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Game Info:

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Developed by: Digital Eclipse
Published by: Capcom
Released: May 29, 2018
Available on: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
Genre: 2D Fighter
ESRB rating: T for Teen (mild blood, mild language, suggestive themes, violence, alcohol use)
Number of players: 1-8
Price: $39.99
(Humble Store Link)

The original Street Fighter came out in 1987. The game didn't really stand out at the time, aside from its difficulty. The player could use one of two karate fighters to defeat a variety of other enemies in order to become champion. It was certainly nothing that really stood out from other one-on-one brawlers, and had been done before (including another classic I remember called Karateka).

But then, Capcom released Street Fighter II in 1991. In this game, players could choose one of eight different characters! With different martial arts styles and moves! At the time, it was an original approach, but it ended up launching a legendary franchise – and a huge host of imitators. Now, 30 years after the original Street Fighter hit the arcades, the game has a massive cast of nearly 100 playable characters, a dizzying array of sequels and spinoffs, and even a (poorly-received) live action movie. White Wolf even released a tabletop roleplaying game based on Street Fighter (I own most of the books, but sadly, have found few people to play it). Thirty years of Street Fighter... and Capcom doesn't show any signs of slowing down.

The 30th Anniversary collection compiles 12 games as they appeared in the arcades, including the original Street Fighter, the many iterations of Street Fighter II, the three different Street Fighter Alpha games, and Street Fighter III and its two immediate sequels. Some may argue that this actually is four games and its “upgrades,” but some of the character movesets and attacks vary significantly between the different chapters (for example, Dhalsim didn't originally have his teleportation ability).

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Highlights:

Strong Points: Nice collection of games; lots of fun details about the history of Street Fighter; smooth online gameplay; great music and graphics; summons plenty of nostalgia
Weak Points: Difficult; “widescreen” format leaves much to be desired
Moral Warnings: Violence; some skimpy clothing on both male and female models; some blood; minor language issues

For those that haven't played, gameplay consists of two characters facing off within a colorful, animated arena. Each character has a selection of three different punches and three different kicks (usually). Combining different controller movements with button presses can release special moves, which may include fireballs, flaming uppercuts, deadly body slams, and more. Pulling away from your opponent can make your character block attacks. Players can use the keyboard for these actions, but as with most fighting games, a game controller will be found as much more useful. The winner of the match is determined by a best two-out-of-three format, where the loser is determined either by knockout, or if the timer runs out, whoever has the most life at the end of each round. Each character has their strengths, weaknesses and strategies, and for those who get drawn into the games, there's bound to be a character that fits any player's desired play style. Experimentation will lead to the discovery of favorites, and with a detailed story and world, Capcom has created an entire genre that is almost addictive to study and enjoy.

The collection goes into further detail than just those presented in the games. Also included is a timeline of the games, concept art, a sprite viewer, details about all the fighters, and a music player. The individual games can be customized to different difficulty levels, screen formats, and even filters to make the screen look similar to the resolution found in the original arcades. This collection does a great job in replicating the original games, and I got a huge feeling of nostalgia while playing them. The 30th Anniversary Collection captures the originals perfectly. The one issue I do have is with the “widescreen” format. Instead of opening up the edges to allow you to see more of the background as you fight, the game stretches the characters and the background, which makes all the characters look slightly squished. The music, as usual for a Capcom game, is excellent. The voice acting seems odd at times, but it stays true to the original games; it's interesting to hear how many of the voices change over the years based on expanding technology and the hiring of new voice actors.

Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 94%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 10/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence - 6.5/10
Language - 8/10
Sexual Content - 6.5/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Co-op is an option, and for those with two game controllers, any of the games can be played against each other. For those who desire to battle online, only four games can be chosen: Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting; Super Street Fighter II Turbo; Street Fighter Alpha 3; and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It isn't difficult to find opponents online, and private rooms can even be set up. I battled against one of my fellow editors, the handsome and talented IBJamon. Despite some initial hiccups due to a poor Internet connection and my laptop battery running out, we were able to connect, and the game ran smoothly. He managed to beat me in more matches – I said I liked the Street Fighter games, not that I was very good at them. But along those lines, even if you can lower the difficulty ratings on the games, they still can pose a significant, sometimes frustrating, challenge. The arcade versions are designed to munch quarters, after all. I have read that the Nintendo Switch expands the co-op challenge a bit further by allowing up to eight people to participate in a bracket tournament; I haven't had a chance to explore this option, though.

The games are largely clean. Certainly violence is a factor, since the game does consist of fighters beating each other up, but there is very little blood involved. Some of the losing portraits feature bloody, bruised and battered martial artists, though. Some characters – both male and female – wear tight-fitting or revealing clothing. There is some swearing, but not much. Some of the characters do seem to be a bit over-the-top in terms of sexuality, but not to the point of pornography, at least. One of the characters has the unfortunate name of Sodom; fortunately, that is the only thing he has in common with the Biblical city destroyed by God for its sins.

Altogether for fans of Street Fighter, this collection is a must-have. For those who enjoy the history of video games, this should be added to their library immediately. And for those who enjoy retro-style games... well, you can guess what I recommend. This is a must-have title for multiple reasons.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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