Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology

John Marine | 5/31/2011 02:48:00 PM |
A change of pace was offered when the Street Fighter Alpha series came along. Street Fighter Alpha (called Street Fighter Zero in Japan) games offered up new characters and some more intense gameplay than standard Street Fighter titles. The realm of Street Fighter Alpha was all compiled into an anthology collection in 2006. For what I know, it is ONLY for the PlayStation 2. I'll be here to tell you more about this title.

--- Street Fighter Alpha Anthology at a Glance ---
Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
^ from: amazon.com - Street Fighter Alpha Anthology. This includes four Alpha games (plus one unlockable title) and Pocket Fighter (called Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix).

Street Fighter Alpha entails some hard-hitting offense with an experience much more intense than the standard Street Fighter games. One of the primary elements of the Alpha/Zero games is in Super attacks. Another big difference between the standard games and the Alpha series is the impressive artwork. Much more expressive artwork both in characters and in environments help define the Alpha/Zero series of games.

The very first Alpha featured a fresh new look at the classic Street Fighter characters, but also included many newer characters making their debut. Street Fighter Alpha 2 came along with two different versions. This game took the appeal of the first game and enhanced it. SFA2 Gold was an enhancement to SFA2 with new characters as well as non-Alpha (as in no Supers) versions of characters. A few hidden characters can also be accessed. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, this game features a huge amount of characters and a real story-based tour of ten matches. Your final opponent is Bison. If you are using Bison, your final opponent will be Ryu. As a bonus, you get to play Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. This is a lighthearted Street Fighter game full of comedic value. You collect gems to gain enough energy to use Super energy. This is really a fun title and a real diversion from the more serious Alpha games.

Each game can be customized to suit your playing style. Set items like difficulty, controls, handicaps, and more to suit your play style. One bonus game can be unlocked. Come out fighting!

--- Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams ---
In 1995, Street Fighter Alpha debuted offering a different experience from what the original Street Fighter games offered. Think of the Alpha series to Street Fighter as the MegaMan/RockMan X series to the MegaMan series. Some characters are making their grand debut while a few others came from other Capcom games.

• Ryu - the classic and purest fighter of Street Fighter.
• Chun-Li - She is prolific in her kicking attacks along some fireball attacks.
• Akuma - think Ryu and Ken... only evil.
• Charlie - a fighter whose style is similar to Guile.
• Ken - Ryu's friend and rival, who is slightly more versatile than Ryu.

• Guy - Final Fight protagonist who delivers both speed and power along with precision.
• Birdie - a beastly fellow who wields a fierce chain.
• M. Bison - the formidable final boss of Street Fighter Alpha.
• Sodom - a Final Fight boss who lends his vicious offense to the Street Fighter Alpha universe.
• Adon - think of Adon as a lighter and leaner Sagat.

• Rose - a fortune teller who specializes with her Soul Illusion attacks.
• Dan - a more lighthearted version of Ryu and Ken.
• Sagat - tall, lanky, powerful, imposing. Unchanged since the original Street Fighter games.

Video Preview.

I tried to find a quick and useful video to demonstrate what this game is about.

--- Street Fighter Alpha 2 ---
A top-to-bottom upgrade of the Street Fighter Alpha formula was delivered in with Street Fighter Alpha 2. Along with this top-to-bottom upgrade were more characters and much more vivid graphics.

• Ryu - Ryu remains as dangerous as ever to battle as or against.
• Adon - The shorter and leaner (compared to Sagat) Adon is as capable and pesky.
• Chun-Li - Her lightning-quick feet and legs return with intense fury.
• Guy - Final Fight's quick and powerful protagonist is back to deliver more beatings!
• Ken - Ryu's equal and rival has more moves to befuddle his enemies.

• Dhalsim - This surreal Hindu warrior is back with more insane moves.
• Gen - Street Fighter Alpha's wise old man has plenty of new tricks for this old dog.
• Sakura - a powerful Japanese schoolgirl notorious for flashing her bloomers/panties with her kicks.
• Rolento - Final Fight boss character who is immensely fast and deadly.
• Zangief - He may be slow, but how will you counter his powerful grapples?

• Charlie - Guile-like character who doesn't exactly have Guile strength.
• Birdie - Being yanked by his chain is the LAST thing you want to experience.
• Rose - The master of Soul Illusion will mystify anyone who threatens her.
• Sodom - His name is offensive, and so is his hard-hitting offense.
• Sagat - Keep aerial attacks to a minimum against this imposing Muay Thai fighter.

