Street Fighter 2010 helpfully begins with a segment titled "A Little Background."

     After winning in the first Street Fighter championship, rich playboy/industrialist/movie star Ken Masters and his closest friend Troy, whom nobody ever heard of, became scientists. All was going well on their experimental 'stuff that makes other stuff stronger' project, until THE KILLER showed up, and reduced them to goo and made off with the 'cyboplasm.' In spite of being left "a pile of jelly" and being 25 years out of practice, Ken is then cyborged-up and shot into space (by someone who may or may not be his seldom-seen wife Eliza) to do battle with THE KILLER who thoughtfully left a very obvious trail of mutants in his wake.

     Even the opening monologue smacks of half-assed cashing in. Street Fighter wasn't even a big name when the game first came out. The connections to its source are tenuous at best since the game is a sort of a crappy attempt at a platformer.

     In the 25 years that passed since Street Fighter I, Ken's fighting ability has logically developed into nothing but Hadokens of varying power in various directions. And seeing the popularity of the blastathon Mavel vs. Capcom, I'm really not suprised. Unfortunately, they lack in range and power, as you'll find out while battling the various indistinct enemies. The very first enemies you'll encounter, little rocket-powered something or others, move slowly but deliberately in random directions. And thanks to Ken's slowly recuperating central nervous system, these stop-and-go flyers are pretty damn hard to dodge when you get backed into a corner by crappy level design. You see, Ken seems to have obsessive-compulsive dexterity- if he detects a pillar or something remotely climbable, he climbs. This happens mostly when he tries to aim upwards. Hitting left and right only makes him change sides of the pole.

     Basically, your goal in each level is to kill a given monster, steal its energy to power your teleporter, and get zapped to the next world. The format of a given level is a big open space, usually with a crappy background stolen right out of the Total Recall NES game. It took me a while to figure out that the recurring design element over the doors in the ruined New York City first stage were actually neon signs with girls as opposed to hi-tech bulkheads with exposed wiring. (Strike one: If you can present a female figure in a manner that doesn't suggest a female at all to a male mind... then I can't finish that sentence in a suitably witty manner.) You hop around a post apocalyptic scene of some sort or another, dodging a horde of slow moving, easy to kill enemies, while trying to kill a boss monster. Kind of like the rainforest stage in Zen: Intergalactic Ninja with terribly drawn robots trying to kill you instead of you having to periodically save the flowers by hitting them with a stick. And it makes about as much sense.

     After besting a giant scorpion-fly thing, Ken has a few seconds to find and enter the next time portal to go to the next stage. I didn't play past Planet One when I realized that if I kept playing, they'd only keep throwing more levels at me. For you see, Street Fighter 2010, or what I could stand to try of it, manages to incorporate every thing I loathe about platformers in a platformer. There's even a Megaman boss battle-esque fight with a random mutant wielding a grappling ball and chain. Avoiding it as it swings from the ceiling is like trying to put in eyedrops on a roller coaster. Then, in one of the most pointless stage ever, Ken emerges from a portal in a dimension not of sight or sound, but of fiberglass insulation as the next opens. Then you make him jump in then other portal. To an autoscroll stage, complete with the Zigzag Part. Beautiful. You know what I'm talking about, a random S-shaped junction you have to negotiate tut suite or risk being crushed by the autoscroll.

     Let's face it, the whole idea was poison from the beginning. A futuristic spinoff on Street Fighter, sans Ryu, who (to everyone who isn't American,) is the hero. Future spinoffs almost never do well. The only one I can really think of offhand was Batman Beyond, thanks to an interesting art style and interesting storylines. Even the obligatory 'classic villain comes back in spite of being in his 80s' episodes were at least made different. But that's Batman. The contemporary setting is about as much of an element to SF as the fighting itself. Mark of the Wolves was a good " the FUTURE" scenario, then again it didn't involve much cyberware, flying cars, and aliens.

     Seriously. It's 2003. Unless we make a lotta progress real fast, I doubt we'll have personal teleporters, alien bars, cyboplasm, whatever the hell that is, and the medical technology to reconstruct liquified human beings in seven years. Of course, it's Nintendo; check your disbelief at the door.

     This probably wasn't even intended as a real Street Fighter title. I'm guessing Capcom just had some untitled finished game and decided to use the name from a less-than-stellar arcade game... bam.


...try again. Kiddo.

The attic is a terrifying realm.

Ken is killed by the purple guy's ball and chain, and the jawa bar crowd rejoices.

Ken is killed by an exploding hallway. Yes, exploding hall.