My old Chinese takeaway, that was my very first experience with an arcade fighting game. Whenever my mother would take me and my brother for some greasy fast-food, our pocket money would always be blasted on this one game. I still love that game to this day, yes, you guessed it, Street Fighter. To see that this series has been going strong for thirty years is an achievement in itself and for those that relish a bargain and enjoy a challenging fighter, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is not a compilation that you’ll want to overlook.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection includes every Street Fighter released between 1987 and 1999, which equates to a total of twelve games. Much like the recent release of SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics (another compilation of classics), this bundle supports leaderboards, as well as online and offline multiplayer through a band of different modes. Leaderboards is pretty much a given. Offline play brings back the ability to enjoy arcade mode, versus and training, whereas online play serves up casual and ranked matches.
There’s also the option to dive into or create custom games, which is a neat addition. In any case, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is basically one giant emulator that brings back these fighting classics with modern day tools to uphold it. Adding to the authenticity, there’s a range of options that players can utilize to heighten the nostalgia, such as being able to change the screen size to that of the classic arcade machines aspect ratio, or remapping the controller prompts to suit your style of play. It’s a well implemented system to say the least.
Unfortunately, not every game in this collection supports online play, in fact only one third of the offerings enjoy this feature; Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Street Fighter II: Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. Still, it’s well worth the investment regardless. I wont waste your time by going over the ins and outs of each inclusion given that they’ve been around for decades. Each game houses its own arcade mode in which all characters are already unlocked and available to use; prove your worth and take them down.
If you’re not one to complete each run in a single sitting like back in the day, worry not, a save system allows you to save the game at any time so you can pick up where you left off if you’re in need of a mid-game break. There’s also a difficulty, speed, auto-block and time filter for most games. It would have been nice to see this support, as well as online play, for the whole collection, but beggars cant be choosers, right? Even taking these small omissions into account, it’s pretty hard to overlook the value for content in the grand scheme of things.
These games play exactly how you remember them to. I found it best to play them in chronological order, simply to adjust the gradual climb in complexity and fluidity. You’ll be doing yourself no favors if you start at (let’s say) Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and then pay a visit to Street Fighter’s stiff and constrict fields of play. That’s not a negativity by any means, but more of a word of advice. The bottom line in is that this collection, by and large, shows the evolution of the series, complete with a nifty built-in museum for that added leisure.
The Street Fighter museum is jam-packed with history; character art, bios, jukebox music and more. There’s a heap of intel to soak up that collectively celebrates Street Fighter’s journey through time. The SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis Classics didn’t take advantage of this, slightly pushing the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection ahead of it in regards to which is the better compilation. The bottom line in all of this is that each and every game plays well and more importantly, performs well, throughout. It’s a pool of fan service at its absolute finest.
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection offers a wonderful compilation of classics. Each game performs as well as you would expect, upheld further by neat additions such as online play and a range of filters. That’s not to mention its interesting history-rich museum mode. Sadly, not all of the games within get to enjoy these modern features, though with that being said, there’s absolutely no denying its value for content.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.