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Street Fighter EX / Street Fighter EX plus Alpha
 

 
REVIEWStreet Fighter EX was co-produced by Capcom and Arika (who actually still owns the rights to some of the characters), and was the first Street Fighter title to feature 3D graphics. An upgraded version of SFEX was released about 4 months after the original, entitled Street Fighter EX Plus, which auto-unlocked the time release characters and also made Garuda & M. Bison playable. This version later released for the PlayStation in 1997, dubbed Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha. The PS1 version added Evil Ryu, an alternate version of Hokuto known as "Bloody Hokuto," and two cyborgs: Cycloid β and Cycloid γ.

Even though EX features 3D graphics, the gameplay remains traditional, with the action taking place on a 2D plane like all of the prequels. Special and super moves are also done in the tried-and-true fashion, and a three-tiered Super Gauge is present, allowing various levels of super moves. EX also offers a few unique gameplay elements, such as: Super Cancels (for longer and more devastating combos) and Guard Breaks which makes the receiving character dizzy for a brief moment, leaving them susceptible to a damaging combo or super move.
 

SF:EX undoubtedly had awesome artwork.

 
Street Fighter EX is famous for controversially bringing Capcom's trademark 2D fighting game franchise into 3D for the first time ever. With many fighting games in the mid-late 90's "going 3D," Capcom clearly wanted to keep up with the times. However, Capcom was still a major player in the traditional 2D realm, with their Street Fighter Alpha and Street Fighter III series still going strong. While it was interesting to finally see some of the classic characters with 3D rending, the overall gameplay and graphics didn't come without some major flaws. 

The infamous "blocky" character models and grainy textures really didn't do the Street Fighter characters the justice they deserve; and for some Street Fighter fans, it was a rather depressing sight to see some of our favorite fighting game characters turned into scary "block monsters". The "infinite" backgrounds which outlined a flat square ring also resembled several of the popular 3D fighting games of the time, such as Tekken 3 and Battle Arena Toshinden 3 (and quite frankly, they were doing the effect better).

Now that that's out of the way, I can talk about the positive aspects of the game. For starters, the animation and "ouch factor" certainly wasn't bad for the time. Also, the artwork (done by one of my favorite artists, Edayan) is definitely top stuff... and definitely helps out the overall visuals and art direction of Street Fighter EX. The quality production value also shines through SFEX's kick-ass soundtrack. "Replacing" the iconic SF2 tunes with new ones could've been a disaster, but SFEX's brand new BGMs are brilliantly composed, and breathe new life into Street Fighter. Even 15+ years after SFEX's release, the awesome soundtrack of this game lives on!
 

The words "precious heart" look out of place under Akuma. lol.

 
Street Fighter EX brought some interesting new characters to the series, each showing off some uniquely entertaining special & super moves. However, and unfortunately, many of the basic priority attacks are shared among ALL characters, downgrading the much-appreciated "diversity" of the play styles. Thankfully, all of the super moves in EX are character exclusive, and also present some pretty entertaining "ouch factor"... which was probably the best visual aspect of the game. Those big attacks (and even smaller attacks) definitely hurt a lot when they connect, which is one of my pet peeves when it comes to fighting games.

Another positive aspect of the game, Street Fighter EX presents some pretty cool combo possibilities. A few of which are arguably frustratingly hard to pull off on a regular basis, and thankfully, the home version includes an innovative (and fun) Command Training mode. This mode allows players to perform all of the staple special moves, combos, and requires players to perform every combo to fully clear it (which is a fun playthrough).

 

Why are you guys fighting in a sewer? That's pretty gross.

 
The Japanese versions of EX contains text-only epilogues which are displayed on-screen after the player defeats Bison in the single-player mode. The PlayStation version features new epilogues (different from the ones featured in the arcade versions) in addition to some pretty cool FMV endings. All in all, EX was a solid console fighting game for the time, but in some ways didn't live up to what many fans expected out of the Street Fighter series.
 

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Page Updated: November 3rd, 2016
Developer(s): Arika
Publisher(s): Arika, Capcom
Artwork by: Bengus, Edayan
Platform(s): Arcade, Playstation
Release Date(s): Nov. 1996    (Arcade)
Mar. 1997  
(Arcade - EX plus A update)
July 1997    
(PS1 - as Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha)
Characters Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Dhalsim, Guile, Zangief, Sakura, Kairi, Allen, Blaire, Hokuto, Skullomania, Pullum, Darun, C. Jack, D. Dark, Akuma, Garuda, Evil Ryu, Bison, Cycloid β, Cycloid γ

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Featured Video:

Related Games: SFEX2, SFEX3, Street Fighter 5, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4, Super SF4: 3D Edition, Super SF4: Arcade Edition, Ultra SF4, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, SF2 Champion Edition, SF2 Turbo, Super SF2, SSF2 Turbo, SSF2 Turbo: Revival, Super SF2 Turbo HD Remix, SF3: New Generation, SF3: 2nd Impact, SF3: 3rd Strike, SF3: 3rd Strike OE, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFA3 Upper, SFA3 Max, SFA Anthology, SF Anniversary Collection, SF: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Pocket Fighter, Samurai Shodown 64, Mortal Kombat 4, Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, KOF: Maximum Impact, Final Fight: Revenge, Tobal 2, Tekken 3, Battle Arena Toshinden 3, Soul Blade, Bushido Blade, Rival Schools
  

Gameplay Engine  7.0 / 10
Story / Theme  6.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  5.5 / 10
Animation  7.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  9.5 / 10
Innovation  6.0 / 10
Art Direction  9.0 / 10
Customization  6.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.5 / 10
Characters  7.5 / 10
BOTTOM LINE

 7.6 / 10

 Review based on Playstation version

 

Final Words:

EX was a respectable attempt from Capcom and Arika at the time, but the game's graphical limitations definitely hindered the overall experience. Even so, SFEX had a lot of heart and was a decent console fighter for 1997. Many players that accepted the obvious flaws were treated to a surprisingly fun game... be it the cool combo possibilities or solid presentation value. No doubt the artwork of the EX series is top tier stuff.

Even though many fans are on record for saying "Street Fighter should never be in 3D"... Capcom didn't agree, and later released SFEX2 and SFEX3. Over a decade later, Capcom finally proved they could do Street Fighter justice in 3D, with the much more successful and fan-approved Street Fighter IV.
~TFG Webmaster
 

 
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Click Here for all character art!

 

 
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Click Here for all char. Select art!

 

 
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