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Street Fighter II HD Turbo: Nerfed, Upscaled or Bugged?

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Some interesting discussion going on over at the Beyond3D forum, here. Capcom’s long awaited Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has been released - its main claim to fame being beautifully redrawn artwork in full 1080p. But is it really 1080p? There are some odd-looking artefacts in the character sprites, as pointed out by a man posting online using the hacker alias ‘MazingerDUDE’.

A look at the game via Digital Foundry TrueHD confirms the anamoly. The fighter artwork appears to be repeating detail - every fifth line, then the next fifth line, then the sixth, before the sequence repeats.

Four shots from the Xbox 360 version of Capcom’s Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, losslessly derived from the HDMI output of the console. Lavish artwork but have the character sprites actually been (poorly) scaled, or is the game just bugged?

It bears all the hallmarks of scaling - albeit rather rough line-doubling as opposed to interpolation (which produces a fuzzier look). It’s the sort of effect you get using the ‘nearest neighbour’ resize technique in Photoshop. While the game still looks good, it’s true to say that you’re looking at approximately 12 percent of the character detail being lost - which I’m sure is not what the original artist intended. The alternative is of course that no detail is missing, that the base image is smaller and it’s just being blown up in a really cack-handed manner. In which case it would appear that the original artwork was drawn and it was simple too small! (Edit: based on artwork released by Capcom, this appears to be the case). The backgrounds, by the way, are pure, untainted, 1080p.

Is it just the 360 version affected? As the game’s not out in the EU, and there’s no demo that I can detect on the US PSN, I can’t provide corresponding grabs but as the anamoly was originally discovered on the PS3 code, I rather suspect it’s there too.

Update: Yes, SSF2T HD Remix is indeed scaling its character art - and indeed cropping the backgrounds. It’s because the game itself is made for 4:3 - not the game’s default mode, by the way. Switch to 4:3 and the scaling artefacts vanish… a shame that the art wasn’t built for the default display option really.

Switch to 4:3 and balance is restored to the Force… note the extra vertical resolution on the backgrounds too… this is the way you’re supposed to play the game.

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