Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection review: No quarter(s)

Capcom /

Capcom’s celebration of Street Fighter continues with a compilation of 12 arcade classics on modern systems. The question is, do they still hold up?

Title: Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Developer: Digital Eclipse
Publisher: Capcom
Platforms: PS4 (version reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: May 29, 2018

There’s something to be said about a video game series that stands the test of time. Despite the ever-changing landscape of the industry in both hardware and software capabilities, those that stand tall year after year, generation after generation, deserve to be celebrated.

Once again, Street Fighter gets its time in the spotlight.

The godfather of modern fighting games turns 30 this year, with the iconic first sequel in the series just passing the quarter-century mark two years ago. The latest compilation certainly isn’t the first time the series has celebrated itself, with two others, 2005’s Anniversary Collection and 2006’s Alpha Anthology, coming before it.

Enter the newest challenger, the 30th Anniversary Collection. With arguably more eyes on the series than ever and a foothold firmly placed in pop culture, the time has come once again to revel in a legacy of Hadoukens and Raging Demons. Despite some flaws, this collection is a more than solid enough hint of the old school for, well, a new generation.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Capcom /

For the uninitiated, this latest release comes with a grand total of 12 games. These range from the infamous original game to five iterations of its direct sequel, with the Alpha trilogy and all three versions of Street Fighter III also along for the ride with all of the single-player ladders in tow. It should also be noted that the focus is on the arcade version of each title, meaning that if you grew up on the console versions of games like Championship Edition or Hyper Fighting, you’re not going to find them here.

All things considered, it’s better off for it. The arcade versions are much more identifiable and iconic and are wonderfully preserved here. All 12 titles have never looked better either. Colors pop off the screen in each title, and there are also visual options to help enhance the experience. Filter options, the ability to make the game full screen or have no border art are pretty nice to have.

Though more astute players may find input delay and other differences in the gameplay, more casual warriors should have little to no issues.

Unfortunately, those good looks don’t carry over into the rest of the game. The menu UI is particularly bland and uninteresting. While it’s easy to navigate and get to where you’d want to go, something capturing more of the essence of the series would have been nice. There’s also no ability to pick custom music either, which is really a shame considering how many iconic themes that these games have.

Though more astute players may find input delay and other differences in the gameplay, more casual warriors should have little to no issues. Throughout testing, most of the titles ran smoothly whether you’re just throwing fireballs or pulling off more intricate super combos. There were practically no load times either, matching the snappy response of in-game fights.

One big confusing decision, at least on the PS4 version, was apparently to map the start button to the touchpad. It can certainly be changed but sitting around for a few minutes until realizing that was pretty frustrating.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Capcom /

If anything, the lowest point of the compilation by far is the original 1987 release. Clunky controls and weird AI abound here, which seems about par for the course in this iteration. Think of it as a quarter-munching monster with no regard for human life. In fact, playing it will make fans wonder how on earth the series even got a sequel, much less spawn a series that would span three decades.

Going further along in time, the subtle differences between sequels or next iterations (especially in the different versions of Street Fighter II) are pretty interesting to experience first-hand. Seeing the games somehow evolve with more updated art styles, increased speed and crazier gameplay mechanics will make veterans feel right at home but are also admittedly daunting for newcomers.

Whether it’s parrying in Third Strike and figuring out how to best use the “-ism” system in Alpha 3, needless to say, the older titles can be difficult to master. Luckily both of those games include a training mode along with Hyper Fighting and Super Turbo.  As far as features go, it’s pretty standard fare for the genre, with not nearly as many bells and whistles as the more recent Street Fighter titles.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Capcom /

But training isn’t the only thing missing a few extras. While the games do feel great to play for the most part, there are no trials or challenges here. 2011’s Third Strike Online contained these, but it looks like the decision here was to keep things as dedicated to the arcade experience as possible. While that’s certainly a good intention at first, the result actually decreases the value of the entire package.

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  • The PS4 version’s trophy support (which does not include a platinum trophy) is also lacking. There are no unlockables either, as everything in the gallery is already viewable from the jump. Art, game pitches and other documents are all packed into an interactive timeline that’s certainly a love letter to longtime fans. A sprite viewer that features every character’s special moves is also available and is a nice touch.

    What really was going to make or break the collection is the online support. Much like the training mode, the only games to support this feature are Hyper Fighting, Super Turbo, Alpha 3 and Third Strike, leaving fan-favorite Alpha 2 in the cold depths of local play. Ranked and casual matches are supported along with lobbies for each of the four available games.

    As far as the netcode goes, things were pretty hit and miss with each game during testing. Some games would run smoothly while others would become a lagfest with skipping music being the primary indicator. This happened a bit more often than not, which is can be disheartening to those who may not always have someone available to play against locally. Speaking of which, that option is much better by comparison with not a single quarter required to function.

    7.5. At times,<em> Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection </em>is a prime example of a compilation done right. Smooth gameplay and plethora of extra content are just a few button presses away. However, the lack of other features that have been in previous <em>Street Fighter </em>re-releases leaves a pretty large void.<p>Combine that with shaky netcode, and suddenly the value of the entire package is diminished even further.  While it may not go the extra mile in some aspects, the overall game still has more than enough here for those looking for a challenge.</p>. Capcom. . Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection

    A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.