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Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection – a worthy celebration



I can not overstate Street Fighter's influence on the game industry: Capcom's series of one-to-one fighters defined a whole genre, redefined the competitive game, and led several companies to create some of their most famous franchises. We've measured two generations of consoles, in part through their ability to faithfully reproduce different Street Fighter games.

As a longtime fan of the franchise, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection would make a dream come true – Capcom and developer Digital Eclipse (the studio behind excellent retro compilations like The Disney Afternoon Collection) has no compromises, no loading time for all major street Fighter arcade title from 1

987 until the third release of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. It is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PCs; I have tested the switch version.

Bundling 12 titles for $ 40 means you pay less than $ 3.50 a game, a price Streetfighter fans spend every day just to play in Arcades. A few bonus features also increase the value of the 30th Anniversary Collection. But a few issues make the set less attractive, especially on the switch.

Top: Twelve titles are included in the collection; You can save and reload your position in one slot per game.

What you like

There is so much here!

Each Street Fighter game begins with the same basic formula: You control a combat system artist who uses an 8-way joystick to jump, crouch, or move forward or backward while he is out of three Punch or three kick buttons – weak, medium or strong. They face a number of opponents in international "street fights", typically best-of-three matches in which the last standing person wins. Each game is either human-to-human or human-to-human and ends after about a dozen matches with a final boss.

Above: Fights are mainly in the open air worldwide.

In the first Street Fighter (below), player one controls Karateka Ryu, while a second player joins his friend Ken. The game controls all other characters and ends when you defeat the brutal Thai kickboxer Sagat. In addition to standard attacks, Ryu and Ken were able to use special joystick and keyboard shortcuts for "special moves" – a fireball, a tornado kick, and an upward-facing dragon blast. Visually, Street Fighter was many steps behind previous titles like Konami's Yie Ar Kung Fu and Taitos Karate Champ, but its control and audio left much to be desired.

Top: Street Fighter (aka Fighting Street).

Street Fighter II was the biggest leap in video games between generation and execution. Ryu and Ken were joined by six all-new rivals, including kung-fu expert Chun Li (a Chinese), and four computer-controlled bosses as players. Each character had a larger collection of moves and sound effects as well as an individual stage and theme song. Four SF2 episodes (Champion Edition, Turbo / Hyper Fighting, Super and Super Turbo) made the bosses playable, optimized draws and speed options, and added five more characters.

Above: Street Fighter II (Turbo, shown) was newly added fighter and a devilish big boss, M. Bison.

Faced with numerous competitors and the first 3D gaming consoles, Capcom struggled to develop a true continuation of its success. It attempted Anime for the Street Fighter Alpha series, which was located between Street Fighter II and Street Fighter II and added characters from Capcom's bat Final Fight. The Alpha games were particularly good on home consoles, thanks to the great ports that sometimes contained extra characters.

Above: The Street Fighter Alpha series used cartoons in anime style.

Street Fighter III debuted on much more powerful arcade hardware with Disney-quality animation characters and more complex backgrounds. But it has discarded everything except Ryu and Ken from the SF2 roster and added eight new fighters who can not handle the players. The Semi-Sequel 2nd Impact, which brought back SF2's demonic Akuma, contained 14 playable characters, while 3rd Strike reintroduced Chun Li among 19 playable characters.

Above: Street Fighter III unsuccessfully tried to pass the torch on to a "new generation" of fighters, but over time, some of these characters have been released in recent series.

Capcom presents each of the games in its original arcade format, pixel-perfect, with no internal load times. Four of the games – Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike – work across multiple consoles in either local or online multiplayer modes. Except for the switch-exclusive tournament battle mode described below, all other games are offline only with single and two-player options.

Convenient Arcade-perfect

Truly Arcade-perfect Street Fighter ports used to be rare, as consoles could not compete with Capcom's arcade hardware – developers had to cut back on their backgrounds. Here you get all the original parallax scroll levels, fragile objects and character animation frames, as well as the original sound effects and music. Look closely and you'll notice that the ground in Guile's SF2 stage has been changed for some strange reason, but most of the original games are true to the original.

