Review by KasketDarkfyre

Reviewed: 12/04/01 | Updated: 12/04/01

Well kung fu kick me in tha....

Street Fighter has taken on so many different forms these days that it's hard to really know where it begins and where it ends! With the amount of fighting games that are produced by Capcom these days, you'll never really know if the next Street Fighter is going to be the last or what. In this version of Street Fighter, you're playing the Alpha version that gives you control of radically different looking characters, as well as some familiar faces like Sodom and a couple of previously unplayable characters like Charlie {from Guile's storyline in SF 2}! Where the similarities start, they really end in terms of the way your characters act and react during the fight.

You have your general charge and release moves, but you also have the ability to throw in Super Combinations which are more or less ass kicking tools for when your opponent gets stupid and lets you have a clear shot. The Super Moves themselves really started in Super Street Fighter 2, but have taken on a much more fluid and visually superior role here in Alpha! As with most mass produced games, you'll find several different problems that arise from the previous games, and the most eye catching is the lack of fighting environments and the lack of long, extensive combinations! Aside from this, you'll find that this is really the start of all the current Street Fighter games that make their appearance on the Saturn.

-Game Play 7/10-

Alpha is your standard Street Fighter game with new characters, and new animations, but the same effect no matter what version you're in. You take on a computer controlled opponent and start kicking the crap out of him or her and move onto the next stage. While it seems pretty simple, you must uncover different combinations and use those to link into the next move or you'll be stopped short and made to look stupid for trying to be a bad ass! This goes on for several stages, so practice is a must even if you're a Street Fighter expert! What the game really falls into is the amount of combinations and different fights that you can learn and practice on and with different characters. The Saturn system also allows for different gaming modes such as the one player battle mode and practice mode.

The best feature of the game, in my own opinion is the practice mode in which you can fight against the computer in several different situations and learn how to perform each characters moves and just what combinations are effective! This goes a long way into not only easing a new gamer into the world of Street Fighter Alpha, but also gives veterans and Saturn owners the opportunity to re-learn and practice what they already know with the Saturn controller. With the amount of possibilities that can be opened up through this mode, you go from being an Alpha beginner right into becoming an Alpha master with about a day worth of practice.

The tried and true system of using directional pad movements and following up with a button press hasn't changed through the different versions of Street Fighter, and remains the same here. The learning curve is nil if you already know how to play any of the characters, even in a limited fashion. Super Moves are easy enough to pull off with some practice, and soon enough, you'll be busting off heavy hitting combinations with no problem! Something that Saturn owners might want to look into is purchasing the Saturn arcade stick, which can be customized and overall gives the game a better and more professional feel like you would find in the arcade. The moves and otherwise come off of a regular Saturn control with no problem, but most people will find that the Saturn stick is a better way to go when it comes to fighting through the battles and busting off the combinations.

Clean, crisp and well detailed, every action and special move has been created with the visual gamer in mind. Re-drawn characters of old, such as Ken and Ryu to the newer characters that appear courtesy of Final Fight, gamers will find a better diversity of fighters to choose and play with! Not only that, but the detailing in this version of the game doesn’t miss a step and could be considered a perfect conversion of the arcade counterpart. The special moves and even the super moves come off with enough flare and visual eye candy that if you’re playing on a large television, you’ll find that the game is as close to perfect as it can get without being there. With the Saturn, you have a wonderful view of what Street Fighter Alpha is supposed to be on a home system and really, there is nothing missing or taken for granted in the process!

A rocking soundtrack keeps the pace of every battle. The old music soundtrack has been replaced, leaving the track of Ken's old stage {which stuck in your head after a couple of minutes} and putting in something akin to guitar and rock music instead. Most of the actual in-game sound effects haven't changed much since the days of Street Fighter 2, so don't look too much into hearing something different! With the Saturn capabilities, you’ll find that recreation of the arcade machine is next to perfect in just about every way. The battle themes that you hear in the Saturn version are enough to really immerse yourself in the experience, without going too far overboard, or even falling too far away from what the original score was in the beginning.

Street Fighter Alpha is the first in a series of Alpha games that offered up some new animation, new characters and a load of new fighting possibilities during battle. Fans of the Street Fighter Series will find this game to be a refreshing change from the Street Fighter 2 series, and new fighters to the SF arena should start here! For Saturn owners, this is the perfect opportunity to get into a series that come through with high regards on other systems that we today. If you still own a Saturn, pick this up but keep in mind that the game really hasn’t changed from the other versions of Alpha that you may find on other high end systems!

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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