Review by SCCAN85

"A Street Fighter in 3D!? Cool..."

INTRO

Street Fighter is probably the most popular fighting game in the history of gaming! Street Fighter has been around since the Nintendo! I remember that I received the first Street Fighter game on Super Nintendo on my birthday about seven years ago. I was very happy :). They have so many Street Fighter games out now that it's a surprise if someone hasn't played one. This game, Street Fighter EX plus alpha is an excellent addition to the Street Fighter library. I'm not sure if Street Fighter and Street Fighter EX are different from each other (they have the same names don't they?), but that doesn't really matter now. Street Fighter EX plus alpha was released in late 1997 - early 1998. I can't recall the exact date, but this Street Fighter game is special! Another great hit from Capcom is what you might think, but in fact Street Fighter EX plus alpha is the first Street Fighter game that is 3D! Wow! This is not my favorite one in the series, but this game is very good. I will discuss everything as usual so prepare to know almost everything about this game. If I can't convince you to buy or not buy a game, then no one can! Keep reading ...

STORY: (N/A)

Well, I'm quite puzzled with the story of this game because it rather sucks. I didn't feel the need to include the score for this because it won't make a difference in my final judgement and also the story is probably the smallest aspect of this game. Many of you may remember that the Street Fighter games had a lot of in depth story behind their characters. Well, that was in the Super Nintendo and previous Street Fighter games. Now, Capcom has so many characters in one game it's very hard to go in depth. I'll just go over some of the characters, but not all are out in seek of revenge against M. Bison. Ken and Ryu are rivals, as many of you know, Guile is trying to help his buddy, and so on. Each character has their own score to settle with someone and they each have their own goals to accomplish. That information, if you're curious by any chance, lies in the midst of the instruction manual. All the old characters are back except Blanka, E. Honda, T. hawk, Fei Long, and much others. This game has characters from the alpha and EX series combined into one CD (as the name of the game suggests). There are a total of 23 characters! There are some old faces as well as new ones and please read the story in the instructional booklet on whichever character you are going to be so you can know some background information on them. That's it for the story.

GAME PLAY: (8/10)

The game play of Street Fighter EX plus alpha is good, but not perfect. There are many modes of play and I'll discuss each one in detail in order so I won't scramble everything together. The fighting aspect of the game is really fun and there are even combos. You can't really make big combos unless using special combo attacks, but nonetheless it's fun to try and invent a combo with just punches or kicks. Each character has a set of three types of moves; normal moves (such as a roll or a flying kick), ultimate moves (fireballs, uppercuts, etc.) and finally super combos (very powerful combos). While playing the game, in any mode, you can access a menu to see your moves so you don't need to worry while playing the game. OK, now for the eight modes of play!

Arcade mode - The game for the arcade is this mode. You choose a character and you fight in a tournament like competition between yourself and the computer. You go up against a total of ten guys and when you beat them all you've beaten the game and are now eligible to receive an ending! Each character has an ending, and unfortunately all of them are short and they suck. This is the main part of the game and if you've played any other Street Fighter then you've basically already played this mode.

Versus mode - This is also a very popular mode and the name gives off the meaning. It's you versus the second player. This is a two player mode of the game in where you and a friend or a foe choose a character and battle against each other to show who is the true Street Fighter master! If a friend is not present you will just go up against the computer as in the arcade mode, but it won't be for anything special. This is a really fun mode and good to play with lots of friends.

Team Battle mode - Now this is a different and fun mode that plays similar to versus mode. You get to choose five different characters to be on your team and your friend or partner gets to choose five of his/her characters to be on their team. If you don't have a second player you will go up against five of the computers characters. The winner has the most wins of the five battles. You have to beat all the characters, so if player 1 wins against three and player 2 wins against two, then the remaining characters battle out until the whole team is wiped out. You can even choose your characters in secrecy if you want to be sneaky.

Time Attack mode - This title explains it all as well. You choose any character and then you choose what course you want to take. The courses are A, B, and C. Each course shows you who you have to face and then you face them in a time limit. You have to beat all the characters in that course to receive credit and to earn a rank amongst the others and to initialize your name in the game. This is a very fun mode, especially for one player.

Survival mode - This is one of my favorite modes! This is a survival mode where you choose a character and you fight through as much people as you can until you die. The difficulty increases slightly in each match and your vitality also carries over to the next match. Depending on the time and number of hits you make in the match, it goes towards your recover level and that allows you to recover some vitality for the next match. This is a very fun and challenging section of the game.

Training mode - There are two modes within this mode: Practice and Expert. Practice just allows you to face the computer, which at the time is lifeless and just allows you to pound the living crap out of him/her. Here you can practice all your moves, strategies, and super combos. The other mode which is a load of fun is expert mode. In this mode there is a chart of sixteen characters in the game on a sixteen slot grid for sixteen levels. In each level you get a list of what move to execute. It's not only one move, because it can turn into a series of moves and this mode teaches you the tricks so you really do become the ''expert.'' Each character has sixteen levels and there is a ranking from E to A (E being the lowest and A being the highest). Characters on level 1 start at E and as they progress there rank changes as well. It's hard to explain this mode very well, but that's mainly it. This mode is really hard and extremely fun. I think this is the best part of the game :)

Watch - The dumbest mode of the game which allows you to watch a match that you pick. Choose two characters to fight and you will watch the computer versus the computer. Gee, that sounds like fun :T.

Options - This is the basic options where you can change the configuration, the layout, the time limit and all that other good stuff. There's game option, sound option, memory card, ending collection (where all the endings you receive in arcade mode are stored), ranking, and button configuration. You can do all those things in here and it's pretty self explanatory.

