Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Capcom Cashcow on the Saturn...Part Deux!"
Street Fighter just keeps coming and coming with new sequels and variations as well as different characters and ridiculous combinations that seem to get heavier hitting and more impressive with each step. However, Street Fighter Alpha 2 steps up to the plate by offering more characters and less originality, so you're basically playing Street Fighter Alpha with more characters! More stages have been added to the mix, which is definitely a plus, but still the in game fighting engine is what it was in the previous Street Fighters, only with more of the visual face lift. Now you have 15 plus characters that you can select from, all of which have fighting styles that you've played or encountered before! A couple of new additions though that makes a clear impression are the introduction of Custom Combinations that allow you to bust out some wicked combinations of your own design. While not the most effective fighting skill, it does put some very crucial variation on a series that is quickly becoming tired and over used!
Without much of a variation, you're still looking at the same Street Fighter with more characters and perhaps some pretty sweet looking moves. You take on the role of one of 18 fighters in a one on one battle to the finish, using a myriad of special moves, close combat punches, kicks and Super Moves! With a loose story line for each character, you'll find that the game is set more or less on just fighting your way through, and trying not to get your ass kicked in the process. Where the game modes come in, there really isn't much difference between the first Alpha and this one, so you're just looking at a better character roster than you were with the first. With this, comes the addition of Custom Combinations that can either make or break a match. If you can learn to use them, they're effective and an important part of the fight, if not then you're going to get smoked the first time through by not knowing how to stop them! They work from your power bar, and in the short time your bar drains, you can pull off a heavy set of moves that would be otherwise impossible to do. As with the previous Alpha, your resolve to learn the game and everything that it has to offer is what will determine this. With the addition of Custom Combinations, you'll find that the game takes on a heavier learning curve with the endless possibilities! Be on guard though, because the further you get, the more likely you're going to get nailed by said Custom Combination!
Dead on and true to the game format, each special move comes off with flowing ease and the addition of Custom Combo's allows for endless possibilities on a character's attack. Anyone familiar with the Street Fighter series will find that the moves are right where they are supposed to be, and even the Super Moves are easy enough to pull off with enough practice. User friendly, you'll find that anyone from beginner to expert will have no trouble learning what to do! Just learn the different combos, and it is a near must to practice with the Custom Combo if you want to show off some supreme control skill. With the use of the Saturn controller, most Street Fighter fans might want to go with an arcade stick of some type in order to get through the more intricate combinations. Veterans to the series should have no problem picking the game up and flying through it, while beginners may want to take a little time with the custom combinations to get the groove of the game down just right!
Clean, crisp and detailed, each fighter is back with the same detailing that you'd expect in Street Fighter fashion. Every stage has it's own theme, and set of detailing to it that give it the traditional Alpha feel. Special moves come off with flare, and the in-close battling can become fast and furious with nothing to spare. Combinations are what you make of them, and they don't slow down in any way, shape or form, allowing for progressive speed and complete devastation! The clearest change is some of the older characters like Zangief who looks like he went off on a steroid trip and Dhalism who still stretches like a possessed Gumby doll!
True to the Street Fighter series, you'll find that the music is dead on, and matches the stages without any sort of slow down on the action. The music isn't over-bearing, and it can leave an impression on your mind in certain stages. Sound effects range from the yells of a fireball being thrown to the grunts and groans that ring familiar and haven't changed since the original Alpha. The stage music as it was originally presented in the arcade version is back and it does appear with some good clarity on the Saturn. Something that I can say about the Saturn hardware is that it does have the ability to reproduce the music and the sound in such a way, that you feel as though you’re actually there! When you boil that down, you’ll find that the overall experience of the game is more than enough to keep you interested in just what the game has to offer for the ears.
Street Fighter Alpha 2 is a step up in terms of the amount of characters they allow you to fight with. Some are ridiculous to use and rather pointless, and the old favorites are still as strong as ever. The worst part of Alpha 2, is the fact that it's still the same game, but it's got a few new characters in it! SF fans will rejoice...but fighting game fans will probably look elsewhere for their Street Fighter fix. For Saturn gamers, the series will just keep rolling on, and even though this game is more or less a rehash of the original Alpha, there is just enough addition to the game to keep gamers riveted to their seats before moving on to the third in the series. Collectors of the Capcom cash cow only need to apply here, and the casual fighter would do well to move along to other Street Fighter games!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/18/01, Updated 12/18/01
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