PSX Mania – 005 – Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998)

Completion time: 2:43:16

Street Fighter Alpha 3‘s home port was proof that an arcade conversion can consist of more than the usual staples of its time. Not only did Capcom add several characters that were never in the arcade version, but they added in an innovative one time appearance of a mode that enables players to partially customize how a selected fighter played in said mode. World Tour Mode added even more meat to the bone of Alpha 3, which was already juicy portion of goodness before it. It’s the kind of mode that should have become a franchise staple from that game on, but unfortunately never was beyond its initial offering.

Honestly, Alpha 3 was Capcom’s best PS1 port ever. RAM limitations hampered their previous Alpha title releases, as well as their Marvel line of games. They managed to add more content, more fighters with their own animations, without sacrificing much on visual fidelity, or as heavy frame cutting as their previous releases.

My first experience with this game was a Japanese copy that a friend of mine got either in 98 or 99. I spent dozens of hours playing through World Tour Mode on multiple characters, and just enjoying every second of it. All these years later, and in English, World Tour Mode still captivates.

As a complete package, no arcade conversion before it offered as much variety in gameplay modes and offerings as Street Fighter Alpha 3. Come to think of it, very few fighting came ports since have offered the myriad of play modes. It’s not arcade perfect, but it’s beyond competent, and leagues better than any fighting game they released on the console before it. There’s a reason why this has been one of my all-time favorite games on the console. Actually, there are more reasons than I can keep up with. As for its score, this is the first of its kind so far for this project, but I guarantee you this will not be the last.

Rating: 10

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