Street Fighter Alpha 3
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|Street Fighter Alpha 3|
Crawfish Interactive (GBA)
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players simultaneously|
Sega NAOMI (Zero 3 Upper)
|Display||Raster, 384 x 224 pixels (Horizontal),
4096 colors on screen,
16,777,216 color palette
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, although it was released after the Street Fighter III series had already started (between 2nd Impact and 3rd Strike). 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;called Z-ism in Japan), Street Fighter Alpha 2 (V-ism), and Super Street Fighter II Turbo (X-ism), new stages, a much larger roster of characters, and new theme music for all the returning characters.
Street Fighter Alpha 3 discards the "Manual" and "Auto" modes from the previous Alpha games and instead offers three different playing styles known as "isms" for players to choose from. 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 perform 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 to an attack.
The controls for several actions have been modified from the 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 eighteen of the 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 since become an escaped convict; and Juni and Juli, two of Shadaloo's "Dolls" who serve as Bison's assassins and guards.
The PlayStation version added the remaining characters introduced in Super Street Fighter II: Dee Jay, Fei Long and T. Hawk, along with Guile from World Warrior and Evil Ryu from Alpha 2, these last two being unlockable. The Saturn and Dreamcast versions move Guile and Evil Ryu to the default roster in addition to including Shin Akuma, EX Balrog, and Final Bison as bonus characters who are not selectable by normal means.
The Game Boy Advance port contains all of the characters from previous versions, as well as three additional characters: Yun from Street Fighter III, Maki from Final Fight 2, and Eagle from the original Street Fighter, all three based on their incarnations from Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001. The PlayStation Portable version, Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX, also adds Ingrid from Capcom Fighting Evolution, to bring the total character count to 40 characters.
|Character||Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Arcade)||Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Playstation)||Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper (GBA)||Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX (PSP)||Total|
- 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. Dee Jay, Fei Long, and T. Hawk (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 the player 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 the player 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 with 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 for the polygon usage and 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 regular counterparts. While the World Tour and Survival modes are virtually unchanged from the PlayStation version, Dramatic Battle mode received improvements with the addition of Reverse Dramatic Battle mode and allowing three different characters to be used. This is also the only port to feature Dramatic Battle against the entire roster of characters, as 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 tracks from the previous arcade and console versions, although all of the characters are present. In addition, Eagle, Maki, and Yun, all whom were characters from Capcom vs. SNK 2 (released in 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 of 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 character pairing). It 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 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 of the characters are readily available.
On release, Famitsu magazine scored the Sega Saturn version of the game a 32 out of 40; they later scored it 30 out of 40. The PlayStation version also scored 32 out of 40 on release. The Dreamcast version scored 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."
By 2003, the Game Boy Advance version had sold over 30,000 copies.
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