“Street Fighter 2” — the consummate fighting
game — returns to consoles 15 years after its arcade debut.
Capcom is celebrating the anniversary of its illustrious franchise
with this collection of classic “Street Fighter” games,
but unfortunately, it leaves a lot to be desired.

TV/New Media Reviews
“Mortal Kombat” can kiss my ass. (Courtesy of Capcom)

Those looking for flashy 3-D graphics will be sorely
disappointed. However, fans of “Street Fighter 2” and
“Street Fighter 3” will be ready to hit their combos
and destroy the computer competition. “Street Fighter
Anniversary Collection” emulates a new hybrid version of
“SF2” and features the “3rd Strike” version
of “SF3.” The original game, alternate editions of
“SF2” and “SF3,” the “Alpha”
series and the awful movie tie-in are all missing. But what Capcom
did supply should satisfy the hardcore fighting fan.

“Street Fighter 2” is the game that ate quarter
after quarter at arcades in the early ’90s. This
“Anniversary” edition is basically a combination of all
five alternate editions of “SF2” that were released:
the original, Championship Edition, Turbo, Super and Super Turbo.
The fighter select screen is most representative of Super Turbo,
but upon selecting a fighter, the player is given a choice of which
version of the fighter they wish to play. The graphics of the
character — in both the fighter select screen and in the
match — look like that version of the character.
Additionally, the edition determines the moveset and combos for the
fighter. So, for example, if Ryu is selected from the Championship
Edition, he does not have the super bar found in Super Turbo.

If this sounds too confusing, that’s because Capcom teased
its fans for so long before releasing a true sequel. When
“Street Fighter 3” finally came out, it was met with
much frustration. Few fighters returned from “SF2,” and
both the graphics and gameplay didn’t feel upgraded enough
— though Capcom attempted to rectify both problems through
two enhanced semi-sequels. “3rd Strike” fixed some of
these issues and seems stronger now than it did upon its initial
release.

The ports of both games are flawless, but they are just that,
ports. For the most part nothing is new and the lone feature that
would have added significantly to the gameplay — online
fighting — will only be available for the yet to be released
Xbox version. Instead, PS2 owners get treated to a special
“Street Fighter 2” anime; not an entirely fair
trade-off.

Even though the games are dated both graphically and
mechanically, there still are few titles more fun than either of
these “Street Fighter” titles. It would have been nice
if there were more bonus material included, but it’s the
gameplay that matters most.

 

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

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