• Akuma - Also known as Gouki, he is every bit as powerful as Ryu and Ken... only much more evil.
• M. Bison - He's the arch nemesis that can't be beat. Unless YOU think you can beat him...
• Dan - Dan is more of a lighthearted version of Ryu and Ken.

Video Preview.

I think this is from the Japanese version.

--- Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold ---
Better music and some extra options help spice up the original Street Fighter Alpha 2 to make SFA2 Gold. You can even access some bonus options for characters as well. Just press Start (or at least in the PS2 version) to access some extra versions of characters. Among them, you can access Evil Ryu and Cammy. Among the ones that have alternate versions, some of them are either different outfits or classic versions of fighters that don't have Super moves available. Use these specific characters if you don't want to fool around with Super attacks.

(NOTE: any character with an exclamation point (!) have different versions available.)

• Ryu! - anything but one-dimensional, Ryu is always formidable to fight against.
• Adon - He will get on your nerves if you let him have his way against you.
• Chun-Li! - The fiercest legs in all of Street Fighter (including Alpha), Chun Li has no problem kicking your butt.
• Guy - Don't blink... because he'll make you pay if you stand in his way.
• Ken! - Ken has more agility and versatility than Ryu.

• Dhalsim! - the master of Yoga battle is ready to fight with his stretchy limbs.
• Gen - prepare to be schooled by this teacher!
• Sakura - She'll knock you out if you pay more attention to her panty/bloomer flashing (even if unintentional) than contend with her varied offense.
• Rolento - Try to keep up with him, or his expansive offense will drive you insane.
• Zangief! - He'll throw you around and slam you hard if you get in his way.

• Charlie - Guile moves, not really Guile strength.
• Birdie - Get away from this beast's chains if you expect to win fights against him.
• Rose - her offense is predicated mostly on her Soul Illusion technique.
• Sodom - If he catches you with his sais, you're in trouble.
• Sagat! - Bigger, badder, better. Sagat controls space like no other fighter.

• Akuma - Expect getting beat down if you take him lightly.
• M. Bison! - He's back for more. Will you put an end to his madness?
• Dan - don't let this Ryu/Ken-type fighter go crazy on you.

No video preview. I couldn't find a good enough brief video to showcase SFA2 Gold.

--- Street Fighter Alpha 3 ---
The omega of the Street Fighter Alpha series is SFA3. The hardest-hitting of the Alpha games is here. It features the most characters of any game in the entire Street Fighter Alpha Anthology. Some classic Street Fighter characters even made their debut into the SFA universe with this game (if you can believe it). There are more characters available when you unlock a certain version of this game that includes more characters. To beat the game, you will go through ten matches. The halfway point features one of your first rivals. The ninth match features your biggest rival. Then in the final match, you take on Bison. Regardless of whether you win or lose the fight against Bison, the game will be over, and you will see either a good ending or a bad ending. You need to use the same fighter you start out with if you want to be able to play through the entire game. If you lose with some fighter and choose a new fighter after continuing, the progress will go back to the very beginning with a new character. So in other words... you can't see the ending (good or bad) if you don't stick with the character you start with in Arcade Mode. Each character has his/her own story that you must play through.

The most intriguing aspect of this game is the Super system. You can choose between three different Super systems:

• X-ISM: you are allowed only one level of Super energy. This is recommended for beginners.

• A-ISM: you are allowed up to three levels of Super energy. This one is very recommended since it is more versatile.

• V-ISM: a freestyle ISM dictated by your own combo. When your gauge reaches 50% or higher, you can chain together your own combo attack by simply utilizing your own attacks. You lose your V-ISM combo when you are attacked by your opponent (even if you successfully block his/her attack).

I am not certain, but there MAY also be EX-ISM and S-ISM modes to choose from for fighters, but I think you have to unlock this.

(NOTE: All Characters are listed from top to bottom, left to right. Characters already featured previously won't have any descriptions on them.)

• M. Bison - the root of all evil in the Street Fighter universe. Beat him before he beats you.

• Charlie
• Chun-Lu - fiercest kicks in all of Street Fighter.
• Sagat

• Dan
• Guy - Guy delivers his hardest-hitting offense in SFA3.
• Rainbow Mika (or R. Mika) -
• Birdie - uglier and meaner than ever!
• Akuma - Fear. Akuma.

• Ryu
• E. Honda - Street Fighter's elite sumo wrestler makes his Alpha debut.
• Cody - Final Fight protagonist who was a hero, now is a bad guy.
• Karin -
• Vega - the Spanish ninja debuts proper in the Street Fighter Alpha realm.
• Blanka - the Brazilian beast is ready to shock and/or awe! But... will definitely shock.
• Ken - the versatile Ken is even more versatile here.

