This game is a port of the Playstation and arcade game. Like nearly every fighting game on the market, ‘Street Fighter Alpha 3’ (SFA3) has only a thin plot to hold it together. Personally, I cared very little about the storyline. Basically, a dictator named M. Bison has plans to take over the world. A whole bunch of other people have reasons for entering the Street Fighter tournament, but they all end of fighting (and hopefully defeating) M. Bison. Every character has his or her own backstory, but they are small, and I wished for more.
I was absolutely blown away by how much is crammed into the tiny GBA cartridge. There is a single player mode, VS game link mode, Dramatic Battle mode, and a few other modes. There are ten difficulty levels, and you can even adjust the game speed and the amount of damage dealt per hit, not to mention the ability to select from three different styles (which will alter the super moves). There are around 30 characters to chose from, most with completely unique moves (plus at least two supers), and each character has 4 costumes to choose from. In some modes, a character can strike one of up to six different victory poses. It will be a very long time before you run out of things to do here.
This is an absolutely beautiful game to look at (for the GBA, at least). There was no blockiness or jaggies, and each character has a lot of animation frames and colors. KO’s happen in slow-motion, and there are some neat special effects.
Meh. Character voices are reused, and grunts get old. The lively, upbeat music reminded me a little of the old Sonic games, but they got old too. It was more fun to put in a heavy metal CD while I played. It fueled my fighting prowess, and seemed more fitting to the game.
The controls are not the best. First of all, this game started on an arcade cabinet with six buttons, whereas the GBA has only four lonely buttons. So, some attacks will require the player to press the R and B buttons at the same time, or something like that. That’s not pretty when you’re trying to execute a big combo. And anyway, it is sometimes better to just slam the buttons and hope for the best. Even on easier difficulty levels, the game gets very difficult in the final few fights, which leads to a lot of frustration.
The game froze up once during character selection, and the game seemed to not realize my character was blocking once or twice.
SFA3 is rated T for Violence, and rightfully so. The game is all about fighting. There is hardly any blood, but when a character is hit in the face hard enough, there is a tiny spray of blood, like what you would see in a boxing match. A character disintegrates non-graphically. Some of the female characters wear slightly revealing costumes, but the characters are moving fast and the game has too low of a resolution for this to be a major problem. Nearly every character can shoot a fireball out of their hands, control some kind of energy, and do weird magical things, but none of it seemed occult. There was no foul language, and little, if any, disrespect for authority, unless you count a character aiming for world domination and some other characters seeking revenge. Judging by some of the things that characters say at the victory screen, the fights do not end in death. The game shows the consequences of evil.
Gameplay: 20/20 Graphics: 10/10 Sound: 3/10 Stability: 4/5 Controls: 4/5 Appropriateness: 40/50