Street Fighter Alpha Anthology PS2 Review

Just over a decade ago, back in 1995, was the first time we got a look at the Street Fighter Alpha series. Capcom created it after a long run of updates and refinements to the monstrously successful Street Fighter II series of games. The game gave us a new spin on the Street Fighter series with a brand new look that had more than a hint of anime about it. Not only that, the game also offered some brand new play mechanics, with the inclusion of Super moves and a diverse cast of characters which Capcom hoped gamers would once again get to know and love just liked they did with SFII. The first game got a very mixed reaction upon release with many of hardcore Street Fighter II faithful labelling it as an inferior version of what came before. Nevertheless, over the years as the series built up a number of incarnations it also gathered some loyal fans of its own. Whether you like it or not, the Alpha series is now once again available on one disc ten years after it began.

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology features five games that were released over a period of four years. The first four games are exactly the game you would expect to be on the disc. They are: Street Fighter Alpha (first released in 1995), Street Fighter Alpha 2 (first released in 1996), Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (first released in 1996), and Street Fighter Alpha 3 (first released in 1998). The last title is Super Gem Fighter MiniMix (first released in 1997) which is a spin-off game that includes the characters from Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. It looks very kid friendly and also very easy to play as you only use 3 buttons rather than the regular 6. It is also worth noting that Street Fighter Alpha 2 and Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold are almost identical games with very little differences other than a few balancing tweaks and the inclusion of Cammy and Evil Ryu along with a few nice new backgrounds. Due to these similarities there is almost no need to touch Alpha 2 at all.

All of the games on the disc are faithfully replicated and controlled very well as I played them using the PS2. My highlight of the package was without doubt Street Fighter Alpha 2 as it had the best collection of modes and characters. I spent many hours playing Alpha 2 and never once thought of turning of my PS2. This is something that cannot be said about any of the other game on the disc especially Super Gem Fighter MiniMix which I found boring after less than 10 minutes play (it is however aimed at a younger audience though so maybe it was just not the right game for me.). Graphically, the games are very well put together. It may be just a conversion of a collection of games that are almost all a decade in age but it is a very well put together conversion. Thankfully loading times are brief and only seem to appear when you pick one of the games from the main menu. The game also seems to play at the same speed it always has so nothing was lost in the conversion to PS2. The games are also filled with lots of victory screens and endings along with loads of different backgrounds. Even the characters themselves look great, which is a testament to the quality of the creators all those years ago. Sound-wise the game brings memories flooding back with loads of familiar tunes and sound clips. There is a hell of a lot to do if you want to experience everything the disc has to offer.

Even before reading this review you have probably already figured out if this game is for you or not. If you are a fan of the SF and/or the SF Alpha series then this game does nothing wrong to dissuade you from making the purchase. If you have never played the Alpha series of SF games before, then this package is cheap enough to let you make the jump without putting a big dent in your wallet. The only reasons you have for not picking up this game are: not liking the Alpha series of game when they were first released, or if you were a Mortal Kombat fan back in the 90’s and if you were then why the hell did you waste your time reading this?!

8.2 out of 10

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