Review by Shirow

"Great gameplay but 3D doesn't suit Street Fighter..."

Who hasn't heard about Capcom's great beat-em-up series, Street Fighter!! Street Fighter basically started everything and was a sure hit. And although a huge number of beat-em-ups have appeared since then on all systems, Street Fighter has always remained popular due to its sequels and all the new characters each edition brought along with it. And finally, it goes 3D for the PSX.

Well, 3D may not really be the word here. I really thought SF had turned 3D at first but soon changed my mind after trying it for a couple of hours. The characters are in 3D as well as the backgrounds but you don't have the possibilty of going where you want like in Tekken although some characters like Gouki and Evil Ryu have moves which enable them to do so in a sense.

Moreover, going 3D hasn't suited SF at all. In fact,the characters are really ugly in some cases like Gouki. Sure, there are a bunch of characters like Hokuto and Garuda which have been well-drawn and benefit from a lot of details but on the whole, SF sucks in term of graphics. The backgrounds are decent though and are very colorful in most cases. Gouki's stage is particularly well-drawn and quite flashy.

As for the music and sound effects, Capcom should really do like SNK and take the time to create good music which will give more depth to their titles. The music is simply horrible as well as the sound effects. Street Fighter isn't particularly known to have good music but come on, surely Capcom could have done better.

The greatest addition to this new SF are the combos which are terrific. Each character has at least 2 Supers and Capcom has introduced the Cancel mode which just allows you to put in a Super after a normal move. You'll have to revise your combos for this title as the ones you used in previous SF won't do you much good here. Thankfully, Capcom has included a Practice Mode where you can get used to the controls and practice your combos at leisure. And you can bet that there's a whole bunch of combos in this game. All the characters have tremendous combos which are hard to perform but which are really cool once you've mastered them. But, in my humble opinion, nothing can surpass Evil Ryu's Blink Murder Spell which takes away nearly three-quarter of your life.

Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha also has an awesome number of characters and some really cool ones. Ryu, Ken, Gouki, Zangief and of course, Bison are still present and are unfortunately still wearing their same old outfit as well as Guile who is really difficult to play with in Ex! But I've stopped using them now because out of a large number of new characters, there are some fabulous ones like Doctrine Dark, Garuda and Kairi which are much better! And did I mention that Evil Ryu is back? Yep, the greatest character of SF is back! There are also some hidden characters which will require a lot of time to be unlocked (you basically have to master the game first before even thinking of unlocking them)!

Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha is a great game with a fine gameplay and a nice bunch of new ideas but it also has major flaws, the first one being its graphics. The music and sound effects are lame too and it's a shame as previous editions had better sound effects. Sure, there's a lot of characters and the combos can make up for this but this is not enough to make you forget the terrible graphics in the game. Fun for a while but if you're a fan, you'll love it...No doubt about that!

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 04/12/01, Updated 11/09/02

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