Nearly 25 years ago, Capcom released an arcade game which paved the way for a new genre of gaming. Well, not exactly, so allow me to explain. Capcom is barely a month away from celebrating the 25th anniversary of the original Street Fighter. No, not Street Fighter II, the revolutionary fighting game that set the benchmark for what every other fighting game hoped to aspire too. Street Fighter II has barely become old enough to toss one back, turning 21 this year.
Rather, it’s been 25 years since the flawed and forgettable original Street Fighter hit arcades everywhere. So forgettable that there are many who have never even had the opportunity to play it or barely know it exists. I’ve thankfully had the opportunity to play it, once. Happening upon a now defunct arcade which surprisingly had it on hand. I button mashed my way to the final boss, somehow managing to clinch victory despite utilizing rudimentary tactics and being unable to get any of the special moves to work properly. Most likely due to the soda someone spilled on the arcade stick, rather than any lack of ability on my part, of course. Still, I would love to have the opportunity to play it again if for no other reason than absolutely loving all things Street Fighter*****.
To celebrate its 25th, Capcom has decided to release what they’ve dubbed the 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set: complete with various movies, soundtracks, an art book, a statue and even a “full-sized” Ryu Replica belt. Oh, and it also comes with some games too; Street Fighter II, Street Fighter III, Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken.
Maybe we’ll get a release of the original for the 25th Anniversary of Street Fighter II
The original Street Fighter is ironically absent from this collection despite being the game whose anniversary is being celebrated. In fact, the original Street Fighter has never been released as part of any sort of Street Fighter collection. Even after 25 years it’s still treated as the bastard child Capcom seldom acknowledges they helped birth. Street Fighter has been shown a modicum of love, however, as it was included in the Capcom Classics Collection: Remixed which was released on PSP as well as Capcom Classics Collection Vol. 2 for the Playstation 2 and XBox.
In addition to releasing a monstrous, albeit incomplete collection, the real impressive thing that Capcom is doing, are the 25th Anniversary Tournaments. Capcom will be hosting several qualifying tournaments around the world, allowing some of the best Street Fighter players to compete in several different games; the aforementioned games included in the 25th Anniversary collection, fittingly enough.
I’m not even going to pretend that I knew that before I sat down to write this. Prior to doing a quick fact check, I had no idea Street Fighter had ever even graced a console since 1988, when it was ported to the TurboGrafx-CD.
I’m especially grateful and excited because one of these tournaments is being hosted right in my own backyard. That’s Austin, Texas for those who don’t know: at the Marchesa Event Center on July 28th and 29th. The moment I heard the news, I began practicing until my thumbs calloused and my eyes bled only to learn that dream shatterer, Justin Wong had announced that he’ll be attending said tournament. With EG Wong there to run roughshod on the tourney and gobble up all the prize money including a SFxT customized car(yeah a real one), I opted to abandon my practice sessions and go back to looting bandits in Skyrim.
Be afraid, be very afraid…of those fingers!
Regardless, myself and Agamemnon will be in attendance, rubbing shoulders with locals and out-of-towners alike, and if you’re lucky, maybe even bumping uglies. Either way, I’m elated and if you’re in the Austin area and love Street Fighter, you should be too!
- The “Down-Right+Fierce” Prometheus of Punching the Walls of Reality
*There’s no love in my heart for the EX series. Sorry.