After it proved a success on the PlayStation, Capcom further cemented their backing of Sega's Dreamcast console as the premier outlet for fighting games with a port of Streetfighter Alpha 3.
Like all the Streetfighter games before it(except horrid NES title 2010), Alpha 3 is a 2D one-on-one fighter where the basic idea is to defeat your opponent in two rounds out of three in martial arts combat. You do this by emptying their energy bar, which is done by performing throws, punches,kicks,special moves and super moves.
Where Alpha 3 decided it was going to stand out from the pack of 2D fighters on the console, was the sheer number of gameplay options and variants on offer.
First off, the ones that affect the way the game plays. After you select your character, from a huge range including every fighter to appear in every version of Streetfighter 2 as well as the Alpha games, as well as bringing in some new characters of it's own, you are prompted to pick the speed, which is the norm for a Capcom 2D fighter, but then you have to choose between A,V and X-isms and several play types, Normal,Classic,Mazi and Saikyo. These each have different effects on your characters, Classic forces you to use X-Ism, and robs you of any play features added since Streetfighter 2, whereas Mazi heightens your strength, but lowers your defence and means that if you lose a round you lose the match. For those wondering about 'Isms', they refer to how your super meter works,for example X-Ism only allows you one Super move to be stored, whereas A allows you to bank up to three. While these add a lot of depth to the game, it can also prove to do nothing but confuse people who aren't in it for the unbreakable combos and tournament mentality of things, and are just looking for a fighter. While I usually just stick with playing Normal>A-Ism and recommending all my friends do the same, it serves as nothing but a block of confusion for them, because most of the titles don't really say much about how it shapes the character.
Additions in terms of modes is where Alpha 3 really earns some points in my eyes, as well as the regular arcade mode, where you fight ten opponents, one of which is a sub boss, and the last the mighty (read:cheap as all hell) M.Bison to see your character's ending, we are also treated to the other staple mode, Versus as well as World Tour,Dramatic Battle,Survival,Team Battle and Final Battle, which just lets you take on Bison to see your character's ending. World Tour mode refers to one of the game's biggest drawers, a mode where you have to win fights under certain circumstances to build up your character and earn new moves and such. It's comparable to the Quest mode in Soul Calibur. This certainly does add some single player appeal to the game, but personally I wasn't overly taken in by the feature. While it's cool that Capcom put it in, none of the challenges ask for anything that really tries the player, and the only reason it will keep you occupied for a lengthy timescale is due to how many fights you must take part in, rather than the difficulty.
Dramatic Battle is a rather nifty mode which allows you and another player to Co-Op against an enemy, or you to take on two enemies at once. This is a rather quirky and fun mode, if it hasn't been put together with much effort, given how tough it is to play if you get an opponent on either side of you, but once again it is nice to see they at least put some effort in. You can also do a 'Vs.Dramatic Battle', where three human players can square off, two against one.
Survival and Team Battle are fairly self explanatory, and there is also a training mode to boot.
While Alpha 3 cannot be faulted for the sheer amount of options and tweaks on offer, the fact is that the gameplay, while not by any stretch of the imagination bad,just seems so generic and subdued in comparison to the other Streetfighter titles Capcom were putting out at the time. We had Marvel Vs. Capcom providing sheer carnage onscreen with player,projectiles and god knows what else flying around, and on the other side Streetfighter 3, where the classic gameplay saw the additions of new features, and was as solid and complete as you could ever hope a Streetfighter game to be. Alpha 3 just sort of falls somewhere between the two poles of Capcom's quality 2D fighting series, and it just comes accross as rather bland by contrast.
That's not to say you can't have fun with it, especially on two player, the fact that nigh on the entire SF cast appears in the game, as well as the introduction of Cody from Final Fight, means that there certainly is a fighter for everyone here, and player who haven't played a Streetfighter title since the heyday of 2 will find everyone they know and love included. In this aspect the game does win some points, because friends who didn't keep up with the series were a lot more negotiable on playing this than any of the Streetfighter 3 games, due to how familiar they were with the cast. However, when I finally did persuade them onto the other Capcom fighters, this was quickly forgotten, simply due to the fact it just doesn't do enough to stand out on merits of the gameplay, and instead opts to confuse people with it's Mazi V-Isms and moves that can only be performed in certain Isms and so on.
Graphically, the game is good, but I never did totally warm to it, due to the Streetfighter 3 games and Capcom Vs. SNK being played on the Dreamcast first in my hands. The sprites are all well animated, and drawn in vibrant colours in the anime style of the Alpha series, and it has to be said that some of the backgrounds are just spectacular(Adon's Thai temple ruins spring to mind). While it isn't the best Capcom pulled off on the DC by a long shot, and some of the sprites are starting to show their age from Alpha 1, on the whole it looks good enough, and no-one plays 2D fighters for the visuals anyway.
