If you’re a fan of fighting games, chances are you’re a fan of at least one of the many iterations of Street Fighter.
One of, if not the longest running fighting series in gaming history, Street Fighter has kept fans like myself going back time after time. That’s why the prospect of a collection featuring 12 classic Street Fighter releases is so appealing; it’s a treat for those who want to play some of the best Street Fighter titles on their current consoles. The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection goes even further than that though, also providing a great insight into the development of the Street Fighter franchise. What more could you ask for?
Bang for your buck
So, a quick refresh. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes the very first Street Fighter, five versions of Street Fighter 2, all three of the Street Fighter Alpha games, and the three iterations of Street Fighter 3. That means titles like Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and Street Fighter The Movie don’t make the cut, but I doubt anyone will really care. The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection concerns itself with games that actually matter, throwing novelties by the wayside.
All of the games included are essentially arcade perfect, which means they are wonderfully balanced for the most part. It also means that their animation is top notch. These games may be 20-30 years old, but they move wonderfully. Despite the pixellated edges, its hard to not be impressed by the fluidity and detail of the characters’ actions and the goings on in the backgrounds. The Alpha series and all three versions of Street Fighter 3 are particularly impressive.
Suits you sir
In this collection, the majority of the games can be tweaked to your liking. Playing in offline mode, you can change the speed of a select number of games, while difficulty options are available for all. Some games also let you change the timer speed and modify how much damage is inflicted with attacks. Basically, great effort has been made to let you tailor the game to your needs, which is appreciated.
There are global settings too, allowing you to remap the controls, change the screen format, and even apply a filter. Some will no doubt prefer to play games like Street Fighter 2 in their original aspect ratio, but if you want to make it fill out your 55″ widescreen TV you can do that. And applying a scanline filter makes it look that little bit more authentic.
Multiplayer is where Street Fighter shines though, and you can play against real people both online and offline in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection. Versus mode lets you choose any of the 12 games available and then battle with a friend while sat on the couch. Of course, a second player can also join in the action when you’re playing offline arcade mode, too. Taking the action online will the high point for most, though.
When it comes to playing online, four of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection games are available: Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. A range of online options are available including ranked and casual matches, the ability to create and join lobbies, and also arcade mode, where you’ll be matched with opponents between fighting bouts with the CPU. To brush up your skills a training mode is provided, allowing you to practice until your heart’s content.
Once you’re in a fight online performance seems okay. Most of the fights I’ve had have been flawless, but once or twice lag has been an issue. Other than that I’ve ran into no other hiccups, and it’s also handy that there’s a input lag setting to adjust the feel to your preferences. I’ve got no doubt that this collection will be a haven for Street Fighter fans wanting to play their favourite spin on the series online well into the future.
A vault of knowledge
What has really impressed me about Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection though are its museum features. From the offline game select menu you can quickly view information about each game, including tips to access secret modes and other extras. Then, in museum mode, you can discover the history of the Street Fighter series, view concept art and listen to each game’s soundtrack. There’s even a database of all the characters, allowing you to view some of their animations at your own pace. For a Street Fighter fan it’s a real treasure trove.
For anyone who has grown up playing any of these classic Street Fighter titles, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is absolutely essential. Though that’s not to say that newcomers won’t get a lot out of it too. All of the games included bar the original Street Fighter still hold up wonderfully; you can play each and every one of them and appreciate their unique features and gameplay tweaks. Their visuals, though dated, still have a great deal of charm, and their soundtracks are simply timeless. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a welcome walk down memory lane, and thanks to the implementation of online features, the games within once again have legs.