In an arena, two different sides clash together in a flurry of mixed martial arts fisticuffs. Nowadays, you can describe several titles with that sentence alone. To many, Street Fighter would be the first thing that comes to mind when it’s about fighting games. Because of its’ genre-defining moment in the early 90s and the arcade, it would be hard not to come up with Street Fighter first. The cultural impact alone engraved its mark into our mainstream. This is the very series that created a sport that now even TSN takes seriously. The king of the hill may have not seen much grace since 3rd Strike with critics, but Street Fighter itself did wonders for the landscape of the genre. All the more reason to release a 30th Anniversary Edition for the series. Here’s the question, though: Is Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection worth it?
An Ensemble Dozen
12 of Capcom’s flagship series in one package is the draw. Especially for those who always wanted to get the online versions of the standouts(Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo, Alpha 3, and 3rd Strike), 30th Anniversary Collection brings it. Arcade ports of each title, with the emphasis on arcade. Free Play from start. Fight menus are accessible outside of the emulation. As for the tracklist:
Street Fighter (1987);
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991)
Champion Edition (1992)
Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992)
Super Turbo (1994)
Street Fighter Alpha (1995)
Alpha 2 (1996)
Alpha 3 (1998)
New Generation (1997)
2nd Impact (1997)
3rd Strike (1999)
In addition to the main course, graphic options are brought in, such as full or graphical wrap for the display. Everything is easy to get to.
The Museum Feels Better Than Tuesday
The museum mode gives a Street Fighter history lesson in a decent show. Each milestone is highlighted based on game. Artwork, box art work, and stories litter the collection automatically. No unlocks to use this part. No DLCs to get. Sure, Street Fighter was never good at telling a story, but seeing them piece the process together is a treat. Anniversary Collection shoots from the hip. Character bios, stats, and other items, are put into consideration. Both live action adaptations are given spaces into the pages. Even the mobile edition titles get a mention.
Some Whiffs in the Anniversary Collection
30th Anniversary Collection lacks some basics and advanced things to make it the definitive piece of Capcom’s Encyclopedia Britianna of the 2D brawler. For instance, noticeably, several key moments are omitted from the graces. SNK, Marvel, Tatsunoko, Namco, the FGC scene, and Arika, do not receive any mentions from Capcom in this game’s archives. The Marvel Vs. Capcom series(X Men Vs. Street Fighter) and SNK vs Capcom series were two of Capcom’s bigger products. Not a drop of a name was put into it. The dates are skipped over for these crossovers. Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 don’t even get drop of any kind.
The artwork also lacks the artists behind it. Some of UDON and Capcom’s original artists do not even show face in the game alongside their work. From Bengus to Shinikiro, none seem to be present next to their pieces. Pocket Fighter also gets no screenshots. Nor do the 3D inclusions of IV and V. I do not remember even seeing Street Fighter X Tekken here.
Some Fanservice issues I noticed in 30th
Consoles also are referenced to by their bit size, which was very disappointing to say the least. Some key dates in the history of Street Fighter barely even received screenshots or concepts in museum mode. Even Van Damme’s Guile got any or even his name showing up, either. Certain playable characters, in the lore, only appear as mentions in the character bios. Also, characters are limited to 3 moves for frame showing, with a static intro. II and I’s development seems to be primary focus for the stories told, with Alpha and III exploits put into the “it’s here so there you go” approach. You can see the love put into II’s stories of how the roster was formed and what happens during button pushes, but the other 2 series or even 4(IV and V included), barely get the same love. No preliminary sketches at all, either.
Street Fighter II seems to have the most ports between them, even though Alphas 2 and 3 had a couple of surmountable additions such as Gold and Upper. Or those considered “arcade perfect” editions. Online play usually takes longer, with some input lag issues. Legacy controllers may have issues with support. The PS Rectangle Pad is the start button. Without having to switch controllers each time, there’s no way to start a match without it. The lack of Pocket Fighter and Super Puzzle Fighter II Remix feels troublesome, even though they are considerably compilation titles more times than main Street Fighter entries. Victory screens are silenced in versus mode. I forgive the diversity in Arcade skins, but again, it feels as if the focus is on II here.
Also, one nitpick is the lack of instruction manual or even a collector’s edition. This should have been textbook. Sure – not many games these days even bother to use the slot they are given – but for a collection, I expect Capcom to take this to heart. 30th Anniversary Collection wins and loses in a couple of steps, but the loses feel slightly gaping. Legalities aside, there’s a story and 30th Anniversary feels as if people should quote X-Files for the lackthereof. The rest of these things, like the truth, is out there.
Is Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection worth it?
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection goes above and beyond in some aspects, with some nagging issues to counter balance. First off, Street Fighter gets a port outside of Turbo Graphic 16 and PC for the first time. The museum seems to be decent at best, yet the focus is onto the originator moretimes than the sequels to come forth. 12 games is nothing to throw whiff at and easily takes the collection to a different level. This alone eclipses other Capcom attempts at bringing them together. Whether it is Alpha Anthology, the two 32 bit Collections, or Anniversary Edition: 30th Anniversary Collection did the yeomans. While each CPS board battler is included, a decent amount of connectivity and fightstick support hinders SF30th to be the best it can be.
Regardless, is Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection worth it? For its’ attempt to give current gen a leg to stand on from the yesteryears, 30th Anniversary Edition does a good amount without having fans going for broke.
Reviewed with the PlayStation 4 release version. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is available on Nintendo Switch and X-Box One, also.