Saturday, January 22, 2011

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection

John Marine | 1/22/2011 02:12:00 AM |
Capcom's greatest gift for Street Fighter fans is that of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection. It includes "Hyper Street Fighter II" and "Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike." It has all the classic Street Fighter goodness from all of the classic Street Fighter II titles while also adding a newer game to spice up the already potent formula. You can go solo or challenge another gamer. This game is For both PlayStation 2 and XBOX. This blog post is my own review of this game released in 2004.

This game is rated "T" for "Teen" by the ESRB.

--- Street Fighter Anniversary Collection at a Glance ---
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
^ from: (best I could find for the PS2 box) - Street Fighter Anniversary Collection box (for PS2).

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection was released in 2004 as the 15th Anniversary of the Street Fighter series. What began with a young red-headed fellow named Ryu in the very first Street Fighter would evolve to one of the greatest fighting game franchises of all time starting with "Street Fighter 2: The World Warrior." Through five iterations of Street Fighter II, the world began to love and appreciate just what this game brought to the table, expanding upon a great formula. More fighters and more ways to dole out punishment just made this game series better. A few years since Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter III came along offering a new experience. "True fighting is art!", says "Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike." This title is the best version of Street Fighter III with many more characters and an impressive soundtrack. Experience colorful and rich graphics along with some impressive gameplay. Characters are all richly-detailed while also offering up some wicked Super attacks.

This package, then, is the culmination of the greatest fighting game franchise of all-time featuring two hit series. Fans of the series are invited to enjoy the thrill of intense fighting and all that has made the Street Fighter the very best for years. The fifteen-year anniversary (as of the date of SFAC's release) is celebrated with this great gaming package.

A Quick Note...

Because this is two games in one, I will discuss both of them in separate sections. The names for each character are based on the American version of the game. So the boxing dude (for example) will be referred to as Balrog, though he is known as M. Bison in other regions.

--- Hyper Street Street Fighter II: The Anniversary Collection ---
More like a special edition of "Super Street Fighter II Turbo," this game allows you to play as any of the characters from various Street Fighter 2 titles. There have been five editions of Street Fighter II. This one allows you to play as any of the characters in this title. The one you select determines which fighters you can use. So for example, you can't select Cammy if you choose the very first Street Fighter II game. You also can't play as Sagat using the first Street Fighter II. Even sounds from each of the Street Fighter titles are used. Each character has only one Super attack. These are usually either two quarter-circles or some charging attack. For fighters whose moves are quarter-circle attacks (like Ryu and Ken), you will need to perform a quarter-circle twice followed by a kick or a punch. For charging attack fighters (like Guile or Balrog), you will need to (when facing the right) charge up back, forward, then either punch or kick

The game features five iterations of Street Fighter 2. Here are the differences among them all:
* Street Fighter II: The World Warrior
(no Supers; can not adjust speed; cannot choose: Balrog, Vega, Sagat, or M. Bison; will not fight/use: Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long, or T. Hawk)

* Street Fighter II: Championship Edition
(no Supers; can not adjust speed; cannot fight/use: Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long, or T. Hawk)

* Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
(no Supers; can not fight/use: Cammy, Dee Jay, Fei Long, or T. Hawk)

* Super Street Fighter II
(no Supers)

* Super Street Fighter II Turbo

The sad thing about SFAC is that you only fight against Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo characters in both Arcade and Training modes, making it nearly unfair to use characters from older Street Fighter II games.

--- Characters ---
Here's a description of each of the fighters you can choose from:


The battle-tested and completely hardened Ryu is as powerful and as fearful as any other fighter in the Street Fighter II universe.

E. Honda.

E. Honda is a specialist in sumo wrestling. He is quite agile for such a widebody. His multi-hand slap attack is a good way to quickly deal damage.

Chun Li.

I call Chun Li as the "First Lady of Street Fighter." She is the queen of Street Fighter and a good fighter to use if you don't like using the boys. Her kicks will make you go crazy.


Brazlian beast Blanka has a great understanding of utilizing the playing field. He can electrocute you with his electric attack, or do a roll through the air horizontally (and maybe vertically as well).


Guile is part of the United States Air Force. His Sonic Boom is as legendary as Ryu and Ken's Hadouken fireballs. He also takes to the skies with his lethal somersault kick.


Zangief is a Russian beast who excels in pro wrestling. His grapples can do some serious damage. Avoid being on the wrong end of his grapples at all costs.


Ryu's friend and rival, Ken is the American eqiuvalent of Ryu- matching his every move. If anything, Ken is a touch more versatile and diverse than Ryu.


