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December 2018

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Fighting
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Release Date: May 29, 2018


Switch/PS4/XOne/PC Preview - 'Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection'

by Adam Pavlacka on March 14, 2018 @ 9:00 a.m. PDT

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection highlights the series' past in this anthology of 12 iconic titles with arcade-perfect balancing.

Pre-order Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

If you were part of the arcade scene in the 1990s, two games dominated the fighting genre: Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. Sure, there were others, but it was these two titans that were constantly battling it out for hearts and minds of fans. With the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, those '90s kids can relive the heyday of the arcades, and a whole new generation of players can experience the annoyance of M. Bison's Psycho Crusher.

There have been multiple Street Fighter collections over the years, with various versions and remixes of the included games, so chances are good that you've seen at least one of these before. Where Capcom is trying to make this particular collection stand out is by focusing on arcade accurate emulation.

The 12 games included in the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection are all the original North American arcade releases. This means that there are no home console-specific versions and no games where the arcade version saw a release after the home console version (no Hyper Street Fighter II here). The North American arcade ROMs are used worldwide, including in the Japanese release of the collection. While this may disappoint some hardcore fans, the decision was likely made to ensure online compatibility, as different ROM versions all play slightly differently.

The games that are included are:

Of those, four feature online play:

  • Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Street Fighter II Turbo
  • Street Fighter Alpha III
  • Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike

After spending an hour or so playing around with the PlayStation 4, Switch and Xbox One versions of the game, the one thing that stands out the most is the amount of effort that went into the front end. Yes, emulation quality is always a concern with packages of this type, but that's something that you're not going to dig into during an hour-long play session.

Browsing through the available game list provides images of the arcade, while the attract video for the selected game plays in a small window. A short history of the game is available, along with tips and trivia. If you decide to play, the attract video seamlessly zooms in to full screen, and you're in the game. Because these are arcade titles, you have to drop in virtual quarters before you can actually play.

Two types of CRT filters are available, monitor and TV, or you can just play with the raw image. It's a testament to the original pixel art that it all still looks good running at 1080p. Borders are an option, though most players will likely opt for a no border approach, with the game zoomed in just enough to run from top-to-bottom of the screen. Widescreen support is also here, but it's only good for the games that support it natively. Otherwise, it makes your game look like a stretched-out mess.

Hopping into the museum provides a treasure trove of information about the series. Original design documents have been scanned in, along with concept art, character art, and game art. The sprite viewer is particularly appealing, as it shows the individual animation frames for characters across key games in the series. This is a look inside the game that isn't often seen. If you have any interest in game design, the museum is probably going to be worth the price of admission.

Finally, exclusive to the Switch version of the game is the eight-player tournament mode. You'll need four Switch consoles (and hopefully eight Pro Controllers, though you can use the Joy-Cons if you must) and four copies of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection to play the tournament. If you're short on players, the missing players are replaced by CPU players. The tournament is run automatically, with the game telling players which Switch console to move to after each round. If you finish your match while waiting for others, you can goof off on an intermission screen.

Due to the hardware requirements, the tournament mode isn't likely to get played often, but I can see it becoming a thing at local tournaments and game rooms at conventions.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection isn't a comprehensive collection of "all the things," but it does offer a good deal of information on the main arcade line of titles. It'll be interesting to spend more time with the collection and see how the classic titles hold up against today's fighting games.

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