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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Fighting

 

Publisher

Capcom

 

Developer

Capcom

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

June 13, 2006

 

 

- Five games in one package

- Fast paced gameplay

- Memorable characters

 

 

- No online play

- Old games, mean outdated graphics

- SFA3 is lacking World Tour Mode

 

 

Review: Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (PS2)

Review: Street Fighter EX3 (PS2)

Review: Tekken 5 (PS2)

Review: War of the Monsters (PS2)

 

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Street Fighter Alpha Anthology

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

When Street Fighter II was released, it was a huge hit. Eventually, the crowds died down and Capcom needed a sequel. Instead, they decided to go with a prequel with younger versions of their characters and, of course, they decided to add new ones as well. Although the Street Fighter Alpha games never made it as big as SFII, it did gather its own base of fans over time and Capcom unleashes all the Alpha games in this Anthology to the delight of those fans.

 

street fighter alpha anthology          street fighter alpha anthology

 

Visually, the first Street Fighter Alpha was impressive with its new (and may I suggest very fitting?) anime style. However, it faltered in gameplay due to a lack of characters to choose from and some ridiculous chain combos that made the game kind of a button masher. However, Street Fighter Alpha did introduce a dramatic battle mode which allowed a player to team up with somebody else to face opponents. Simply put, two-on-one battles.

 

Street Fighter Alpha 2, naturally the following the events of the first SFA, remedied the complaints about gameplay. For one, the number of characters to choose from had grown and some previous character unbalances were fixed. SFA’s ridiculous chain combos was also better balanced with the inclusion of the custom combo ability.

 

Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold is basically a slightly updated version of Alpha 2 with some tweaks that basically only hardcore fans would notice as well as the

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different music and the inclusion of fan favorite Cammy who was first introduced in the later incarnations of Street Fighter 2.

 

Street Fighter Alpha 3 offers the most variety out of all the Alpha games. This is due to its huge roster of characters and new gameplay styles called “Isms.” A-Ism is what you would expect from a normal SFA game; you have a super bar that can be built up to unleash some powerful super moves. Another "ism" like V-ism lets the player create their own custom combos. Lastly, 

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X-ism makes character play like their Street Fighter II Turbo counterparts. If you pick a character that is Alpha exclusive, he/she will still play just like a SF2 Turbo character would. After picking an "ism", players then pick their fighting style which alters gameplay a bit. Mazi mode for example will do things such as increase offensive attack power, but will also decrease defense. I’ve never got the hang of Saikyo mode (Saikyo is also the name of Dan Hibiki’s fighting style) and judging by some of the responses I’ve been hearing, I think the mode is quite odd. Being a mode related to Dan’s fighting style is reason enough to stay away. (If you have no clue of what I’m talking about, Dan is the laughing stock of the SF Universe who was created to poke fun at SNK’s Art of Fighting franchise.)  There is an unlockable “other” version of SFA3 called SFA3 Upper and there are also hidden fighting styles that can be used by meeting certain criteria. These hidden modes are a real treat because if you pick “Red” mode for example, the characters will play like their Capcom vs. counterparts. By that, of course, I mean play like they would in Marvel vs. Capcom. Green will allow them to fight similar to the Darkstalkers series and so forth. There are four hidden fighting styles in total.

 

As mentioned above, SFA3 has the biggest cast of characters which includes all the SF2 characters and new ones just for SFA3 like R. Mika, Juli and Juni. When SFA1/SFA2 were released, Capcom fans were more than happy to see that the Final Fight characters started appearing in the SF franchise. However, one very important Final Fight character “Cody” was missing in SFA1 and 2. He was only to be seen in the background of one stage in SFA2. Capcom decided to make things right in SFA3 by including Cody into the cast, however nobody expected to see this hero (back in the days before SF2) to become a jailbird on the run. Street Fighter Alpha 3 is just full of surprises. The one big thing missing from SFA3 is the World Tour mode which was added to the Dreamcast version of the game. It was a mode where you could select a country and fight opponents while leveling up and customizing your characters. If you customized Ryu for example, you could be this customized version of Ryu in any other mode. It is sad that this addition was never implemented in Anthology.

 

street fighter alpha anthology          street fighter alpha anthology

 

Super Gem Fighter (AKA Pocket Fighter), is a simplistic fighting game with cutesy versions of a handful of characters from SF and Darkstalkers. Do not expect to find this game near as deep as the Alpha games, but it is a fun little distraction.

 

Although outdated when compared to 2D fighters like Capcom vs Snk or Guilty Gear X2, the SFA Alpha series proves that even though old, it is still pleasing to the eyes. There are some great character designs and backgrounds (most noticeably in SFA2/SFA3). There are also some great character animations.

 

Although I am not a big fan of the music, it flows well with the game and I cannot really complain. Some voice clips are really memorable besides “hadoken.” Cody’s scream while running away from Eddie E. in one of his victory poses will never leave my memory.

 

Whether or not the SFA can compare to today’s favorite fighting games is up to you, but I definitely suggest picking up Anthology f you’re a fighting game fan or just in the mood to get back into Street Fighter.

 

- J'Tonello

(September 7, 2006)

 

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