Now with double the amount of Shoryukens.
It had been a while since I last played Street Fighter 2, but as soon as I turned it on, my god, it all came back, all the nostalgia surrounding that game. Street Fighter 2 is a timeless classic that has aged very little, and this iteration of the game is probably my favorite, when it comes to playing with other people anyways. This game contains the "Hyper Street Fighter 2" edition of the game, basically, a Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo tweaked to allow you to pick any available iteration of each character. Want to pit vanilla SF 2 Ryu, before he got any command moves or the super meter, against Super Turbo's Akuma? You can do it. Casuals won't see much differences between iterations, but not only is it fun to pick from any version of the character, it also allows you to see just how much the character evolved with each iteration, just look at how the 4 original bosses had a ton of recycled animations, but by Super Turbo their crouching normals got changed.
While the game is still a real masterpiece, there are a few nitpicks to be had. For instance, the AI is brutal, it can be challenging even at its easiest difficulty. You don't play the CPU to learn the basics of your character, no, you play the CPU to outcheese it. Now, couple this with the lack of modes(Arcade, Versus and Training mode) and you'll realize that if you meant to play by yourself... you are not gonna have much fun. Fighting games are meant to be played with other players, and it's especially true in this case. There's also not a lot of extras, it's nice that we get a gallery with the openings for all Street Fighter 2's editions... but why can't we get a gallery for the unlocked endings? Ah well...
The game is almost opposite of SF II when it comes to presentation, the graphics in this game are glorious(Like SF II's soundtrack), with smooth and detailed animation few 2D games can match. Music on the other hand isn't as good as SF II. It's not bad by any means, it simply is... a bit forgettable, and coming right out of SF II it's hard not to miss those great tracks. While it only has Arcade, Versus and Training, like SF II, the AI isn't annoying in this one, and you get unlockables in the form of Gill and more colors for each character! Plus, you can mess around in the "Directions" menu to alter how the game plays. You can disable Super Moves, Guarding, Throwing, Jumping among a lot of other thingies which could lead to some amusing situations.
Street Fighter Anniversary Collection collects the most important entry in the series, and probably gaming history(SF II) and, arguably, the best one(SF III). There's absolutely no going wrong with this one, however, to make the most of it you are gonna need another player. It's also a bit hard to recommend this version of SF III when the HD edition on PS3/X360 contains the same game, but enhanced and with more single player content. But hey, at least you get SF II and a movie with this one!
9.0 out of 10.