Street Fighter version 5.06923 Omega 7 Gamma Ex...Plus!
As you all know, Capcom characters don't die, they just live in a really big cave, honing their battle skills until a super evil bad guy unleashes his wrath upon all of humanity. Unfortunately, this time the supreme evil leader was late to his appointment, making the release of Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the Dreamcast horribly overdue, but fortunately, the fighters have awoken and it's time to go for broke.
Like all the other Street Fighters that have come before it, Street Fighter Alpha 3 plunges gamers back into the world of Ken and Ryu. Once again, Bison is threatening the safety of the world. Once again, our band of Capcom heroes has responded to the call. And once again, it's yet another 2D Street Fighter game.
Alpha 3 features three different fighting styles for every character in the game. Known as "isms," these styles allow players to use different strategies on their road to victory. For example, the X-ism is a simple style that allows for increased power, decreased defense, and a single super combo. Other styles include the A-ism and V-ism, both of which have their own strengths and weaknesses. Just in case you're wondering, vandalism and communism are not included.
However, these styles don't have a great impact on gameplay. In fact, most casual Street Fighters will not even notice the difference between each of the 'isms.' This feature is definitely geared toward the more experienced master of the Street Fighter series.
Unlike its numerous predecessors, Alpha 3 contains more than just your basic arcade, versus, and training modes. This time, fighters can also choose from a Team battle, Survival, Final battle, World tour, Dramatic battle, and Versus Dramatic battle. Both the Team and Survival modes are the same basic options that are quickly becoming the standard in fighting games. In Final battle mode, players are allowed to fight the boss character.
The World tour option, though, is something very new to the Street Fighter universe. Here, you can train your characters and increase their powers while taking a virtual tour of the arenas and stages in the game. In addition to gaining experience, your character can also gain new abilities, such as dizzy resistance. A nice attempt at depth, though nothing groundbreaking.
The Dramatic battle is actually something that gamers got a taste of in the "original" SF Alpha. This mode allows two players to cooperate in a match against a computer-controlled fighter. The Versus Dramatic battle is similar, involving 3 human players in a two-on-one match.
Now even though you can't play Street Fighter Alpha 3 with others online, Capcom has decided to add some Internet features to the game. Once you have defeated three of the student level characters of the Saikyo Dojo, you will be able to go online and challenge a "master character." The company plans on adding two masters each week.
As always, the gameplay in Street Fighter Alpha 3 is fast and furious. 'Turbo 2' speed moves so quickly that matches can end in the blink of an eye.
Graphically, Alpha 3 has absolutely nothing new to offer. The fighters and the quality of the backgrounds are not much of an improvement over the classic Street Fighter 2. If you choose Ken and Ryu, tilt your head to the left and squint - it's exactly the same.
Those of you who don't have any type of 6-button arcade style controller will also find some problems with control. Using the triggers as primary attack buttons doesn't work well at all and many of you will find yourself ignoring them altogether.
The bottom line is that Street Fighter Alpha 3 plays exactly like the hundreds of other Street Fighter games before it. Pretty much everyone will be able to pick up and play this title with no trouble at all. Any way you look at it, it's still Street Fighter with a few extra modes and characters thrown in. Die-hard 2D fighting fans will still enjoy this title. The rest of us, meanwhile, will just shake our heads and grab our copies of Soul Calibur and Dead or Alive 2. Some things never change.