The Street Fighter series represents a lot of different feelings for gamers all over the world. For those of us who grew up with the series, fond memories of being in the arcade and piling in both hours and money into the local arcade is part of growing up. For me, I have fond memories of my summer vacations spent in the arcade with my friends trying to master Vega in Street Fighter II, something I’d go on to do when the home console versions released at a later date. So when a 30th Anniversary Collection was announced I was both excited and apprehensive, after all the recently released Ultra Street Fighter II was a good, but expensive, nostalgia trip spruced up for modern day.
There’s no concerns with the price point here however, this is excellent value for 12 classic arcade titles, many of which you won’t have played in a long time. It’s not just a great collection, but a fantastic trip down memory lane. Although many people won’t stick around long enough to play the original Street Fighter, it still offers a great look into where the series began and just what a giant stride it took to become the juggernaut that Street Fighter II remains today.
The games themselves are extremely faithful to the arcade versions they’re based off, down to the original sprite work all the way up to recreating the look of the cabinets from the arcades themselves. Of course this does come with some minor adjustments to newer players who are used to being able to configure the pad to include a button for double or triple punch/kick, something which many modern fans may find a little disappointing. While it would have been nice to have the opportunity to configure this, Capcom wanted this to be a true faithful collection of the arcade versions.
The choice of games are spot on, offering a journey beginning with the original Street Fighter, through all the iterations of the Street Fighter II and the Alpha series before culminating with the three arcade versions of Street Fighter III. Although five different versions of Street Fighter II may sound a bit overkill, it’s a nice to be able to take a look through the earlier versions to see where the upgrades and changes are. The first two versions of Street Fighter III also offer an interesting look at what would later become 3rd Strike, art used for the backgrounds are beautiful and are sorely missing from their more famous successor.
Every game offers various options that you can adjust to affect the difficulty of the arcade mode, the speed in some of the games and even the ability to adjust damage levels in the later games. Once you’re in the games themselves you can go even further with the adjustments and make the game look more authentic with options to change the screen size and apply filters. This gives everything that arcade feel that the game tries so hard to faithfully recreate and succeed at.
As an addition to this collection, there are four games with online play included to take the fight global. Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, all of which are excellent choices and offer not only ranked matches but player created lobbies to plan match-ups with your friends. There’s even a Training Mode for these titles with all of the options you would expect to practice and hone your skills before you jump online.
A special mention has to go out to the excellent Museum included in the package, an enormously in-depth look through the 30 year history of this great franchise. The History section offers an interactive timeline through the series, starting with the original Street Fighter in 1987 and ending with the release of this collection in 2018. The games featured in the collection get a huge game info screen whenever they appear in the timeline offering a look into the reasoning behind the changes and additions, trivia about the game and even tips on how to unlock the secret characters in their respective games.
If that’s not enough, this history has gorgeous galleries to pour over with exclusive concept art along with developer comments on certain pieces. Of special note to myself, the Memorial Albums included add more lore to the franchise’s iconic characters. The catchy soundtracks for each game in the collection can be listened to along with options to shuffle and when you’ve had your fill of nostalgia and information, you can jump straight into the game in question with a press of the button. It’s a sleek and fluid process which screams out how much love and care has gone into this collection, even the most die hard fan will almost certainly learn something they never knew in here.
The Museum doesn’t end there however, an in-depth look into every character in the franchise is featured along with bios and frame-by-frame sprite data on signature moves. Capcom even went the extra mile and included a “Making of SF” section featuring the original pitch and insight into the development process. If you’re a fan of the series then it’s a nostalgia overload, even if you’re not a fan you may find yourself wanting to delve deeper into the series.
So where does this leave you when all said and done? The collection is a faithful representation of the arcade classics with a rich and deep museum to fill your brain with enough Street Fighter lore and history to last you for years. For me, it was a fantastic trip down memory lane and gave me the chance to replay some of my favorite classics I never realized I wanted to revisit. Although some of the more modern features may be a little bothersome to newer fans of the series, you owe it to yourself to play Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection especially at a price point that’s fair for what’s on offer.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
- Available On: Xbox One, PS4, PC, Switch
- Published By: Capcom
- Developed By: Digital Eclipse
- Genre: Fighting
- US Release Date: May 29th, 2018
- Reviewed On: PlayStation 4
- Quote: "The collection is a faithful representation of the arcade classics with a rich and deep museum to fill your brain with enough Street Fighter lore and history to last you for years."