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Street Fighter Alpha 3 

Publisher  Virgin
Genre  Beat 'em up!
Players  1-3
Rumble  Yes
Extras  Arcade stick

[Ed: ha-do-ken! Just luv sayin' that!]

Being a fan of the original Street Fighter [the version with the pressure pads] since I played it all those years ago, I have followed the series ever since.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 [SFA3] is the third update in the Alpha series. The alpha series was originally thought to take place before SF2, but the endings in alpha 3 make no sense if this is to be believed. Also the creator of the alpha series also supports this by explaining that the alpha series were the realisation of all the features that they could not implement in SF2. In short the alpha series is a 'what if' scenario, but I digress.



Those unfamiliar with Street Fighter should be slapped silly. Seriously Street Fighter is the longest running fighting game series ever. It is a 2D fighting game which features the best fighting mechanics of any fighting game. Without Street Fighter the current fighting games may not even be around.

The character roster includes all the cast from Super Street Fighter 2, the Alpha series, and the return of Cody from Final Fight. Also up are the brand new characters like; Karin; R.Mika; Juni and Juli.

So all your favourites and more are there to be played, all drawn in the manga/anime alpha artwork style. Unfortunately T.Hawk and Dee Jay look strange drawn in the alpha style, but this is a small quibble as with 32 characters and the two 'shin' style characters you are spoilt for choice.

All the 32 characters have 3 different fighting styles, they are:

X-ism is based on Super Street Fighter 2 X. Your character is stronger in this mode and only has one super bar.

A-ism is based on Alpha 2. Your character has more super moves and your super metre is split into 3 stocks.

V-ism is the variable combo or custom combo from Alpha 2. Your character is weakest in this mode, but when V-ism is charged each hit becomes a combo!

Even though the game has 8 cute girly characters there is no J-ism mode. The game features all the animation found in the arcade version, also returning is the dramatic battle. So now you and a friend can team up against M.Bison and others and re-inact the final scene of the anime movie!

The sound in SFA3 is not up to the previous additions, the bassy tunes have been replaced with the awful American rock. Fortunately there are some good atmospheric music for the more mystical locations. The sound effects are fairly clear as are the character voices. However the latter does not really matter as only the English speaking characters are the only ones we are likely to understand. The characters are much more talkative in SFA3, the only really obvious problem is when two people pick the same character. Each character says the same line at the same time, so it is twice as loud. It sounds strange but you'll get over it.

All fighting games have many different play styles, and SFA3 is no different. Sit back, relax, lets review.

Arcade Mode - Battle through to the end with story revelations.

Vs Mode - Fight a friend.

Team Battle - 'winner stays on' style with 1 to 3 characters.

Final Battle - Battle the final Boss.

Vs Dramatic Mode - 2 human fighters against the Dreamcast.

Dramatic Mode - 3 human player battle in a 2 on 1 fashion.

Training - Practice you fools.

Survival Mode - How long can you survive. Variable options such as Boss/arcade survival battles.

World tour mode - Choose your character and travel around the globe battling enemies defeating them in specific ways.

World tour mode is amazing. Imagine the Soul Calibur mission mode but a hundreds times more involved. Each battle requires you to select what ism you want to battle in, this is important as certain ism's work better in different battles. After each fight your character is given points which are distributed between; Attack; Defence; Guard etc, so how you play affects your character. All this would be pointless if you couldn't use your super powered characters in the main game, well lucky you, because you can.

SFA3 is one of those games that you will love or hate, there is no in between. The fighting is more tight than the loose Soul Calibur, what do I mean? Well mistakes get punished in SFA3 you can not just press buttons and expect to win, you have to develop skills and learn tactics, and the game is better for it. The 2D visuals may put some off, but if you look deeper then you will find a game that you will be playing for a long while to come.

[Ed: Oh look it's a ha-do-ken!]

Those who were brought up on SF2 or are enjoying SF3 should be aware that SFA3 has a slightly more relaxed Street Fighter game style which is more reliant on super moves than the cross up re-dizzies that we used to enjoy. But if you have ever played a Street Fighter game you will have no problem adjusting to the new system.

If you are after an excellent fighting game with heaps of character and gameplay then look no further than Street Fighter Alpha 3. However if you desire your Z-axis then look elsewhere.

Sam Smith



Bright colours, excellent Capcom artwork, coupled with the high standards of presentation that Capcom always treat us to.
Sound 7 Some good atmospheric tracks, which do the job. Sound effects are pretty clear.
Gameplay 9 It's Street Fighter! Gameplay thy name is Street Fighter.
Lifespan 8

Plenty of modes, if you have a friend then you will play Street Fighter for ages. If you are socially challenged then the Dreamcast will play with you.


"Street Fighter Alpha 3 is one of the best 2D fighting games available on the Dreamcast"


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