Last week I gave you a glimpse inside of Capcom's massive celebration of 25 years of quarter circle punches with the newly-released Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection. And after cracking this well-crafted collector's box open that Capcom sent along for the Xbox 360, I'm pretty impressed with this tribute to the fighting series.
But let's take a deeper look at the set together and see what Capcom has in store for those of you who decide to pick up this massive set.
Opening the box/Certified
The first thing you'll notice when you pull the box out of its paper slipcover and plastic wrapping is the texture: the exterior is velvety and soft, with metal corners to prevent the case from getting excessively dinged up during transit. Turn it with the logo facing you, and then simply tilt the lid open. While I appreciate that Capcom didn't want to break the smooth line of the collection with any excessive protruding elements, it still would have been nice to have a small latch to secure the box (again, it's secure and resisted opening when tilted, but it's nice for peace of mind).
Included in the set was a certificate of authenticity with the signature of Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono giving it a number out of the total run of 30,000.
Looking at the rest of the contents of the case, you'll find that everything is carefully compartmentalized and secured--there was nothing loose, jostling, or broken with my collection. The complete contents was secured with slim dividers made of the same material as the box's exterior, with everything laid out in their own little sections.
Music to fight by
The first point of interest for me was the 11-disc soundtrack collection, and represents my only real concern with the packaging of the set. Included here you'll find CDs for:
Street Fighter (1987)
Street Fighter II: Turbo (1994)
Street Fighter Alpha 3, disc one (1998)
Street Fighter Alpha 3, disc two (1998)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike, disc one (1999)
Street Fighter III: Third Strike, disc two (1999)
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition (2011)
Street Fighter X Tekken, disc one (2012)
Street Fighter X Tekken, disc two (2012)
Fan Mix (2012) - DJ remixes of existing tracks from the series
Fan Original (2012) - Original tracks inspired by the series
As you can see, each disc is contained in its own plastic sleeve, and they're secured in place with slots in a foam liner. While it lays the discs nicely, and keeps the discs firmly in place, it's not the most navigable solution. Since you can only see the discs at their edges, it make take a minute of pulling each one out to find the specific disc you're looking for.
Still, this is an outlier issue and assumes you haven't already imported the soundtracks to your music collection already.
Paying tribute through fan art
Removing the COA and folding the panels that secured it in place back, you'll find the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Tribute Art Boo. This hardcover is filled with fan art from the SF community. The matte finish on the hardcover is pleasant to the touch, but you'll have to be careful about nicks and dings which will show up very easily on its surface.
In the leftmost compartment in the box, you'll find this Ryu statue and on the rightmost side, a gold-embossed belt. The statue lights up at the base, powered by two included AA batteries. While toy reviews aren't my forte, the figure is pretty sturdily crafted with some nice detail in the costume and the overall paint job.
Oh, and the games and movies
And should you consider actually playing some Street Fighter, the 25th Anniversary Collection has you covered. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and Street Fighter X Tekken are both included on two discs in a 360 case along with a DLC card with a single code entitling you to all of the current costume DLC for both games as well as full versions of Super Street Fighter II HD Remix and Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Keep in mind, you'll have to use the included code on the Street Fighter official page to get the download tokens for Xbox Live.
It's unfortunate that the original Street Fighter isn't represented--even if it's not an especially great game, given the breadth and depth of series history that Capcom dug into here, it would have been nice to see it and an entry from the EX series get a nod.
Finally, you can get a movie fix with the two Blu-ray Anniversary Film Collection. You have a Blu-ray player, right?
"I Am Street Fighter": 25 Years of Inspiration documentary
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie (1994)
Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind (2009)
Super Street Fighter IV: Original Video Animation
Street Fighter: The Animated Series (1995-1997)
While the inclusion of the features, doc, and series on Blu might be an impediment to some 360 owners, I'm happy that Capcom went with hi-def to present this content.
Expertly-produced and easy to navigate (with the exception of the soundtracks which might have been the best of several inelegant solutions), the Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection might reproduce a lot of content that a diehard fan already has, but I have to admit that it's nice to have it all in one place in such a comprehensive, handsomely-produced collection.
The Street Fighter 25th Anniversary Collection is available now for the PS3 and Xbox 360.
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