Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (PS4) Review

The original Street Fighter Arcade game came out in arcades back in 1987, with a home console port following it in 1988. Since then we have been getting something ‘Street Fighter’ related almost every year, be it a new game, spin-off, anime, movie, or characters. That’s an amazing achievement, one which I can’t think of any other game even coming close to matching. As such, Capcom has decided to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the classic arcade game with a collection which is sure to impress all Street Fighter fans and provide many hours of nostalgic fun and competitive action.

Plenty of choice within the game!

The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary collection is made up of twelve classic arcade ports. That’s right, these aren’t the home console versions or any kind of enhanced variation like we have seen recently with Street Fighter 2 on the switch and the many versions avaliable on various digital stores. They are perfect 1:1 emulations of the original arcade cabinet versions – however, a few of them also come with the ability to play them online, which I’ll cover in a bit. First of all though, what games do you actually get?

• 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
• Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike*

As you can see, you get quite a few versions of each variant, along with the original game in all of it’s ‘glory’?! The ones which I’ve coloured purple and bolded are also available for playing online, the others are only playable offline in both ‘Arcade’ mode and Multiplayer.

Now, I’m not going to go through each of the games, as that would be very silly and it would result in one of my longest reviews – which would be quite an accomplishment! Instead, I’ll just run through the common features that they all have and the collection in general, as I’m sure Street Fighter fans out there know these games inside out anyway.

This is the first time I’ve actually played most of these games.

I think the first thing I need to talk about are the games themselves. As I stated above, the majority of them are ‘offline’ only, with a few allowing for online play. Let’s take a look at how the ‘Offline’ mode works first. Once you select ‘Offline’ via the initial menu, you are given three options – Arcade, Versus and Training. As these are the arcade versions, there are no in-game menus once the game starts (other than the UI added for the collection), so setting up your prefered method of play has to be done before the game is loaded.

Once you pick Arcade, you will see all twelve of the games along with their logos, release dates and even what hardware the original game was running on. As soon as you make your selection, the game is instantly loaded up and a simple tap of the touch-pad places a coin within the machine. Arcade mode is essentially the story of the game, so you will choose your character and proceed through that particular game’s story.

Versus is what you would expect. Choosing this option allows you to once again pick which of the twelve games you wish to play, which stage you want to play on and then there are two cursors for player one and two. Once you’ve picked your contenders, the game will instantly load and you’ll be within the versus mode of the game.

Finally Training. This is also as you would expect, only you wouldn’t expect it in an arcade emulated game. The game once again lets you pick a game, stage and characters and then instantly loads. The difference here is that the character just stands there and doesn’t attack – this mode is perfect if you wish to practice your moves, as not only does the opponent not attack (by default) but they also can’t die. However, you can press ‘Options’ and adjust everything to do with the other characters behaviour from how he attacks, blocks, retaliates, and even if they can die and how much health they have. This mode can be only be played on the four highlighted games above and each one has a few unique options (such as showing the buttons pressed or the damage dealt) and a comprehensive list of all your special moves for you to practice. I found this training mode essential for warming up before a match.

Ryu vs. Ryu – who will win? I’m betting on Ryu…

Once you switch over to the Online mode, things change a little bit. Bear in mind that all of these options only support the four games I coloured in above, if you wish to play any of the others games in multiplayer then it has to be either local or via the PS4’s Shareplay feature. The two main features of the Online section is the Online Arcade and the Online Multiplayer.

The Online Arcade is exactly the same as the Offline Arcade. You pick one of the four games and choose a character you wish to progress through the story with. The difference here is that every now and again ‘a new challenger approaches’ and the game will automatically match up two people who are playing the game and pit them against each other in a ranked match. I never really saw the appeal of this mode, but I guess if people want more of a challenge whilst doing the Arcade mode then I guess this is where to come.

The Multiplayer has been split into Ranked, Casual and Lobby options. I’m sure you know what all these are – Ranked will get you on the leaderboard, Casual won’t, and Lobby lets you create or join a group of people. Now, I know what you’re thinking – why would you create or join a group when Street Fighter only allows two players? I was thinking the same. Basically, you can have up to four people in your group and whilst two of you fight the other two watch. Then it swaps around. It’s like a mini-tournament for up to four people, and also a place where people can come in and spectate and not participate in the action.

Speaking of leaderboards and Online modes, all of the four games which feature an Online Mode have a full leaderboard built in which allows you to see everyone’s kill/win ratio and who is currently at the top of the list.

It may just be me, but it looks like Ryu is shouting!

