Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection: Humble beginnings, genre-shattering play
These days, the “Street Fighter” franchise has to contend with direct rivals like “Tekken” and “BlazBlue” and a sea of first-person shooters like “Call of Duty” and “Battlefield”. But back in the late 1980s, “Street Fighter” began to re-write the rules of fighting games, defining an era in the process.
As a 1987 arcade cabinet, “Street Fighter” showed few indications that it would initiate a quarter-century hold over the fighting game scene.
Neither did the half dozen conversions produced for computers and home console, released over the course of 1988.
It introduced two crucial conventions to the genre: a six-button controller layout irreversibly influenced home console design, and rapidly executed special moves doubled as decisive finishers, but “Street Fighter” controlled poorly, an especially critical fault for a game dependent on split-second reactions.
So, it wouldn’t be too surprising if “Street Fighter” had been swept aside for this anniversary collection.
Yet, come May 29, there’ll be a chance for the curious to experience the original “Street Fighter” for themselves, not on legacy arcade or home computer hardware, but through the “Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection” on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Windows PC.
Four “Street Fighter” characters survived the transition to 1991’s “Street Fighter II”, which boasted a massively expanded roster, preserved a stage-by-stage world tour theme, built heavily on an explorative player-versus-player concept, and constructed a layered, skill-oriented approach around precise, responsive controls.
The collection continues with four subsequent variations (“Street Fighter II: Champion Edition”, “Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting”, “Super Street Fighter II” and “Super Street Fighter II: Turbo”), then 1995’s “Final Fight” crossover “Street Fighter Alpha” and two sequels, and 1997’s roster-revamping “Street Fighter III” with its own two sequels for completion.
Each game will sport a local versus mode, plus online versus and offline training modes for “SFII: Hyper Fighting”, “Super SF II: Turbo”, “SF Alpha 3” and “SF III: 3rd Strike”.
“Street Fighter IV”, ten years old in 2018 and available separately on PC and the PlayStation 4, is not included as standard.
Instead, publisher Capcom has offered “Ultra Street Fighter IV” as a pre-order incentive for downloadable editions on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The Switch edition contains a special eight-player networked tournament mode for “Super Street Fighter II”.
In addition, Capcom has a special exhibition match at fighting game event Combo Breaker 2018, beginning 7 p.m. PST on May 25 and streamed online through twitch.tv/capcomfighters.
For North America, a three-stage Tournament Series has been announced, taking place at CEO 2018 in Florida (June 29 to July 1), SoCal Regionals in Ontario (September 14 to 16), and the Canada Cup (October 26 to 28). JB
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