- Game: Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
- Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
- Publisher: Capcom
- Developer: Capcom
A Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection review code was provided by the publisher.
1987 is a hallmark year in American history. The celebrated sitcom Full House made its debut on ABC. Legendary singer Aretha Franklin got inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And most importantly (for the gaming crowd, at least), Capcom released the inaugural Street Fighter on a worldwide basis in arcades. As the very first iteration of a series that was on its way to legendary status, Street Fighter introduced several elements that would revolutionize fighting games and Capcom’s franchise as a whole. Now that we’ve reached the 30 year anniversary of Street Fighter, Capcom saw fit to celebrate it the best way they know how. Thanks to the efforts of developer Digital Eclipse, we now have the luxury of playing arcade perfect ports of 12 Street Fighter games. This newly released compilation is simply known as the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
Enclosed within this collection are the most standout 2D Street Fighter releases – Street Fighter (1987), Street Fighter II: The World Warrior (1991), Champion Edition (1992), Turbo: Hyper Fighting (1992), Super (1993), Super Turbo (1994); Street Fighter Alpha (1995), Alpha 2 (1996), Alpha 3 (1998), Street Fighter III: New Generation (1997), 2nd Impact (1997), and 3rd Strike (1999). On the single-player front, you’ll be able to play through each game’s arcade mode from start to finish. These aren’t the home ports you’re probably most familiar with – the version of each game offered here harkens back to their quarter munching iteration. In order to replicate that arcade experience, there are several visual options on hand. It’s pretty cool to be able to place arcade cabinet borders on every entry and even modify their screen filters. Reliving your old arcade days without having to spend a single quarter is a welcome nostalgic treasure.
Local competitive play for every game is important, of course. But the biggest feature of this collection is its online play capabilities for Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo, Alpha 3, and 3rd Strike. Thankfully, the online matchmaking proved to be a satisfying experience. Pre-planning for a Ranked Match or Lobby is quick and efficient, plus hopping into a match doesn’t take too long at all. It’s cool to be able to select which game you’d prefer to play while your opponent does the same. Only one selection is chosen, which proves to be a fun endeavor that throws a bit of randomness into the match proceedings. Finally having the chance to play Street Fighter Alpha 3 in an online setting on consoles feels immensely satisfying.
While it’s cool that arcade perfect ports of each game are readily available, it’s still disappointing to see that the superior home versions are absent. Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold is noticeably missing, along with its cool implementation of additional characters and Dramatic Battle Mode. The same goes for the much superior edition of Street Fighter Alpha 3 – Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX. It’s kind of a letdown to play through the original version of that entry and remember just how much bigger the roster and mode suite for the PSP port was. While Street Fighter: The Movie was far from exceptional, it still could have served as a fun addition to this vast collection. The 12 games on hand here are still entertaining in their own right. It’s just a bit puzzling to see that the cooler aspects of the best Street Fighter home ports aren’t accessible.
This collection not only serves as a more convenient way to play several Street Fighter games. It does a fine job of giving gaming historians an entertaining romp through the franchise’s years-long run. An interactive timeline breaks down the biggest series events from 1987 all the way up until 2018. The included Music Player lets you listen to the OST of every game included within this anthology (side note – 3rd Strike’s excellent soundtrack is still unmatched). This feature might seem minuscule to some, but being able to take an audio trip through Street Fighter history is an underrated endeavor worth taking.
The coolest portions of the in-game museum happens to be the character breakdowns, game descriptions, and rare art gallery. It’s such a treat to get an inside look at what Street Fighter was originally going to look like during its earliest stages of conception. And getting the chance to view sprite art and special move animations for every character is also a nice touch. Longtime fans will definitely bask in all the cool ways Street Fighter’s history can be interacted with in this collection. Discovering the official backstory behind each tournament entrant, getting special tips on how to access the secret content within each game, and watching the animated motions that goes into special moves proves to be fascinating.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Takeways
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection provides an accessible method for those looking to play retro Street Fighter games on current-gen consoles. The most admirable portion of that winning formula is the (thankfully) working online suite for four of the included games.
While it’s admirable that Capcom and developer Digital Eclipse brought over 12 arcade-perfect ports, it’s still a bummer to see that some of the best home ports aren’t included. Street Fighter’s refined gameplay mechanics have managed to stand the test of time and get better with each successive update and sequel. This compilation offers a playable explanation as to why Capcom’s most popular fighting game series still remains relevant and beloved to today’s crop of gamers.