Street Fighter Alpha 3 / Street Fighter Zero 3
REVIEW: Featuring the largest and most colorful Street Fighter roster to date, Street Fighter Alpha 3 was a dream come true for long-time fans of the series. In SFA3, previously missing fan-favorites like E. Honda, Blanka, Balrog, and Vega make their epic debuts into the Alpha saga. Naturally, the classic fighters were given completely new sprites, animating smoother than ever before and even boasting a few new moves.
The returning veterans are joined by 3 newcomers: Karin, Sakura's rival who first appeared in the manga Sakura Ganbaru, R. Mika, an acrobatic Japanese female wrestler who idolizes Zangief, and Cody, one of the stars from Capcom's classic arcade beat-em-up, Final Fight. Cody's Street Fighter debut is particularly cool (especially to any old school Capcom fan), since he appears as an escaped convict (which makes perfect sense since he relentlessly beat up all those street thugs in Final Fight)... On a side note, one of Cody's super moves is even a throwback to his classic infinite in Final Fight. If you ask me, it's definitely one of the most clever things Capcom has ever done when reintroducing a classic character.
Still in love with that selection screen artwork.
The core gameplay system from the prequels has been streamlined in Alpha 3, keeping most of the gameplay trademarks intact, but giving players a host of new options to play with. Alpha 3 discards the "Manual" and "Auto" modes from the prequels, and introduces three different playing styles known as "isms".
After selecting their character of choice, players choose from "A-ism" (three-tiered super combo meter), "X-ism" (one-tiered super meter style based on SSF2T), or "V-ism" (custom combo style based on SFA2's system). These new modes of play add awesome customization value never before seem in a fighting game, and allows each fighter to be used very differently depending on their "ism". Each character also has 6 different color options (and in the arcade version, character color depends on which "ism" is selected).
Vega never looked so badass.
The home versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 weren't simple ports like previous installments, and actually include some great bonus modes and even new characters. The console exclusive World Tour mode allows players to choose a character and level them up with various power-ups and abilities as they fight their way through the roster (and even some 2-VS-1 battles). Dramatic Battle is a 2-VS-1 battle mode which enables 3 characters on screen at once... and considering all of SFA3's flashy gameplay mechanics, the action can get pretty crazy at times.
Additionally, the home versions also include the final three characters from Super Street Fighter 2 (who were previously missing in the Alpha series): Dee Jay, T. Hawk and Fei Long, along with the old school SF2 icon, Guile... completing the original cast from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo!
There are two sequels to the original version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 which add even more characters to the superb roster, and they can both be found on handheld systems. Street Fighter Alpha 3: Upper on Gameboy Advance adds Yun, Maki & Eagle and the later Street Fighter Alpha 3: Max adds those same 3 characters to the line-up, plus Ingrid! On that note, don't miss TFG's full review of SFA3: Upper and SFA3: Max for more details!
Page Updated: December 10th, 2013 Developer(s): Capcom Publisher(s): Capcom Designer(s): Noritaka Funamizu, Haruo Murata, Hideaki Itsuno, Akiman (character design) Artwork by: Bengus (CRMK), Harumaru (Saturn version box art), Hideki Ishikawa (posters) Platform(s): Arcade, Dreamcast, Playstation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Advance (as SFA3: Upper), PSP (as SFA3: Max), PS2 (in SFA: Anthology), PSN Release Date(s): June 29th 1998 (/ Arcade)
December 1998 ( PS1)
April 30th, 1999 ( PS1)
July 8th, 1999 ( Dreamcast)
August 6th, 1999 ( Saturn)
2000 ( Playstation)
May 31st, 2000 ( Dreamcast)
September 29th, 2000 ( Dreamcast)
September 27th, 2002 ( GBA as SFA3: Upper)
November 29th, 2000 ( GBA as SFA3: Upper)
December 1st, 2002 ( GBA as SFA3: Upper)
January 19th, 2006 ( as SFA3: Max)
February 7th, 2006 ( as SFA3: Max)
March 10th, 2006 ( as SFA3: Max)
Characters: Ryu, Adon, Chun-Li, Guy, Ken, Dhalsim, Gen, Sakura, Rolento, Zangief, Charlie, Birdie, Rose, Sodom, Sagat, Akuma, Bison, Dan, E.Honda, Cody, Karin, Vega, Blanka, R.Mika, Cammy, Balrog, Juli, Juni, Evil Ryu, Shin Akuma, Guile (console), Fei Long (console), T. Hawk (console), Dee Jay (console)
Related Games: Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max, Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper, Street Fighter Alpha: Anthology, Street Fighter, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition, Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Street Fighter 2, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Revival, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Street Fighter 3: New Generation, Street Fighter 3: 2nd Impact, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike Online Edition, Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4, Super Street Fighter 4: 3D Edition, Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, Ultra Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter Anniversary Collection, Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX2, Street Fighter EX3, Street Fighter: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo HD Remix, Pocket Fighter, Real Bout Fatal Fury 2, Marvel VS Capcom, Last Blade 2, King of Fighters '98, King of Fighters '99, Match of the Millennium , Final Fight Revenge
Gameplay Engine 9.5 / 10 Story / Theme 9.5 / 10 Overall Graphics 9 / 10 Animation 9.5 / 10 Music / Sound Effects 9.5 / 10 Innovation 9.5 / 10 Art Direction 9.5 / 10 Customization 9 / 10 Options / Extras 8 / 10 Intro / Presentation 9 / 10 Replayability / Fun 9.5 / 10 "Ouch" Factor 8.5 / 10 Characters 9 / 10 BOTTOM LINE
9.5 / 10
Review based on Arcade & Dreamcast version Final Words:
SFA3 is a Capcom classic that will never be forgotten. I put quite a lot of time into this game and it is still one of my "all time" favorite Street Fighter games outside of the Street Fighter III series. No doubt SFA3 packed the best roster to date and is still one of the best Street Fighter games ever made if you ask me. ~TFG Webmaster