Street Fighter Alpha 3
Capcom's been churning out PlayStation translations of its 2D arcade fighting games for a few years now. While their quality varies, Street Fighter Alpha 3 has quickly scrambled to the top of the PlayStation 2D fighting-game heap with its solid fighting-game engine and extra stuff.
As a straight arcade port. Alpha 3 does the job with strong visuals, excellent sound, near-perfect controls, and a tried-and-true fighting formula. One key difference between Alpha 3 and its predecessors is that in Alpha 3, each character can choose from one of three fighting styles before each fight begins. Within each fighting style, you can execute certain moves, and you also gain other strategic advantages. Other notable modifications to Alpha 3 include air recoveries and a Guard Meter, which limits how much you can block.
Alpha 3 truly excels with its plethora of extra play-modes. The most noteworthy are the World Tour mode, in which you travel the globe and gain new abilities with each defeated foe, and the Dramatic Batde mode, in which you share the screen with a buddy for a two-on-one gang-up-against-your-computer-opponent fest In addition, 31 fighters fill the regular lineup--the most fighters of any game in the SF series, Alpha or otherwise--including three PlayStation-exclusive battlers: Fei Long, T Hawk, and Dee Jay.
The home version of Alpha 3 faithfully translates the majority of the arcade version's key elements. The graphics retain most of the sprite frames from its arcade big brother with only a few minuscule visual W trims. And even when the screen becomes crammed with splashy super and special moves, the graphics never crap out into a choppy mess.
Sonically, all the smacks and yelps are clearly audible. The only ear-sore is the game-show announcer, who spouts such teeth-grinding phrases as "Beat 'em up, guy!" and "Triumph or die!" Fortunately, the powerful music perfectly suits every fight and keeps the action going.
Third Time's a Charm
Longtime Alpha and Street Fighter fens will find Alpha 3 a welcome addition to their gaming libraries. Unlike the dismal Street Fighter III, this Alpha makes counting to "three" a pleasure.
- In World Tour mode, replay completed stages to build up your experience points and ultimately gain new fighting abilities.
- In a Dramatic Battle game, flank your opponent and use crouching Jab Punches.
All the characters sport excellent details, and the screen fills with splashy effects. However, some fighters' pre-fight and victory poses from the arcade version have been inexplicably removed.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 sounds identical to the arcade version--warts and all. The music and sound effects are excellent, but the announcers stupid, glib phrases are annoying and distracting.
Alpha 3s various special moves are a breeze to execute, but some of the super moves (like Chun-Lis Super Spinning-Kick) are stiff and not as responsive as they should be.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the PlayStation delivers all the fun and intense fighting of the arcade version, but the game's extras make it more than just a run-of-the-mill arcade port.
Download Street Fighter Alpha 3
The Street Fighter series counts to "three" for a second time with Street Fighter Alpha 3. The PlayStation version is loaded with features and extra fighters not found in its arcade parent.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 has all the fun ele ments of its predecessors, but adds a few wrinkles to the tried-and-true gameplay. The most striking new, ingredient is the addition of three fighting styles, called "-isms," for each character. Each "-ism" is a different set of special moves you can select before each fight Other new features include new throws, Alpha Counters, and midair recoveries. As with other Alpha games on the PlayStation, the controls hold up beautifully, making the various special attacks and techniques a breeze to execute.
Alpha 3 brings home features in addition to those found in the arcade version. Over and above the one-and two-player games are several modes: Training, where you practice special moves and combos: World Tour, where you battle around the globe and earn special attacks with each win: Team Battle, which lets you choose four characters and fight four opponents consecutively; Final Battle, where you fight only the boss characters; and Dramatic Battle, where two players control two fighters at once and take on a single opponent.
Some of these special modes are immediately selectable; others are unlocked via time release and other codes. We've seen plenty of Street Fighter recently, but Alpha looks like it's not just "more of the same." Find out the real score when GamePro takes Alpha 3 to the ProReview ring in an upcoming issue.
New and Old Faces
With 31 fighters. Alpha 3 has the biggest lineup in the Alpha series yet. Joining series' veterans such as Ken and Ryu are old Street Fighter characters Vega, Blanka, Balrog, E. Honda, and Cammy, who make their Alpha series debuts. The PlayStation version also has three characters not in the arcade game: Fei Long, Dee Jay, and T. Hawk. Three hidden fighters--Evil Ryu, Shin Akuma, and Guile--round out the PlayStation-exclusive roster.
