Full disclosure: this is all based upon experiences from Friday 5/25 up until midnight Tuesday 5/29, from a retail copy purchased early for the PlayStation 4. Online has been sparse up until about 5pm EST, but I have had a number of games online with at least 3rd Strike.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection was one of the most anticipated releases of 2018 for me. In a way, it’s more being able to play Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike once again, than anything. Sure, you have perennial all-star content out the wazoo, such as Street Fighter Alpha 3, Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo, Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting and more, but 3rd Strike? That’s been my jam for nearly twenty years.
This latest compilation of Street Fighter titles coincides with the 30th anniversary of the franchise its self. Twelve titles, from the very first (and incredibly poorly aged) Street Fighter, to Street Fighter 2: Championship Edition, to the entire Street Fighter III series, and every other Capcom developed and published Street Fighter title in-between.
Lets give a quick rundown of the good, bad and ugly of this release, and see whether or not it’s worth spending money on. Again, this is based off a certain time frame, before any “day one patches” that could be and might be applied:
- Twelve games to choose from, even though the differences between many of the Street Fighter 2 iterations seem minuscule to the uninitiated
- Arguably the four best of the bunch (Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike) have online multiplayer, including lobbies and “arcade” (whether a random person challenges you every so often, as if they came up and dropped a token into the machine you were playing)
- As best as I can ascertain, these are indeed, arcade perfect emulations of these famed fighters
- The history content is an entertaining trip through memory lane, with a myriad of info, images and other pieces of information not usually found so easily in the wild. It’s worth sitting there and going through it in its entirety, from the character bios, to the sprite animations on characters throughout the years, to the soundtracks, and so on
- The four major titles (listed at number two) also have training mode additions
- The netcode, for the majority of my experience, has been adequate. It can be hit or miss overall, but there are far fewer lagfest matches when compared to Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition, which had an incredibly poor online infrastructure. It’s not perfect, but you’ll spend more time having smooth matches than raging at four frames per second gameplay
- The visual options, though meager, still throw it back to the good ol’ days, with TV and Arcade visual filters, as well as a full screen, original, or the gaudy and repulsive stretch option
- No matter how you slice it, there’s a massive replay value to this collection, and the best Street Fighter arcade compilation I’ve encountered
- Every so often, the audio doesn’t sync properly with the gameplay, which creates a jarring experience. Just imagine trying to time parries to audio cues, but the action isn’t matched up to the parry sound effects, throwing off your momentum. This happened on all of the Street Fighter III games, as well as Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting. It comes and goes for the most part, and it seems like pausing and unpausing the gameplay fixes it
- Street Fighter not only shows how far the genre, and franchise have come, but it’s one of the worst fighting games I’ve ever played. This makes Shaq Fu seem like Tekken Tag Tournament 2 in comparison
- I have no problems with the slideshows and all of the bonus content that is with the disc its self (in fact, I really enjoyed looking through some of the artwork and reading the “did you know” portions), I sorta wish that there would have been some developer videos, talking a bit more in-depth on specific areas. Overall it’s a ton of fun to sit back and read about the history of Street Fighter, while watching slides of concept art
- Online lobbies have a knack for glitching and booting players out waiting in said lobby. This has eased up some over the last twelve hours, though
- You can’t filter out player connections, so there’s no control over disabling the ability to play single or double latency bar opponents. I had a slideshow match that was worse than anything Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition ever had, and there were some horrid connections. These experiences are not frequent, but they are not extremely rare either
- Street Fighter
- (just a personal, non egregious nitpick) The History of Street Fighter in the Museum tab, while it’s going to be a nice trip down memory lane for 98% of players, I saw this whole mock up at E3 in 2017, or something close to it, so that portion didn’t have as much of an impact to me personally
- Street Fighter. My God it’s hideous in every which way
- Realizing how much more I loved the console/portable incarnations of Street Fighter Alpha 3. I miss World Tour mode, and the plethora of new characters introduced years after the arcade release
Ultimately, should you spend $40 on Capcom’s second compilation in the money of May (first being the Switch release of the Mega Man Legacy Collection)?
Absolutely, yes! While the bonus content to the games themselves are paltry at best, non-existent at worst, you have more than enough to play, chip away at and enjoy. You have
twelve eleven fantastic gaming relics in one package. Some might be weaker than others (Street Fighter III: New Generation, Super Street Fighter 2), but the entire package is loaded with goodies that will undoubtedly be played well into the next decade.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection set out to be the all-in-one celebration of a franchise that’s given the competition a tiger knee to the face for well over 25 years. The proper titles were selected for online play, the extra content is a commendable and enjoyable deviation that celebrates the franchises successes, and it’s just awesome to have these gems all in one package. At $40, you’ll be purchasing something that will likely have you coming back for more well beyond 2018. Online play may not be as busy after a couple of months, but that’s a common occurrence with the genre.
This collection also means that I now own a copy of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike on the Sega Dreamcast (NTSC J), PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4, and will be purchasing this for the Switch, and likely Steam as well.