While he may appear weak and frail, Dhalsim can go all yoga against you. Make sure you're ready to fight when you head to India to fight him.


A hard-hitting boxer, Balrog delivers the fiercest punches.


Vega is often considered as a Spanish ninja. The Spaniard is the quickest of all the fighters in the game. He is also the only fighter who brandishes a weapon. His metal claws offer a great deal of range as well as some powerful offense.


I have always respected Sagat- he controls the entire playing space better than any other fighter. His Tiger fireballs deliver quick and sudden offense. His Tiger Uppercut will quickly take you out of the air. It probably also helps that Sagat is the tallest fighter of them all. If anything, the best strategy in beating Sagat is to keep aerial attacks to a minimum.


Cammy is one British bombshell. She may lack the flash of Chun Li, but makes up for it with some powerful offense.

Dee Jay.

Have rhythm on your side when Dee Jay comes to play. The Jamaican knows how to jam and how to tear you down. His rhythm-based offense is tough to defend against once he gets going.

Thunderhawk (or T. Hawk).

Even taller than Sagat, Thunderhawk is like a more agile Zangief. The Mexican is very powerful and is in no way a pushover. His agility is impressive for such a big fighter.

Fei Long.

Fei Long delivers pain like nobody else. The Hong Kong native is a movie star clearly influenced by Bruce Lee. He is not easy to fight against. He's a handful, however, when using him in battle. Get ready to earn your victories against this guy.

M. Bison.

He is the fearful and powerful dreaded leader of Shadaloo. When done wasting Balrog, Vega, and Sagat; M. Bison is the final threat.

Akuma (or Gouki).

Word has it in Super Street Fighter II Turbo that if you beat all the other fighters without losing a single round, you will fight Akuma rather than Bison. Basically, Akuma is like Ryu and Ken... only much more powerful and much less forgiving. You're basically commiting suicide when you fight against someone as powerful and as strong as Akuma. He has no Super attack... and doesn't need one!

What I'm personally most disappointed about is that this game could have been like, you know... SFII Sagat vs. Super Street Fighter II Turbo Ryu, or anything like that. I think when you select fighters and play in Arcade Mode, you can only go against SSFII Turbo characters. So it's a tad disappointing in this department.

Despite these disappointments, you get a handful of bonus material in this package, though. You can listen to classic Street Fighter songs across the various sound platforms. You can even view videos showcasing ending credits and more. You can even watch "Street Fighter II: The Movie" in its entirety. Please note this is the 1994 manga movie, not the failtastic "Street Fighter" movie that had the likes of Jean Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia. There is a lot to enjoy with this title. A little more content, though, would make this package unbeatable.

--- Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike ---
"Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike" was the last true Street Fighter title before Street Fighter IV came along. This game was dramatically different from the first two major Street Fighter titles. A cast of old favorites along with new characters help set the stage for one of the finest Street Fighter titles ever. Not everyone was completely in tune with the new style of play, but Street Fighter III (and especially "Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike") was a great evolution of the Street Fighter series.

The full title of this game is: "Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future."


The first thing to note is that each fighter has three Super moves. However, you can only select one to use in your fighting. When your have enough Super energy, you can freely use that Super technique to deal greater damage to your opponent. There is another gauge you must be wary of- the Stun meter. If the Stun meter is full, you will render your opponent useless and unable to defend briefly.

I am not in any way adept with the parry system. To explain it briefly, if your opponent delivers a fierce punch, and you counter promply with a fierce punch of your own, the impacts are canceled out. It is almost like blocking an attack without actually blocking. It takes great practice to be a pro in parrying attacks.

The main mode of play is Arcade Mode. Arcade Mode consists of ten battles going from one stage to the final stage. You can choose between two different opponents throughout your run through Arcade Mode (until you reach the ninth and tenth stages). There are also two bonus stages- one requires you to destroy a sports utility vehicle using your own moves, and another is a parrying challenge with basketballs being thrown at you. When you reach the ninth stage, your opponent is fixed and is essentially a rivalry battle. If you clear the ninth stage, you go into a fierce one-on-one battle with the final boss, Gill.

You are tabbed on two elements- points and grades. Your ability to attack and defend leads to a better grade. Racking up points while fighting is also a good way to make the top scores. If you want to conquer this game, rack up points while also demonstrating great fighting ability.

You can choose between an Original soundtrack and the Arranged soundtrack. I recommend the Arranged soundtrack because this is where you'll hear the game's best music in the best quality. Each of the stage songs feature three different parts based on each round. So when you reach the second round and third round (if needed), you will hear different versions of the main song in that round. Most of the music was done by Canadian rapper INFINITE of Lockdown Entertainment.


