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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 Review - 'Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection'

by Cody Medellin on July 5, 2018 @ 12:00 a.m. PDT

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

Buy Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

Last year's release of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was polarizing for owners of the new console hybrid. On the one hand, the game was a port of a downloadable title from the previous console generation, with the addition of an overpowered Violent Ken and a first-person mode that no one wanted to play, something that made the game's full price a deal-breaker for most players. On the other hand, the game had excellent online play, and the Street Fighter II formula that sat at the heart of the game is still perfect enough to this day. Almost a year later, the Switch is getting a much more complete package with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.

The first thing that will catch your attention is the fact that this compilation contains 12 of the most important games of the series. You'll also notice that the games are all sprite-based, which means that there's no sign of any version of Street Fighter IV or V in here, despite the fact that we've seen evidence of the system being able to handle that engine just fine. Finally, you'll get perfect arcade versions of the included games, which is fine for most titles, but it also means that some features you may have experienced from past home ports are missing here.

Street Fighter is the first game, and while it's nice that it wasn't forgotten, it's merely a curiosity rather than something you'll go back to at any time. The core game remains the same in that you'll fight a bevy of opponents from all over the world, but you'll only be able to play as Ryu in the standard arcade mode. Versus mode allows the second player to play as Ken, but that's it. Both players still have their Hadoken, uppercut, and hurricane kick, but those moves are powerful enough to instantly take away one-third of the health bar. You won't be able to execute them with frequency, since the timing for each move leaves no room for error. It also doesn't help that the jumping and actual fighting all feel stiff, like Yie-Ar Kung Fu did all those years ago. Again, most fans will likely see this present, smile, and then move on to the package's better titles.

Street Fighter II makes up a significant part of the package, which is completely understandable considering how the game single-handedly transformed fighting games. Five different versions of the game are included, and while the true experts could tell you every little change made to each one that makes them vastly different from one another, more casual fans will only recognize the more significant differences. Championship Edition lets you play as the bosses and do mirror matches. Hyper Fighting, also known as Turbo, speeds up the game and gives some fighters new moves, like a fireball for Chun-Li. Super Street Fighter II adds in four new characters and stages, while the Turbo variant adds in both Akuma as a secret boss and a special meter, complete with super-powered versions of regular moves for each fighter. Again, it can seem like overkill for more casual fans, but for true aficionados or those who grew up in that era, having all five means that they can choose the perfect one for them.

The Street Fighter Alpha trilogy of games is here as well, and while they are still as amazing as before, it's here that you'll start to see that some improvements could have been made. The first game is almost flawless, and while the second game is better, it isn't the Gold edition of the game, so Dramatic Battle mode isn't present. Street Fighter Alpha 3 is certainly the pinnacle of the series, but you're getting the plain vanilla version of the game and not the Upper version, which added more characters. If you're used to the home conversions, expect the roster here to be quite thin.

The trio of Street Fighter III games is also here, their obvious highlights are the fact that the animations are the smoothest the series has ever seen before going polygonal. The second game, Double Impact, is interesting because it is the only one to do native widescreen, something you'll miss if you go to Third Strike. You'll also miss the remastered soundtrack from the home version of that third game; it's not a huge loss unless you're very familiar with the Dreamcast iteration.

Aside from a training mode, there's a museum mode, where you can check out a timeline for all of the Street Fighter releases to date and get some background on each title. There's a brief illustrated history of each series, but only the first and second games get captions to go along with the art. You also get the option to turn on bezels and scanlines for each game, though that's a more universal option as opposed to something you can do on a game-by-game basis. Finally, you can check out character bios and see each frame of animation for every special move.

With 12 arcade perfect ports and a nice museum mode, everything about this package would seem perfect. However, there is a big Achilles Heel in the form of online play. Of the games included, only four of them let you play online against others: Street Fighter II Turbo, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It makes sense to only go for these versions, as they represent the best in their respective series, so that decision is fine. What isn't fine is the actual online performance. On a good day, you'll get slight interruptions in a match, so while there isn't lag, the actual performance could be smoother. On a bad day, games just lose their connection, and this happens quite often, no matter which game you're playing. If you're playing casually, you'll learn to deal with it, but if you want to do ranked play, consider checking out other platforms instead.

The Nintendo Switch version contains one extra that's not found on the other platforms: a tournament battle mode. Available only in the Japanese arcades, the mode mimics the experience for Super Street Fighter II by having eight players duke it out over four Switch consoles. It's one of those curiosities that players may try out if they're lucky enough to be near other Switch players willing to give it a shot. Considering how cost-prohibitive it is (four Switch consoles and  four copies of the game are needed) and how it's limited to that one title, many players will simply ignore its existence.

Your enjoyment with Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is going to mainly come down to whether your primary focus is online play. If so, then this isn't going to be your game due to the online play that is spotty at best and non-functional at worst. If not, then this package will definitely be for you, as you'll get 12 arcade-perfect games with gameplay that's still enjoyable today. With the Switch becoming a system that is getting some really good fighting games, this makes for a perfect addition to that genre library.

Score: 8.0/10

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