September 5, 2018

STILL FIGHTING FIT

Words: Andre Rodrigues

‘For the arcade buff, this is a path of nostalgia you have to walk on’

CELEBRATE 30 YEARS OF STREET FIGHTER IN THIS ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION

STREETFIGHTER 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION:

Rating: 10/10| Price: ₹2,499 on PC, Playstation 4 and Xbox One | ₹3499 on Nintendo Switch Developer & Publisher: Capcom

A Digital voice screamed out ‘Hadouken!’ followed by a glitched 'Shoryuken!' that stretched a bit too much on the o’s as the voice strained the tiny speakers of the arcade cabinets of the 90s in smoke filled parlours, where we spent most of our growing years in. At least me, anyway. Those two words echo till today, and in the mind of any Street Fighter player, those words bring back memories. The Street Fighter series isn't just a game, but a pop culture icon, and the game that made the one-on-one fighter genre popular. But to those who have grown up with it, it represents an important piece of nostalgia. Perfectly summed up in this Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, a collection of twelve greats in one package. From the series’ humble beginnings in Street Fighter I, with its drawn sprite graphics and simple fighting system, it was the game that showed us that you can perform special moves with a series of button combinations. It was like magic, adding another magical dimension to fighting games, even though it looked bad by today’s standards. Street Fighter II is where the game started evolving into the technical masterpiece that it is today, and admittedly, the one we all remember.

From the familiar fireball slinging, dragon punching Ryu and Ken, to the electricity covered manbeast Blanka, exploring the storyline of heroes fighting against the might of Shadaloo, run by the evil Dictator M. Bison. Street Fighter II spawned several sub games that added to the roster of fighters and made the game a lot better. As well as spawning off the legendary fighter Akuma in Street Fighter II Turbo. Before we got a Street Fighter III, we got Alpha, a series that defined Capcom’s mastery in their art. It featured beautiful hand drawn characters that resembled an anime movie.

A game that most inspired me, as well as fighting games till today, like BlazBlue and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, which build upon that style. Alpha spawned two sequels, all successful arcade hits, complete with a three level super gauge. Street Fighter III, entitled New Generation, brings a whole new bunch of fighters into the fray, also spawning off two sequels. SF III brought into the equation smooth animations as well as the parry system. Playing through all 12 of the Anniversary Collection brings out the evolution of the Street Fighter franchise. The only thing missing is the Street Fighter: The Movie game, based off the Van Damme movie from the 90s.

While several may throw shade at that game, I loved it just as well. Technically, the ports are flawless, and best played on the Nintendo Switch, so you can actually ‘street’ fight, because, you know, it’s portable and all. Though the larger consoles benefit from the better controller. That’s not all, Street Fighter II, Alpha 3, Third Strike all have online multiplayer so you can challenge people anywhere in the world. There’s also local online play. The game retains the 4:3 ratio, leaving the sides of the display with graphics. You can stretch the display but it doesn’t look good. What’s nifty is the arcade CRT display like scanlines. For the arcade buff, this is a path of nostalgia you have to walk on. No matter what format you get this on, just hearing those familiar sounds, feeling those old muscle memories in your fingers spring to life performing those down-forwards and backfront button combinations, feels like you’re sipping on mom’s famous hot chocolate blend, and snuggling in your favourite blanket.

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