Street Fighter Alpha 3
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|Street Fighter Alpha 3|
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
Sega NAOMI (Alpha 3 Upper)
|Display||Raster, 384 x 224 pixels (Horizontal), 4096 colors|
Street Fighter Alpha 3, known as Street Fighter Zero 3 (ストリートファイターZERO 3?) in Japan and Asia, is a 1998 fighting game by Capcom originally released for the CPS II arcade hardware. It is the third game in the Street Fighter Alpha series, following Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams and Street Fighter Alpha 2. The gameplay system from the previous Alpha games was given a complete overhaul with the addition of three selectable fighting styles based on Street Fighter Alpha (A-ism), Street Fighter Alpha 2 (V-ism), and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (X-ism), new stages, a much larger roster of characters, and for the first time since the original Street Fighter II, new theme music for all the returning characters.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 discards the "Manual" and "Auto" modes from the previous Alpha games by offering the player three different playing styles known as "isms". The standard playing style, A-ism (or Z-ism in Japan), is based on the previous Alpha games, in which the player has a three-level Super Combo gauge with access to several Super Combo moves. X-ism is a simple style based on Super Street Fighter II Turbo, in which the player has a single-level Super Combo gauge and access to a single but powerful Super Combo move. The third style, V-ism (or "variable" style), is a unique style that allows the player to perform custom combos similar to the ones in Street Fighter Alpha 2. In X-ism, players cannot air-block nor use Alpha Counters. Alpha 3 also introduces a "Guard Power Gauge" which depletes each time the player blocks – if the gauge is completely depleted, then the player will remain vulnerable for an attack.
The controls for several actions has been modified from previous Alpha games. For example, the level of a Super Combo move in A-ism is now determined by the strength of the attack button pressed (i.e. Medium Punch or Kick for a Lv. 2 Super Combo), rather than the number of buttons pushed; and throwing is now done by pressing two punch or kick buttons simultaneously.
The game brings back all of the eighteen characters that appeared in Street Fighter Alpha 2. As with the previous Alpha titles, several characters were added to the game: Cammy, who was previously featured in the console-exclusive Alpha 2 Gold, E. Honda, Blanka, Balrog and Vega. New characters introduced in Alpha 3 include R. Mika, a Japanese female wrestler who idolizes Zangief; Karin, Sakura's rival who was first introduced in the Street Fighter manga Sakura Ganbaru! by Masahiko Nakahira; Cody from Final Fight, who has transformed from a vigilante into an escaped convict; and Juni and Juli, two of Shadaloo's "Dolls" who serve as Bison's guards and assassins.
The console versions added the remaining characters introduced in the Street Fighter II series: T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Guile and Fei Long, were added to the selectable roster. In the PlayStation version, the player can also gain access to the arcade version of Balrog, called EX Balrog, as well as Guile, Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma, by fulfilling certain prerequisites in World Tour mode. In the Dreamcast and Saturn versions, while Guile, along with Evil Ryu and Shin Akuma, became regular characters, the player can also gain access to Final Bison.
The Game Boy Advance port contains all of the characters from previous versions, as well as three additional characters: Yun, Maki and Eagle. The PlayStation Portable version, Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, also adds Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution, to bring the total character count to 37 characters.
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 was initially ported in 1998 to the PlayStation, selling a million copies. This version replaced the "hit" sprites with "hit" polygons in order to focus more memory on character animations. Balrog, Juni and Juli were added to the immediate regular roster, and they were given new character portraits and their own storylines. T. Hawk, Fei Long, and Dee Jay (the remaining "New Challengers" from Super Street Fighter II) were also included to the roster. EX Balrog, Evil Ryu, Guile and Shin Akuma were also added as secret unlockable characters in the World Tour mode, a mode that allows players to strengthen and customize their chosen character's fighting style while traveling around the world. An additional feature in the Japanese version also made use of the PocketStation peripheral, which allows players to build up their character's strength. In this version, Shin Akuma serves as the final boss for Evil Ryu, as well as a secret boss in Final Battle. Due to RAM limitations, the only unique pairings available for a complete campaign in the Dramatic Battle Mode are Ryu & Ken and Juni & Juli; other character combinations can only be used for one-match battles. This version was re-released for download on the North American PlayStation Network on October 18, 2011.