The sound is a major pitfall for the game. The music is mostly generic rubbish, and really is sad when you consider how good music in past Streetfighter games has been. The only music to really catch my attention was Dan's theme, which really does have a cool sound to it that fits in more with the older proper themes than this horrible techno rubbish.
The voices of the fighters are decent enough, but the announcer will have you reaching for the mute button, or in some cases in stitches, within seconds.
The controls for the game are standard for the Dreamcast:Buy an arcade stick!. While the game can be attempted on the controller, anyone who really wants the most out of any Capcom fighter on the DC will want to invest in a good arcade stick, on which the controls for games like this were designed to hold. It features the usual three punch attacks(weak,medium and fierce) as well as the same three definitions for kicks, as well as the usual methods of performing special attacks, tapping a button,smooth D-Pad motions and charging one direction before quickly pressing another.
While the controls for the standard attacks brought me no problems of response, for some reason I found pulling off Special Moves under pressure to be a whole lot less reliable in Alpha 3 than in other Capcom titles. With Guile, I often play a risky game of waiting until the exact second to perform his somersault kick. In Alpha 3, a shocking amount of times I ended up on the recieving end of an attack due to the controls not responding correctly and Guile simply jumping upwards and kicking.
On the whole, while Alpha 3 is certainly a game I don't regret buying, it just doesn't do enough for me to be as memorable, or as much of a mainstay in multiplayer sessions, as Capcom's other Dreamcast fighters. It certainly isn't a bad game, it just pales in comparison to the 3 series and the Vs.Games, and simply finds itself as a sort of middle ground that seems rather generic.
If you like Streetfighter,chances are you probably already own this, but if you don't, then it is worth picking up if it's pretty low in price, but I would definitely opt for any version of Streetfighter 3 before it for a slice of Dreamcast Streetfighting action. Three stars and a recommended is about fair for the game. It's a decent fighter, and certainly not bad, but it just seems so ordinary in comparison to what Capcom was putting out at the time.
The Dreamcast was a console that was possibly the greatest system for fighting games ever made, and while Alpha 3 contributes to the solid backbone of the fighter collection on the console, it simply cannot compete to be one of the best when up against such stiff competition.
Review originally posted on Epinions.com
The Street Fighter games have been very popular ever since they were first made back when the Snes was the coolest thing to have. It is nice to know that Street Fighter Alpha 3 sticks to the same routes as the original with many new and improved features. One of the biggest differences is the amount of characters in the game. There are some 50+ characters and in some way you seemed spoiled for choice. These characters are basically all of the characters from the original and the sequels. All the characters have been put into this game and they are unique and have there own trademarks and special moves. The graphics have not changed from the old 2D style graphics originally on the Snes. What has changed though is the speed of the game, it is very fast paced action and you have to be fast in order to win. You can actually change the speed of the game back too like it is on the Snes, but really it is better played fast. The characters have a lot more of a cartoon feel to them now and they look like animated comic character (which they really are) Overall the graphics have been enhanced greatly for the dream cast and a lot more detail and animation has been added to them. Sound is one of the best parts of Street Fighter Alpha 3. It has very techno sounding background music to it and this suit?s the fighting mood of the game very well. Also each character has there own voice in it so when you perform one of the characters special moves then they will say that move before or when they are doing it. This is something that the Street Fighter series has always done and it gives it a very Arcade feel to it. There is no real voice acting as there is not much of a story so that does not make much of a difference. This game does not really have much of a story, basically each character has a rival whom they must defeat and they get involved with. In arcade mode a story is told and you meet two bosses in the whole mode and the story of each cha
racter is told on the way. Once you have defeated your rival you have sort of accomplished your mission and therefore completed the game. There are so many modes in this game; this is one of the best parts about this because there is so much replay value with this game. You can try out all sorts of different modes. You have all the classics like VS Battle and Team Battle, but you are given a lot more than the original. You can do the whole knew world tour mode which gets harder as you go on and each character takes a different route and therefore it will take you some time to finish this. My favourite mode is the 2 Player co-op battles where two players take on one strong computer player. This is one of the hardest bits in the game and will keep you entertained for hours. The moves system has undergone a complete make over. Instead of each character having the basic kick, punch, throw and special you are given a lot more. You still have everything you had before but each character has about 20 of there own signature moves, which only they can do. Also the best part about the game is each player has 3 Super Combos, which they can use in the battles. As you fight a kind of energy bar builds up and you are given 3 levels, these can be used to do special moves, which inflict a lot of damage on the energy. There are so much more you can do with each character and it will take you along time to understand the timing and buttons to press to do these. You also have 3 different levels of skill you can use which affect, which different moves you, can use. This adds even more replay value to the game. However the game does get very repetitive after a long time and you will find you will go off the game completely so it is best that you play this game in small amounts as too much can just ruin it. In small doses though this game is great fun, especially when you have three controllers and you do a two VS one. If you were not a big fan of the original
on the Snes then do stay away from the new one as not much has really changed and this game is for fans of the old game. As I have said this game is very similar to the old games and is like a merged version of the old series with the Alpha Series. This is the best game of them though so do buy it if you see it cheap as it is well worth the money and if you are a fan of the older games it will take you hours of play to become a master.
