Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review
Extra Features: Online Multiplayer, Leaderboards
The Street Fighter franchise made a super huge impact on the fighting game genre during the early 90's and has remained the most respected fighting game series ever since then. To celebrate Street Fighter's 30th anniversary, Capcom has released Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection which is a compilation of 12 Street Fighter games. The games included are the original Street Fighter; five versions of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, Champion Edition, Hyper Fighting, Super and Super Turbo; all three versions of Street Fighter Alpha: Alpha, Alpha 2 and Alpha 3; and all three versions of Street Fighter III: New Generation, 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike.
All Street Fighter games that are included are the perfect versions of their arcade counterparts. The games all seem to play just like they did in arcades from what I have played of them. The original Street Fighter still has the same awful controls and lack of maneuverability. Street Fighter 1 is honestly the game that most gamers pretend doesn't even exist. It only allows players to choose Ryu for single player and when a second player joins in, that player gets to control Ken to fight against the first player. SF1 seems to encourage solo play. The game is honestly just as bad as I remember, but it's good that Capcom still includes it for completion purposes.
Street Fighter II is where the party's at. One could almost argue that Street Fighter didn't even truly begin until Street Fighter II. It's amazing how well the game still stands up to fighters today - it's basically the granddaddy of all modern fighters and still plays just as well. Champion Edition adds in all four boss characters, Hyper Fighting tweaks some fighters and adds in a turbo function to speed up the game, Super adds four new fighters and tweaks the existing fighters, Super Turbo adds back the extra turbo speeds, gives all characters super moves and adds the secret fighter Akuma. It's a lot of fun to play through all of the different versions just to see what all changed through each upgrade.
Street Fighter Alpha changes up the style of the series with a cartooney style. It takes place in between Street Fighter 1 and Street Fighter 2 storywise. The Alpha series brought in many new characters and a few existing old characters and also added the famed Alpha counter. Alpha 2 increased the cast, brought in air blocking, custom combos and did away with the dial combos that Alpha 1 started (sort of like Darkstalkers dial combos). Alpha 3 exponentially increased the cast and allowed players to choose between three different super bars that all had different attributes and often changed up a few moves that the fighters had. Even though this collection focuses on arcade versions, it kind of sucks how the home versions of Alpha 3 totally outdid the arcade couterparts with many new characters and modes and its noticeable when coming back to the arcade version.
Street Fighter III dropped all characters from Street Fighter II except for Ken and Ryu and added in many new faces. Street Fighter III had ridiculous frames of animation per moves for the time of its release. I remember thinking to myself that the fighters had WAY TOO much animation per move making it distracting when I first saw it. The game allowed players to choose between three super moves before playing as their character. Street Fighter III is probably most well-known for its parry system. Learning to parry each attack in the game can make you a literal god player since you can parry EVERY single attack in the game so long as you learn the timing. 2nd Impact brought in a few new characters and so did 3rd Strike. Street Fighter III didn't really catch on to many fighting game fans until around the time of 3rd Strike. From my experiences in arcades, the game went widely unnoticed until the third iteration. The game is very well respected today however.
As for multiplayer, all games have local online and only four of the games have online play: Hyper Fighting and Super for Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Ranked and Casual Play allow players to fight it out and rematch up to three times with their opponents before disconnecting. The Lobby system is kind of strange: both players choose the games that they are willing to play beforehand and then they meet up in the lobby and a random game out of the chosen games is picked to play. Lobbies have spectator mode and four players can fit into each lobby. The online play is quite nice from my experiences. It seems to be nearly lag-free depending on your connection to the opponent. My only problem with the online mode is that I feel all games should really be online. I'd LOVE to play Street Fighter Alpha 2 against other players since that is my personal favorite of the Alpha series.
Besides all the games, players might want to check out the Museum mode. This mode allows player to look through the overall history of the series. The History selection provides a very detailed timeline of the entire series back from its beginning and also includes extra pieces of art for many of its selections. The Characters selection gives information on all characters from each Street Fighter game - it's very close to profiles that you would find in a strategy guide. Players can see pics of each individual frame of animation per move for each fighter in the Character selection as well - try looking through all the frames for SFIII! The Music selection allows you to play ALL pieces of music from every Street Fighter game included in the collection. The Making of SF selection offers some really cool artwork from all games in the series. The artwork has some very old pieces and gives players some info on each pic and the ability to zoom in to see more details.
If you're a fan of Street Fighter, I definitely recommend checking out Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. The game is by far the best Street Fighter collection that has been released thus far and all the most popular iterations are online. The online seems to function quite well too! The amount of history that is in this collection is pretty mind-boggling.
+ Arcade perfect versions of 12 Street Fighter games
+ Online play is solid
+ Museum mode is quite nice for hardcore fans
- Only four games are online
Final Rating: 85% - Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is easily the best Street Fighter collection available so far!