You know, sometimes we tend to think games are so advanced these days that old games with minimal controls and systems would be a cinch. It’s fun keeping that dream alive, until a collection like Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection comes along to remind you that because a game is simple, doesn’t mean it can’t be tough as nails.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is first and foremost a celebration of the Street Fighter series, lining up 12 of the first games, and only five of them are Street Fighter 2. The other seven consist of the original, Alpha 1, 2 and 3, and the 3 Street Fighter 3 games, all in their arcade glory.
Kicking in with the series, I spent a few too many hours with the original Street Fighter. This game is the one that reminded me that I am terrible at games. Only letting you play as Ryu, and with special moves being super hard to get right, the game pummelled me into submission reputedly. Eventually I gave up, but even with the benefits of being able to suspend the game, and unlimited retries, I still had to give up in frustration. Trying to beat this one straight off the bat is a bad idea for the collection, but it’s a valuable history lesson included in the collection.
The original Street Fighter 2 on the other hand, while dated, still holds up in its own ways. Admittedly I didn’t beat that either, but I got awfully close before deciding to spend some time with the other ten games. Street Fighter 2 surprisingly still plays well, and its pixelated art styles is gorgeous to the eyes, but boy some enemy’s cheap moves or combo chains can get frustrating.
One thing that the collection helped me appreciate, especially as a casual Street Fighter fan, is the actual differences between the Street Fighter 2 sequels. It’s a bit of a punch line for the series that it keeps being re-released, even after other sequels exist. Switching from one game to the next, the upgrades to characters, graphics, and gameplay are substantial enough that they absolutely warranted the release.
After many hours with the Street Fighter 2’s, moving on to Alpha series was shocking. The movement alone is so much faster, that it took more than a few moments to adjust. Some more talented among us may be different but switching between games on the fly will be a challenge for many for this reason alone.
I wont individually cover every game in the series, but after the first game, they all deserve their spot in the collection, as they all have their own value to be had. This helps me understand how the games have existed the length of time they have, with a series this old standing up well today.
Because the games are the original arcade versions, they have kept their original aspect ratio with the borders on the sides of the screen being filled with arcade cabinet art. It’s a gorgeous way to help appreciate the games for their original glory. Some of the sound doesn’t hold up as well as the art, but again, it’s an important part of a collection celebrating the series.
Online multiplayer is there for four of the games, Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo, Alpha 3, and 3rd Strike. I dabbled a little but had my rear end handed to me by people that are far too talented for a casual such as myself.
Peppered on top of the games, which are treasures, is a museum with art, music and information about the series, which is standard fare for a collection like this, but very valuable for a series with so much history. The most notable addition is a pause menu, with the ability to create save states. This will make the game les frustrating for many, but I missed any attempt the game told me to use the select button to bring it up, so didn’t stumble across it for a while.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is an excellent collection of a lot of great games, with some mediocrity for historical purposes. It’s a must play for long-time fans of the series, and a valuable history lesson for the more casuals among us. Some looking for an excellent new fighting game may to find it here, but you’d be missing out to not dabble here.
Released: May 2018
Platforms: Xbox One, (also available on PlayStation 4 and PC (Windows 10)
Genre: Fighting, Retro