Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review

This digital museum for all things Street Fighter is now open.

Review by Mike Williams, .

We've seen more than 30 years of Street Fighter being one of the premier fighting game franchises. Sure, the series has fallen off in recent times, but being relevant in the industry for three decades is nothing to scoff at. To celebrate the birthday of one of its tentpole franchises, Capcom is releasing Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection today.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection brings twelve classic Street Fighter games, from 1987's Street Fighter until 1999's Street Fighter III: Third Strike, to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Putting together this gaming anthology fell to Digital Eclipse, the folks behind the excellent Mega Man Legacy Collection and The Disney Afternoon Collection. If you've mess around with either of those games, you have an idea of what to expect here, but let's do a full rundown.

Return of the king. [All screenshots taken with Switch native screenshot capture.]

The games in this collection include Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Street Fighter III: New Generation, Street Fighter III: Second Impact, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Collection brings a number of these titles to modern consoles: Street Fighter was last available in Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, the Alpha titles haven't seen a release since 2006, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike's last launch was Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

What's intriguing is all of these games are the arcade originals. A number of fans have only engaged with the Street Fighter games in their console iterations, which offer additional characters and modes. If you boot up Anniversary Collection expecting those releases, you'll be out of luck. As far as I can tell, every game is the original arcade ROM, meaning the balance changes that came with later releases aren't present here either. If you're a fan of Hyper Street Fighter II, Street Fighter Alpha 3's World Tour mode from the PlayStation release, or the remixed soundtrack of Street Fighter III: Third Strike's Dreamcast edition, none of that is here. It's a bummer, as I miss those extras and would've liked to see them here in the Collection.

There are some game options and extras, but most are outside of the games themselves. There's a few scanline options, but none of pixel smoothing filters that irked players in Third Strike Online Edition are available here. You can also choose to have the game's presented in native letterboxed style, a Full option that stretches the game's vertically, or a Wide version that stretches the game horizontally and vertically to fit your screen. I went with Full, which maximizes the viewable area without messing with the aspect ratio.

Before you boot up a title, you can change game speed or difficulty, depending on which game you're loading (likely based on the game's original arcade switch settings). I wish these were universal options for every game, letting you turn the timer on/off or change the number of rounds; it's a pretty basic option overall, but not available here. A number of games also have easter eggs accessed by different button combinations, like Dramatic Battle in Street Fighter Alpha 3. You'll find all of these Easter Egg combos in the game's description text.

When you start up Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, you'll be greeted with a number of play options: Offline, Local Play, Online Play, Museum, and Options. In Offline, you can play in the basic Arcade mode, Versus mode for local play, or a Training mode. (Switch owners can do two-player local play with detached Joy-Cons.) It's worth noting that Training mode is only available in four of the twelve games: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike.

Training Mode is still the original arcade versions, but with an enhanced set of options in the pause menu: you can change the difficulty level, choose new characters, see every character's special moveset, set your health and special meters, or tweak the sparring dummy. You can even record a series of moves for the dummy if you want to practice against a specific combo or something. It's not as robust as the training modes we're used to in titles like Street Fighter 5, where the game walks you through each character, but at the very least you can practice your fighting skills.

Local Play lets you create or join lobbies and tournaments when a number of folks are sitting together in the same area. (I don't know if this option is available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as I was playing on Nintendo Switch.) There's also an option to set the input lag for local play, which is intriguing.

Online Play is not available for every game in the Collection. Instead, it's just the titles available in Training Mode: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Online Arcade works like the old arcade experience, letting you play the game with online players occasionally intruding into your game. (You can set the matchmaking frequency.) You can also jump straight into Ranked or Casual matches, or create a lobby to bring together multiple players with the ability to spectate.

Online on the Nintendo Switch version of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection was... less than adequate. The Casual and Ranked matches I played were anywhere from solid to jittery, and I couldn't find any open lobbies. Whether that's because lobbies weren't in operation or no other reviewer loaded one up, I have no clue. I opened my own lobby to check if the latter was the case, but no one ever joined. There's no region or ping select available, so who you connect with in Online is completely up to chance. Another odd move is while you can create a lobby for any of the four available games (with a per game toggle), you can't do the same in a search for Ranked or Casual matches: instead, you choose one of four games to search for and hope that someone else is searching for the same game.