When you’ve been playing all the games on offer for many hours and you decide it’s time for a quick break, what should you do next? Why not head on over to the ‘Museum’ and check out some of the pretty good extras Capcom have given us in the collection. We have a History, Characters, Music and a making of Street Fighter all within a menu which looks like Ryu is shouting the caption at us…

The History option is really informative and interesting in my option. It has a timeline from 1987 all the way to 2018 which lists every important event or release that happened each year. For example, the Street Fighter II V Japanese anime TV series first aired in 1995 for 29 episodes, and in 2005 the Street Fighter Alpha: Generations animated movie came out – which was made in Japan yet designed for the western audience. Pointless facts and info, but it’s interesting nonetheless. A lot of the options also has artwork and images as well.

Plenty of info on every single character throughout all twelve games.

The option I spent the longest on was the ‘Characters‘ section. Here you can take a look at all of the characters in each of the major numbered games, from Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, Super Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, and Street Fighter 3. Each character has their generic stats, such as DoB, statistics, likes and dislikes (is this a dating profile?), the characters background and fighting style. I’ve not followed Street Fighter that much so a lot of the characters in these games are new to me, so having something like this where I can read about their connections and find out who they actually are is pretty cool!

The Music section is another interesting addition. You can pick any of the twelve games and it will list every single audio track, from the 4-second ‘A challenger approaches’ music in the original Street Fighter, to the infamous Ryu stage music from Street Fighter II. You can only listen to the music in this section, but you can shuffle the songs and leave it on in the background I guess. It would have been nice if you could set the music to play in-game though, as leaving this menu returns to the default music.

Finally, the Making of Street Fighter option. These are also rather fascinating. You can look at the original pitch for Street Fighter which was presented to Capcom, behind the scenes images and stories about Street Fighter II, and development art for Street Fighter Alpha and III. These aren’t a few images long either, the Street Fighter II one is 72 images with captions and background. There is a lot of knowledge in this collection which would be perfect for any fan of the franchise.

You win some, you lose some – plus this game controls terribly compared to modern games.

So that’s it, other than a few generic options and the credits. there is a lot of content in this collection and for the price it’s going for, I would say it’s really worth it if you’re a fan of the Street Fighter arcade games. There is one thing I haven’t touched on yet though, and that’s the overall presentation.

The games look and play great, every single one of them – no slow down, no stutters, no lag, nothing. The menus are all polished and everything is easy to find and super fast to jump into. The games themselves, whilst playing, all have their own unique style and looks, as they are perfect ports of the original arcade titles. You do have a few various emulation options, although not as many as you got in the SEGA Mega Drive Classics collection which I reviewed the other day. You can opt to view the game in it’s original 4:3 mode, zoom into the screen and risk losing some of the UI, or stretch the image to a 16:9 widescreen (why would anyone do this? E. Honda looks even more bloated!). You can also activate an Arcade or TV filter – this basically adds a blur and scanlines respectively. Again, I don’t know why anyone would do this but it’s all down to personal choice.

There is also the ability to enable or disable the border, if not running in stretch mode, which goes one up on the SEGA Mega Drive Classics collection in that each title has it’s own unique border. From displaying all of the contenders around the outside, to showing the two main characters facing off against each other in concept art – these borders are cool and something I wished Sega did with their collection.

Other than that, what you’re getting is twelve arcade-perfect titles for one cheap price. There is no platinum and the trophy list is pretty terrible, but don’t let that stop you buying the game if you’re a fan of Street Fighter or fighting games in general. There are many hours of enjoyment to be had with this collection as well as a lot of interesting information on how the games were created.

Official Trailer:

Final Conclusion:
The Street Fighter 30th Anniversary collection is an amazing purchase for fans of the franchise who would love to play the iconic games which helped make this series one of the best fighting games in the world. Would I have liked other titles such as Street Fighter IV? Sure, but I imagine they didn’t include these as they are already readily available on the current generation of consoles. There is a tonne of content here, whether you wish to play solo through the twelve campaigns, play against your friends one-on-one, play the arcade online in four titles and have random people jump in to fight you, or just head online to kick some ass – you won’t be bored of this title for a while! The cherry on the top is the extensive history and ‘making of’ documents on offer which any fan of the series would love to read. If you’re a fan or just like fighting games in general then do yourself a favour and purchase this title.

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A copy of the game was kindly provided for review purposes

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

8.5

Final Score

8.5/10

The Good:

  • Tonnes of content with twelve full arcade classics
  • Full online multiplayer and leaderboards with four of the titles
  • Lots of bonus features such as character backgrounds and making of features
  • Perfect emulation of the games
  • A new training mode has been placed into the four online games

The Bad:

  • The trophies are a bit 'meh' if going for those
  • Not many emulations settings or options
  • No enhancements to the titles (not 100% a bad thing)
  • Missing the console games from IV onwards - collection part two maybe?
  • Combat can be a little clunk due to the arcade-perfect ports - again, not 100% a bad thing

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