In 1991, arcades were, to put it mildly, suffering. Most games in that era were shooters, or bland walk-to-the-right-and-hit-buttons-fast beat 'em ups. Capcom released a quiet sequel to one of its games and consequently changed the way we play. The game, of course, was Street Fighter II. SF2 and its various sequels spawned an arcade revolution, the effects of which are still felt to this very day. Capcom's previous Street Fighter collection contained some of the later Street Fighter titles. This second pack contains the original Street Fighter 2, and its two upgrades, SF2: Champion Edition, and SF2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting.
The games have translated onto the PlayStation very well, which, given that the arcade version's engine was programmed in 1991, isn't too surprising. The games all look, sound, and play like their arcade counterparts. There is also a small museum-type section that contains info and art from the games.
The gameplay holds up nicely after all these years. While it may seem a bit plain and a little sluggish compared to some of the games we've seen since, these games are still the chess of the fighting game world. Everything else is merely checkers. I was immediately reminded of the time (and, ouch, the money) I spent in arcades with these three games. The weeks of practice it took for me to become a respectable player. The thirty or so times that I just never went back to school after lunch, because I was stuck at a pizza place with a few friends, glued to Champion Edition.
Graphically, the game does look dated, even though Capcom has been using roughly the same character graphics for several years now. The soundtrack is still really good. These classic tunes can be remixed forever, but the originals still sound the best. The PlayStation also makes a smooth transition from the normal to the hyped-up "near-death" music with nearly no load time. However, the game does have a significant, though not overbearing load between fights.
Forget the other Street Fighter Collection. This is the volume that is actually worth owning. Those of you who spent hundreds of dollars on these three games when they first came out owe it to yourselves to have a copy of this around, even if only for posterity's sake. You never know when you'll want to see how well those skills hold up against an old friend. Those of you that haven't played these games really should at least rent this collection. Consider it a history lesson.