The first Street Fighter Alpha (Zero in Japan) was a nice mix of new and old, giving the eager fans something other than Street Fighter III to look forward to. Street Fighter Alpha 2 bettered that first rough effort by adding a copious amount of characters and working out some of the control issues. But despite these improvements Alpha 2 was still just more of the same. So what can Street Fighter Alpha 3 offer?
How about some of the best one on one 2D cell drawn animation this side of the Lion King. The characters don't just stand they, they radiate and glow with such a grace it's hard to believe they are characters in a game. Unlike SNK, Capcom has always worked at making their games look better as the years go on, this, however, is sometimes a double edged sword. While there is no arguing that the graphics have gotten better, some of the characters, Birdie for example, just aren't looking so hot anymore.
The attention to detail in this third game is unbelievable. The background graphics are among the best I have ever seen, each one is filled with interesting looking characters, exotic wild animals, or familiar faces (like Haggar, the one missing element from Final Fight). The characters look extra sharp, as well. Each character has gone though the "video game car wash" before entering this tournament. And ever move features at least two or three more cells of animation. Honestly, Street Fighter Alpha 3 is a prize to behold.
Like before Capcom has given us a few fighters to choose from. New additions to the cast include R. Mika, a busty karaoke singer, Cody, who appears to be JUST out of prison, and Karin, who is pretty forgettable. And not stopping there, Capcom has gone ahead and brought back some of our favorite fighters for a "home game"-exclusive. Returning are Dee Jay, T. Hawk, and Fei-Long ... the three dullest characters in fighting game history.
But I digress. The fighting isn't all new, but there is a lot of variation here. And to make things ever more appealing, there is a Role-Playing style one player game that is actually pretty darn fun. Plus, a slew of interesting two player modes, including one where you fight on the same team ... a precursor of things to come?
Street Fighter Alpha 3 is basically a port of the PlayStation version released only months earlier. The game shines on any system, no matter what, but I can't help but yearn for the control of the PlayStation (or even the Saturn) instead of the bulky Dreamcast control. It's funny, if not a bit ironic, Capcom has always given better treatment of their 2D fighting games when it comes to Sega ... but this time, even though this is a highly recommended game, it's not much better than it was on the PlayStation. Will Capcom be able to count to four?