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Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams / Street Fighter Zero
 

 

REVIEWThe iconic Street Fighter 2 series undoubtedly had a long, highly successful run at arcades and on home consoles in the early 90's. After the barrage of SF2 "upgrades," Capcom finally gave the loyal fans what they've been waiting for, a real through-and-through sequel... putting a bittersweet "end" to the somewhat monotonous, yet beloved, Street Fighter 2 saga.

While not actually a "sequel" in terms of storyline (since Street Fighter Alpha actually takes place before SF2), Street Fighter Alpha brings back a few of the original Street Fighter 1 characters previously not seen in Street Fighter 2, such as Adon and Birdie. Guy and Sodom from Capcom's classic arcade beat-em-up Final Fight also make their epic Street Fighter debut, whom any old school beat-em-up fans will immediately recognize. Sadly, several familiar Street Fighter 2 favorites, such as: Dhalsim, Zangief, E. Honda, and Blanka are M.I.A. this time around (but thankfully, they end up returning later in the series).
 

Ryu & Ken are looking a little... younger.

 
SFA's gameplay mechanics are traditional enough to please fans of Street Fighter 2, but also introduce several enhancements to keep things fresh and attract new players. "Chain Combos" (introduced in Darkstalkers) make their debut in Street Fighter, and are performed by interrupting the animation of one priority move by performing another of equal or greater strength. "Air Blocking" also makes an appearance in Street Fighter for the first time. Lastly, fighters can also perform a quick counter attack technique known as an "Alpha Counter," which can be initiated immediately after blocking an opponent's attack if the player has enough energy in their Super Meter.

The "Super Meter / Gauge" returns from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo but now contains three levels instead of one. When full, fighters can unleash a devastating super combo for serious damage! Comparatively to other 2D fighters, the damage level in this game is definitely "harsh" to say the least. Ken's fierce shoryuken = OUCH!!! The damage is probably my main gripe about the gameplay. Otherwise, SFA was a solid and straight-forward 2D fighter for the time.
 

All new sprites & animation = best graphics of the series so far!

 
Visually, Street Fighter Alpha / Zero was very impressive when it debuted. All of the returning Street Fighters were completely re-drawn, re-colored, re-animated... and now look like they could be ripped straight from a Japanese anime. If you ask me, the new character sprites look at least 10 times better than their classic Street Fighter 2 counterparts.

The hand-drawn stages are nicely detailed, but a few are a bit sleepy, dreary, and/or a bit too "barren" for their own good (this flaw was remedied in SFA2). In typical Street Fighter tradition, each stage features brand new theme songs for every character for the game, which is always an appreciated feature in a fighting game sequel. On that note, Street Fighter Alpha's soundtrack was excellent for the time... hearing those remixed classic SF2 tunes for the first time was simply epic (Chun-Li's, Ryu's, & Sagat's are among my favs)... not to mention Guy's & Sodom's badass remixed songs from Final Fight! Such a huge fan service!!!

Finally... just to state the obvious, the artwork for Street Fighter Alpha was (and still is) totally and utterly badass. Bengus reinvented the art style of the Street Fighter series, and simply "raised the bar" for fighting game artwork. Thanks to all of these elements coming together, Capcom delivered a solid successor to the Street Fighter 2, demonstrating to the world that Street Fighter is far from dead.
 

 
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Page Updated: February 9th, 2013
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Noritaka Funamizu, Haruo Murata, Hideaki Itsuno, Akiman  (character design)
Artwork by: Bengus (CRMK), Dai-chan
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Color, Windows, PSN
Release Date(s): June 5th, 1995        ( Arcade)
June 27th, 1995     
( Arcade)
Dec. 29th, 1995     
( PS1)
Jan 1996                 
( PS1)
Jan. 26th, 1996 
      ( Saturn)
Feb. 1996                
( Saturn)
Feb. 29th, 2000     
( GBC)
Mar. 30th, 2001    
( GBC)
Characters Ryu, Ken, Adon, Chun-Li, Guy, Charlie, Birdie, Rose, Sodom, Sagat, Akuma, Bison, Dan

Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFA3 Upper, SFA3 Max, SFA Anthology, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, SF2 Champion Edition, SF2 Turbo, Super SF2, Super SF2 Turbo, Super SF2 Turbo: Revival, Super SF2T HD Remix, SF3: New Generation, SF3: 2nd Impact, SF3: 3rd Strike, SF3: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4, Super SF4: 3D Edition, Super SF4: Arcade Edition, Ultra SF4, Street Fighter 5, SF Anniversary Collection, Street Fighter EX, SFEX2, SFEX3, SF: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Super PF2T HD Remix, Pocket Fighter, King of Fighters '95, Darkstalkers 2, Fatal Fury 3, Marvel Super Heroes, Mortal Kombat 3, Killer Instinct 2, Final Fight Revenge
  

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  9.5 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.5 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 8.7 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version

 

Final Words:

Overall, Street Fighter Alpha was an arcade classic that brought the Street Fighter series into a new light. It would easy to say that SFA "isn't as good" as the many iterations of Street Fighter 2, but many fans that played the hell out of the SF2 games were growing a bit tired of the look and feel of those games.

Thus, SFA was the start of a fresh chapter in the Street Fighter universe, introducing some truly memorable characters and gameplay systems. No doubt fans of the original Street Fighter Alpha were ecstatic when Street Fighter Alpha 2 hit the arcades (and later to consoles). SFA2 turned out being a much better (and more balanced) game overall.
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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