Surely most people can agree that Street Fighter II and its many variants are excellent games. Important ones, even. Few games have influenced an entire genre as strongly, and its place in history as one of the greatest multiplayer games of all time can’t be denied. However, Street Fighter II being a seminal classic probably isn’t enough of a reason to spend $3.99 on this collection.
Street Fighter II Collection for iOS bundles up three different releases of the 2D fighter: Street Fighter II, Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, and Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting. Distinguishing between them requires a history lesson to begin with, but the game select menu deliberately obfuscates which of the latter two variants are which. It’s easy enough to determine what choosing Street Fighter II will direct you to, but beyond that your options are listed as Street Fighter II’ and… Street Fighter II’. Even the ‘dash’ (as it’s called) that’s affixed to the end of these two titles may not seem significant to uninitiated players, and the only appreciable difference between these two options is the color of the logo. Die-hard Street Fighter fans will probably know which they want to pick, but that brings us to our main issue with this release.
These ports are fine, but this just isn’t the best way to play Street Fighter II. It may not even be the best way to play Street Fighter II on your iDevice. Even though the Capcom Arcade app no longer hands out three free tokens a day, you can use that app buy any of the individual games included in this collection for cheaper than the cost of the collection. It’s not obvious why someone would want all three versions on their mobile device, but at least this package is cheaper than buying them piecemeal.
Regardless of how you get your Street Fighter fix, there’s the question of how many features Capcom builds around the game itself. Home console versions of their iconic 2D fighters have been characterized by considerable metagame elements and, of course, online play. Unfortunately, this iOS Street Fighter package only supports local multiplayer over Bluetooth, and there aren’t even any achievements.
Sure you can.
It wouldn’t be such a disappointment had these elements not been present in the last appearance of Street Fighter on the App Store. The app in question is Street Fighter IV Volt, which probably should have been an update to Street Fighter IV, rather than a game in its own right. Is Capcom planning on double-dipping again, this time with Street Fighter II? It’s hard not to expect it, given how customer-unfriendly Capcom has been lately, both in the mobile space as well on consoles (see: Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3).
To be clear: these games are fine in themselves. The addition of even more intuitive special move shortcuts than are present in the Capcom Arcade app will make purists cringe, but it makes fumbling dragon punches on the virtual joystick a non-issue. The emulation is good, but there just isn’t enough here to get excited about, and Capcom’s business decisions are rather unsavory. Unless you absolutely need to have the three main versions of Street Fighter II on your iDevice, it’s hard to recommend you purchase this collection. Save your money for later, when Capcom decides to release Street Fighter II Volt. And then Super Street Fighter II. And then Super Street Fighter II Volt. It’s certainly the Capcom way.