Review: Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – One of the most controversial fighting game series of all time is undoubtedly the Street Fighter franchise. Where the first part introduced important concepts, the series became a worldwide phenomenon with the release of the legendary Street Fighter II. Since then, the series has become an indispensable part of the gaming landscape. Capcom wants to use the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection to reflect on the success of the franchise and the result may be: a great collection with lots of nice extras that should not be missing in your collection.
De collection has a total of no less than 12 games, but of course they are not all equally interesting. The original Street Fighter was not a resounding success, but made us familiar with Ryu, Ken and Sagat. One variant of the original arcade cabinet only had two buttons, which, depending on the strength with which you hit them, performed different moves. Because this went quite fast, a second variant was made with six buttons, which later became the standard for Street Fighter II. The original Street Fighter is hopelessly out of date in 2018 and unfortunately not very fun to play anymore. Nice for nostalgia, but in terms of gameplay it is certainly not a high flyer.
Street Fighter II is in no less than five different variants present in this collection. The original is historically the most important, but in terms of gameplay it is the least interesting of the Street Fighter II games, because it plays the slowest. The original then went through two iterations before the final version was released; Street Fighter II: In addition to playable bosses and extra speed (that happened in Street Fighter II Turbo) Hyper Fighting also added extra moves for characters and added a little bit further to speed.
Because players yearned for more, in 1993 Super Street Fighter II released. That game added new characters and new levels and looked like a completely different game because of the many changes. Super Street Fighter II Turbo once again increased speed and improved the overall balance of all characters. Also with this title the Super Combo was born. If you consider that all these variants were released in a period of only three years, then you can imagine that arcade-goers – despite the great success – might also become a bit tired of Street Fighter. Capcom went back to the drawing board and the Alpha series was born.
Intended as a prequel series for the original Street Fighter II, the tone, the animation and the overall atmosphere of the Alpha series felt more like an anime. A logical choice of Capcom, because this was the time that anime in the West became more and more well known. The evolution from Alpha 1 to Alpha 2 to Alpha 3 also resulted in more characters, more moves and more depth per iteration. Alpha 3 is generally seen as the highlight of the Alpha series, because it introduced so-called ISMs that made different playing styles possible.
When Capcom was finally ready to make a numerical sequel to the sublime Street Fighter II, always retained 2D animations while the rest of the world switched to 3D and the result was one of the most beautiful and best games in the entire series ever. According to many, even the best fighting game ever made; Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Graphically Street Fighter III is still a gem and technically it is the most difficult title in the series due to the introduction of the ‘parry system’. To date, Street Fighter III: Third Strike is still a legitimate fixture in tournaments.
The question with such a collection is of course whether you are going to play all games and the answer to that is probably no. Some games are fun, because they give insight into the history of the series, but there is only a handful of games in this collection that are still worth playing. And let that be just those games that are labeled as best or the games that often return to tournaments. And better yet; you can even play them online.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection- Here comes a new challenger!
Not all games are playable online, but the titles you can play are great and are considered the best Street Fighter games because of their balanced character. Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: Third Strike are fully playable online. You can immediately dive into Versus mode to look for opponents, but you can also just start an arcade session and wait for a challenger. You do not get any closer to the old-fashioned arcade feeling.
To prepare you for the online opponents, these four games contain a training mode that you will need if you face better opponents, but more on that later. Matchmaking in my experience was not always lag-free and that can be bad for the experience if there is no improvement. Most of the time, however, I have had no problems and if the collection does the commercial good, then it should not be a problem to find opponents. Prepare yourself for tough competition, because there are people who have never stopped playing these games online.
True to the arcade version
All games in the collection are based on the original arcade versions. Because updating of arcade cabinets was not possible at the time, revisions were regularly made that – usually – changed something in the balance or removed small bugs. There is understandably no option to switch between different variations of a game, that might be a bit too much to ask. In some cases it is also unfortunate, because the console versions of the games were even better than the arcade versions (think for example of Street Fighter 3 Alpha MAX), but this is also an understandable choice. Because it concerns old games that were played on CRT screens, a number of options have been added to mimic that experience on an HD screen.
You can choose from three different resolutions. The original version, as originally intended, a zoomed variant and a widescreen option. Nice that this possibility is there, but real fans of course choose the 4: 3 ‘pixel perfect’ ratio. There will also be someone in the world who chooses the widescreen option, but that person must be a bit ashamed, because it mutilates the games in a horrible way. You can also select the level of grid lines to evoke that real feeling that you are playing behind a cupboard. The games all look as you would expect, especially Street Fighter III: Third Strike remains a brilliant title. There is no question of loading times. Once you are in the menu to choose a game, the start-up of that game happens almost immediately.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection- Great extras
A collection is not complete without a few extras. Capcom understands that fortunately like no other and that is why we are treated to fantastic extras. The four online games contain, as already indicated, all a training mode, although it is fairly limited. If you want to know all the nuances, you will have to search online for more information. For example, the parry system of Street Fighter III is difficult to master if you do not understand. The Museum option offers fun facts for every game, extensive character bios for the entire cast, frame data for special moves (it is also a pity that not all moves are included), fantastic concept art and a possibility to listen to all background tracks. . Even small details have been thought about. If you play in 4: 3 format, you can, for example, show the original ‘bezels’ (the edges with game art around the old display tube monitors of the arcade cabinet). These kinds of details make this collection indispensable for Street Fighter fans.