Capcom fans who own a PlayStation are in for a huge treat. After the disappointing X-Men vs. Street Fighter, we'll soon get a great version of Marvel vs. Street Fighter and an unbelievable version of the hottest arcade fighter out today, Street Fighter Alpha 3! We recently got our hands on a very early version of SF Alpha 3, and even at this stage the level of graphic quality and animation is easily the best yet for a 2D fighter on the Sony console. Then there's the control...silky-smooth and responsive. This isn't as much of a surprise as the graphic quality because the entire Alpha series on the PS has controlled as perfect as the Sony pad will allow. A great conversion is not the only thing to be excited about. In case you didn't know, Alpha 3 marks the return (or is it the debut? SF lll/Alpha continuity is all screwed up) of some old favorites.
The wild Brazilian Blanka, the sumo warrior Edmund Honda, the rough boxer Balrog and the vain Vega are just a few of the new additions. Following in Guy's footsteps, Cody from Final Fight joins the action along with two brand new saucy female characters. Old favorites like Ryu, Chun-Li, Ken and Bison come back with a few refined moves. As with any update in a fighting game series, there are new backgrounds and new music. So far, the background environments look great, but the music has yet to be implemented into the game.
Adding to the depth of each character is the ability to choose from three different special meter options. There was a similar system in Street Fighter III, but it seems to have much more effect in Alpha. You can be sure we'll have more on SF Alpha 3 soon.
Capcom counts to three with another 2D fighting-game series. Unlike the disappointing Street Fighter ill, Street Fighter Alpha 3 continues its heritage successfully, thanks to cool new characters and fighting techniques. While it's debatable whether SFA3 is the best in the series, it reworks fun and familiar territory that should keep 2D fighting fans satisfied.
The addition of seven new fighters is the most noteworthy change. Super Street Fighter Turbo characters Vega, Blanka, E. Honda, and Cammy make their Alpha debuts, as do three brand-new characters: Karin (a rival of Sakura's), Cody (from the Final Fight series), and R. Mika (who looks like a bank-robbing Playboy bunny). Cody and Karin fit perfectly into the Alpha lineup with their to-be-reckoned-with abilities, but R. Mika's lame grapple techniques and lack of range make her about as formidable as Dan.
Distinct fighting styles for each character save SFA3 from the more-of-the-same doldrums. One of three sets of moves can be selected before each fight, making for more diverse gameplay, though there is some overlap between sets.
SFA3 lacks the flash of Tekken 3 or the enormous depth of Soul Calibur, but it has its share of intense fighting. In an era when 3D fighting seems to be the norm, it's good to see that 2D can still kick ass.
- Chun-L's Spinning Bird Kick (available only in her X-ism Style) can inflict multiple hits and juggle an opponent across the screen.
- Blanka's Electric Storm Is an easy, Ideal way to stop air attackers. Simply tap Jab or Strong Punch rapidly to start the Storm.
- If you hit Vega enough times during a fight, he'll lose his claw. However, he can easily pick up and reattach the claw by walking over It.
SFA3 looks identical to previous Alpha titles. The fighters all have excellent animation, the backgrounds are colorful, and visual fireworks occasionally fill the screen.
Performing specials is a breeze, but some of the more complex super moves (like Ghin-li's Rising Bird Kick! will take practice and patience to master.
The music and sound effects are a plus, but the game-show-esque announcer will make you want to hit the machine.
SFA3 faithfully continues the Alpha series with more fighters and innovative techniques while keeping every bit of fun intact.
Street Fighter Alpha goes a third round with the biggest character lineup yet and cool new play features. Alpha 3 has 25 selectable fighters, including some old-timers--E Honda, Blanka, and Vega--that haven't been seen since Super Street Fighter 11 Turbo (Balrog is also in the game, but he's a hidden character). Cammy also makes her Alpha series debut in the garb she wore in X-Men vs. Street Fighter. New characters appear as well, ineluding R. Mika, a female wrestler; Karin, Sakura's biggest rival; and Cody, a character from the side-scrolling beat-em-up game Final Fight
The most striking new feature is the "-ism" system that allows you to choose from three different fighting styles for each character. For example, X-ism lets you perform custom combos, while the A-ism style limits your character to old-school techniques (including no air blocking or counters). Other fresh elements include air recoveries and a Guard meter that shows how close you or your opponent is to being dizzied. With all the enhancements in Street Fighter Alpha 3, it looks like the series is ready for a whole new brawlgame.
