Street Fighter is one of the most influential fighting games. It has a long legacy dating all the way back to the arcade but it didn’t become a true global hit until the launch of Street Fighter 2. Capcom decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this classic franchise with the release of an anniversary collection that featured almost every variation of mainline Street Fighter games, from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike all the way back to Street Fighter 1.
If you are a fan of Street Fighter, there is no better way to cherish the memories of the past games than this collection. Street Fighter is a series that has been known for its crazy amount of variations. This started with Street Fighter 2, which has received the most amount of releases so far out of the whole mainline series.
There are a grand total of 12 games available in this collection. It is easy to dismiss the first Street Fighter game, which serves more as a collectible than a playable experience. It has aged terribly though and doesn’t seem to stand the test of time. If you really want to see how the original Street Fighter controlled, this might be the time to do it. It is easy to struggle with the controls, lack of proper collision detection or the slow paced nature of fights, which can be an immediate turn-off after playing the modern fighting games.
If you are curious as a fan to check out all the different version of Street Fighter 2, this is the ultimate collection for them. It carries the original Street Fighter 2 that started the craze and was followed by Championship Edition. This version added new characters but didn’t really make major gameplay changes. The original Street Fighter 2 was a little sluggish to control but that was also part of its charm. Capcom later decided to release a ‘turbo’ version that became the standard for the series going forward. It is also the most playable version out of the lot. Super Street Fighter 2 was the game with the most gameplay changes. It added different combos that greatly helped in improving the fighting mechanics. More importantly, this was the first game to add Akuma as a fighter, who is now considered one of the leading characters alongside Ryu.
The most significant addition is the entire Street Fighter 3 series. If you haven’t played these games, they were originally released as Dreamcast exclusives which might be the reason so many of the fans might not get a chance to play it until now. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike did make an appearance on the PS3 and Xbox 360 with the release of the Online Edition, but aside from that, the original Street Fighter 3: New Generation and Double Impact never made their way to any other platform aside from the Dreamcast. This is the vanilla arcade release which means don’t expect to see the remixed soundtrack for Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.
Even though this has most of the mainline games, the Alpha series has also made its way into this collection. They are easily some of the best Street Fighter games that Capcom has released after the original Street Fighter 2. Sadly just like it is the case Street Fighter 3: Third Strike, there is no World Tour mode for Street Fighter Alpha 3. Along with this, the complete lack of characters that were later added for the home console release is my biggest disappointment with this port.
So it has been established that there is a lot of nostalgia and memories preserved in this collection, but what about the presentation, quality of the ports and the actual games? This brings me to the biggest issue with this collection, which is complete removal of all the extra features and gameplay modes from the console ports. Capcom decided to settle on an arcade perfect experience for this collection so there is a serious lack of gameplay modes, balance changes and new fighters that were a part of the console ports.
Despite this, Capcom has done a remarkable job in presenting the arcade perfect experience of all the original games. The presentation is great with a built-in save system in place. It allows you to save the game at any point keeping your progress preserved. Visual filters are also offered to make sure the game retains its authentic look from the arcade. You have the option to disable them as well. Borders are displayed alongside the screen featuring artwork from each of the game, and there is also support for full or widescreen in case you don’t like seeing them.
As a fan, the most interesting part of this collection was the Museum which contained the whole history of the series that spanned across 30 years. It is a treasure trove of memories and behind the scenes development history for the series. There is also a music player that lets you play any track from the games. All characters that are featured in every game are covered with full background detail right down to their special moves that are animated with each frame in detail.
As you start the game, you will be given the option to choose from the different gameplay modes. They are online, offline and lobby mode. Offline is essentially the Arcade perfect experience for each game. Versus will let you play with local multiplayer matches. Training mode is not available for every game and instead it is limited to just Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. The same restriction applies to the online and lobby mode.
My online experience with the game was terrible. Maybe it was due to the lack of players, or perhaps the matchmaking is just not that good. The fights ended up being a jittery mess and the worst part was that I couldn’t really determine the issue here since there is no way to see the ping for the opponent you are currently facing in battle. You can pick between Ranked and Casual fights, which is the standard when it comes to fighting games. It also feels rather lackluster since you don’t have the ability to pick from any region or search based on ping strength. This makes the matchmaking feel like a game of luck instead of something that you can decide yourself. Thankfully one modern feature that has made its way to this collection is the ability to play Arcade matches while you wait for the matchmaking to hopefully put you up against other players.
I have tested out both the Nintendo Switch and PS4 version. As fun as it might sound, the portable Nintendo Switch experience is just not ideal due to the terrible dpad. The game is best played with a Pro controller otherwise if you can manage to deal with the dpad issues, it looks great running in portable mode. I preferred the full screen mode that still retained borders around the screen along with the Arcade filter. There is no major difference between both platforms aside from the eight player Tournament mode in Super Street Fighter 2 that is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch. I wasn’t able to test it out due to the lack of other consoles but it seems to work as a local tournament between 4 different Switch users.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review (PS4/Switch)
Game Reviewed on: PS4/Switch
Game description: Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a compilation of fighting games from the Street Fighter series developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Capcom. The collection was released for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows and Xbox One.
A solid anniversary collection featuring some of the most memorable Street Fighter games. The focus on making it a complete arcade perfect experience also ends up being its biggest drawback.