The package is rounded out by the Museum, one place where Digital Eclipse excelled in Mega Man Legacy Collection. The Museum includes a full release timeline for every game in the series, with historical details and concept art for games included in the Collection. A character roster covers every character represented in the Collection, with biographies and frame-by-frame looks at their special moves. A music player lets you listen to every track from every game if that's your poison. Finally, a Making Of section offers the original pitch documents for Street Fighter, a lengthy slideshow look at the making of Street Fighter II, and concept art for Alpha and III.

As an owner of previous releases and compilations, I admit there's a gap between what Collection is and what I wanted. I miss the rebalanced version of the arcade games, Hyper Street Fighter II, the additional characters and World Tour mode of the PlayStation release of Alpha 3, Hyper Street Fighter Alpha, and the remixed soundtrack of Third Strike's home release. I think this collection would be better with at least some of those options.

There's the additional stumbling block of online play, which was less than great during the pre-launch review period. Capcom and Digital Eclipse might improve this post-launch, but if online play is your focus, you might want to wait to pick Collection up.

As an overall package, it's good enough though. You get twelve Street Fighter games in arcade perfect form, which is great for long-time fans. Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a celebration of the series history, made show of these games in their original release states. It's a snapshot of various points of time in the Street Fighter series. If that's what you're looking for, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is meant for you.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is an arcade perfect collection of twelve titles across Street Fighter's grand history. Unfortunately, it's missing some of the bells and whistles of their console counterparts and online play is a bit rough. Despite those problems, local play is a winner and the Museum is packed with content showing a real love for the franchise's history. If you know what you're getting into, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection is a great compilation, just not a perfect one.

3.5 /5

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review Mike Williams This digital museum for all things Street Fighter is now open. 2018-05-29T07:01:00-04:00 3.5 5

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Comments 29

  • Avatar for Fourfoldroot #1 Fourfoldroot 3 months ago
    Seems like a huge missed opportunity for a definitive console collection. I'll stick with 5.
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  • Avatar for bigbadboaz #2 bigbadboaz 3 months ago
    Sounds like a fair score.

    I really wanted to see Capcom get this right, but it's not enough. Training only for the four online games? This just screams of either rushing or - it's Capcom - laziness. Did they really think people wouldn't want to get better at any of the other eight games that just happen to be included? And this is the Street Fighter series - for many people, the games neglected are preferable titles to the chosen 4.

    The dealbreaker, though, is bad online. It's the most obvious desired feature for a modern fighting release, and people have been complaining about this type of netcode since similar titles were hitting Xbox 360 back in 2009. How hard is it to recognize and put some real effort into this?!??

    I'm very hard on Capcom but the fact is they have a track record of over a decade of failing to put proper effort into compilations such as these. Street Fighter, with its pedigree and number of fans, deserved to be the series they actually stepped up for. This one really hurts.Edited May 2018 by bigbadboaz
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  • Avatar for LBD_Nytetrayn #3 LBD_Nytetrayn 3 months ago
    Online isn't a huge deal to me (and I'm getting it on Xbox One besides, so maybe it will be better there anyway), and I'm not a high-level player, so I don't know if training is something I'll miss.

    I'm more interested in the single player experience, with occasional fun with friends. Sounds like, aside from the lack of extra modes added over the years (which surprises me, given what Capcom's other collections bring to the table in Challenge modes), this ought to be good by me.

    Uh... Street Fighter Alpha still has Ken & Ryu vs. Bison mode, right?
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  • Avatar for ArugulaZ #4 ArugulaZ 3 months ago
    Not having the extra characters from the console and PSP versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 hurts this collection... like, a lot. Will wait for the inevitable price drop.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #5 mobichan 3 months ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn I thought the 2 vs. 1 mode was a console exclusive. Maybe I’m wrong on that though.

    I am more disappointed that Alpha 2 wasn’t given online play. I never could get into Alpha 3 with its over the top, manic play style and all the ism’s.

