Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
I love Street Fighter, always have, even back when the occasional fireball was more a freak product of luck that elicited looks of shock than a planned attack. But I'm not that big a fan of the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. The problem is that the game's selection of Street Fighter titles is odd and the ports, with one exception, are haphazard at best. While you can expect that an Street Fighter Anniversary Collection would have only remakes of original titles, you would hope there would be some history included ' something this game is sorely missing.
The collection includes five versions of the Street Fighter II series and 1999's Street Fighter III: Third Strike. The disc also includes a heavily edited version of the 90s Street Fighter II animated movie. When you plop the game into your PS2 you'll be asked to choose between Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Hyper Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Edition. Hyper Street fighter is messy mix of Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II Turbo. The problem is that none of the Street Fighter II versions are really separated; instead the games characters and some of their quarks have all been mashed together in one game.
Once you start a game you're asked which version of the game you want to pick your character from. You can choose from 17 characters and the version you choose effects the looks and sounds of play. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to actually affect game play much. Many of the balancing issues and quasi-bugs that hardcore gamers grew used to in certain versions have been stripped from the game. So there are no crossover kicks or magic throws and Guile doesn't have his handcuffs anymore.
What you are left with is an older game stripped of all personality. Fortunately Street Fighter III: Third Strike, the best of the SF3 series, nearly saves the game. The game is a near perfect port of the much overlooked arcade 2D fighter delivering all of the fun and strategy that made Street Fighter such a great game to play.
This Street Fighter collection is a fun game and certainly a must for any fans of the series. It could have been much more however. The game should have separated the SF2 series games and have included the original, for nostalgia if for no other reason. Still, there's enough here that fans of the series will enjoy what it does have to offer.