" In a sense, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection should be the ultimate 2-D fighting experience. Not only does it include Hyper Street Fighter 2, a compilation of all of the SF2 versions into one but, it also contains one of the best “new-school” 2-D fighters: Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Not only do we get two of the greatest fighting games of all time, we get the full-length 1994 anime movie. Although, this may not enthral the majority of us, a handful of fanatics will be enthused. "
In a sense, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection should be the ultimate 2-D fighting experience. Not only does it include Hyper Street Fighter 2, a compilation of all of the SF2 versions into one but, it also contains one of the best “new-school” 2-D fighters: Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Not only do we get two of the greatest fighting games of all time, we get the full-length 1994 anime movie. Although, this may not enthral the majority of us, a handful of fanatics will be enthused.
Hyper Street Fighter 2 amalgamates all of the five previous SF2 incarnations into one, an interesting format that is not without its developmental flaws. Each version of SF2 is categorised into a particular fighting style, which relates to its respective versions. For example, if you choose Super Turbo, your character will have access to more moves and a chargeable power gauge that enables him to pull off a Super Combo finishing move, something that others fail to do. However, this system is highly flawed and involves a lot of unnecessary self-handicapping. Would you rather have your character harnessing his full potential or would you like to face opponents with moves that make your most powerful attack look like a slap in the face? The answer is obvious.
Smaller flaws come clean later as you delve into the collection’s offerings. If you pick the lowest rung on the ladder and choose the original SF2 setup, you’ll only be able to select the original eight fighters from SF2 BUT you’ll engage in battle with opponents from the Super Street Fighter 2 series, who are more advanced than you. This method is somewhat broken and doesn’t give you the full experience that a Street Fighter 2 collection should offer, as it tends to aim towards Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo more than any of the others.
Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is the true hook for those who missed out on the PS2 collection. Like SF2, Capcom upgraded their SF3 series a number of times, producing Street Fighter 3: Third Strike as their third and last upgrade. Although it distances itself from SF2 by completely refurbishing the cast (leaving in three of the originals and Akuma from SSF2T) it still produces a fantastic title that deserves its place in this collection.
The idea of “refurbishing” the cast sounds a little enthusiastic when in fact; you’ll find that a handful of the new characters are simply remodelled and remixed versions of previous fighters. We have Necro, a strange hybrid of Blanka and Dhalism, Hugo, who is more of an advanced Zangief and Sean, who has skills similar to Ken and Ryu. (He’s like Dan, only not as annoying and pathetic.) The only secret character is a strange deity known as Gill, who also features as the final boss. Despite the fact he prances around almost nude and has his body painted blue and pink, he’s a pretty solid boss and it’s worth completing the game with all of the characters to unlock him.
Unlike other Street Fighter games, SF3 allows you to pick your character’s Super Combo, which is unfairly limiting to an extent. You have three to choose from and you have to stick with that one until you are defeated. SF3 also gives us some interesting ideas such as a grading system which marks the quality of your performance and a route selection, which allows you to pick your opponent (from a choice of two) for every fight. These additions don’t really enhance the game that much but they do make it slightly more interesting and with exception of the silly choice to pick your own finisher, (I WANT IT ALL!!), they make the game quite customisable and enjoyable.
All of this comes with the ability to play both games on Xbox live and the anime movie. The movie itself may please the hardest of hardcore, but the majority of the people who came to actually play the game couldn’t really care about its inclusion. The annoying voice actors and countless vomit inducing filler moments that were included just so they could squeeze everybody in will deter you from actually bothering with it again.
Despite the few flaws that Hyper Street Fighter 2 brings to the table and the handful of dumb character rehashes and crippling choices that SF3 gives us, SFAC stands as a solid collection that fans can pick up at a budget price. It saves you from having to hunt down expensive copies of SF3 for the Dreamcast and gives you the ability to play SF2 on your Xbox, instead of resorting to emulation. It’s worth a cheap purchase and is a great addition for Street Fighter addicts. However, it’s not exactly the perfect collection I had been expecting, that bogus fusion of five games into one. Delivering these titles separately would produce a clear-cut compilation, instead of something that slightly misses the mark.
Community review by goldenvortex (January 16, 2006)
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