Undisputed Street Fighter: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective ReviewOctober 10, 2018
I’ve never been a huge fighting game fan – I would call myself a more casual player, though I’ve spent plenty of time with series like Dead or Alive, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat over the years. Growing up, I played a lot of Street Fighter II, in all its various arcade incarnations and especially on the Super NES. Though I had a lot of fun playing against friends and family, I would mostly just button mash my way to victory as Ken or Ryu. I saw the awful 1995 movie in theaters, and I absolutely loved the animated movie. I always found the world and characters of Street Fighter fascinating, and it’s a series that has become ingrained in pop culture. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the history of this hugely influential franchise and how it came to be, Dynamite’s Undisputed Street Fighter: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective is absolutely worth a read.
It’s obvious from the outset that author Steve Hendershot is a big fan of Street Fighter. Undisputed Street Fighter is packed to the brim with in-depth interviews, behind-the-scenes info on the creation of the games, and a metric ton of amazing promotional artwork from the entire 30-year span of the franchise. There are stories about Street Fighter II’s competitive scene, how the game came to dominate arcades across the world, and all of its ups and downs in gaming culture and beyond.
Hendershot makes this book a real page-turner with interesting facts and trivia and quotes from important people in the series’ history. While he obviously loves the franchise, he pulls no punches with some of the weakest moments in Street Fighter history. You get to learn the details of each iteration of Street Fighter, how each version differs from the last, and how they were received by both fans and critics. There’s even a huge section towards the end with bios for every Street Fighter character, including special moves, details about the creation of the characters and which games they first appeared in, design changes, and more.
The layout and artwork of this book is fantastic – it’s a perfect coffee table book that all of your gaming friends will want to check out. You could easily kill some time just flipping through all of the cool screenshots, concept and promo art, and photos of Street Fighter cabinets and collectibles. Even the cover is beautifully designed and stands out in a good way on a book shelf.
If you’re a fan of Street Fighter, Undisputed Street Fighter: A 30th Anniversary Retrospective is a must-buy. Even as a casual fan, I couldn’t put it down. In my opinion, this book deserves a place on every gamer’s shelf.