Most of the returning characters from the Street Fighter II games are in this one, so I won't waste too much time on each. Here are the returning characters:

* Ryu
* Ken
* Chun Li
* Akuma (was not a selectable/playable character in the SFII games)

Each of these returning characters deliver their own unique offense while also adding in some powerful Super attacks. Ryu and Ken are as powerful as ever while Chun Li is even more graceful attacking. Akuma delivers pain unlike any other fighter in the game.

And here are the new ones in this game:


Dudley is the most honorable chap you'll come across. He's a boxer who dresses sharply and fights with honor. The British fellow can be thought of as a much more agile Balrog.


To me, Alex is a much more agile Zangief. He was the unlikely hero for me when I beat this game for the first time. Alex is immensely powerful and capable.


Remy is more like Guile, only much less brawny and much more androgynous (not that Guile is in any way androgynous). He utilizes his own Sonic Boom and Somersault Kick attacks.


This young Brazilian loves playing basketball. So much so that he incorporates a little basketball into his offense. He may use some basketballs to use like fireballs. Sean is a very exciting fighter to use or fight against. Sean is more like an evolution of Dee Jay.


While he may appear like some Star Wars reject, Oro is quite formidable. He knows how to dish out punishment. Don't take him lightly.


Yun is Yang's brother. Neither Yun nor Yang are really anything exciting to fight with or against.


Yang is Yun's brother. Yang is taller than his brother and is a bit more diverse on offense. Neither Yun nor Yang are really anything exciting to fight with or against.


Urien is built strong, and his body shows it. Pay attention to this guy because fighting against him will give you somewhat of a preview of your final boss battle against Gill. In fact, Urien is the younger brother of Gill.


No girl in this game hits harder than Makoto. Unfortunately, she is very slow moving. Make good use of her power to win fights.


This Japanese teenage girl is a ninja. Her attacks pack some force. She is a very fun character to use.


Twelve is an alien-style fighter with a diverse array of attacks. He can even render himself invisible, making his already funky offense even more so.


The metaphor "mountain of a man" definitely describes Hugo. This walking skyscraper of Final Fight fame is a powerful wrestler. His wrestling manager is the controversial Poison, also of Final Fight fame. You may think being tall proves a disadvantage when going up against smaller and more agile competition. However, he carries his weight (all of it) quite well in battle. Beware of his many grapples and vicious attacks.


From the plains of of Kenya, the long and lanky Elena attacks with kicks much like Balrog and Dudley attack with punches. She can be tricky to fight against. Keep your guard up at all times.


Necro is a funky character that tends to have the abilities of Blanka, Dhalsim, and Zangief all in one. He'll shock you like Blanka, can use his elongated limbs against you like Dhalsim, and isn't afraid to run you over like Zangief. It's a three-in-one that can be quite a handful.


The oddity known as Q is a tall and mysterious figure. He is quite scary and delivers some hard hits. Be careful around this guy when fighting against him.


Gill is the boss of this game. Half of his body is red with fire, and the other half is blue with ice. His attacks are very powerful. And let me be the first to warn you- if you beat Gill thinking the match is over, make sure to stay on him when he's taken down. Don't learn the hard way (like I did) that the match is over just because you beat him in two rounds. You have to beat him, then make sure he doesn't recover as much health as possible.

Gill is a more straightforward boss than M. Bison. His Super attacks can do some serious damage.

--- Thoughts on "Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike" ---
There is a reason why people think this game has the best soundtrack of any Street Fighter game. The music is incredible (especially the remixed/arranged songs). I could listen to the theme of the New York City stages all day if I wanted to. That is my personal favorite collection of songs in this game. The graphics are beautiful and expressive. This game is completely different from the SFII games, but not too different to where the look and feel of Street Fighters past seems completely foreign. I probably wish I wasn't relegated to just one Super attack. Picking the best one depends on how well you're able to execute it. So my advice would be to basically play around with your character. If you are not good at characters who use charging attacks (for example: Guile's Sonic Boom) and one attack is a charging attack, go for a Super that is easier to execute. If you are not good with full-circle Supers (like some of Hugo's super attacks), go for something else.

This game is worth playing in Street Fighter Anniversary Collection.

Street Fighter Anniversary Collection is a great package and a great gift for any Street Fighter fan. It has all that has made the Street Fighter series great since "Street Fighter II: The World Warrior." You even get to experience "Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike." Again- you probably can't ask for much more in regards to the classic Street Fighter games.

Want to get this game? You can get it on Amazon! Click on the item below to get this game either for PS2 or XBOX:

THIS LINE (from left to right):
  1. Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (PS2).
  2. Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (XBOX).

Thank you for reading!

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