Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
When looking back at our lives most of us come up with several stages of sheer embarassment and not a whole lot else, as you age you tend to become more comfortable with who you are and tend to be less likely to regret things you do. No matter what phases you went through, it is safe to assume you won't be showing people the clothes you wore or stupid fads you followed. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection somehow sidesteps most of this awkwardness by being full to the brim of incredibly good games.
Containing a total of twelve games including various versions of different numbered entries, you have access to some of the best fighting games of all time. The navigation between different titles is incredibly simple, with you choosing a mode first and choosing the game after, this allows you to flit between different games on the fly, while staying in the mode of your choice. This is particularly great for local play, as it allows you and a friend to jump between your favourites, challenging each other on old battlegrounds that you used to frequent.
Starting with the original Street Fighter and ending with Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, you get to see just how much, and how little, the series changed throughout its formative years. The original is by far the weakest entry, compared to the rest, the mechanics just feel off, everything lacks the polish and fluidity you expect from the series. While it is nice to see hear from a preservation perspective, it is unlikely to be one you will sink you time into. Playing through the collection will reveal how the games shaped up, each on introduces something that adds to the gameplay, some small improvements, and some more significant. All of the these come together in 3rd Strike in what is undoubtedly one of the best fighting games of all time, it takes so much from its predecessors and refines it perfectly. While it is nice to play the other games here, they all feel like appetisers for this one, the culmination of years of design choices that stands at the pinnacle of 2D fighting games.
You can alter your controls in your pause menu, this carries into each game, which means you don't have to worry about tweaking them every time, it is a small but significant aspect that raises the quality of the collection above other comparable packages. Each mode you can choose will then take you into the list of games which are relevant to that choice, so if you choose online play, you will see a list of the games you can play online. You never have to worry about which ones can and can't be played in one way or not, as the collection deals with all of that for you. The special moves are displayed for whoever you are fighting as, for whichever game you are in and in the same style, it just makes the whole thing feel like it has been put together with care, rather than a mish mash of different games.
The care and attention in the collection is perhaps the standout feature for hardcore fans, getting to look through the museum mode to see so much information about the games and characters is a joy. The games themselves are pretty much all still highly playable today, with the new online modes giving them even more of a lifespan. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a fantastic example of what can be done as a way to preserve old games in their purest form, as well as being one of the best collections you can buy in a single package. This is well worth a look for anyone who can feel the nostalgic pull of these games, as well as anyone who has never played them, it really is marvellous.