Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max Reader Review
The old 2D days
Oh the days when one-on-one fighting became it's own marketable genre... The days when my neighbours and I gathered at the local arcade and improvised another SF2 tournament... Those were the days. Not that long later, came Mortal Kombat with it's trademark decently digitised graphics (at least better than the lame Pitfighter ones, for those who remember it), gore and simplistic fighting engine. Even the ever so evangelist Nintendo had a shot at a fighter franchise with Killer Instinct - and a nice fighter it was indeed (those 40-hit combos from Orchid were a delight to see). CAPCOM naturally reacted to the growing competition by releasing zillions of SF2 remakes, and the Street Fighter Alpha series can be compared to those in that it consisted on essentially the same, albeit improved engine, but applied to the original SF game. But later on, with the successive sequels, SFA3 turned into "what SF2 should have been". To many people's account, it was the most popular SF game ever made, and a sure seller for each and every version made. From PS to GBA.
Go for broke?
Over each port SFA3 got, there were almost always new fighters and modes added. The PSP got all the extra fighters ever previously relased plus an additional Reverse Dramatic Battle mode, designed for hardcore streetfighters: battle against two CPU-controlled fighters at the same time. Another interesting game mode, even if it's not new, is the World Tour mode (which mixes most of the games battle modes into a single game and allows you to make a chosen fighter evolve in a roleplay-esque way). No way am I going to describe all of the available modes, features and options - that's what the manual does. The number of all of those is large enough to assure the game to have a lasting appeal, trust me.
The most important feature for a handheld game is: how easily can I pick it up for a quick match? Very much so. From bringing the PSP back from suspend mode, choosing "free battle" in the mode menu, choosing everything to set up a match, to playing it is pretty quick. So, this is indeed one of those PSP games that you can play in a hurry in the bus. As portable as it should, then.
The graphics and animation are bright, detailed and colorful, in fact arcade perfect, except for the very small distortion caused by stretching to widescreen (even the screen can be, just like in Darkstalkers, switched to 4:3). The sound is very impressive - it's as frantic as the arcade action going on on screen. The enthusiastic commentator shouting things like "Go for broke!" sounds, well, like a lame sports commentator, but in an amusing way. Another good and important thing is, loading times are very short. The experience really is damn near carrying an arcade machine in your pocked/bag/wherever you can put your PSP in.
For those of us who had already experienced problems playing Darkstalkers on the PSP, there are good news after all. It seems that this time we can use the analog stick (making diagonal jumps possible on the first try), and that even the timing for detecting diagonals on the D-pad seems to be a bit more sensible. All in all, It's simple enough to pull most of the moves for characters like Ryu or Vega, although the complicated ones, like Gen, are predictably a pain to play with. But, oh well, when there's over 30 fighters to play with, how bad can that be?
The unimportance of being old
This game is definitely action packed, great fun, and easy to recommend. The biggest flaw I can find in it however, is that it is so addictive (if you fancy fighting games, that is), you'll possibly have a hard time stoping to play it once you started.
Who cares if a game is not new, as long as it's good! Good job, CAPCOM!
8 / 10