Some things are meant to go together. Chocolate and peanut butter. Johnson & Johnson. Bacon and anything. Other things just seem to work despite everything being against them. Ramen and cheese. Riggs and Murtaugh. Adam Sandler still making new movies.
Then there are the combinations that you cannot imagine working in any world. Made by Stage Clear Studios and published by Headup Games, Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition combines the fast paced hard hitting action of Street Fighter 2 with the not as fast paced and risky hitting action of blackjack. Is the game a delicious combination like popcorn and garlic or is it more like eating a hot dog wrapped in a Twinkie bun?
The object of blackjack is simple. It is essentially you against the dealer. Face cards are worth 10 points, aces can be worth one or eleven points, the rest of the cards are worth their number. Whoever has the closest to 21 (hence, the game’s other name) without going over wins. It is an easy game whose simplicity makes its so popular and frustrating.
Street Fighter 2 is widely recognized as one of the greatest video games of all time. The player chooses one of eight fighters from around the world and attempt to battle their way through a a series of one on one fights. Each fighter (with the exception of Ken and Ryu) have their own fighting style and special moves. The game was a critical and commercial success and was an important part of any child of the 1990s.
Blackjack Battle wastes no time showing off its influences. The first screen has a familiar logo to anyone who entered an arcade in the 90s. Following is an opening that will immediately make the player wonder if they have started the wrong video game. The title screen looks exactly like an SNES video game. A lot of attention and detail was placed into the game’s opening.
The SF2 aesthetic continues during the game. Blackjack Battle allows the player to choose from twelve different card players from around the world. Your enter a globetrotting blackjack tournament that involves travelling to different locales. Win or lose, at the end of each battle the victor will taunt the loser with a nonsensical phrase. Each character has their own ending. The game really does seem like it is one of SF2’s many editions.
The audio here is also well done. From the differing musical scores to the voice that yells “Fight!” before each game, Blackjack Battle does a an excellent job of evoking memories of old school fighting games. There is not much variety here and the game maximizes what it does have.
This strict adherence to SF2 is all the game has going for it, unfortunately. For all its nods to the famous fighting game, when all is said and done Blackjack Battle is exactly that: a blackjack video game. Essentially, the player’s enjoyment will depend on two things: how much they enjoy playing blackjack and how far the nostalgia for SF2 will last. (Keep in mind there are no bonus rounds or special moves. This is simply a game of blackjack with a nostalgic flair.)
Super Blackjack Battle 2 Turbo Edition is a unique idea that is good for some laughs. However, once you get past the initial charm, the game offers little to anyone who does not enjoy playing blackjack. Alone. With no actual money at stake.