    Any word on how joycons handle? They are already uncomfortable for most titles (except maybe MARIO Kart). Any word on a decent fight stick for Switch?
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #6 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 months ago
    @mobichan Dramatic Battle mode originally had to be entered in manually by performing a cheat code while selecting your characters - I really hope this isn't the case with this collection and they already have the easter egg unlocked like they did with the Alpha Collection they released on a PS2 back in 2000-ish.
    @MHWilliams! BUDDY! THIS IS AN EXCELLENT REVIEW! I could not be more happy with this! I actually know everything, there is to know about this game before buying it! Thank You! This is why I read USGamer! The online modes and extra modes may not be great, but I'm still gonna pick it up anyways, just because it's Street Fighter on Steam (finally) and modern consoles. Edited 2 times. Last edited May 2018 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for Wellman2nd #7 Wellman2nd 3 months ago
    I already pre-ordered it but yeah, it sounds like the group at Digital Eclipse don't know jack about Street Fighter fandom compared to Mega Man or old school Disney games or this was a rush or budget job.

    It will be nice to own all the games from the first until Third Strike in some format but it is obvious this is no where near the definitive collection in terms of games or content that fans casual or hardcore would be satisfied with.
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #8 MHWilliams 3 months ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn Yeah, Dramatic Battle is one of those Easter Eggs I mentioned. You have to hold a button combo to access it.
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  • Avatar for SIGGYZtar #9 SIGGYZtar 3 months ago
    @LBD_Nytetrayn I totally concur. All I want it is to be as good as the PS2 and to a lesser extent the Dreamcast versions. I wonder if Dip Switches are also present because some players want that "Arcade Perfect" feeling.
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  • Avatar for NateDizzy #10 NateDizzy 3 months ago
    Aww play isn't good? That was the ONLY thing I needed this collection to do right and Capcom still couldn't pull it off. Thank god Fightcade exists.
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  • Avatar for docexe #11 docexe 3 months ago
    Mmm... I wasn't planning on using it to begin with, but I understand people getting angry about the online part of the game being lackluster (although given the reviewed version is the Switch one, I have to wonder if the net code is better in the PS4 and XBOne).

    On the other hand, I don't quite understand people being angry or disappointed about the lack of things from the console versions. I mean, I get some people would have preferred a "definitive" collection of the series with all the added bells and whistles such implies, but Digital Eclipse was pretty transparent since the beginning about this collection not being that,but rather a compilation of the original arcade releases with a few added extras.

    I set my expectations accordingly and while I will miss some things from, say, the PlayStation version of Alpha 3 for example, I find this collection good enough as a trip down memory lane on the Street Fighter series.Edited May 2018 by docexe
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  • Avatar for nilcam #12 nilcam 3 months ago
    @mobichan Hori's Switch stick is amazing! One of the best arcade sticks I've used.

    I've played quite a few matches in all 4 of the online games and only had trouble with Third Strike, for what it's worth.
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  • Avatar for mobichan #13 mobichan 3 months ago
    @nilcam On the one hand: yay for a good stick! On the other hand, I only care about playing 3rdStrike seriously. :(
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  • Avatar for themblan #14 themblan 3 months ago
    Hmm. The more I think about and read about it, the more I don’t want it. Thank you, Mr. Williams, for saving me money.

    Also, placing black bars on the left and right is called pillarboxing.Edited 2 times. Last edited May 2018 by themblan
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  • Avatar for yuberus #15 yuberus 3 months ago
    I'm actually pretty cool with this set. I'm one of those old schoolers who played this stuff back in the day at the arcade, and the arcade version was always the metric by which home ports were compared. Was it arcade perfect? If not, then no one cared, rebalanced or added characters or no. So even though it would be cool to have some of those as options, if you're doing the MM Legacy treatment, it's gotta be the straight arcade versions. I wouldn't have minded the inclusion of Hyper SF2, Alpha 2 Gold and Alpha 3 Upper as those all got arcade versions too - or the CPS1 version of Alpha 1 - but as is I'm pretty pleased.

    I also don't get the gripes about online play and training I've seen around. Like... who is going to sit down and lab World Warriors? Gonna have an online tournament for Street Fighter 1? They'd be cool to have, but it sounds like it would have been a fair amount of extra work to implement in every arcade game, which I assume wasn't in the budget.
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  • Avatar for nilcam #16 nilcam 3 months ago
    I put in some more time with the online and it's terrible; even worse than Ultra SFII. BE WARNED!
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  • Avatar for AstroDemon #17 AstroDemon 3 months ago
    I bought the Xbox One version and it works well. So far, I agree with Mike. I think there's a lot to like here from an arcade history standpoint, and while it would have been great to have more game playable online, the best arcade versions are supported, and hopefully the net code will be worked out.

