Street Fighter EX2 is a 2.5D fighting game co-produced by Capcom and Arika originally released in 1998 as an arcade game for the Sony ZN-2 hardware. It is a sequel to Street Fighter EX and the second main game in the EX series. An updated version of the game titled Street Fighter EX2 Plus was released in 1999 for the arcades as well and subsequently ported to the PlayStation.
The original version of Street Fighter EX2 retains all the features from the previous game, Street Fighter EX Plus, including original features such as "Guard Breaks" (unique moves which cannot be blocked by an opponent) and "Super Canceling" (the ability to cancel a Super Combo into another Super Combo).
The primary new feature in the game are "Excel Combos", ("excel" being abbreviation for "extra cancel"). Much like the "Custom Combos" featured in the Street Fighter Alpha series, Excel Combos allows player to connect a series of basic and special moves for a limited time. During an Excel Combo, the player begins with a basic move and can follow up with a different basic move or follow-up a basic move with a special move, which can be followed by a different special move. However, the player cannot connect any move with the same move, nor can they cancel special moves into basic moves during an Excel Combo.
Recurring Street Fighter characters Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Zangief and Guile, who were all in the original Street Fighter EX, return for EX2, along with original characters Hokuto, Skullomania, Doctrine Dark, and Cracker Jack. Dhalsim, who was in the PlayStation version of Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha, also returns along four additional characters new to EX series: Blanka and Vega from previous Street Fighter games, along with new characters Sharon (a gun-wielding hitwoman) and Hayate (a Japanese swordsman).
The game also features four hidden characters: Kairi from the original EX returns as a hidden challenger, along with new characters Shadowgeist (a costumed vigilante similar to Skullomania) and Nanase (a young girl who wields a staff). Garuda, also from the original EX, returns as a boss character. All four characters can be selected by the player after meeting certain requirements. A Cycloid character that resembles Cycloid-β from the original EX is also unlockable via a cheat device.
An enhanced version, titled Street Fighter EX2 Plus, was released for the arcades a year after the original Street Fighter EX2. The game retains all the characters from the original game, with the exception of Hayate, who was removed from the game for unknown reasons. Nanase now serves as a regular character in his place. M. Bison, along with Pullum Purna and Darun Mister, who were all excluded from the original Street Fighter EX2, returned in EX2 Plus. Sagat makes his debut in the EX series along with new characters Vulcano Rosso (an Italian martial artist) and Area (a young girl equipped with a large mechanical arm). A non-selectable version of Bison named "Bison II" appears in the game as a final opponent in the single-player mode.
In addition to the Super Combos and Excel Combos in the original EX2, EX2 Plus also features "Meteor Combos", more powerful Super Combos which can only be performed filling up all three stocks of the Super Combo gauge. While the previous EX games feature characters who had Lv.3-only Super Combos, in EX2 Plus it became a standard feature for all the characters, with each character having at least one Meteor Combo. The Excel Combo system from the original EX2 was also slightly revised. The player can now connect a basic move or special move into the same move instead of being limited to a different move.
A home version of Street Fighter EX2 Plus for the PlayStation was also released in 1999, released a few months shortly after the arcade version. The PlayStation features a standard arcade, versus and practice modes, along with an all new "director mode" and a "bonus game". The home version also brings back Hayate as a secret character.
- Street Fighter EX3. A third sequel to the series was released exclusively as a launch title for the PlayStation 2, and was titled
- Nine characters from the original Street Fighter EX fail to return in EX2; Akuma, Allen Snider, Blair Dame, Bloody Hokuto, Cycloid-β, Cycloid-γ, Pullum Purna, Darun Mister, Evil Ryu and Sakura Kasugano. However, Pullum and Darun would return to Street Fighter EX2 Plus, while Bloody Hokuto, Evil Ryu, and Sakura would later return in Street Fighter EX3.
- Ken's voice was provided by Gō Yamane instead of Tetsuya Iwanaga in this game but Tetsuya Iwanaga would return to provide Ken's voice in Street Fighter EX3.
- Street Fighter EX2 Plus Arika official site (archive)
- Street Fighter EX2 Plus Capcom official site (archive)