Friday, April 14, 2006

Review: Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Platform: Playstation 2
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Release Date: August 2004
Genre: Fighting

Although it could have been even better had Capcom put a little more effort into it (and didn’t enjoy milking gamers for all they worth), for what it is it is worth owning and deserves a spot into your fighting game collection.

As a huge fan of the ‘Street Fighter’ franchise, I was stoked when I first heard about Anniversary Collection. Take two of the genre’s greatest 2D fighters of all time, add in an interesting anime film, and put it onto one disc and you have a must own collection. Although it could have been even better had Capcom put a little more effort into it (and didn’t enjoy milking gamers for all they worth), for what it is it is worth owning and deserves a spot into your fighting game collection.

For many gamers the words ‘Street Fighter’ brings back nostalgic memories of spending hours upon hours at the arcades, spending tons of quarters (probably adding up to enough to buy a few arcade machines) and then enjoying the hell out of the home console versions that later found release on the Super NES and Genesis (even if the Super NES versions were superior to the Genesis edition). Sure, arcades may be out, but fortunately for you, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection includes five versions of everyone’s favorite quarter-waster and hour-sucker of yesteryear, Street Fighter II. Although each version’s differences are marginal (and only the hardest of the hardcore are likely to notice), it’s still nice to have them all in one place in one remixed game, titled ‘Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition’ (confusing enough?).

While the game play remains in act and as good as it ever was, there are a few problems that plague the Hyper edition from being totally flawless. The A.I. is noticeably a bit difficult than it was in previous versions of Street Fighter II (especially Blanka) and the fun mini-games such as the car breaking and brick-busting stages are unfortunately absent. Also, it would be better if you had to choice to play each version in its entirety instead of having to have them all smashed into one game. Still, unless you’re an extremely anal hardcore fan who can only live with playing the actual arcade version (because any other version of Street Fighter is inferior), then you should be able to get over these somewhat minor quibbles.

Next up in the collection is Capcom’s underappreciated 1999 effort, ‘Street Fighter III: Third Strike’ the third and best release in the Street Fighter 3 saga (Normal Street Fighter III was released first, then Street Fighter III: Double Impact, and now this, for those who do not know). The game play is noticeably more polished than in any other version of the series, and contains a mostly whole new cast of characters that most gamers who stopped playing after Street Fighter Alpha 2 wont recognize. While some of the characters are interesting and have fresh new techniques compared to the usual suspects, many are not nearly as enjoyable to play with as the usual fighters (Ryu, Akuma, Chun-Li, Ken, etc.). However, if you give them a chance and let their play style grow on you then you might find them very rewarding to play with in the long run.

Street Fighter III: Third Strike’s game play is sublime, and any 2D aficionado will enjoy its mix of new game play techniques, depth, beautiful soundtrack (Which I enjoyed so much I went on to buy the original soundtrack off Amazon) and crisp, well-designed 2D graphics.

While its true that this could have been a more robust collection and Capcom could have expanded it to be more than it is, it’s definitely worth owning. In fact, if Capcom simply repackaged Street Fighter III: Third Strike and sold it alone then it would still be worth the price of admission.
Rating: 9.0 (out of 10)


At 3:00 PM, Blogger gnome said...

Great review... Still, anything beyond SF2 is redundant. Even playing as Bison was too much.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger el moco said...

wow. what an in-depth review.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

I am infatuated with this game

Sieg 2d Fighters!

At 8:50 PM, Blogger Tomleecee said...

Am I the only one who remembers Street Fighter 1 on the Amstrad? You could only be Ryu or Ken and you had to fight against two punks in London in the world warrior mode and Sagat fired basketballs out of his head. Ah, fond memories...and great review by the way!

At 12:44 AM, Blogger Wedge14 said...

I believe you fought Birdie in london. Who was at the time white. But in one of the Street Fighter Alpha's he comes back this time he's quite black. His excuse? He was sick.

At 1:36 AM, Blogger Ender said...

Ross and friends:

Ender's Blog is now dead, and I have made another, which I intend to take better care of. Check it out here:

Hope you guys all visit regularly!

At 3:41 AM, Blogger gnome said...

Well, I remember the (amazing in even on the green monitor) Amstrad SF1. But SF1 in the arcades was mich better, featuring the punch-thingy...

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous backdrOp said...

Another reason to get this game is because Third Strike is far more close to arcade perfect on the PS2 then it is on the Dreamcast!

Get this collection now~


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