As if the PlayStation version weren't good enough, now Capcom fans can expect a truly perfect translation of the coin-op Street Fighter Alpha 3 when the Dreamcast version is released this fall. SFA3 for the DC features all the special modes and characters (including an improved World Tour Mode and the VMU minigames), not to mention nearly non-existent loading times and a new network option for trading high Scores and Other game information over the Net.
When Street Fighter Zero (Alpha) 3 was first released for the PlayStation, critics were surprised by the quality of the conversion, noting that the PlayStation had to make very few sacrifices in animation and speed. Much lamenting was had when it appeared that Capcom would not be releasing a Saturn version (despite the 4-Meg RAM cart). Eventually, Capcom of japan relented and announced that not only would a Saturn version be released (in japan), but a Dreamcast version as well. Although the Saturn version is still a month or so away, the Dreamcast version has finally been released in japan and is undisputably the definitive version. for starters, all the various modes that were found in the PlayStation version (World Tour, Dramatic Battle Mode, etc.) are accessible from the very start (without needing to unlock the secret ones).
Second, in modes like the Dramatic battle, up to three separate players can join in (2 on 1) without any sacrifice in animations or "cheating" involved (i.e., no palette-swapped characters). As in Marvel vs. Capcom for DC, there is absolutely no slowdown and the game moves lightning fast.
For Street Fighter fans, this is the ultimate SF collection, much in the way The King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 is for SNK fans. Selectable from the outset are 32 different Capcom characters, with the usual suspects Ken, Ryu, Chun-Li and Zangief returning yet again. Bringing up the rear are old-school SF veterans making their first appearances in the Alpha series. Your tears will flow upon seeing the glorious return of SF favorites like Guile, Blanka, Fei-Long and Dee-Jay.
Aside from the large variety of modes offered (versus, Final Battle, training, survival, team battle, etc.) there are also mini-games to download into your VMU memory card for Street Fighter action on the go.
As has become expected of Capcom to Sega ports, loading times are practically non-existent, game speeds range from normal to hyper-light-speed, and the control is dead on the money. The only problem gamers might find with the conversion has nothing to do with the game and more to do with the Dreamcast controller. As if it hasn't been documented already, the DC controller is less than ideal for Capcom's fighting games, but not as horrible as some may claim. No worries, however, because the Dreamcast fighting stick works just fine.
Scheduled for release in November, Street Fighter Alpha 3 will give SF fans a lot to look forward to. Now all we need from Capcom is Street Fighter III: Third Strike (hint, hint)!
Capcom's ready to bust some heads on the Dreamcast with Street Fighter Alpha 3, the latest brawler in the legendary fighting game series. The game features the biggest lineup of Street Fighter characters to ever hit home as 31 combatants join the fray, from Ken and Ryu to Dee Jay (please, Hammer, don't hurt 'em). The 2D game also boasts a Dramatic Battle mode (with up to three players), a training mode, three distinct fighting styles per character, and some of the flashiest special moves around.
Other key gameplay differences between Alpha 3 and other Street Fighter games are the formers air recoveries (jugglin' ain't easy!) and a guard meter that limits your number of blocks. At press time, Capcom was still tight-lipped about other possible game modes and features, but if Street Fighter Alpha 3 plays as well as it did in the arcades, Dreamcast fans definitely won't be disappointed.
Snapshots and Media
- Street Fighter 2 Special Champion Edition
- Mortal Kombat 3
- Mortal Kombat 4
- Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero
- Street Fighter Anniversary Collection
- Capcom Generations Street Fighter 2 Collection
- Marvel Vs. Street Fighter
- Soul Blade
- Street Fighter Ex3
- Tekken 2
- Tekken 3
- Toshinden 3
- X-Men Vs Street Fighter