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With Street Fighter II, 'we wanted to make the greatest game ever'

Former Capcom R&D head and Street Fighter II producer Yoshiki Okamoto explains the foundation of that seminal fighting hit -- plus Final Fight history from Akira Nishitani.
"Street Fighter II may look like a sequel to Street Fighter, but we actually challenged ourselves to create a new genre: competitive fighting. ... When we decided to take on the challenge of a new genre, we aimed for something that would be free of all our previous shortcomings and dissatisfaction -- we wanted to make the greatest game ever."

- Producer Yoshiki Okamoto

Over at Shmupulations, a continually updated archive of classic Japanese interviews, there's a new translation: a Capcom retrospective from 1991. At the time, the young company had just released what would become its biggest arcade hit: Street Fighter II.

In the interview, the game's producer Yoshiki Okamoto, who later went on to head the company's whole R&D division -- and who, of late, is in charge of massive mobile hit Monster Strike -- talks about the team's ambition for the game.

The article overall is light on insights into that game, but also has a lot of fun info about the company's origins. Akira Nishitani, who also worked on Street Fighter II and later headed up his own development studio, Arika, speaks about side-scrolling battler Final Fight:

"... with this game we were trying to check off all the boxes for a successful American game. For example, we tried to keep the flow of the game going (no interruptions), and we added a map so you could know where you are, and how far you had to go in the stage."

But there are always constraints on your vision, as a game developer: "That’s why the final boss Belger hops around like that: we didn’t have enough memory to add more graphics for a walking pattern. However, making something cool with limited resources is like a puzzle to me, so I thought it was fun," Nishitani said.

The interview stretches back to the company's origins as a studio, in 1983, and is worth a read. 

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