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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Capcom

 

Developer

Capcom

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

 

- Two classic games for $30
- Tons of variations of Street Fighter II characters
- Street Fighter III is one of the best 2D fighters ever made

 

 

- Not entirely complete
- No online play

 

 

Review: Def Jam Vendetta (PS2)

Review: Street Fighter EX (PS2)

Review: War of Monsters (PS2)

Review: Virtua Fighter 4 - Evolution (PS)

 

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Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

Score: 8.7 / 10

 

Capcom's been getting generous with the Anniversary Collections lately, with the excellent Mega Man Anniversary Collection, and now the Street Fighter Annivesary Collection. Featuring a specialized version of Street Fighter II, as well as Street Fighter III: Third Strike, it's one of the best packages 2D fighting fans could hope for.

 

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Street Fighter II perfected so many aspects that its successors couldn't do anything else but refine them further. While it lacks the frills of some more recent games, and matches tend to be over quickly due to high damage levels, it still holds up remarkably well. So what makes this worth buying if you already have the Street Fighter Collections on the PSOne, or even the old 16-bit cartridges? There's the obvious, of course -- it's arcade perfect, with no load times. You don't have to worry about missing load times or scratchy voices. But the game itself is enhanced as well.

There were five iterations of Street Fighter II -- the original, Champion Edition, Turbo, Super, and Super Turbo, and with each revision came minor alterations of the characters. The Street Fighter Anniversary Collection allows you to pick any of these versions of any character. Most people outside of hardcore Street Fighter fans aren't going to notice much of a difference between any of these, but those who followed the series back when it was in the arcades will be in heaven. There's the original and revised character portraits, depending on which setting you chose. You're also given a choice of background music -- there's original CPS1 soundtrack, the updated CPS2 music, and the remixed tracks found way back in the 3DO version. With all of these choices, it's a little disappointing that you can't change between the different variations in the stages. I've always found Ryu's stage more pleasant at dusk than at nighttime, and considering how complete this edition is otherwise, it's a little disappointing to see such an oversight. There's no online play in either games, but that's scheduled for the forthcoming Xbox release.

 

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- Playstation 2 Game Reviews
- Fighting Game Reviews
- Reviews of Games Developed/Published by Capcom

Many fans consider Street Fighter III to be one of the best 2D fighters ever made. When you first try it, it's a little hard to see why. Ascetically, I've never been a fan of the game - the character portraits are too raw, the music is mostly dreadful hip-hop (complete with an awful rap at the title screen), and the character design always struck me as a little lame compared to Capcom or SNK's previous works. Amongst them is African-American version of Ryu/Ken, a female version of Ryu/Ken with gigantic 

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man hands, a crazy old guy wearing a massive diaper, a British boxer with a 1920s-style mustache, a giant Andre the Giant rip-off, and not one, but two muscular guys wearing thongs. One of these thonged men, named Gil, is painted red and blue like an overly patriotic football fan, and is also the last boss. Still, for as dumb as the cast looks, almost all of them have drastically different playing styles, even the ones that may look like clones.

 

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You're allowed to pick a single super move (out of three) at the beginning of the fight, and that's pretty much it. Where Street Fighter III really shines is its jaw- droppingly smooth animation. There still isn't any sprite-based fighter out there that moves as gracefully smooth as this one, and it will make pretty much every other game feel impossibly choppy after playing for too long. The other major innovation is the ability Parry by pushing into an opponents attack, as opposed to pulling away to block. It's a hard skill to master unless you're blocking fireballs, but it adds quite a bit of depth if you can get a hold of it. Other than this, Street Fighter III plays pretty much the same as its predecessor. Because the evolutions were subtle, Street Fighter III didn't fair too well in the arcades. It also lacks the hyperactive twitch factor of the Marvel vs. Capcom games, leading to a game that's more slow paced and subtly strategic. So while Street Fighter III feels a little barebones compared to its direct competitors, but for pure 2D fighting, there aren't many games better.

As a nice bonus, you get the original Street Fighter II OVA, although it's the censored, dubbed version and the video quality is terrible. It would have been nice to make the collection more complete by adding the first two versions of Street Fighter III, but it's still cheaply available for the Dreamcast. And maybe putting on the original Street Fighter for the sake of completion, although it's a terrible game. Still, neither of these are big losses, especially since the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection already retails at a budget $30 price tag. This package, despite just being re-releases of old games, is still much better than Capcom Fighting Evolution.

 

- Kurt Kalata

(January 23, 2005)

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