The "Street Fighter" series is one of gaming’s oldest, most notable franchises. In celebration of the series’ 30th anniversary, Capcom and developer Digital Eclipse have released the “Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection,” a definitive bundle of every "Street Fighter" arcade game. As with Capcom’s “Mega Man Legacy Collections,” buyers will get tons of archival images that round out a fantastic package.
From the original 1987 “Street Fighter” to 1999’s “Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike,” this collection brings together 12 arcade editions from "Street Fighter’s" early years. However, it’s important to note that many of these titles are variations on each other and only feature small, subtle changes in fighting mechanics or character rosters.
"Street Fighter II," for example, is represented five times through Super, Turbo, Hyper and Champion editions of the base game. While the variety is nice, it seems that Capcom could have accounted for these differences by toggling an option in the menu. Even though the collection seems to be strictly limited to the core series, it would’ve been nice to see weirder arcade offshoots like “Final Fight” or “Street Fighter EX” represented in the mix.
The collection features single player arcade modes for each title, local offline versus modes and online multiplayer. It’s important to note that players can only play four titles online — "Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting,” “Super Turbo,” “Alpha 3” and “Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike”.
Each title played well with very little lag, and matchmaking was fairly fast. I never had any issues finding a fight, but I would’ve liked to see a ranking system that matches fighters of similar skill. Playing online is still a great experience, and its the best way to play "Street Fighter" alongside a local co-op. If you own a Nintendo Switch, you can even compete in an eight-player tournament — as long as you have at least three other friends with their own consoles.
The collection also features a few great emulation options for each game. You can play each title in pristine, pixel-perfect HD, or you can apply a filter that mimics an arcade screen or a CRT TV. Players can also remap buttons anywhere on a controller and can fine-tuned input lag to provide responsive gameplay.
The collection also goes a long way to chronicle "Street Fighter’s" history and influence over the years. An interactive timeline tells development stories from each game and goes into surprising detail on Capcom’s struggles with each title. Additionally, a music player provides high-quality sound bites from each game and are a blast to listen to.
The game’s most impressive addition is the archival historical images for each title. Concept art, posters and original character designs are on display in high-resolution. Even more impressive is the expansive pixel art collection for each character. Frames are laid out in a rough timeline and players can even flick through frames in special moves. It’s interesting to see the evolution of characters and art styles over time, and these additions make the “Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection” a must-have for "Street Fighter" fans everywhere.
If you love fighting games or "Street Fighter," the “Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection” is a no-brainer. Newcomers may find the series a little difficult to jump into, but arcade modes and couch co-op will still provide hours of fun.
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
ESRB Rating: T for alcohol reference, mild blood, suggestive themes and violence