Fighter Alpha 2 is the 1996 sequel to Capcom's original Street Fighter Alpha
"reboot," which saw considerable success at the arcade scene and
brought excitement back to the hit franchise. Branching off from the wildly
successful Street Fighter 2 series, the Alpha series still had a
lot to prove at the time... especially in such a competitive era of the fighting game
genre. Thankfully, SFA2 was a much bigger, badder, and more vibrant game than the prequel.
Such a great selection
screen... and announcer.
SFA2 gave returning Street Fighter Alpha players exactly what they wanted: more characters, more moves, and
more balanced gameplay. New characters in SFA2, include: Gen from Street
Fighter ( 1), Dhalsim & Zangief
from Street Fighter 2, and even the mysterious mid-boss
from the arcade version of Final Fight, Rolento. All returning characters
received some solid updates to their movesets and became even more fun to use in
SFA2 all around, also in part thanks to the
expanded gameplay system...
Street Fighter Alpha 2 retains most of
the mechanics introduced in the prequel. Returning from the prequel, are the
Super Combo Gauge, Air-Blocking, Alpha Counters, and Fall Breaking. What's new this time around is the Custom Combo
allowing players to perform a series of basic and special moves to create
a custom combo of their own (until the timer gauge for the custom combo runs
out). Universal Chain Combos from the prequel were removed, although Guy & Gen can still perform a
select few. Street Fighter Alpha 2 also fixed up the balance and
high-damage combos from the original Street Fighter Alpha.
The Yoga master has
returned! Or rather, Street Fighter returns to India!
Fighter Alpha 2 succeeded the original in every way imaginable. For
starters, the visuals are brighter, the backgrounds are more exciting and lively
(with some featuring epic character cameos), and the special moves and hit
sparks are more vibrant. Simple things like the HUD gauges
are even more appealing to the eye, and the amazing in-game artwork by Bengus speaks for
itself. Every character now has his or her own unique stage (with no cheap
re-colored versions like in SFA1), and the new music tracks are
incredible. You'd be hard pressed to find a 2D fighting game with a more
well-rounded presentation than SFA2 in 1996.
background character cameos for the true Capcom fans.
In closing, Street Fighter Alpha 2 pretty much had it all together for a fighting game in
the mid 90's... a great character roster, fun gameplay with an open-ended combo
system, a badass intro, an amazing art direction (Bengus, Edayan & Dai-chan), catchy new music
tracks, and plenty of throwbacks for fans of classic Capcom games. All of these elements came together in harmony, making SFA2
a very impactful and memorable fighter for its time. No doubt, fighting game
players in 1996 knew they
were looking at a "quality" 2D fighting game when SFA2 was on the screen.
This game was ahead of its
Not only is SFA2 an attractive game
visually, but for decades, the game has held up as a particularly fun and
competitive installment of Street Fighter... one of the best, for
sure. Some hardcore fans even swear up and down how they prefer SFA2 over
SFA3 for the custom
combo system (I still prefer SFA3 overall, but I have to admit SFA2's
custom combos are stupidly fun). There's just something about SFA2 that
makes it special and keeps players coming back time and time again.
In 1996, SFA2
was definitely a huge step for the Street Fighter series and made a
statement for fighting game enthusiasts who appreciate the "small
details". There's so much beauty and finesse packed into this little title.
SFA2 was definitely one of my favorite Street Fighter titles when it debuted, and
is still on my "all time favorites" list. I'll throw down in some Alpha
2 (or Alpha 3) any day of the week.
As great as SFA2 was, certain disgruntled fans might've thought the game
"wasn't all that" because it was missing fan-favorite
SF2 icons such as Vega (Claw), Blanka, or E. Honda, for
example. That's when
Capcom stepped up to the plate and answered with yet another epic sequel to the
hit series... Street
Fighter Alpha 3!~TFG