It’s been 30 years full of fireballs, dragon punches, and sonic booms; and yet the Street Fighter series continues to be incredibly relevant to modern gaming. As the catalyst for what makes the foundation of the fighting game genre, Street Fighter has garnered a legacy that very few games or series will ever achieve. To celebrate the 30th anniversary, Capcom has compiled 12 games from the legendary franchise into one package, making for a collection that any fan or newcomer to Street Fighter should sit down and play. Though not the perfect compilation, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection definitely shows a lot of reverence for the series.
It wouldn’t be fair to review every game included in this collection, as some of them are products of their time over the last 30 years, with a few being obsolete in comparison to later iterations and updated versions of them. These are the games you remember playing or seeing in your local arcade, with all the bells and whistles that made them iconic.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection has 12 arcade perfect ports of all the games from the original Street Fighter to Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. This means every version of Street Fighter 2 released in arcades, as well as every version for Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter 3. If you’ve played any of these games on the actual arcade machines, you’re going to feel right at home. Anyone that has wanted an overview of the series, it doesn’t get any better than this.
The real treat here for Street Fighter fans comes from the museum mode extras, which chronicles the development, the music, and archived promotional material for every game. The best part of this, however, is the full historical timeline of the series, which acknowledges and gives details about every game released since the beginning, including ports and alternative versions of the games released on every platform. It’s debatable that some of the games shown in the history section should’ve been part of this collection, but it’s good to see them discussed even though they aren’t playable here.
There’s also information on some of the animated movies and even the live-action films that were based on the series. However, it’s very disappointing to not have the Street Fighter 2 or Street Fighter Alpha animated movies included as extras in here, especially when previous Street Fighter collections have done so already, so it’s confusing to not see the same done here.
If you wanted to take the fight online, then this collection has you covered in a few ways. While not every game is online-enabled, you can still play four of the titles included in the collection online. You can fight others over the internet in Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Alpha 3 Max, and Street Fighter 3: Third Strike.
The online matchmaking in Ranked battles can be somewhat wonky and take a long time to get matched up with someone for a battle. If ranks aren’t your concern, you can still create a lobby with up to four other people and fight between each other.
The good part of this is that you aren’t just limited to one of the games and can cycle between all four if you want to. That means one match may be in Street Fighter 2 and the next one in either Alpha 3 Max or Third Strike. It mixes things up for everyone when you’re in a lobby, and works out great since getting into games is pretty fast.
As a fun alternative, you can also go into the Online Arcade, where you’ll play through the arcade mode of any game until you get matched with someone online. This tries to emulate the arcade style scene of someone putting their quarter into the other player slot and showing the “Here comes a new challenger” message. It’s not completely the same, but still, a fun option to have for those that want it.
For the competitive tournament players out there, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection does have a training mode for each of the online-enabled games included. This is helpful since you can tinker with many of the settings for the CPU and even record actions for it, which is similar to more recent games in the series. Practicing your combos in training mode is easy and will definitely work well for those looking to take their skills to the next level.
If you just want to play with a friend locally and fight for bragging rights, you can do so with all twelve games. Local versus has options to pick new characters and stages after every match, so you aren’t looked into the same background and music with each fight.
As a celebration of 30 years for the Street Fighter legacy, this collection is nearly perfect. It would’ve been fantastic to have a few more things included with the extras for those that have been with the franchise since the beginning, but there is a lot of value in here for everyone. The games play great, the sounds and visuals are authentic, and the online mode connects fans from all over the world. Whether you’re someone looking to relive those memories you had growing up or someone on your own journey to becoming a world warrior, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection has a lot to give you. After 30 years of battle, Capcom’s iconic fighting series still packs one serious dragon punch.
This review was based on a digital review code for Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection for the PlayStation 4, provided by Capcom.