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Street Fighter II Collector's Box :: Review by Chris

Street Fighter II Collector's Box Album Title: Street Fighter II Collector's Box
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: PCCB-00124 (with VHS); PCCB-00125 (with LD)
Release Date: September 17, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Street Fighter II Collector's Box was a box set made to commemorate the Arcade's Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. It features three discs. The Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version is the ultimate version of the score to the original game and is exclusive to this box set. The Street Fighter II Instrumental Arrange Version features mostly synthetic arrangements of Street Fighter II themes and is mainly based on the Street Fighter II Image Album. The Street Fighter II Vocal Arrange Version features a range of vocalists interpreting the character themes and is based on Nesshou!! Street Fighter II. The limited edition box set was also available with a VHS or Laser Disc video. Now rare and pricey, is it worth tracking down?


The Street Fighter II Perfect Original Version is easily the best version of Street Fighter II's original score available. Uniquely, it is a complete original score where each theme is given its own track uninterrupted by sound effects. Full of melodic genius, personality, and cultural diversity, the character themes are the highlight. Whether the heroic anthems for Ryu and Ken, the quirky tunes for Blanka and Zangief, the culturally inspired music for Chun-Li and Dhalsim, or the climactic themes for the Four Devas, Yoko Shimomura always delivers the goods. Also featured are the somewhat jarring heavy damage variations, an ending theme collection, and some memorable menu themes and fanfares. Note that this is based on the Arcade version of the game, so the synth quality is quite low, and that the additional five character themes featured in Super Street Fighter II Turbo are not present. Nonetheless, it is the most definitive and authentic version of the score available.

The second disc of the album is mainly based on the commercially available Street Fighter II Image Album. This arranged album captures will bring a lot of joy and memories for Street Fighter II players with its straightforward interpretations of the character themes. From the nostalgic Ryu's theme to Ken's power rock arrangement to the iconic Four Devas medley, the arrangers give fans exactly what they want. The arrangers offer quite a variety of arrangements — showing influences from pop, rock, jazz, techno, world, and ethnic music among others. However, the entire album feels continuous as well due to features like melodic emphasis and similar technology throughout. Though some of the synths are dated, this partly adds to the charm of the album and there are nevertheless high quality electric guitar and other instrumental solos featured here. Of all the Street Fighter II albums, this one is probably the most accessible and faithful.

Unfortunately, the Nesshou!! Street Fighter II album featured on the third disc isn't very accomplished. The whole concept of the production is flawed. The choice of vocalists tends to be particularly off — whether the boyish Ryu, murmuring Dhalsim, or operatic Sagat — especially when Japanese singers are used to interpret foreign melodies. In addition, vocalists often don't seem compatible at all with some melodies such as Chun-Li, Vega, or Guile. The instrumentals tend to provide functional accompaniment or rhythmical sequences, but provide little interesting. The only worthwhile arrangements are the bluesy interpretation of Balrog's theme by an American vocalist or the haunting instrumentals of Vega and M. Bison. Everything else is either boring or ridiculous. This disc is only for those who love quirkiness and don't care about quality.

There are a few semi-exclusive arrangements to complete the box set. The instrumental arranged disc opens with the synthetic medley used to introduced Street Fighter II ~ G.S.M. Capcom 4. It is a nice way to introduce the character themes for the game, though the track order is quite random and the transitions tend to be jarring. The nine minute medley performed by Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla at the Game Music Festival '92 is more accomplished. The performances by pianist Yoko Shimomura and others tend to bring out the emotion and humanity behind the original tunes while some of the arrangements are quite creative. The medley also benefits from exploring several themes thoroughly rather than attempting to integrate absolutely everything. A superb effort. The box set concludes with a vocal arrangement of the Street Fighter II: Special Edition staff roll as featured in Varth Operation Thunderstorm ~ G.S.M. Capcom 6. It's very derivative and cheesy, but at least more feasible than the other vocal arrangements.


Overall, one shouldn't take the decision to purchase Street Fighter II Collector's Box lightly. It's become a very rare collector's item and can only be purchased for quite a price second-hand. The main draw is the soundtrack, which has few flaws compared to all other soundtrack releases for the game. The arrangements on the album can be found by purchased other second-hand albums, though most of them are from the high quality Street Fighter II Image Album and dubious Nesshou!! Street Fighter II. The box set also includes a 16 page full colour booklet, a large colour poster, and two videos featuring gameplay footage, interviews, and more. It's a very nice way to commemorate the series, but only the most serious collectors should consider this purchase.

Overall Score: 8/10