Street fighter alpha anthology - PS2

The Street Fighter series still holds the hearts and minds of many a beat ‘em up fan. While the likes of Tekken and Soul Calibre offer greater visual flare, ye olde 2D Street Fighter still matches them punch for punch on playability.

Well makers Capcom certainly think so anyway, releasing the adored "Alpha" titles in one box this month so we can see what we’ve been missing.

So are we looking at these games through rose tinted specs, or is it a perfect opportunity to reflect upon what was beat ‘em up perfection?

The Street Fighter series made its name with its second release way back in the early-90s. The 2D one on one fighting action became an absolute essential purchase for any fight fan worthy of the title. Plus who didn’t love Chun-Li?

Included in this compilation are all of the Street Fighter Alphas – one, two, and three – plus the token addition of the simpler Super Gem Fighter Megamix. The later titles were sadly overlooked as Tekken and Virtual Fighter waded onto the scene throwing their polygons about.

You’ve got to hand it to these crisp 2D visuals. Forget the murky 3D, poor textures and muddy backgrounds we’re used to – Street Fighter’s 2D characters flip and flop around the arenas with such sublime animation and speed you can’t fail to be impressed.

Each game is a faithful copy of the original, although the third in the series lacks its “World Tour” mode so there’s not much for single players to get stuck into. Still the dazzling gameplay remains and the PS2 ports have all been handled well. Modern day Anthology collections are usually plagued by flickering animation or irritating delays while you wait for wait for the software to catch up with your button presses, but there’s none of that here.

Verdict

The lack of online play is a possible minus point – it would have made this collection an essential purchase even if you owned the originals.

Chances are you’ll already know if this re-incarnation of Street Fighter is your bag. If you’re a fight fan, we say take the plunge.