"Street Fighter" is the franchise that defined the video game experience in the 1990s. It's what drew players to the noisy buzz of darkened arcades. It brought them to the corner 7-Eleven, where they put their quarters at the sill of the screen to call next.
But as successful as "Street Fighter II" was during the early 90s, the decline of the arcades meant that the series would never return of the lofty heights for years. A byproduct of that downturn is that some players never had a chance to experience some of the better entries to the series.
That's where "Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection" comes in. Capcom has gathered 12 titles in the long-running fighting game saga: "Street Fighter," "Street Fighter II," "Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, "Street Fighter II: 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," "Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact" and "Street Fighter III: Third Strike." That's a lot of punching, kicking and hadokens.
The large swathe of games and the treatment that Capcom gives the titles separate this entry from previous collections. The publisher includes scanned design documents that offer an inside look at the creation of the series. They papers examine details such as the change from pressure sensitive buttons of the original to the classic six-button layout. In addition, there's also a timeline and written intro discussing the importance of each entry in the evolution of the series.
The highlights are enlightening and allows longtime players to understand the changes from game to game. Reading is one thing, but players can better understand the tweaks by playing the game. "Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection" makes that easy by giving players a move list and a planned practice mode. There's even a mode where players can take a look at frame data across the major entries into the series.
The developer, Digital Eclipse, has done a few of these "Street Fighter" titles before and the team included the prerequisite filters that aim to mimic the CRT screens from arcade and TV monitors. There's even an option to save the game during an arcade run. (There's one save slot for every version of the game in the collection.) Lastly, players can modify the difficulty settings for each title before playing just like arcade owners used to do.
Interestingly, the "Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection" supports four games with online play. Players can go against internet rivals on "Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting," "Super Street Fighter II: Turbo," "Street Fighter Alpha 3" and "Street Fighter III: Third Strike."
The games that should pique hard-core fans curiosity are "Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact," a version of the game that didn't have a wide release in arcades. It has a widescreen support because it was made for specific cabinets. That means players can experience it on modern screens without the need for a frame.
The other notable version is a Switch exclusive called "Super Street Fighter II The Tournament Battle." Again, it was released in arcades and allowed players to take part in a minitournament. In the original, eight competitors would play on four arcade machines all lined up in a row. Depending on the results, the game would tell the winners and losers to switch places to a new machine like an arcade version of musical chairs.
On the Switch, Nintendo's console replaces the arcade machines. This mode is built for local play and works with Joy-Cons, Pro Controllers or even an arcade stick. It allows players in the U.S. to experience a game that was rarely seen on American shores.
The "Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection" is scheduled for release in May on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
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