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Chōnai Gekitōhen is modeled on the Street Fighter II template but deviates from it in several ways, especially in its control scheme. Jumping is performed by tapping X. You have two buttons for normal attacks: Y and B. A special attack is assigned to A. Blocking is performed by holding L or R, like in Mortal Kombat. Combos are essentially irrelevant, and you can change characters between fights. The controls are as responsive as they need to be and its game physics are decent, but do not allow for the ease of control and perfect responsiveness necessary for a Street Fighter II clone that wants to be taken seriously. There are special moves, but they are performed with rather simple commands, ala Super Smash Bros., rather than quarter circles or whatever. Besides iffy control responsiveness, hit detection could be better and it's basic fighting system is simply not very well designed.
Chōnai Gekitōhen's presentation does little to redeem the title. The game is ugly, even by the standards of 16-bit Street Fighter II clones. The backgrounds, character designs, and animation details look poor, and music the and sound effects are lacking.
The game was localized in America by Irem with some major cosmetic changes. Since Chōnai Gekitōhen's release came several years before anime and manga hit the American mainstream, Irem probably felt releasing such a goofy and heavily Japanese (for lack of a better word) game might be a risky venture. The title was changed to Street Combat, the cast was swapped with a bunch of World Heroes and Street Fighter 2010 rejects, and the plot was given a total overhaul. Male Ranma was turned into a blond-haired dude named Steven who fought in a robotic suit, while Female Ranma was turned into an armorless version of Steven. The rest of the Ranma cast received similarly bizarre makeovers - Genma turned into a black guy with sunglasses and pink hair named Tyrone. Kodachi is now a clone named Dozo, while the kendo sword wielding Kuno is now a hilariously generic army dude (also wielding a sword?) named G.I. Jim. Konchon was turned into a skateboarding robot name Helmut, while Shampoo received the most transparent makeover by dying her hair and turning herself into a masked wrestler. Ryoga is now a wiener in a red suit named C. J. It's exactly the same game as Chōnai Gekitōhen, except totally embarrassing.