Wednesday, February 16, 2000

Retro Game Review:Street Fighter Alpha

My first Street Fighter game on a home console since   Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting on my SNES in 1993!
I only played this game a handful of times in the arcade and I was very happy to see it come to home consoles. The core aspects of Street Fighter are intact and in Street Fighter Alpha we are introduced to a few new techniques such as Alpha counters, a tiered super meter, air blocking and recovery rolls. These added aspects aren't just mindless additions but do enhance the strategic dynamics of the game.
SFA takes place before the original Street Fighter (1987) so we get a fresh look at Ryu and Kens humble beginnings....notice Ken's long hair? Notice what it's tied with? Notice Ryu's headband...what color is it! There are many references to The Street Fighter Animated Movie within SFA most notably are the shoto clones but also Chun Li has a fresh new look and probably the coolest addition to the roster is Guile's friend Charlie! Other cool fighters in the roster are Birdie from the original Street Fighter....this isn't the birdie from 1987, the only distinctive feature that was retained was his Mohawk, I like the new design for Birdie but some may have an issue with the redesign. Another Street Fighter Alum that gets the alpha treatment is Sagat's pupil Adon, Capcom did a great job updating this classic character.
SFA also brings two fighters from the Final Fight franchise Guy and Sodom, they fit perfectly in the Street Fighter universe with move sets taken from FF and enhanced to work in Street Fighter.
SFA also introduces two brand new characters Rose and Dan.
Rose is an interesting character, unlike the more traditional fighting styles Rose fights with her cleavage and a mystical scarf O.o
Dan is Capcom's response to SNK's Art of Fighting Ryo Sakazaki and is, for all intents and purposes a joke character.Dan's Back story is actually quite interesting as it ties into Sagat's storyline and why Sagat has an eye patch.
Sagat, M. Bison, and Akuma (returning from SSFIIT) are the final bosses in SFA and are character specific ie: M. Bison is Charlies final boss (for obvious reasons) Sagat is Dan's final boss Akuma is Ryu's final boss.
The graphics are fantastic and is almost an arcade perfect port, the sound track & effects are fantastic and sound amazing on a 5.1 surround sound home theater.
The new additions to the Street Fighter game engine are well implemented and add new depth to an already deep and strategical fighting system.
The cast is great and it's awesome to see characters from the original Street Fighter re imagined.

Being a fan of the franchise my review might be slightly biased, but I give Street Fighter Alpha