Super Blackjack Battle II – Turbo Edition launched in summer 2018 and gave us all a reason to get back to our cards and attempt to improve our blackjack game. The game pits you against 12 blackjack masters as you go head to head in 10 round across a range of countries, leading up to the grand final in the home of blackjack, Las Vegas. The gameplay consists of traditional blackjack rules with an added "Turbo" twist. When it comes to card games, each one has to stand out in order to attract players, but is Super Blackjack Battle II standing out because it's reminiscent of Street Fighter?
How Is Blackjack Battle Like Street Fighter?
Street Fighter has been Capcom’s flagship fighting video game since its launch in 1987. The game essentially invented the one-on-one fighting style of gameplay and since Street Fighter 2 has commanded exactly how the genre plays out, from Tekken's various installments all the way to the Soulcalibur franchise.
The players each have a unique fighting style and hail from dozens of countries around the world. Sound familiar? Your opponents in Super Blackjack Battle II also have different styles of playing, mimicking the different play styles of real players and those you encounter online. The multitude of locations the ten rounds of the game take part in also brings with it players from different countries, much like Street Fighter. The aim of each game may be slightly different, but at their core, both games are about beating your opponents in any way possible. There are many ways to play poker online, including tournaments and several variants such as Omaha and Razz poker, but having a card game that takes inspiration from one of gaming’s classics like Street Fighter can only add to the excitement.
Both Games Flesh Out Characters
In order to make the games worthwhile and the experience of the gamer and to augment the fun factor of the style of gameplay, the characters involved are given backstories and light character development. Making players invested in characters is a guaranteed way of getting players invested in the game. Street Fighter has had some iconic characters over its long lifespan. Some say that Ryu, who is the building block for a Street Fighter game, helped create not only an iconic fighting style but also a unique take on a humorous character archetype that has inspired various titles since.
Chun-Li is also one of the most iconic female fighters in video game history (so much so that she provided Nicki Minaj with her alter-ego). Chun-Li helped show the depth and range that Street Fighter could offer with its characters. Street Fighter storylines can also get complex, as with Sagat, whose hero/villain status has been turned on and off more times than he’s KO'd an opponent. Similarly to Street Fighter, Super Blackjack Battle II characters each have a backstory and a humorous line dealt depending on which of their opponents knocks them out of the game.
Location, Location, Location
The locations featured in both games are fairly reminiscent of a wider trope in gaming that shows a developer has enjoyed fleshing out the game world and providing players with something more advanced than a mere turn-taking game. Street Fighter features such distinctive locations as the Japanese castle backdrop, the bustling Hong Kong market, the Honshu themed bathhouse or the level resembling Olmec ruins.
Part of the enjoyment of Street Fighter was learning exactly how you can use the environment and your skills in each level, together with your opponents' weaknesses, to your advantage. This is similar in Super Blackjack Battle II. Each opponent has their own felt table designed to resemble their country or culture. Each level provides different visuals and music to give a different aesthetic for the player. While the gameplay may be similar throughout the game, each level provides a different style of gameplay with the backdrops and musical interludes. For example, player Luke has a thoroughly Australian themed backdrop, while Julian resembles the best Spain has to offer.
[Review] Ever wonder what Super Street Fighter II Turbo would have been like if it was a game about blackjack, as opposed to fighting, the answer would most likely be Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition – The Card Warriors on… https://t.co/N29FG6mgFA pic.twitter.com/vKr6MWlfNT
— Miketendo64's Epic Crafted Awakening 2 (@miketendo64) September 9, 2018
Music to My Ears
The soundtrack of any game is a huge factor in not just how enjoyable it is to play, but how memorable it is once you’ve completed it. In BBII, each environment offers a different soundtrack reminiscent of the vibes that are evoked in each level. This gives each game a distinctly different feeling, and for levels when you’re doing better, you’ll associate certain styles of music with doing better in the game. Plus, when you get to the final four rounds, the music tempo increases to up the tension factor in the game. Street Fighter is also known for the different musical interludes in each of its levels and players are able to recognize and associate different musical styles with different parts of the game. Those who struggled to progress past a certain level will no doubt be haunted by the music that was played if they were to ever hear it again.
While Super Blackjack Battle II and Street Fighter may seem like inherently different games, they are actually very similar. Not only in the victory-seeking style of gameplay, but in the way each character is presented, each level is offered, and the music and 16-bit art - it all helps the player’s enjoyment of the game. The two are a lot more similar than people would expect.