As some have expected, there are some occasional traces of lag, mostly common during Third Strike matches. Usually when the connection is identified as "BAD", I chose to play regardless. During my first online session, I competed against someone in Manchester and noticed my button responses were delayed by a few seconds. Thankfully, the lag is nowhere as unbearable as SVC Chaos or Guilty Gear X2#Reload. And since I whipped his butt convincingly, I am not complaining. Sadly however, history repeats itself once again as evidenced by the dilemma that plagued CVS2. Yes, you too can "pull" against another player and reward them with an instant loss. Why can't these things be stomped out during the QA process -- or does such a department even exist on the Capcom programming team?
Moving on, the Street Fighter II anime is identical to the PS2 version for those of you that can't wait to relive those memorable moments from the U.S. edition full of cheesy voice acting and hard rock. I did notice the video quality does seem a bit cleaner on the Xbox. On another note, I was somewhat confused as to why the anime is presented in English (unless the disc was programmed with region logistics). Actually, it would of been nice to offer the anime in different lanaguages as conviently offered in modern DVD releases; maybe even dress it up a bit more with a conventional DVD front-end. Bottom line folks -- the fan service is pretty weak for what's intended to commemorate the pinnacle of 2D fighting games. Jaded and disappointed, you say? Most definitely.
In any event, video connoisseurs concerned about the visual quality will be delighted to know that they can enjoy the game in splendid 480p glory. And if you’ve got a kickass sound system, what better way then to recreate the full arcade experience than to take advantage of the game’s 5.1 Dolby Digital. Unfortunately, I have to keep my decibel level to moderate level, lest my neighbors end up complaining. Perhaps I should look into buying them earplugs this holiday season.
So far...I can honestly say that there's no excuse why this game SHOULDN'T be out already for the North American market. The Japanese edition doesn't offer anything new aside from online play that would account for the delay, unless they're working on tweaking the net code which I think is pretty unlikely.
Although I consider Anniversary Collection to be a recommended purchase, chances are many of you probably won't be lucky enough to secure a copy. For starters, the price is a bit high to justify going out of your way to pick up the game now, especially with the existing lineup of available Xbox fighting games available. You should note that copies of the region-free disc won't be around for long. According to a recent news announcement, Capcom already has taken action to pull the region-free copies of the game off store shelves due to a “bug” (an online glitch which affects players from rematching). Coincidence? Unlikely, but the fact remains -- players are eagerly awaiting for this game to make its way to this side of the world.
C’mon Capcom, get the lead out and go for broke..
Review based on Japanese (W-Code) edition.