Street Fighter Alpha 3 - Arcade

Also known as: Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper', 'Street Fighter Zero 3

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Also for: GBA, PlayStation, Dreamcast
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: Capcom CPS II: JAMMA Arcade origin:No
Developer: Capcom Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Capcom (US)
Released: 1999 (US)


This is Street Fighter Alpha 3. Beat-em-ups have stood the test of time, their fiercely competitive gameplay is perfectly suited to the arcade environment. Winner stays on, loser is publicly humiliated. Street Fighter is a finely balanced game of skill and showmanship, a game of high-scores and winning streaks. Alpha 3 can be enjoyed on many levels, but experience a good two-player match and you'll understand the depth, complexity and challenge on offer.

It's difficult to quantify the reasons why Alpha 3 is so widely appreciated within the beat-em-up community, it's multi-faceted gameplay is a good place to start. It allows the player to pick three different fighting styles or "isms". X-ism is like adopting a pre-alpha, Super Turbo game mechanic. More damage, no air-block, one super etc. A-ism is the Alpha mode, it plays like Street Fighter Alpha 1 and 2, three super levels and mid-air flips. Finally V-ism, a custom combo mode for masters that delivers damaging and impressive combos. These 'isms' add many different ways of approaching the game, often with interesting effects.

Alpha 3 feels 'right' to play, a sure sign of the game's quality. The blows really look like they land, and there's little question of the games fallibility. The special moves become an extension of your hands, especially when playing with an arcade stick. You roll the fireballs out, you spin the stick 720 degrees for grab supers. The game engine enables you to link chain-combos into super moves with juggles thrown in for good measure. It literally feels great to play this game well, it flows.

It's a game of anticipation and reaction. Players need to carefully time the animation of moves to achieve higher priority and win exchanges. It's fighting 101, you need to land more hits than your opponent and trading blows will get you nowhere. It takes practice, and that's exactly the reason why winning is so sweet. Speak with your fists and stay on.

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