Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a shot of adrenaline for older titles, but not a rebirth - EventHubs review

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • May 29, 2018 at 1 a.m. PDT

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a good experience, but one that feels a bit lacking in some areas. What's included is a magical trip down nostalgia lane, but you might wish there were a few more things included along the way.

Anniversary Collection has a strong catalogue of 12 Street Fighter titles, which are definitely the stars of the show. These are the games the franchise was built upon, and they offer a great deal of charm and outstanding gameplay — if you understand the context they were created in.

If your first entry into the series was Street Fighter 4 or 5, these older titles are going to be a bit of a shock to the senses. While the tried and true Street Fighter gameplay is 100% intact, a lot of the systems you're familiar with are either in their infancy, or absent entirely, depending on your selection.

The presentation here is very solid, with nice menus and music. The interface is intuitively designed to give you quick and easy access to all 12 titles. Load times are minimal, as it's possible to switch from a game of Alpha 3 and get right into Street Fighter 3 Third Strike in seconds.

Special mention must be given to the game's museum option, which features hours of content to cycle through. From music, artwork and history, you could spend a lot of time just exploring every nook and cranny of this feature. Capcom obviously put some love into gathering a ton of high quality assets all in one place.

Training mode for the four online games is also a wonderful feature, something which Digital Eclipse clearly put some time and effort into getting up to snuff. While not as feature rich as the training mode in Street Fighter 5, you do have access to the core things you'll typically want there.

What you'd expect, but does not go the extra mile for the most part

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When you start digging into the options menus, you'll notice what's there serves the grand scheme of things, without throwing in everything you might hope. Visually, the aspect ratio can be controlled with Original, Full (zoomed in) and Wide (stretched) options.

Graphic filters are simple, with TV, Arcade and Off options. Gone are the 'Crisp' and 'Smooth' filters from Street Fighter 3 Third Strike Online Edition, which I thought did a terrific job of enhancing the graphics for that title. What's here is sufficient, but feels a tad lacking with the power of modern hardware.

Capcom has done a better job with graphics options in other re-releases, but those were one-off titles and didn't pack 12 games in one, but it still feels like they could have done more here.

30th Anniversary features save states, which means if you're stuck on a particularly difficult part, you can save your progress and either revisit it later, or reload until you're successful.

The game's training mode for SF2 Turbo, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, SF Alpha 3, and SF3 Third Strike is a very welcome addition, but I was left scratching my head why it wasn't included in the other titles as well. I really wanted to mess around in training mode in Alpha 2, and there exists no way for me to do so.

Regardless, training mode has the core features you'd expect in a modern fighting game title — without the plethora of features available in Street Fighter 5. It's clear effort was put in to give you specific options for ST, SF3, Alpha 3 and Hyper Fighting though, like customizing stun recovery, super meter, parrying and things of that nature. Damage and input display are included as well.

"Even Desk would struggle to pull off special moves consistently in the original Street Fighter."

Trophies felt underwhelming. You basically are rewarded for completing the game's arcade modes, with a couple extra online play rewards thrown in.

Don't overlook how great these older Street Fighter titles are, nostalgia vibes are strong

While you can lament what isn't there, you definitely shouldn't forget about what is.

I had a blast playing through Street Fighter 1's arcade mode, trying to make the wonky controls work, and struggling like crazy to get special moves to come out — and I loved every minute of it. Even Desk would struggle to pull off special moves consistently in the original Street Fighter.

While the controls improve dramatically after the first iteration, how cheap and insane the CPU can be doesn't change. The computer will literally read inputs, combo break your attacks if they're not perfectly timed, and perform impossible feats like reversing throws while in block/hit stun.

And yet, it's all part of these game's charming arcade modes, which are still a blast to play. If you ever dropped a few quarters in these machines back in the day, that experience is still there waiting for you.

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There is so much jank and bull crap these games throw at you, but it's done in such a polished and wonderful way, you can't help but get hardcore nostalgia vibes.

The fact you get 12 games for $40 is a selling point enough for many people, as the magic and experience these older titles provide cannot be understated.

There's so much here to keep you busy for quite a while, even if you wish there were more bells and whistles included.

Net code holds up OK, but the online play is pretty bare bones

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection features rollback net code, which is the same style implemented in GGPO and SF5. It generally held up OK, regardless of the title, in the 30+ games I played online.

When connections got bad, the game would pause and stutter frequently, and basically go into an unplayable state. It's difficult to say how much of this was due to the game's net code, or the connections of the players I faced.

Either way, the game's overall net code seems to hold up well under respectable conditions, without a lot of hiccups or problems. I feel like it's a few steps below Street Fighter 5 in handling poor connections though.

The online options for Anniversary Collection are OK, but definitely lacking modern trappings.

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There is no double blind feature on the character select screen, which means getting counter picked is the order of the day.

Also, I couldn't find a way to ban Akuma in SSF2T. This character has been banned in the competitive scene for quite some time, for good reason, and it's a glaring omission not to have an option to filter him out.

I could not find a way to limit my opponents by region, connection or pretty much any other way. Basically, you get what you get when you press the ranked option, and hope for the best. There's also no black listing feature for players with poor connections.

Having online opponents join while playing arcade mode is nice, but that ability doesn't make up for the lack of online functions you'd expect for a title released here in 2018.

Overview

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is going to be a great shot in the arm for these older Street Fighter titles. If you've ever wanted to revisit them, or experience them for the first time, pick this title up.

On the other hand, if you were hoping this release would be a resurrection of these old franchises and put them back on the map long term, your hopes are likely misplaced.

The bare bones online play, which lacks very important features for modern competitive fighters is going to wipe out the online warrior scene here in a few months.

When 30th Anniversary's online play works well, it can be a dream to revisit these old titles in their former glory. When it doesn't, it's a nightmare that will have you running back to current games.

For $40 you're not going to find a better collection of Street Fighter titles around. There are some shining moments to be had when replaying these golden oldies, with nostalgia hitting you on all sides — even if you wish a bit more was done to polish things up along the way.

Pros:
+ 12 games in one. Tons of gameplay to be had.
+ Museum has oodles of high quality assets.
+ Fast load times and clever user interface.
+ Training mode is a solid addition.
+ Net code is decent, has lobbies.
+ Brimming with nostalgia fun.

Cons:
- Very limited feature set for online play.
- Graphical filters are a step back from other re-releases.
- Online and training modes restricted to just four games.
- Trophies are underwhelming.
- Doesn't have a ton of appeal if the older games don't interest you.

Score:
• 8 / 10

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