Street Fighter has come a long way since its 1987 birth, but that doesn't mean we should completely ignore its roots!
If you have already read Defunct Games then you should already know that we have nothing but the utmost respect for Capcom's Street Fighter II. We've devoted dozens of articles and pages to exploring every aspect of this franchise; we hope to continue shedding light on it in the future. Yet, as much as I love Capcom's series, I can't help but feel like we're missing something.
In the thirteen years since its release, Street Fighter II has found its way to close to a dozen systems. Together Ryu and Ken have taken on World Warriors, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men and even the crew from King of Fighters. Capcom has turned a simple 2D fighting game into one of the most enduring franchises of all time. Yet as popular as it is, there's one thing Capcom has never done ... delivered a proper port of the original Street Fighter.
Released in 1987, Street Fighter introduced the world to the young warrior Ryu and his quest to defeat the evil Sagat. The arcade cabinet featured two large, punching bag-like buttons that acted as your kicks and punches. The idea was to press the buttons as hard as you could to inflict the most damage to your
opponent. With later versions of the cabinet Capcom would opt for the now-famous six-button layout, a definite improvement few gamers ever saw.
The game did see a home console release, although not under the name Street Fighter. Published by Hudson for the TurboGrafx CD, Fighting Street (the brand new U.S. name) has the destinction of being the very first CD game released on these shores. Unfortunately the Turbo's two-button control was inadequate for a game like Street Fighter, couple that with the slow pace and joyless two-player battles and you'd be hard pressed to find anybody who has any fond memories of Fighting Street.
Chun Li is front and center in yet another collection without the original Street Fighter!
Thanks to slow TurboGrafx CD sales and very little buzz at the arcade, the original Street Fighter would sit in virtual obscurity even as its sequels took the world by storm. Capcom has released several Street Fighter collections on several systems, but not one of them features the original game like it was in the arcade.
Recently Capcom had another chance to right this wrong. To capitalize on the fifteenth anniversary of Street Fighter II, Capcom has released a pseudo-collection of Street Fighter games. This game, the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, features a strange mix of all of the Street Fighter II incarnations (World Warriors, Hyper Fighting, etc.), all mashed together to make a strange hybrid of this popular fighting game. It also comes equipped with a port of Street Fighter III, the underachieving sequel that stopped the series in its tracks. With making-of material, fun
This collection featured a remixed version of Street Fighter Alpha, but no original Street Fighter!
trivia and a whole lot of artwork, the Street Fighter Anniversary Collection has just about everything ... except the original Street Fighter!
Yet again Capcom has left off the very game that started it all. They act as if they are embarrassed of this classic arcade game, why else would you leave it off of your 15th Anniversary disc?
Wait a second ... 15th anniversary? Since when has this been the 15th anniversary? If the original Street Fighter hit arcades in 1987 and it's 2004 then doesn't that mean this would be the 17th anniversary?
Perhaps they are thinking this is the 15th anniversary of
Feature as many characters as you want, it's still not the 15th anniversary!
Street Fighter II, the game that spawned a whole generation of fighting games. But wait, that wouldn't work either; Street Fighter II was released in 1991, making it look not a day over 13. Yet the sticker on the package clearly states that we're celebrating "Street Fighter 15th." What kind of collection is this anyway?
This issue only gets murkier when the XBOX version gets thrown into the mix. Capcom recently announced that Microsoft's version of the Anniversary Collection wouldn't make it out by years end; instead we will see it sometime next spring. How can Capcom in good conscience pass off an "Anniversary" disc two years in a row? The Anniversary can't be both years, it's either one or the other. Unfortunately in this situation it's neither.
Is this the way to treat one of the best games of all time? Street Fighter deserves more than an incomplete collection and faulty information. Assigning somebody to make sure that your 15th Anniversary takes place in the right year should not be above Capcom. Here's hoping Street Fighter's 20th anniversary can run a little smoother.