Street Fighter makes up a cornerstone of fighting game history, and to celebrate its 30th anniversary, Capcom packed together the first 12 games into one collection. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection showcases the first decade of the franchise excellently, and unlike a lot of retro ensembles, it does so without compromise the content of the originals.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review: What’s Included
Digital Eclipse put together this celebration of Street Fighter goodness, and not only does each title look better than ever, but some of them also have added functionality. Four of the games have added online modes that allow you to take on 2D fighting junkies all over the world, and you don’t have to spend a quarter to do it.
The twelve games included in this package are:
- Street Fighter
- Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
- Street Fighter II: Championship Edition (Street Fighter`)
- Street Fighter II: Turbo: Hyper Fighting (Street Fighter`: Hyper Fighting)
- Super Street Fighter II
- Super Street Fighter II Turbo
- Street Fighter Alpha
- Street Fighter Alpha 2
- Street Fighter Alpha 3
- Street Fighter III: The New Generation
- Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact
- Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Yeah, that’s a whole lot of Street Fighter. Furthermore, these aren’t console ports; they’re the real thing. All twelve games are their arcade version and are presented unabridged.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review: How They Rate
I’m not going to set out to review each of the 12 games individually. Instead, I’ll do my best to touch on each a bit. This collection (and this review) best services those who have already played at least a few of these games before, but if you’re looking for detailed info on a particular game, you can check out some of GR’s past reviews linked above.
The original Street Fighter wasn’t great when it came out in 1987, but it’s here for historical completion. The series really started making a name for itself with the release of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Even that title feels slow in comparison to later editions though, and the main attraction here is Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
The three Street Fighter Alpha games are somewhat of a side-story than a sequel to Street Fighter II but are definitely worth playing. In particular, Street Fighter Alpha 3 has the most extensive roster of any of the 12 games on offer here with 28 different characters to choose from.
It’s Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, though, that will likely be the star attraction in this collection. This game is the culmination of the 2D Street Fighters and includes Super Arts, EX Specials, parries, guard parries, stun gauges, and dashes that make for a more complex fighter. Going back and playing Super Street Fighter II Turbo is fantastic, but 3rd Strike is where the series starts feeling more modern.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review: All the Extras
Of course, since this is a collection, you have to have the bells and whistles. Since each game was meant to be played in 4:3 aspect (except 2nd Impact), there’s artwork to flank the play screen that mimics that found on original cabinets.
You can also switch between “original” (which plays inside a border), “wide “(which fills the screen and stretches everything to hideous proportions), and “full” (which fills the screen vertically but retains the 4:3 aspect ratio). You’ll also get the option to add CRT scanlines or an arcade filter that adds a crosshatch overlay to the picture. However, with how beautiful these games are, filters just detract from the look of the art, so you’re probably best to play with them off. As a bonus, Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact can be played in 16:9 ratio as it was the only CPS III arcade cabinet to support widescreen.
There’s also a museum which contains all sorts of concept art for the various games included and biographies for the characters within. While you’ll probably only flip through it once or twice, there’s quite a bit here to see, and it’s great to be able to zoom in and check it all out in high fidelity.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review: How it’s Accessed
Each of the single-player stories is presented in their original forms here. Just launch the game, and it’ll work just like it did in the arcade. Local multiplayer works the same way. You can go into any game and the second player can join on the character select screen. There are two multiplayer modes on the Switch, though, that work a bit differently.
Online mode is only available for four games. Luckily, they’re the best of the bunch. Street Fighter 2`: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike can all be taken online. This is all under a separate online menu, so you don’t have to go through the trouble of starting each game separately. There are ranked and casual matches, and aside from a few hiccups I found online worked precisely as expected.
There’s also a multiplayer mode that’s exclusive to the Switch. Capcom released a special edition of Super Street Fighter II that linked four arcade cabinets together. This allowed for eight-player tournaments and can be replicated by connected up to four Switches together. It’s more of a novelty than anything, but it’s cool to be able to duplicate such a rare setup.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review: A Time Capsule That’s Still Worth Playing
Street Fighter is a cultural phenomenon and even if you’re not a fighting game fan you likely know plenty about Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and the rest of the main cast. The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection puts together the early history of the franchise and allows you to really see how the series began and how it moved towards where it is today.
This collection isn’t for everyone, and you’ll likely not play every one of the 12 games intensely. However, it’s worth picking up if you’re a fan of the series or of 2D fighting games in general, and even my time in the weaker entries of the franchise was filled with nostalgia. Some retro collections have been cheap cash-ins, but this one seems like it was made with love, and replicates the feel and action of the original products almost perfectly.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch via a digital review code provided by the publisher.