
REVIEWThe sequel to Street Fighter EX the first ever 3D Street Fighter game in history, Street Fighter EX2 originally released in arcades in 1998. The original release was followed by an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX2 Plus (also released in arcades). The "Plus" version of Street Fighter EX2 was the version later ported to the PlayStation 1 in 1999-2000. In addition to most of the original cast from Street Fighter EX1 returning (everyone except for Blaire Dame & Allen Snider), Street Fighter EX2 adds a mix of colorful newcomers as well as returning veteran Street Fighters to the growing roster.

Street Fighter EX2 PlayStation 1 selection screen.

Continuing the trend of "cool" and interesting new Street Fighter character designs, EX2 introduces newcomers such as: Area, Vulcano Rosso, Nanase, Shadowgiest, and Sharon... each offering something we haven't seen before in the series. Thankfully, several old school (and rather important) fan-favorites also enter the 3D arena for the first time ever, including: Blanka, Vega and Sagat. Right off the bat, the classic veterans look pretty cool in 3D (overlooking some 'rough' edges due to 1998's polygonal limitations). Their classic movesets retain most of their iconic special moves but have been tweaked quite a bit, as the veterans seem to have lost some of their trademark priority moves. While the veterans don't play "exactly" like they did in their 2D glory days, they retain their "basic" play-styles.

Street Fighter EX2 (Arcade ver.) selection screen.

Street Fighter EX2 keeps the majority of the gameplay systems from the first title intact, including Guard Breaks and Super Cancels (arguably the most fun parts of the first game). EX2 introduces the Excel (AKA custom combo) system, allowing players to rapidly connect a series of basic and special moves for a limited time. Also new in EX2 are Meteor Combos, which are basically HUGE super moves that require all 3 stocks of the Super Combo Gauge. (Meteors can even be seen during these combos... they weren't kidding.) Now with more options, EX2's gameplay is a small yet significant step forward. As a whole, EX2 is probably the pinnacle of the series in terms of new content and competitive gameplay.

Returning legends are joined by interesting newcomers.

The console version of EX2 packs a similar amount of modes to the first title. One of the most prominent modes is once again the Command Training / Trial Mode. Like in SFEX, this mode allows players to run through special moves and advanced combos for every fighter in the game. No doubt a great asset to playing the game competitively, Trial introduces players to the basics of each character, all the way up to some of EX2's most challenging (yet rewarding) combos. Completing some of the ultra hard combos is a satisfying experience all on its own, and definitely gives you a feel for some of the combo possibilities in the game.   

Ryu got Ryun'd over. . .

Overall, EX2's gameplay still feels very much like the prequel, which could either be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your tastes. Yes, it still has slow and clunky moments... but EX2 is still very "playable" competitively (more-so than some other console fighting games of 1999-2000) and the game overall can definitely be enjoyed casually, as well.

Throw animations are still great!

Like in the original, there are many cool animations, badass combo possibilities, and the EX2's exclusive (Arika) cast boasts slightly more well-rounded movesets this time around. Classic characters also acquired some pretty cool new combos options as well (many of which are rather fun to perform, especially using Excel)! 


Hey, this stage also appears in KOF '99...










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Page Updated: April 15th, 2024
Developer(s): Arika
Publisher(s): Arika, Capcom
Artwork by: Bengus, Shima Maeda, Dai-Chan
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation
Release Date(s): 1998                                 Arcade
Dec. 9th, 1999
June 1st, 2000
Characters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Area, Sharon, Nanase, Vulcano Rosso, Shadowgeist, Skullomania, Blanka, Vega, Sagat, Dhalsim, Guile, Zangief, Kairi, Hokuto, Pullum, Darun, C. Jack, D. Dark, Garuda, Hayate, M. Bison

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Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX3, Fighting Layer, Fighting EX Layer, Street Fighter V, Street Fighter 6, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4, SSF4: 3D Edition, SSF4: Arcade Edition, Ultra SF4, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, SF2 Champion Edition, SF2 Turbo, Super SF2, SSF2 Turbo, SSF2 Turbo: Revival, Super SF2 Turbo HD Remix, SFIII: New Generation, SFIII: 2nd Impact, SFIII: 3rd Strike, SF3: 3rd Strike OE, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFA3 Upper, SFA3 Max, Street Fighter Alpha: Anthology, SF Anniversary Collection, SF: The Movie, Samurai Shodown 64, King of Fighters '99, KOF: Maximum Impact, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, Mortal Kombat 4

Gameplay Engine  7.5 / 10
Story / Theme  7.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.0 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  7.5 / 10
Innovation  6.5 / 10
Art Direction  9.5 / 10
Customization  6.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  7.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.0 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10

 7.6 / 10

 Review based on PlayStation version    


Final Words:

Now with a more impressive character roster and the return of fan-favorites like Sagat, Vega and Blanka, SFEX2 was a bit more appealing to the typical returning Street Fighter fan (who maybe didn't enjoy EX1). In terms of hype and popularity, EX2 didn't make as big of a "splash" as EX1 when it launched. 

I thought EX1 was pretty solid for a console fighting game at the time. SFEX2's presentation, music, and overall "wow factor" didn't quite live up to the original in certain ways. Although gameplay-wise, SFEX2 was definitely a step in the right direction. In retrospect, EX2 became more appreciated later on years down the road, especially competitively. It's arguably the best and most fun version of the EX series to play.

Even so, many would say SFEX2's overall gameplay experience (and again, presentation) didn't match up to Capcom's latest 2D offerings in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and SFIII: 2nd Impact. No doubt, those beautiful 2D-sprite-art-bearing Street Fighter titles were several levels ahead of SFEX2 in nearly every way... but at least Capcom was attempting something different outside of their traditional 2D recipe (and you can't fault them for it). Not to mention, Capcom's 3D effort in SFEX2 was leagues ahead of SNK's similar offering with Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition. (SFEX2 seems brilliant compared to that game.)

Also worth mentioning (and perhaps a very under-appreciated aspect of SFEX2), is the amazing "art direction" of the game. For starters, all character artworks (below) were drawn by the masterful Bengus. Need I say more? Artworks like these don't come around too often folks. Personally, I think SFEX2's character artwork is some of the ALL TIME BEST of the entire Street Fighter series.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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Click here for all character select art!


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                  darun-mister-sfex2-artwork-full.jpg (136996 bytes)        

Click here for all character art!

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