Maintaining "everything" becomes more impressive with each successive title as Capcom added more animations and better backgrounds as each series continued. Nintendo's Switch gets a special nod here as almost the entire Street Fighter series can now (mostly) be enjoyed in a portable format.

Learn About Capcom's Biggest Figures – And Mistakes

Ever wondered why Street Fighter fans are so excited when new games (like IV and V) bring back old fighters? Well, there are a lot of them, including some weird. Let's take blond wrestler Bro Alex, whom Capcom wanted to star in Street Fighter III, though he is even less charismatic than the Russian Grappler Zangief.

In a post-match cutscene, Alex is offended. The game's first African fighter, although a much better character, has fantastic animations and struggles on stages that are absolutely gorgeous compared to Alex's trashy New York City levels. What did Capcom think about this guy?

But there are also many interesting fighters. The female Ninja Ibuki, Mystic Rose, and freaky science experiments Necro and Twelve introduced new fighting styles and character types that expand the spectrum of fighting games.

Enjoy Many Street Fighter (And Final Fight) History

Capcom also includes a museum in the game, which features obscure screenshots, sketches, and promotional materials for various SF games, as well as character bios and Making-Of sections for each of the major publications. Some of the details are great – early logos, abandoned designs, and even clues as to why Final Fight characters have joined the Street Fighter Alpha series.

See and hear dozens of levels, including forgotten variations

While the Street Fighter II games kept their levels pretty much alike, the Alpha and III titles changed hands over and over again Stages and even music, so the third game in each series differed significantly from (and better than). the first.

Capcom could have satisfied many players by bundling only the last iteration of each franchise, but with all preliminary titles, you can experience different shots as you fight. The screenshots above and below show Hugo's stages in Street Fighter III's 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike, while characters like Yang and Elena have several arenas and settings that relate to different times of the day.

Yes, there are 3D fighting games with more impressive dynamic changes. But there are only a few 2D fighting games with so many different scenes as in the 30th Anniversary Collection. There are also hundreds of audio tracks that you can hear album-like about any game in the museum. Some of the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike songs are some of the best in the history of combat fiction.

Arcade Perfect or Modern Screen Preferences

You can choose between three screen modes. Each game is presented in its original aspect ratio with borders on all sides – each game gets an arcade style bezel. Another one fills the top and bottom edges of the screen, but leaves fades on the sides. The last one stretches everything to achieve an aspect ratio of 16: 9, with the apertures completely removed. You can also turn the bezel from black to graphic if you prefer.

Three filters are also offered. TV and Arcade have Scanline-style gridlines and darken the graphics, but the TV's filter is brighter than Arcade's. The "Off" filter presents everything without scan lines, which makes the colors and the brightness stronger.

What you do not like

Basic Settings (and no multi-button keymapping)

Rather than complete arcade game dipswitch access or complete console-style options menus, Capcom contains threadbare arcade Settings for each game. You can reconfigure the buttons for the six punch and kick buttons and the start button, but that's all – no multi-button combos, simplified special moves, or other common console frills. Street Fighter II offers you no more than eight difficulty levels.

The same four titles that are supported online also include a very simple training mode. Tiny indicators can show you keystrokes and damage against punching bag-like opponents. This feature was added by Capcom at the last moment in response to fan requests, so it could get better.

They are not all hits

Some of the titles in the collection, including Street Fighter 1 and the first iterations of Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III, were not fantastic , I see little reason to return to these games, considering how much better their successors have become, and some of their stages and music have rightly been forgotten in the story. You might like to see her anyway.

Confident Character Trophies

Probably the greatest weakness of the collection is the overlap experience from title to title; There are certainly differences in combat systems and super movements, but you will find many similarities from generation to generation. As an example, over the years Capcom did not shy away from Ryu and Ken-Alikes, including the female Ryu wannabe Sakura, Ken's very similar protégé Sean, SNK-mocking Dan and the demon Akuma. They are accompanied by some very similar boxers, Guile Clon Charlie, some wrestlers and many long-legged ladies.

