Get ready fighters as the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection brings not one but 12 Street Fighter games all in one package, granted five of them are Street Fighter 2 but that’s still a lot of games and a large piece of video game history in one game.
Street Fighter has been a mainstay in both arcades and in homes since it was first released in the late 1980s and this collection is a great way to relive those glory years, and also a good opportunity to play some of them that you missed out on growing up.
But, does it live up to expectations and how does it run?
Go For Broke
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes 12 classic Street Fighter games that were released between 1987 and 1999.
These games are;
- Street Fighter (1987)
- Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior (1991)
- Street Fighter 2: Champion Edition (1992)
- Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting (1992)
- Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers (1993)
- Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo (1994)
- Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors Dreams (1995)
- Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)
- Street Fighter 3: New Generation (1997)
- Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact – Giant Attack (1997)
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)
- Street Fighter 3: 3rd Impact – Fight For The Future (1999)
This is a large collection of games for one price, especially considering the game can be found much cheaper than at launch. Granted, five are Street Fighter 2 and three are Street Fighter 3 titles, these are mainly just roster updates and a few gameplay changes.
But, there is plenty on offer and it is worth trying out each of them to see which one you prefer from each series.
I have really enjoyed playing through each Street Fighter game and seeing the evolution of the series take place before my eyes. In the past, I have played quite a few of them, such as various Street Fighter 2 versions, Alpha 3 and Third Impact. But many of them I have never played, such as the original Street Fighter.
Playing Street Fighter 2 again took me back to my childhood and playing the original World Warriors on the SNES, but I have not missed the cheap AI, more on that later.
Overall, for a classic Street Fighter fan this is about as good as it gets.
Which Versions Does The Game Use?
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection uses the arcade editions of the games.
While this does mean that the games generally run better and have all of their animation frames in tact, there is instances where the roster isn’t as large as the home console versions.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 is a good example of that as Dee Jay, Evil Ryu, Fei Long, Guile, Shin Akuma, and T. Hawk were in the home console versions of the game but aren’t present here. Neither are the portable additions such as Eagle, Ingrid, Maki, and Yun.
But, it is a trade-off that is kind of worth it as the game plays the same as the arcade versions, which were always the superior versions of the game.
However, there is no reason why they couldn’t have coded the console and portable characters in the game too, so it does seem like quite a lazy port and more a case of just putting 12 emulators into a package and calling it a day.
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Ok, since I touched upon it in a previous section, let’s just get it out of the way now. I completely forgot how cheap the AI in Street Fighter games, specifically 2, can be.
All of the games have a difficulty option, making the game easier or harder depending on your skill level, in theory.
As I haven’t played Street Fighter in a very long time, and I was trying to get screenshots for this review, I decided to put the difficulty on 1 just to make it easier to get the footage I needed.
Even at the lowest difficulty the AI in Street Fighter 2 can be unbelievably punishing. The first few fights are ok, but after about halfway through the game suddenly ups its difficulty.
It is well known that the AI in Street Fighter 2 was incredibly cheap and could do things that a real player couldn’t, the same is the case for Mortal Kombat 2 as well.
From what I could gather is, the game decides at the start of the match whether you win or lose and, unless you’re someone like Daigo, you’re not winning if the game doesn’t want you to.
There were times where the opponent would destroy me in around 17 seconds without any hesitation and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it.
I did figure out a kind of workaround though. If you play like you’re a child and barely press buttons it seems to dumb down the AI, this was incredibly useful for Sagat as he is the cheapest opponent in the whole game.
Thankfully the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection has a quick save feature on all games, allowing players to create an instant save state to go back to, perfect for restarting a round.
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Reading back, this makes me sound like a typical reviewer who can’t play video games. Trust me, I’m an experienced gamer, just the Street Fighter 2 AI sucks. But, I guess they needed to get people to keep dropping quarters into arcade machines.
Thankfully, the game feels a lot more balanced in some later SF2 entries, as well as the Alpha and 3 series.
Here is an incredible video from Desk about the Street Fighter 2 AI, but watch it after reading this review.
Guile’s Theme Goes With Everything
The soundtracks in Street Fighter games are often hailed as some of the best in gaming and I am pleased to say they are present in all of their glory.
Sometimes in upgraded versions and ports, the developers mess with the soundtracks to “improve” them. Capcom must know they have some of the greatest soundtracks in gaming and left them as is, or since that would take effort they left them as they were, which is not a bad thing.
Fighting to the sounds of Ryu’s, Ken’s, and Guile’s themes was music to my ears, pun intended.
The King Of Fighters
Since this is the 21st century, online play is available in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
Rather than having separate online modes for each of the 12 games, online play is available for Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike.
These are key titles in the SF library for competitive play so it makes sense that these are the titles they chose.
Now, players can fight against others across the world to prove they are the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be, wrong franchise I know.
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Bells And Whistles
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection has some great extras for those that want to learn more about the history of the series.
Museum mode has a lot of artwork on the history of the development of the games, as well as a music library and character bios which are really great to read.
These probably won’t provide much value to the casual player, but for fans of the series this is a great bonus to be able to take a peak behind the curtain and learn about the history of the series.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a great nostalgia package to relive the early years of the series. Although it would have been nice to have a complete version of each game, an arcade port with console additions, the collection ticks enough boxes to make it a worthwhile purchase for fighting game fans.
If you’re newer to the series and began with Street Fighter 4 or 5, then this is a great opportunity to go back and play the games that shaped the series. And if you grew up during the time these were released, then it is a perfect way to relive your earlier years.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
- Large selection of games
- Online play
- A great look back at the evolution of the series
- Save state option is a great addition to the game
- Museum mode is fun for fans
- No console exclusive characters
- F the Street Fighter 2 AI