Now Ultra Street Fighter 2: The Final Challengers is out in the wild, I thought it would be a good idea to venture online to see how it all works.
The first thing to report is USF2's online mode gets the job done. I've played over 30 online ranked matches now, and most of them have been passable in terms of lag. Most of the people I've played with are in Germany, France or Spain (I can only assume the UK isn't that bothered), and most of the time the experience has been reasonable. Only once or twice was the game unplayable.
Elsewhere, we've got a real barebones online offering, which perhaps doesn't come as much of a surprise given the disappointment of the rest of the game. Going straight into ranked, you can quick search, custom search or create a lobby. Matchmaking is fast enough, and I never had to wait more than a minute for a game. After a match you can go for a rematch immediately and repeat this until you've hit the match limit.
One of the useful things about the way the game works is you can have it search for an online match while you're playing other modes, such as training. Hardly a revolutionary feature for a fighting game, I know, but good to see here.
Lobby options are limited. You can set the round and time limit, restrict the region search, set whether you want to play against someone using the same controls as you (default or simple), and select one of the game's squeaky clean comments that shows up before a match starts. Mine says I'm "The Team Chump", which sounds about right.
You can check your ranked points, whether it's Player Points (PP) or Battle Points (BP). This points system is taken from Street Fighter 4, where player points represents your profile rank, and battle points represents your character rank. It's early days, but at the time of publication I had the number eight Guile in the world with an 88.9 win rate and a win streak of 23. I take it all back I love this game.
There's a leaderboard for Way of the Hado, the awful first-person motion control mode, too, but why anyone would want to check this is beyond me.
The only other thing to fight for apart from ranking points is a title. I've selected Chump Fighter, which sounds about right. This system looks a lot like the one in Street Fighter 4. No surprises here.
It's worth noting how fiddly the Joy-Con are for Street Fighter and, I suspect, any fighting game. I used the Joy-Con slotted into their grip, and found the up, down, left and right buttons, which replace the standard d-pad, almost impossible to use with any accuracy. The thumb stick is the lesser of two evils. My thumb slips off of it occasionally, and I suffer frustrating execution errors as a result. The Pro Controller, which has a proper d-pad, is the way to go, but you're looking at an extra £60 on top of an already ridiculously-priced game.
In short, Street Fighter 2 on Switch has very basic online play, but it works. A suitable stomping ground for my beloved Zombie Guile.