Above: Sakura (above) and Dan (below) are among many Ryu-Alikes in these games.

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Missing Titles: Later Versions of 2 and 3, EX and Movie

The 30th Anniversary Collection is not all-inclusive – a few major games are missing. Perhaps most notable is the "Max" version of Street Fighter Alpha 3, which contained a huge 38-place roster and was in Street Fighter Alpha Anthology 12 years ago.

Above: Street Fighter Alpha 3 began adding tons of previous series characters, plus new ones for the franchise – including some that were not in the arcade game.

There was also a lack of three Street Fighter EX titles that a group of former Capcom staff first used for 3D characters in the series – with very mixed results. Another absence is Street Fighter: The Movie, a terribly embarrassing fusion of digitized characters in Mortal Kombat style with Street Fighter II. Unlike the final version of Alpha 3, no one will care that these titles are not on their 30th anniversary fit.

Nintendo Switch gets the short process – no SFIV and weak controls

Although Capcom released the collection today on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC, the four versions are not identical. Each platform except the switch includes a stand-alone download of the Ultra Street Fighter IV 2D / 3D fighting game as a pre-order bonus, which instantly increases the value of the game on these platforms.

For comparison: The Switch The version gets a weird tournament combat mode that allows eight players to wrestle with four wirelessly connected switch consoles. As a feature of Super Street Fighter II, it was only used a little bit more by players than the totally arcane original arcade version, which required four separate SSFII enclosures to connect.

The switch version is currently suffering from sketchy directional controls, although that's not entirely Capcom's fault. I have two Pro controllers and two separate Joy-Cons sets, but I have not found any directional controls (D-pads or analog sticks) that are reliable for kite strikes and other sharp, fast special moves. Online reports suggest that this issue depends on your Pro controllers – some are better than others – but expect switch controls to be less reliable than traditional PS4 or Xbox controllers.

Online Restrictions

Some people are not thrilled that Capcom only supports four titles with online functionality – someone wants to play the original Street Fighter online. I think it will be hard enough to build Street Fighter Lobbies with the four supported games in this collection, as Street Fighter V and other fighting games are also available online, but Capcom picked the right titles to support. However, it is not clear at this point how robust the netcode will be, and there is no guarantee that online performance will meet the extremely low latency requirements of the toughest core combat players. If this is a show stopper for you, wait until the game is out for a week or two.

Conclusions

Bundling 12 Street Fighter games at a reasonable price makes the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection a breeze. The low cost per game will allow you to explore even the stilted, unsatisfactory Street Fighter with no guilt feelings and enjoy all the little pleasures you can get from Stepping Stone games like Street Fighter Alpha 1 and Street Fighter III 2nd Impact

Along the way, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy some of Capcom's best work – the fully realized Street Fighter II with its genre definitions and numerous episodes, as well as the still resonant Alpha 3 and 3rd Strike. Any of these games would be a good budget standalone title today, but in a package with all the extra games, music, and museum content to choose from, there's plenty to keep any fighting game fan entertained for weeks.

My only regret is that the switch version I tested is crippled by Nintendo's controls. If the portability of the switch title was not so convincing, the control issues would force me to choose a different platform – Ultra Street Fighter IV would be another good reason to look elsewhere. I can only hope that Capcom releases a patch to soften the switch's D-pad problems. Besides, the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection delivers something that many people have been waiting for at least 25 years to enjoy – virtually arcade-perfect, zero-load time versions of some of the best fighting games out there.

It might be a bit late in arrival and incomplete, but overall it's worth a party.

Rating: 85/100

Street Fighter's 30th Anniversary Collection will be released on May 29 for the Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4 and Windows PCs (via Steam). Capcom has sent us a code for this review.




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