Every fighting game today owes something to the Street Fighter series, namely Street Fighter II. However, most of the earlier titles in this lauded series haven’t been readily available on current-gen platforms. As a fan of both the series and genre, but one who had missed out on a couple versions of the older titles, I was happy to see Capcom bring several early titles together in one package with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
Due to the prestigious nature of this series, this collection needed to be one of high quality. Fortunately, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection meets expectations. The game ties together crisp emulations of these classic titles with some exciting extras that give more insight into the storied history of fighting series. There is no doubt the compilation should please both fans and newcomers alike.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes twelve titles. In fact, the game has a ton of content for players to navigate. A cumbersome menu system might have ruined the whole experience. Luckily, this compilation’s menus are quick and easy to navigate through. It takes only seconds to switch between games and only slightly longer to access the “Museum” to learn more about the history of the Street Fighter series.
Players can customize each game can with different borders, TV and arcade filters, and adjustable screen sizes. I prefer playing without any filters in the game’s original screen size. However, these customization options are a nice addition to the collection to spice up the presentation of each game.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection fits perfectly in the Nintendo Switch’s library. In addition to the Switch’s portability and exclusive multiplayer tournament mode, the title is a great on-the-go fighting game. Admittedly the Joy-Cons aren’t the most comfortable controllers to use for fighting games. Even then, some of these earlier entries are simple enough to where it isn’t much of an issue. This especially goes for the first game in the series, which is incredibly dated.
I’ve played Street Fighter before, and this is the best form the game has ever officially been in. There’s no doubt that the visuals and sound are incredibly dated. However, they can claim credit for setting the tone and atmosphere for the rest of the series. Unfortunately, this is all torn down by remarkably stiff gameplay, a horrible UI, and cheap opponent AI.
Its inclusion is important, as the series and main characters Ryu and Ken owe their existence to this game. Being able to see the original pitch documents for the game was also very cool. More importantly, it puts how far the series has come into perspective. Even though its sequel would define the fighting game genre, the original Street Fighter is not a game anyone will likely want to return to after a few trial runs.
All five versions of Street Fighter II that hit arcades are also available in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. The original, The World Warrior, is incredible in its own right for introducing genre standards. These include combos and most of the series’ most memorable characters. On top of that, it’s also great to see the progression between it and Turbo. For those who don’t know, Turbo introduced Super Combos. It’s great to see both influential classics represented within one package.
You can’t go wrong playing any of these versions of SFII. Though, the game may be considered simplistic by modern fighting game standards. SFII:HF and SSFII:T also include online play. In other words, competitive players now have an easy way to play the game on modern platforms. However, it is a bit unstable right now during launch.
The development history of SFII is also super fascinating, and the game delves into it with Making of SFII. This showcases early gameplay concepts and character designs and their evolution into the products included in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. I wish the other titles within the collection got the same treatment. However, its inclusion should be an informative treat for those who love looking into gaming DNA.
Next up is the Street Fighter Alpha series. Capcom includes all three entries, and probably change the most from entry to entry. That being said, only Alpha 3 has online support. This series features a completely revamped of both visuals and sound, and introduced its own unique features like Alpha Counters, Dramatic Battle, and finally A, V, and X-isms to change up the basic gameplay established by the Street Fighter II titles.
While these technically aren’t mainline entries, the Alpha games still feature their own unique flair. That personality makes them worth playing, and even fully integrate characters from Final Fight into the lineup. Adding to that, we are also able to see concept art of these titles as part of the collection. It would have been cool for these games to get the same “Making of” treatment that Street Fighter II did.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection’s rounds out the game lineup with all three versions of Street Fighter III. While fighting game fans adore this entry in the series, I’ve never had the chance to play it before. I ended up coming away very impressed. Street Fighter III features gorgeous and fluidly animated visuals that just supplement the excellent gameplay.
The introduction of the parry system helps the Street Fighter III titles stand out from the others in the package, peaking with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, which has quickly become my favorite title included in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. It’s a shame that online matches currently suffer from pretty impeding lag. This compilation could otherwise potentially reintroduce and revitalize Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike in the competitive scene.
Outside of all the features above, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes a Training mode for SFII:HF, SSFII:T, SFA3, and SFIII:3S. The mode showcases brand new training options, which should please competitive players.
Then, in the Museum, there is a full-fledged timeline that goes over the history of the series. For music-heads out there, the soundtracks for every title are included. Finally, a character library is packed-in that delves into the lore behind every fighter present in the collection. Without a doubt Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection’s full range of extras will please every kind of fan.
Game compilations can sometimes come out underwhelming and feel bare-bone; fortunately, this is not the case with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. Capcom packed the compilation to the brim with twelve exciting titles and a lot of extras. But Capcom could’ve revealed more about the development of Alpha and SF3 like they did with SF2.
Online play is currently a mixed bag, the straight-from-the-arcade emulations included are otherwise amazing, making Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection the definitive way to play every title included. Whether you’re a die-hard fan of the series or are a newcomer looking for an excellent place to jump in, most players will find something to enjoy in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
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