Before you start abusing me, just let me explain. I treasure my PSX copy of Street Fighter Zero, I was lucky enough to play the giant button version of the first Street Fighter, and I consider Street Fighter 3 a beautiful masterpiece of amazing pixels and mysterious hitboxes. That’s why I waited patiently for the first decent price drop of this anthology carefully avoiding Ultra Street Fighter 2.
For the price of a full game, you get a collection of 12 Street Fighters games, including like 6 iterations of the acclaimed Street Fighter 2, and 3 iterations each of the Alpha/Zero and Street Fighter III series, along with a decent (but not fantastic) selection of trivia and artwork materials. The best bite of this Anthology is being able to enjoy all the different versions on a modern platform and notice all the changes between them. I this, the work succeeds.
What I am strongly criticising about SF 30th Anniversary Anthology is the severe lack of options that prevents it from become actually enjoyable as a fighting game. While I do understand the necessity of making only the latests versions of the games presented available for online game, there are some design choices that I struggle to understand.
All the games are present in their arcade edition, and this means that Street Fighter Alpha 3 is missing a bunch of characters introduced on the various previous released. I’d accept it for the sake of the arcade experience, but then you are not allowed to fiddle with anything but the very basics difficulty options, thus rendering the experience nothing like having access to the real arcade board. You cannot map button combinations, which would have been proved useful in making the taunt-intense gameplay of Street Fighter III easily playable on Switch handheld mode. Street Fighter III is also missing all the goodies of the previous PSN release. No more Resurrection intro song for you guys.
The biggest, unforgivable flaw comes in the online department. Leaving alone the empty rooms, the only way to find an opponent is to play Ranked, and that’s ok, but it is not even possible to define what regions or connections to accept, and this means that the online experience is mostly being paired with random Japanese guys, resulting in incredibly akward and long laggy matches or, more often, in instant quits that still reset the arcade stage you were playing while waiting. Even if you are lucky enough to find a decent opponent, the number of rematches is set to a maximum of 2 for some inexplicable reason. A nice feature would have been being able of playing any of the games in this collection and being paired with the appropriate game when a match is found. I think this would be a realistic feature in a world where the games included can be played smoothly on a Raspberry Pi, and it would have solved the difficulties in finding suitable opponents in 3 online games that are instead completely disconnected, but hey, they completely missed the basics here, so this is just useless dreaming.
Again, all the titles here are great but, unless you know a couple of friends available to play local with you, if you are looking for a place to play some serious games, this is not the place where you want to be.
+ 12 great games in a collection…
– … presented like shite