I guess it’s time to take a look at the next series of Street Fighter…no, not the third one as of yet, I have the game on PSN so I’ll cover it when I’ve done this…and EX. I’m talking about the sequel to Street Fighter and the prequel to Street Fighter II and I’m going to talk about all three of them in what may be my favourite games in the Street Fighter franchise and the ones I grew up playing. Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors’ Dreams, known in Japan as Street Fighter Zero, developed and published by Capcom. The games were released from 1995 to 1998.
So where do I begin? Well it’s set in the past before even the first Street Fighter game and most of the characters you knew from Street Fighter II are spring chickens like Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Sagat, all play similarly from Street Fighter II. But there are characters from Final Fight like Guy and Sodom, one of the bosses from the game. The British bloke Birdie from the first Street Fighter game is here. But we also have new characters like Sagat’s apprentice Adon, Guile’s friend Charlie Nash and Italian fortune teller, Rose.
In terms of gameplay…OH BOY! The fighting mechanics are incredibly fast but fair, there are new additions to the mechanics like air blocking where you can guard yourself even when you’re in the air and Alpha Combos, along with rolling too.
But there’s also a new feature known as a Super Combo system…OK, it was introduced in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but Alpha spruced it up a bit, where the system is now a level based gauge. So when you attack your opponent, the gauge increases up until level 3. Reaching at least Level 1 or higher will enable you to perform a Super Combo attack, along with the counterattack, the Alpha Counter, though this needs level 3 to activate it. This adds a new style to the game and refines what was near perfect, and that’s utter madness, but it works. But if you don’t know how to dodge, then there are two different styles, Normal and Auto. In Auto, where you can block attacks automatically unless you do an attack. This is a nice feature for beginners to give those players a head start on how the mechanics work. But if you want to block yourself, then choose normal, nobody loses out in this game.
The gameplay is fantastic, it’s more fast-paced than Street Fighter II, it’s one of the most energetic games in the series so far, it has a style that’s near appealing to me, and I’ll explain why I love this series when I get to the sequel. I mean, I don’t have to talk about the graphics and level design, it’s the arcade Capcom games, they’re always flawless.
Now it’s time to take a look at the game that shaped my childhood, Street Fighter Alpha 2 (or Zero 2), released in 1996 for the arcades. OK, so about 2002, my uncle gave me a PlayStation and I got some games with it, and one of them was Street Fighter Collection and it only had the second disc Street Fighter Alpha 2, and it was the one Street Fighter game I grew up playing, I remember playing these games and seeing these ending stories for the characters, and then there’s M. Bison’s ending and what he does to Ryu, that was creepy to me as a child but it was thrilling nevertheless…and from what I found out, I guess that if you also meet certain requirements, I can battle secret characters, but that’s for you to know. So based on nostalgia, this would be my favourite game in the Alpha series but I hadn’t played it in ages, though playing it again, I still enjoyed it.
In terms of what this game brings to the table…well near enough the same; but there are new features, most particularly, the Custom Combo system. Gone is the Chain Combos and what we have now is a Custom Combo, where you perform specific button combinations to perform multiple attacks for a short period of time, giving you more points. Even though Guy and Gen can still perform Chain Combos, they can only do this in limited bursts.
In terms of new characters, you can play as M. Bison, Akuma and…Dan, right from the get go. Schoolgirl Sakura is the new character in this game…what is it with Japan and girl’s panties…not that I’m complaining…wait, how old was she? At this point, under the age of 16…OK, TIME TO ABORT THIS JOKE!!!
Did you know? This game was released on the SNES worldwide, a time when the SNES was at its old age.
And finally we have Street Fighter Alpha 3 (or Zero 3), released in 1998 in the arcades. Actually, this was a game I first played on the PSP as it had a port of that game released for that system so I have some experience with it.
In terms of gameplay…WHAT IS ISMS? This is something I never knew until I researched it like I researched Europe. Anyway, Isms are different fighting styles, A-Ism is where you can have the 3-level Super Combo mechanic from Alpha 1, X-Ism uses the single-level super combo from Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and V-Ism, where you can perform Custom Combos from Street Fighter Alpha 2. Whatever Ism you pick, they will have their advantages and disadvantages.
In terms of characters…well different ports have different characters with the PSP port having the most. But the most noticeable characters appearing in this game, including female wrestler Rainbow Mika, Sakura’s rival, Karin, convicted convict Cody from Final Fight, and twin Shadaloo dolls, Juni and Juli.
The gameplay is pretty good, to me, it’s similar to Alpha 2 but of course, it’s near more refined, though Alpha 2 is still me favourite in the series.
Overall, the Street Fighter Alpha series is just fantastic. It’s fast, energetic and just so much fun. With highly detailed graphics and a cool set of characters, it still holds up and a huge improvement over the original Street Fighter II.
You can get these games for these consoles and such:
Street Fighter Alpha: Arcade, Game Boy Color, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Sega Saturn, Windows and PlayStation Network.
Street Fighter Alpha 2: Arcade, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, Sega Saturn, Super Famicom/SNES and Windows.
Street Fighter Alpha 3: Arcade, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, PocketStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable and Sega Saturn.
Rating: 4/5 (All three games have the same score)
And that’s about it for Arcade games, and for Christmas, it will be a random bunch of games because why not. See you next week!