June 03, 2018

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection - Review

Growing up, I was never a Street Fighter fan, nor was I a Mortal Kombat kid, but I have fond memories of heading to a friend’s place and spending more hours than I should have playing Street Fighter 2 and with the series still celebrating 30 years, does this collection revive my nostalgia.

While this is a collection, it is not a standard collection, it actually runs the games differently, depending on the mode you choose, which is strange. When you load up, you can select offline, local or online and then once you have chosen your mode, the game will present you with the games that support that particular option. If you choose offline, which means just playing on your machine of choice, it does allow you to then choose a variety of options, but again, some of the games don’t allow for some modes, so the training mode can only be selected in four of the twelve games. The same happens when you create a local lobby for others to join, but the game only allows for four titles to be selected. 

The Switch version, which we reviewed the game from, does contain an extra mode in the local menu, which allows you to play through a tournament, if you have the right number of systems to play with, I did not. The game also offers online play, letting you test your skills against players from around the world, but again only four titles offer that, which is a shame, as none of the games would have offered it before, so adding it now to a few seems like a letdown. When you play online, you can do so in standard arcade, but you will get challenged by random people, much like would happen at the arcade or when you joined a friend. You can also play in ranked battles, or in friendly matches, depending on how good you are at the game, I stuck with friendly as I am not a fighting game player normally.

No matter the game you select, it will play exactly like you remember it, while I never saw the original game in action until this collection, I would hope it is the same. The moves that I can recall pulling off all those years ago, are the same ones I can do today, though that is only with a few characters. Playing on the Switch, it does offer a range of control options, from the standard controller, to the single Joy-Con and while using a single Joy-Con can be a little difficult, it does work, plus it allows for anyone else to jump into the game, if you pass the other one to them. 

The games presentation is a mixed bag, it offers up a variety of options for the games visuals, letting you swap between the original size, a zoomed view and the one to avoid, a widescreen view that stretches the game, the result of which makes the game, all of them, look horrible. When you are playing in either the normal view or zoomed view, the game can be framed with a banner wallpaper, some of which are quite nice. The only issue is that there is only one per game and you can either have it on or off and while off is not a terrible thing, if you have the game in its regular view, you end up with a lot of black around the game.

However, the Museum is where the collection comes to life, not only can you look at a lot of artwork, something that is always appreciated, you can deep dive into almost everything Street Fighter. When you select the mode, you will be given a list of modes, History, Characters, Music and Making of, and depending on the mode, things will change slightly, but let’s start with music. In here, you can select the game in question and that then gives you a list of all the music from that game, from stage themes and beyond. If you press play on the top track, it will just keep playing through the list, one after the other, but you can at any point, shuffle the tracks and experience them at random. Sadly though, there is no way to mark any favourites, to play songs from across the games in another menu, you are stuck listening to one soundtrack at a time.

Characters is perhaps the most in-depth option, as it gives you every character from all the games on screen at once, but should you only want to see the characters for a specific game, you can just select that. Once you have found your character of choice, the game then gives you a host of stats about that character, from their first appearance, to their dislikes and more, even a nice history can be found on each character. That is not the best part, once you have read up on your character of choice, you can move on and see their moves in action, frame by frame, from a variety of games. If you like Chun-Li and wanted to see how her superfast kick was done, its called the Hyakuretsukyaku, the game shows you multiple frames, which when you scroll through them at speed, you can see it in action.

The other two options are the history and making of sections, getting the making of out of the way is simple, it holds a host of documents for four games, including the original pitch for Street Fighter. Sadly, all the documents are in Japanese and not all of them have the captions that some do, so learning about some will be challenging. The History mode though is perhaps the best mode, if you like history, as the game gives you a timeline of the series from its release in 1987, until 2018, covering the games, animations, like action movies and more.

The timeline is broken up into colours, red and blue, with red indicating the year that a game included was released, blue being everything else. Selecting a red entry will give you dozens of pages of art from that specific game, letting you learn more about new characters and beyond. The blue entries are a mix, some will let you click in and learn more about a specific moment in time, others however will only give you a straightforward text blurb and nothing more. When you get images on the screen, in any mode, you can press a button and zoom in, examining the detail quite closely, though any captions that might exist for a piece are hidden if you zoom.

The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is impressive, not only does it contain a wealth of playable titles, it also gives those who are fans of the series a chance to learn a lot more than was ever possible. The lack of the ability to just jump into a game, without needing to select a mode first, is a little strange, but still, fans of the series would be hard pressed to pass this one up.

Review copy provided by Capcom

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