- The 1999 Dreamcast version, titled Street Fighter Alpha 3: Saikyo Dojo (or Street Fighter Zero 3: Saikyō-ryū Dōjō in Japan), uses all the added features from the PlayStation version of the game, but features a different World Tour mode. An online mode was added, allowing players to display their high scores. In addition, a Saikyo Dojo mode was added which pits a very weak character of the player's choice against two very strong opponents. The Dreamcast version was re-released in Japan in 2000 as Street Fighter Zero 3: Saikyō-ryū Dōjō for Matching Service as a mail order title via Dreamcast Direct. The Matching Service version differs from the original in the addition of an Online Versus Mode.
- The Sega Saturn version of Street Fighter Zero 3 was also released in 1999 shortly after the initial Dreamcast version in Japan only. This port makes use of Sega's 4-MB RAM cartridge and uses all the features from the PlayStation version except the polygon usage and the PocketStation mode. The Saturn version uses the extra RAM to include more frames, sprites, and faster loading times than the PlayStation version, making it near arcade perfect. Evil Ryu and Guile are immediately selectable, while the player can also unlock Final Bison, and Shin Akuma, who share slots with their normal forms. While the World Tour and Survival modes are virtually unchanged from the PlayStation version, Dramatic Battle received major improvements with the addition of Reverse Dramatic Battle and allowing three different characters to be used. Also, this is the only port to feature Dramatic Battle against the entire roster of characters; all other versions limit this mode to boss characters only.
- Street Fighter Zero 3 was re-released for the arcades in Japan in 2001 under the title of Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper (officially promoted as Street Fighter Zero 3↑). The game was released for the Dreamcast-based NAOMI hardware (rather than the original game's CP System II hardware) and features all the added characters from the console versions of the game. Upper also allows players to upload any customized characters from the Dreamcast version of the game by inserting a VMU into a memory card slot on the cabinet.
- A Game Boy Advance version developed by Crawfish Interactive was released in 2002 under the title Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper. The port is compressed and lacks several stages and music from the previous arcade and console versions, although all characters are present. In addition, Eagle, Maki and Yun, all whom were characters from Capcom vs. SNK 2 (released during the previous year), were also added to the game. Only a small amount of character voices were included in this version due to storage limitations, which the developers worked around by having characters share voice samples, modified with real-time pitch shifting, such as using a higher pitched Ken's voice for Sakura's attack calls.
- The PlayStation Portable version, titled Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (Street Fighter Zero 3 Double Upper in Japan, officially promoted as Street Fighter Zero 3↑↑), was released in 2006 and features the additional characters from the GBA version as well as Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution. This version is a near faithful port of the arcade version with minimal (almost non-existent) loading times and all frames and sprites intact. All the added characters now feature their own in-game storylines and endings. The Dramatic Battle mode in this version is the only one where both the player and partner characters can be selected individually (allowing for any pairing). Also includes the Reverse Dramatic Battle mode from the Saturn version and a mode called "100 Kumite" (a 100 fight series).
- Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (Street Fighter Zero: Fighters' Generation in Japan) was also released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2. It contains the arcade version of Alpha 3 as one of the immediately available games, along with a revised version of Alpha 3 Upper as a secret game. Being a compilation of arcade games, the World Tour Mode that was featured in the previous home ports is not included, nor are the extra characters introduced in the portable versions of the game, although it uses the soundtracks from the home versions. In Upper, all characters are readily available.
On release, Famitsu magazine scored the Sega Saturn version of the game a 30 out of 40. The Dreamcast version fared slightly better, receiving a 33 out of 40. The Official UK PlayStation Magazine said that the game would outlast Tekken 3, and stated "the only thing to tarnish this is the graphics. So if you think gameplay is more important than texture-mapped polygons, consider the score to be a ten."
- Roper, Chris. "Capcom Releases Lifetime Sales Numbers". IGN.
- Official PlayStation Magazine, Future Publishing issue 44, page 88, (April 1999)
- セガサターン - ストリートファイターZERO3. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.26. June 30, 2006.
- ドリームキャスト - ストリートファイターZERO 3 サイキョー流道場. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.36. June 30, 2006.
- Studio Bent Stuff (September 2000). All About Capcom Head-to-Head Fighting Games 1987–2000. A.A. Game History Series (Vol. 1) (in Japanese). Dempa Publications, Inc. ISBN 4-88554-676-1.
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 at the Killer List of Videogames
- Street Fighter Alpha 3 guide at StrategyWiki