Now those are the modes to do stuff in and I've pretty much summed up the whole game. Now I'll brief you in on the fights. There is your vitality meter at the top corner of the screen depending on which side you are (player 1 or 2) which is next to the time limit which is in the center. Underneath the vitality meter is your combo meter which consists of three bars. To be able to do the big HUGE combos requires all three meters to be full, but if you're just doing a normal super combo you only need one bar full. That's basically all you need to know about the fighting. Also there is a menu for you to customize the game play in each mode so just press start and you can always check it out. Now, the game play sounds great so far, right!? Well, I personally liked it at first, but the modes of play are just slightly different from each other. The game tends to easily get boring after a while, but nevertheless it's still a fun game. It could've been made better but the modes of play are too similar. Overall, the game play is great but not perfect!

CONTROLS: (7/10)

I can't say that the controls are perfect, because they are no where near that standard. I've played nearly every Street Fighter game that there is and there control function is splendid. However, the controls for this game isn't too bad but I expect better controls from a fighting series that has been around so long. What makes the controls so bad is the movement. Basically, that is all but for a fighting game that could mean everything! The movement is really slow paced and feels like the whole game is in slow motion. This somewhat makes the game a bit more tedious and boring, but if you are a die hard Street Fighter fan you might get over it. Maybe the controls are slow because of the 3D graphics. The button configuration is customizable and functions well. Everything else, other than the movement, is nearly perfect!

MUSIC/SOUND: (10/10)

Here is where Capcom scored big time! I can honestly say that this soundtrack is probably one of the greatest Street Fighter soundtracks of all time! The music is so befitting and so lovely that while you fight you just want to stop fighting and listen to the wonderful music. Each song has a nice beat to it and it fits the stage of that character very well. There's a different theme per stage and almost all of them rule! My personal favorite themes are Kens, Dhalsims, and Guile! All the songs get your blood rising and you start to feel the urge to rumble! I love the music of this game! Now, the sounds are somewhat as good but I don't really remember much except when they are yelling. Each character sounds pretty good and the sounds are clear. The audio is definitely overshadowed by the music, but the sounds aren't bad. There's fireball noises, punches and kicks as well as techs. Overall, the music and sounds are perfect!

GRAPHICS: (8/10)

The graphics aren't something to get hysterical about, but these graphics are definitely really good for the time it was out. This Street Fighter, as you may know, is the first one to be 3D! Yes people 3D! The graphics are in 3D and everything looks good. The backgrounds are excellent and everything that is captured in the stage is beautifully designed! Each stage is unique in its own way with vivid landscapes and amazing colors to depict the character through the stage. The only problem I have with Street Fighter EX + alphas graphics are the characters! They're horrible! They are blocky and have lines all over them! The backgrounds are great, but I don't really like fighting with a Ken full of blocks. They look like legos and I think Capcom could've done much better with the characters. Everything else however is perfect and I am pleased with the backgrounds of the characters. The special affects such as fireballs are nicely done as well. No doubt about it that these are possibly the best graphics for the era of Street Fighter in the year 1998.

CHALLENGE: (6/10)

I personally never really found the Street Fighter games to very challenging. Ever since the first Street Fighter came out I never had much of a problem with beating the game. Also, hehe, I was always the man Ken so I was pretty much invincible! Anyway if I use Ken I seriously lay the computer out, even on the most difficult setting. I don't know how the general public fares with Street Fighter, but of my friends I know none of them that can't beat this game. On the normal difficulty setting is what you start out with so that's what I'm rating the challenge. There are only 10 characters you have to beat in Arcade mode to beat the game so if you can do that with everyone you win! The only true challenge to me in this game is the expert mode. It can get very difficult after the tenth set and some moves and combos the computer asks of you is insane! Also, I can't stand Zangief and the way he has to do moves with the 360 degree movement. Those are my main challenges of the game and that's the only real thing I can think of as being hard. That and the survivor mode! Overall the challenge isn't too bad, but not too easy either.

REPLAY: (8/10)

Many of you may know that every Street Fighter game and fighting game for that matter have higher replay value than other games. Why is that? Well, because fighting games never get boring to the average gamer and therefore it's more replayable that say an RPG or a strategy game. Anyway, VS. mode with friends is awesome and you can have a bunch of people over to just duel it out one on one to see who the best man or woman is. Also, there's team battle mode where you can play with friends as well as the training mode. Go expert and see how many combinations you can unlock and master! What I find to be the main replayable thing about this game with just one player is to play and beat arcade mode with everyone and unlock their endings. There are so many things to do in this game that beating it once with one character doesn't cut it. If you are a true fan of fighting games you will enjoy playing this game more than once after you've beaten it. That's what is so great about fighting games. However, I personally don't find it to be the most replayable game it's still fun.

OVERVIEW

PROS
- Many modes of play
- Music is excellent!
- High replay value
- First 3D Street Fighter

CONS
- Characters are somewhat ugly looking
- Endings are horrible

Story - ?/10
Game play - 8.1/10
Controls - 7.4/10
Audio - 9.6/10
Graphics - 7.8/10
Challenge - 6.0/10
Replayability - 8.1/10
Total - 47/60 = .78 = (8)

OVERALL: (8/10)

Let's get this over with shall we? This is one of the many installments in the Street Fighter collection and I'd recommend any fan of fighting games or Street Fighter to at least rent this game. It's probably around $20 now so I'd rather say to go buy it. Why? Mainly because of everything I said up there, but to put it in short it's a great fighting game. Good graphics, fun game play with many modes to choose from, excellent music and sounds as well as a high replay value. For $20, that's a good deal. Whether you decide to purchase this game or rent it is up to you, I'm just here to help. Thanks for reading and have a nice day!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/30/00, Updated 12/30/00


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