    I beat SF1 last night for the first time ever. Due to how bullshit and horrible the game's mechanics really are, especially when fighting Sagat, I could never beat it in arcades. But even though the original game is terrible, the nostalgia is real for me. Beating Adon and Sagat was made possible by the save state feature in the game, and I can see why I never had enough quarters to finish the game.

    I completely missed SF3 in arcades due to school, so it's cool to go back and play it now.
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  • Avatar for mganai #18 mganai 3 months ago
    SF3: NG and 2I last saw console release in Double Impact for the Dreamcast. Were there any remixes in that version of the two games?

    I bet there's going to be a mod for the SF3 remixes for the Steam version.
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  • Avatar for docexe #19 docexe 3 months ago
    @yuberus Yeah, on paper only having four games of the twelve included with Online and Training modes sounds bad... Until you realize that the collection includes like six different iterations of SFII.

    Giving all of the games here Online and Training modes seems excessive indeed. Although I think Alpha 2 could have merited Online as well, given that I think is different enough from Alpha 3 and that some people prefer it.
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  • Avatar for yuberus #20 yuberus 3 months ago
    @docexe Yeah, Alpha 2 definitely would be worthy of having online/training modes, but I guess if you have only so much money/time to implement that stuff it's the obvious choice to get cut.

    I will admit entirely that I passed by the Vampire Savior port for 360 because it didn't have the bonus characters from the Saturn version, but as far as I know the people who love Vampire and still go to events/tournaments for it didn't mind in the slightest. So while I can see it both ways, I think if you can only have a collection be arcade perfect or have all the home port bells and whistles included, I'd rather it be arcade perfect. It's not like Digital Eclipse didn't add a billion bells and whistles with the museum anyway!
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  • Avatar for TrustyPanda #21 TrustyPanda 3 months ago
    I don't think you can review multiplayer connection issues fairly on Switch -- unless you're using a wired connection. Playing fighting games over wifi sucks, and I wish all fighting games would let users filter out wifi players.

    That said, I can see how other aspects of the online mode can be annoying. Not even being able to see your opponents ping or region is unforgivable. I'll still pick this up, but I do appreciate the heads up that the online is a letdown.

    I'll pray for a patch.

    EDIT: Grammar.Edited May 2018 by TrustyPanda
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  • Avatar for MHWilliams #22 MHWilliams 3 months ago
    @TrustyPanda Out of the box, the Nintendo Switch does not offer a wired connection, so testing and reviewing online in the system's natural habitat is fair. Offering unique caveats that don't apply to most players doesn't really work.

    Even then, I'm sitting a mere three feet from my router.
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  • Avatar for TrustyPanda #23 TrustyPanda 3 months ago
    @MHWilliams The problem with wifi is it'll always be inferior to wired - no matter the distance. But that aside, the lack of region info is stupid. I watched a few videos online and there's not even basic stuff you'd expect from an online fighting game (connection quality, quit %, etc).

    It sucks waiting for Capcom to get their shit together. This should have been an easy homerun.
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  • Avatar for docexe #24 docexe 3 months ago
  • Avatar for MyNameIsMe #25 MyNameIsMe 3 months ago
    @TrustyPanda Online issues exist on all versions. Much like when SFV when it first launched, looks like they have to update/patch the net code.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #26 Funny_Colour_Blue 3 months ago
    I just wanna give an update - I bought the steam version and have tried it out for a bit:

    Create/Join a Lobby doesn't work

    But Casual Matches are decent. I've played a lot of online matches, the network experience is just about the same as Third Strike Online Edition back on PS3/360 - a few hiccups but still pretty decent:

    It's a real treat to finally be able to play Hyper Fighting,Super Turbo, Alpha 3 and Third Strike Online. 40 bucks is pretty steep, so maybe wait for it to go on sale - but as far as I'm concerned, I have a hard time putting this down! It's decent.
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