in an effort to soldier on with the street fighter series (which i haven’t spent much time with since i played super street fighter II: the new challengers on SNES almost four years ago), i spent some time with the first street fighter alpha game via the PS2 compilation, entitled street fighter alpha anthology. i generally have a hard time remembering the differences between the hundreds of versions of the games, but apparently super street fighter II introduced super moves (stronger versions of special moves executed by performing even more-complicated sequences of button presses). according to this article on eurogamer.net, the unique aspects of street fighter alpha included “many new gameplay features to Street Fighter”, namely:
- …multiple Super moves per character, different levels of Super move power, the ability to taunt your opponent, air blocking, Chain Combos and Alpha Counters. Chain Combos allowed the player to cancel the animation of a standard attack with another standard attack effectively chaining moves together.
suffice it to say, for a casual street fighter like myself, the finer points of this iteration were generally lost on me. i studied up on super moves but didn’t bother mastering chain combos and alpha counters, although i’m sure that in doing so i’ve earned the scorn of self-titled “hardcore” gamers everywhere. haha. but in any case, i was fine getting through the game with my go-to guy, ryu. i was happy to rely on his familiar moveset, and i randomly picked the new-to-the-roster rose as another character to spend time with. that turned out to be a bit of a disappointment since her moveset was, for the most part, very similar to ryu’s, but she did have m. bison as her final boss instead of sagat which helped make my time with her more worthwhile.
in terms of progressing from SFII, the expansion of super moves in alpha was interesting and does lead to some strategizing which is nice (do you use up just part of your saved-up super meter for one special move or do you blow it all on a more-powerful attack that may be blocked?), although this game just about reaches my limit of how much i’m willing to tolerate in terms of moves that are complicated and too hard to execute. the game adopts cartoonier visuals, but they were a nice change of pace so i didn’t mind them. the cast didn’t feel that different from SFII, though, but i’m hardly an expert on that.
anyway, i don’t have a whole lot more to say about the game. i’m sure fighter enthusiasts could write volumes about the progression of the series, but i was happy to give this game a whirl and move on. i don’t have any plans to get into alpha 2 and alpha 3, and am setting my sights on SFIII next. hopefully i’ll finally be able to get to that before another four years goes by!
button mash these street fighter alpha links:
- entry at strategywiki.org including a complete list of move sets
- if, like me, you’re wondering what all the victory symbols mean, check out this FAQ (section 5.2) which also includes the text of all the characters’ endings
- entry on streetfighter.wikia.com
- entry on wikipedia
- and just for fun, check out this mashup: If Disney Princesses Were Old-School Street Fighter Characters…