Mounted anger would be the best way to describe my feelings toward the PS2 edition of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, a game which many fans predicted would feature online play. When you get right down to it, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection isn't a wholly new game, but rather a recycled compilation that thankfully will allow you to expand your competitive influence against other players throughout the globe. As recently reported last week, Capcom released a region-free copy of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, a game that will likely be unavailable by the time some of you wise up and make the investment.
If you're a newcomer who needs to be brought up to speed, I invite you to check out our PS2 review. However veterans don't need an introduction; their only concern is, "Does this game justify another purchase?" Well, if you're eager to play, yes. And what better way to be the envy of all your friends than to pick up the import? But before you dash for your plastic, allow me to give you a personal rundown of my experience of the most important feature of all...playing on Xbox Live.
While Xbox Live's mantra suggests, "It's good to play together", but perhaps it should carry the following footnote -- "when someone's available." Finding a match against other players can be likened to finding the proverbial needle in a haystack, although I’d imagine even that would be much easier. I’ve attempted locating some online competition during different hours of the day, and was fortunate to find a half-dozen players. Perhaps everyone is busy playing Dead or Alive 3?
I was disappointed to see the online interface is practically identical to the format featured in CVS2: EO, albeit a few marginal improvements. Very few -- mainly, a real-time window has been included, updating you of the available matches corresponding to your desired match preferences. Options include setting the number of matches, speed, voice on/off, and playing against local (domestic) or worldwide players respectively.
It's ironic that I've been accustomed to playing Street Fighter games on controllers ever since the 16-bit era, and yet, the Xbox pad has proven to be an awkward experience. As a result, I've decided to look into investing in a MAS joystick to quell my D-pad frustrations. It should be noted though, according to feedback from other players that you may be subject to the same delayed responses using a custom stick (X-Arcade, MAS, etc.) when competing online. Thankfully, it doesn't appear to be a widespread dilemma.