• Dhalsim - a good fighter, but is not very good to use with his elongated arms and legs.
• Sodom
• Cammy - not as fierce as in the classic Street Fighter games, but still deadly.
• Adon
• Zangief

• Rolento
• Sakura
• Gen

• Rose - her Soul Illusion Super is like a pseudo V-ISM combo.

Bonus Street Fighter Alpha 3.

There is a bonus version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 you can unlock that features more characters to fight with. This makes the already stacked list of fighters in SFA3 even more stacked. You have to unlock this version in SFAA. When you unlock it after accomplishing a certain task in SFA3, you will have instructions as to how to access the bonus version of SFA3. This version includes the most fighters of any of the included games in SFAA. Trust me- you'll have plenty of fighters to choose from here.

In addition to new fighters, there are also four different modes you can choose from. (some information taken from Street Fighter Alpha 3's StrategyWiki page)

• Normal - original SFA3 gameplay. Allowed only one taunt.

• Mazi - the Guard gauge is longer than it in Normal mode. Taunting disabled. Double damage given and taken, and the opponent can beat you in just one round.

• Saikyo - the Guard gauge is half of the Normal mode. Taunting disabled.

• Classic - experience classic fighting without using Super attacks.

Here are some of the extra characters you get with this extra package:

(new characters from top to bottom, left to right)

• Guile - brawny fighter, TERRIBLE voice acting.
• Fei Long - one of four fighters to debut in Super Street Fighter II, now Alpha-ized for SFA3.

• Dee Jay - the cool crazy Jamaican is back and ready for more.
• Evil Ryu - somebody spiked Ryu's punch and made him evil!

• Juli - All I know about her is that she works for Bison. Otherwise, not much else to discuss.
• Juni - All I know about her is that she works for Bison. Otherwise, not much else to discuss.

• Thunderhawk (or T. Hawk) - the mountain of a man from Super Street Fighter 2 makes his Alpha debut.
• Balrog - the fiercest Balrog ever with punishing punches!

The most frustrating aspect of this game is that I have NEVER beaten M. Bison in the final match. One time, I played AS Bison and had to take on Ryu instead. I wanted to fight as Bison so I could beat the game with the supposed "Good" ending for Bison. Unfortunately, I lost against Ryu and saw Ryu's GOOD ending. I have tried at least 15 times to beat this game in Arcade Mode with a good ending, but failed to at least 15 times. That's why after a while, I've given up trying to beat this game. The closest I've come was beating him with about one shred of life left on Bison's bar as I was using Ryu. He just shattered my hopes with a high kick to my head that did me in.

I couldn't find a good enough video to use to showcase this game.

--- Super Gem Fighter: Mini Mix ---
Also known as "Pocket Fighter," this game is a pint-sized and cutesy version of Street Fighter. You build up Super energy by collecting gems. Whatever Super you can execute depends on how many gems you have of a certain kind. The Super moves you can execute are listed based on whatever Super is associated with those gems. So in other words, you cannot execute one Super if you don't have enough gems to execute it. Each character has his or her own story as you go through a series of about eight matches. Certain Capcom characters make cameo appearances throughout the entire game in the levels. How many can you find?

Here are the characters in this game:

(displayed from top to bottom, left to right)

• Ryu - the classic Street Fighter powerhouse with some cool attacks.
• Ken - the versatile fighter with some fun attacks.

• Chun-Li - the First Lady of Street Fighter (as I call her) with great moves.
• Sakura - the world's favorite upskirt-crazed fighter.
• Morrigan - Morrigan is a boyish-looking girl with bat wings.
• Hsien-Ko - she is a very weird, but very cool fighter.

• Felicia - the Darkstalkers feisty feline can really deal some damage.
• Tessa - she is the witch with fun attacks and cute looks.
• Zangief - can you honestly make a fierce wrestler cool in chibi size?
• Ibuki - this girl is agile and deadly.

Two extra characters can be accessed in this game. One is to the right of Ryu and above Chun-Li. The other is to the right of Ken and above Hsien-Ko.

Much like how Street Fighter Anniversary Collection is a great package for Street Fighter fans, this collection is great for Street Fighter Alpha fans. I probably would have liked more additional content (like music, artwork, and things like that), but this is still a great game if you love the Street Fighter Alpha series. Note that Street Fighter Alpha Anthology was released in 2006. So because of this, you won't get to play the Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX game from the PSP, which was released in 2009 or 2010.

Want to get Street Fighter Alpha Anthology online? Check it out on Amazon:

Thank you for reading!

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