I grew up in the beginning and peak of the 90s arcades. Of all the games from those days that I remember, none were more iconic than Street Fighter 2. In many ways we have to thank Capcom for basically making the fighting game genre what it is today as even though they didn’t create the 1V1 fighting genre (Karate Champ did) they effectively set the standard and laid the groundwork that every fighter to this day has come to use as its template.
In Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, we get for the first time ever, every single arcade entry from 1987’s Street Fighter to 1999’s Street Fighter 3 Third Strike all in their original (and often broken) arcade form on one disk or cart (If you opted for the switch version) and this is truly amazing and if you are a Nintendo fan then this should be even more amazing because there’s never been an arcade perfect version of any of these titles on any Nintendo home console (baring the eShop and portables) and what’s more historic in this whole collection is the fact that the entire Street Fighter 3 Trilogy is now in portable form for the first time EVER on Nintendo Switch. Capcom in collaboration with Digital Eclipse, have come together to bring us a complete compilation of all the arcade titles for Street Fighters 30th birthday. While many will complain that there are too many ports and variations on Street Fighter 2, I would like to inform you that the reason why that is happens to be because at the time there were no standards of DLC or methods of updating a game other than tweaking it and reselling at and if you really want to get into the nitty gritty details of each entry of Street Fighter 2 well then you’d see that each title plays significantly different from the other.
This compilation of the original Street Fighter, three versions of Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha One to Three and the three entries under the Street Fighter III label. It’s a lot to fit into one package but thankfully, the collection does a great job at explaining the subtle differences between titles through an info page available at the push of a button. In addition, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection contains a similar but with an even more-detailed museum in comparison to the one found in Capcom’s Mega Man Legacy Collection.
If you’re not a Street Fighter purist then this collection might make you think its lacking due to the fact that numerous home ports have of many of the titles either added new characters or new features or new moves whereas this is purely the arcade originals with nothing added to them. For me that’s not an issue because I’ve played every single Street Fighter arcade game growing up however for many that might be an issue if their first or frequent experiences with the series happen to be with a improved or modified home port. On another note, given that these games are being emulated, players can now create save states during single player gameplay at any time.
Training modes are also available but just like with the online multiplayer modes, only the final iterations of each game can be selected. Case in point In addition to receiving an online mode, Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition offered visual filters, a remixed soundtrack and even new multiplayer modes. The PlayStation Portable Port of Street Fighter Alpha Three featured an expanded roster along with new in-game story modes for each character. Players were also given the option to select characters in Dramatic Battle mode. While simply using the arcade versions of these might work well enough for purists, they offer very little outside of the standard Arcade mode. This can make some of the titles feel incomplete or in a few cases, downright inferior to what’s come before them.
When it comes down to it, most if not everyone is going to want to take the fight online and in this compilation you can with Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and the holy grail of them all; Street Fighter 3 Third Strike! Now one thing I truly love about the online is that when you create a lobby or join a lobby wither with friends or random players, before each match you’ll be able to select which game you’d like to play and so will your opponent and in a way it plays out in a random pick of the 2 choices and then immediately boots you to the fighter select screen with absolutely no delay. For me that astonishing given that many compilation games would require you to close out of the game you’re in to change to play a friend but the way its done here is perfect.
Now for many of the matches I played online I was able to have playable but not perfect games and at times I thought it was either my connection or my opponents and come to find out its mainly due to the fact that the net code needs improving and will be patched in the coming weeks. It’s not unplayable but its not perfect either, not yet anyway. The music and movements would be jerky and ultimately distracting. The collection really aims for that true arcade experience by allowing you to play through the game’s Arcade mode while waiting for a match. It’s worth noting that the Nintendo Switch version of the game also includes the exclusive feature of four-player local online tournaments, which allow up to four Switch users to link up and play together.
All in all the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is an excellent collection even if it’s just a collection of just Street Fighter games and while that may be a put off for many new comers expecting more out of it given how games today are and may be put off by the bare bones nature of this compilation. All others will found thousand upon thousands of hours of fun to be had if not years. Hardcore fighting game fans will easily get the most out of this thanks to the game’s online features and the convenience of having four titles in one piece rather than scattered across different consoles. Still, despite not going the extra mile with any of these games, they are still some of the best in the genre and deserve to be checked out for that alone. As a biased Street Fighter fan trying to not be biased here, this game is KASANOVA APPROVED!