Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
Street Fighter is one of those series everyone gamer has heard of but especially those gamers that are now in their 20’s will vividly remember the original game from the arcades. It’s been 15 years that one of the classics amongst fighting games saw the light and to celebrate this event, Capcom released an Anniversary edition on Xbox containing the first and second sequel. Whether this can be called a tribute of honor or pure milking of the cow you can read in my review.
The XBox disk contains Hyper Street Fighter II (actually a combination of all versions that have ever been made from SF2) and Street Fighter III Third Strike (originally released on Dreamcast). On top of that you get also a (censored and dubbed) version of Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie. This latter is a fun extra (you can hardly call it “good”), but I found it sad that the original birthday boy himself was nowhere to be found. Collectors would no doubt have appreciated it to be able to play the original again.
From the moment you start SF2 you get quite abruptly confronted with the oldfashioned graphics. The retro charmes are present but the low amount of animations per second is enormous. Also the sound and effects are below par compared with what we get to see these days. You’ll quickly get the urge to try out the other present game, SF3: Third Strike. This one is a lot more recent and this results in graphics, surroundings and animations that are still quite enjoyable, even for the modern gamer who’s used to titles like DoA Ultimate or Ninja Gaiden. Even the soundtrack is quite cool!
Of course you don’t buy this game for its old-skool graphics and sound but for the rock solid gameplay! Everything goes extremely fast, the combo’s are flying around your ears and the different characters (with golden oldies like Ryu and Ken) are perfectly balanced. On top of that the possibilities of attacks, defensive moves, parry’s, combo’s and supermove’s are so huge (there are no less than 5 versions of SF2 available) that it will take a very long time before you’ve mastered everything. The satisfaction is therefore big when you can unleash a cool combo for the first time on your non-suspecting opponent. Qua fighting game this can still be ranked amongst the best, if you don’t stare yourself blind on the 2D gameplay in this age of 3D violence.
Next to the training modus to practice and arcade option for the loners there’s also the Versus Mode. Once having gotten tired of beating AI-controlled opponents that aren’t too easy – button-bashers won’t get too far – you can invite some friends to play while sitting next to you or you can choose to take them on through Xbox Live. Nothing is more fun than seeing your friends eat dirt after getting a combo in their face. Of course you won’t see them eating their controller when playing over the net but you will have a swell gaming experience without lag and tons of human opponents. Believe me: it isn’t an easy game and taking on the best of the best worldwide doesn’t do much good to your ego!
Although an arcade stick is welcomed for the die-hards that kick on maximum speed and the most difficult combinations, the normal controls are easy to use and there’s also (finally!) an option to configure each button separately, completely to your liking.
A definite conclusion for this game is hard. For retro gamers and hardcore fighting lovers this duo-classic is without a doubt a must-have, not in the least thanks to the Live options that prolong the lifespan and competition. If you don’t have XBox Live nor friends that like a game of virtual fighting, then you need to be able to see beyond the old graphics and enjoy the good and deep oldschool gameplay. Deep gameplay can of course also be found in more recent games that do have modern graphics. For you to make the choice !