Are sequels ever any more than low quality money-spinners? Films are burdened by the need for originality. So should games be. Unfortunately, programmers making sequels rarely bother. Of course, film studios don’t as a matter of course produce six versions of the same film – whereas in the computer world every beat ‘em up must still involve a set scene with characters kicking the crap out of one another. Street Fighter III comes back with the classic format that the game as good as invented: horizontally scrollable scenery with two people inducted into the near magical world of ‘we wish’ kung fu skills having cracks at reducing their opponents to pulp. There are now nineteen characters, apparently five are which are new. All I can say is whatever happened to Blanka? The gameplay is near identical to its predecessors, except quite a fair bit faster. Noted that some of you may not the played the prequels! (comment has been noted). Each character has the basic hard to soft kicks and punches, three special moves (requiring some combination of buttons) and a self selected one too. Not too complicated gameplay: jump around, kill that dirty sod across the screen. Well, not quite kill, but we can all try can't we? Special moves are listed in the manual but due to the greater pace, quite hard to do before a kick in the guts breaks your concentration. If you’re looking for a fighting game, this is nowhere near as good as the Dreamcast’s finest Soul Calibre. If you’ve got the original and find the words ‘fighter’ and ‘street’ still inspires a little nostalgia, buy it, but don’t expect any real difference. If you’ve never played Street fighter, consider it, the style and ease of play never disappears and can hardly appear hackneyed to you now, can it? Still, it is fun. As unoriginal as it is, two players in nearly any game is still the competition that we all have t
o win, and I can assure you I spent much time kicking plenty of ass. I did let others win occasionally, but purely because I wouldn’t want to give them a complex, you understand…
Yet ANOTHER 2D game for the Dreamcast - well - another 2D fighting game - and that's no bad thing - the Dreamcast has now been crowned home of the beat 'em ups- fight 'em ups - and deserves this credit - as there are literally dozens of these types of games - thanks mainly to the Japanese people CAPCOM. I think that this is possibly as good as Marvel vs Capcom 2 - but there are not as many fighters. Still, it's worth a look! There is tons of gameplay to be had out of this game, so get it now! The game is a 2D fighting game which is incredibly smooth and fast paced. You can select from around 33 characters from all over the planet and you must aim for total supremecy in this kind of martial arts competition; the game oozes that Capcom class - and it isn't a bad thing because we all know (hopefully) that Capcom 2D fighting games are so playable and, although they cannot match some 3D games in terms of visual graphics etc, they still equal - if not better these types of games. A good thing is that all the characters have their own moves and are brilliantly detailed - they are all different from each other - something that 3D fight 'em ups struggle (I mean there's at least 2 lots of 2 characters in Soul Calibur which share a lot of moves (Kilik and another, and Hwang and Xiang Hua) and so it is really good to see that the 2D games like this have so much effort put into the character design, animation and moves. The game isn't that hard but you can change the settings to suit your ability. But I recommend, as a lot of people do, getting an arcade stick as the buttons are more durable; the Dreamcast standard pads cannot take the pressure! As for the lastability and longevity? Well, it really does go on for a long time and you'll be playing it for months to come. If you have been put off buying 2D games because you think they aren't that good then I suggest you seriously look into buying a Capcom Classic like Street Fighter;
there are SO many types of Street Fighter around, and I think you'd be a fool to dismiss this game in favour of the more visually impressive games lik Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive 2.
This is a timeless fighting classic that has provoked a million clones. You don't have to go far in the gaming world to find Streetfighter games, it's reached cult status - at least three new Streetfighter titles are released each year but all of them do not have the originality and authenticity as this. This is the game where it all began - revolutionary graphics, stunning gameplay, more characters than you can shake a stick at and brilliant spacial moves. Everything is here! Plus some cheats that aren't available on the console versions. It's a great, fast paced game that will keep you hooked for ages - I bought it a year ago and I'm still loving it! Those of you who have more recent Streetfighter games will want to go back to your roots, so to say, and this is the way to do it. I recommend this to every gamer in the country!