It's been more than 20 years since Capcom's venerable "Street Fighter" franchise saw its first roundhouse kick.
During that time, it came to define gaming's fighter genre, and this week, nearly eight years since a major release, it returns to consoles looking to taste success again.
"Street Fighter IV" reunites fighters Guile and Chun-Li, both of whom became household names (at least to nerds) in the early 1990s.
The game, available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, will be played again in a two- dimensional style, but it will include three-dimensional environments and characters.
"Street Fighter IV" also returns the series to its six-button control style.
Returning: Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Blanka, E. Honda, Zangief, Guile, Dhalsim, Balrog, Vega, Sagat and M. Bison.
New: Abel, Crimson Viper, El Fuerte, Rufus and Seth, who is reportedly a boss.
• 'Street Fighter' legacy
Among the most noteworthy games in the series:
"Street Fighter" (1987): Ryu and Ken are about the only still-familiar faces in the first game in the series, although the final boss is Sagat, who returns in later games.
"Final Fight" (1989): Confused? Capcom originally had shown off demos of Final Fight under the name Street Fighter '89. Word is the name changed because of the significantly different style of play.
"Street Fighter II" (1991): The real sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, became a worldwide phenomenon. It remains far and away Capcom's best-selling game, with 6.3 million units sold for the Super Nintendo version. In second place for the company is Resident Evil 2, which moved 4.96 million for the PlayStation One. Street Fighter II spawned countless expansion pack-type games that introduced new characters, settings and more.
"Street Fighter Alpha" (1995): Alpha's story comes between the first and second Street Fighter games. This series also saw two more versions later released.
"Street Fighter III" (1997): This series saw just Ken and Ryu return and included three games total.
• Meanwhile, in Hollywood
With the mega-popularity of "Street Fighter II," it's no surprise that Hollywood picked up on it.
A live-action "Street Fighter" movie, starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, debuted in 1994.
The movie's lasting claim to fame is that actor Raul Julia died before it premiered. He portrayed M. Bison.
Later this month, on Feb. 27, the second film based on the franchise, "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-L"i, will debut.
It stars Kristin Kreuk ("Smallville"), Neal McDonough ("Desperate Housewives"), Chris Klein ("American Pie") and Michael Clarke Duncan ("The Green Mile").
There also have been several Street Fighter television series and anime movies.
• Best-selling games
"Street Fighter II" (Super Nintendo), 6.3 million copies.
"Street Fighter II Turbo" (Super Nintendo), 4.1 million.
"Super Street Fighter II" (Super Nintendo), 2 million.
"Street Fighter II Plus" (Sega Genesis), 1.65 million.
"Street Fighter Alpha 3" (PlayStation One), 1 million.
(c) 2009, Lexington Herald-Leader (Lexington, Ky.).
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