As many gamers will tell you, Street Fighter wasn’t simply just a series of games, it defined a genre. It’s also incredible to think that it was over 30 years ago that we were introduced to its original release… even though it was a hot mess.
A lack of character selection combined with frustrating AI and horrible controls, Street Fighter wasn’t exactly the game that we all remember fondly. As most fans will tell, it was the second release (Street Fighter 2) that defined the fighting game genre and captured a dedicated fan base that it continues to hold to this day.
In an age where classic titles are being remastered and re-released, it was probably only a matter of time before Capcom jumped on the nostalgic bandwagon. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Edition is the result, and it makes no effort to rewrite its shaky history.
This classic bundle brings us twelve titles in total, starting with the original Street Fighter (1987). We’re then treated to five Street Fighter 2 versions, from its original release (1991) to Super SF2 Turbo (1994), all three Alpha titles and all three Street Fighter 3 titles. On paper this seems like a pretty good package and for all the Street Fighter fans out there, a hard one to pass up. As an added addition, Capcom has also included online multiplayer for Super SF2 Turbo, Alpha 3 and SF3: 3rd Strike, as well as training modes to help you perfect your combos.
One of the major selling points from the Capcom marketing machine is that these were the most arcade perfect ports ever to be released since their initial introduction. To keep a long story short, they have very much succeeded, warts and all.
Each game looks, feels, and sounds incredibly accurate to how they were on their original release — complete with slowdown, broken inputs, and bugs that were present in their original arcade form. In fact, they’ve done such a good job that these versions are now being used in classic tournament brackets all around the world instead of their arcade versions.
Players from yesteryear might remember famous bugs like the Invisible Dhalsim, Zangief’s reversal throw that hit you wherever you were, and Guile’s Handcuffs glitch that glued his opponent to him. All are present in the 30th Anniversary Edition.
One could think at this point that this bundle is a complete success and worthy of a buy. But maybe you shouldn’t be so eager to splash that cash just yet.
Yes, these are all near arcade perfect. But like so many games from our past, its not until you go back to play some of your childhood classics that you realise how much gaming has evolved over the last 30 years. For a good example, go dig up your old N64, plug in Goldeneye and you’ll see what we mean.
The original Street Fighter, for example, was garbage and is perhaps best left in the past. There are some clear stand outs that still hold up today. Super SF2 – or ST as it’s referred to – is still a game that’s played competitively to this day. 3rd Strike has remained a community favourite as well as being the game of choice for the Cooperation Cup (a tournament held annually in Japan that still attracts many fierce competitors).
Sadly, the most glaring faults in this release are the new features. Training mode is a significantly weak addition and the online modes are a broken mess. Lobbies continually crash, you’re unable to filter by region, and the netcode feels awful.
Capcom has said that it’ll continue to patch and fix these problems, but at the time of writing, multiple patches have been released and the problems still exist. What’s more confusing is we’ve seen re-releases like Street Fighter 2 HD and Street Fighter 3: Online Edition which did all these things well. Somehow Capcom failed to include any of those improvements here.
It’s easy to see the target audience for this title. It’s the dedicate fans who spent many a dollar and hour in the arcades and have fond, nostalgic memories of the Street Fighters of yesteryear.
For those people, we know Capcom already have your money. For everyone else, know what you’re getting into here. There are no better versions of these games if you’re chasing that original feel. But don’t go in expecting anything more than that, because you’ll be severely disappointed.
Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Edition is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.