Street Fighter Anniversary Collection - Xbox

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Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (Xbox)
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (GB)
Released: 29 Oct 2004 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15


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Street Fighter Anniversary Collection for the Xbox is arguably one of the most complete Street Fighter packages released yet. Although it doesn’t really offer anything new – by compiling two existing games (that are in turn based on even older games), the two titles selected are arguably the finest moments in the series.

The first inclusion is Hyper Street Fighter 2, as recently released on the PS2 as part of Capcom’s anniversary celebrations. This is almost a compilation in itself, as it brings together all the characters and features from the earliest five games in the series. Combining the original Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition, Street Fighter 2 Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers and Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo - that’s about as Street Fighter 2 as it could possibly be.

But perhaps the best part, and something that Street Fighter fans have been clamouring for, is the inclusion of Street Fighter III Third Strike, last seen in the vicinity of a well-worn Dreamcast. This is effectively the newest game in the series, in that it included re-drawn sprites, rather than just ported ones from the earlier arcade titles. Visually, it’s arguably the finest moment in the Street Fighter series, and with the Xbox playing host, things are looking even sharper.

The gameplay in Third Strike also took a step up from the much-loved traditional Street Fighter 2 style with the notable inclusion of a ‘parry’ system, and, unlike most titles in the SF2 family, SF3 Third Strike includes characters other than the usual suspects. Introducing Yin and Yan as the new Ryu and Ken equivalents (although Ryu and Ken are still in there) the SF3 lineage does have a different feel to it, and that’s something that’s easy to appreciate when played alongside Hyper Street Fighter 2: The Anniversary Edition.

The only real concern with the transition to Xbox is dealing with a new controller set-up. By default, the hard kick and hard punch buttons are mapped to the Xbox joypad’s black/white buttons. But, as ever, the player can always opt to customise the controller set-up. The purist would certainly argue that you need an enormous arcade stick for this kind of thing anyway.

It’s difficult to dispute that the Street Fighter 2 games do feel ever so slightly dated (it is the series’ 15th anniversary after all) and are still clinging close to the 2D visuals and the frenetic, well-formed, gameplay those invite. However, for those who enjoy traditional 2D beat ‘em ups and arcade games, this is as an essential purchase as the original Street Fighter 2 was - when it was released on home consoles back in the beginning of the nineties.

Best of all, however, picking up from where the ill-fated Dreamcast left off, is the full incorporation of online battling. Xbox Live will allow players to compete, both with HSF2 and SF3TS, and this is something that will be lovingly embraced by Street Fighter fans all over the world. At time of going to press, unfortunately, the game is unreleased – meaning the online functions are still untested. However, as long as there is a sensible method for skill-matching, and lag-free controls, then the online possibilities may serve to be a major selling point for this Xbox version (especially when you consider that most devoted Street Fighter fans will already own the bundled titles on another console).