StReEt FiGhTeR AlPhA 3
Beautiful graphics, many different characters, replay value.
Enemies can be cheap, sound could be more better but it is okay.
The Bottom Line:
THE BEST GAME for GBA in a long time. Your thumb will turn red and sore from the hours of fun doing combos. Just get it.
This game finally came out after much anticipation. When I bought mine, the guy at the register said he thought it was the Playstation version at the game convention. I bought two copies from this small store (all they had left) and another guy started to talk about the game when he heard I was buying it. After this I knew this game would not dissapoint.
The graphics in the game are quite good. I would definately say the comparison to the Playstation version is a worthy statement. The graphics shine in the fighting scenes and especially the super combos you can do. The graphics are really GBA-ish when you see the character screen where the player chooses who he wants to play as. The single player menu is great but the one for the others are quite honestly much worse. They leave out the close up of the chacter when you choose your character which leaves you to depend on the very small portraits to pick from. Sometimes I could not tell who was who. But past this, the graphics are amazing. If you defeat your opponent with a super combo the whole screen glows in a color like green and yellow which really adds a lot of eye candy. The backgrounds are even more amazing than the characters in action. I would seriously say they are nearly identical to the Playstation version. The backgrounds are clear as can be and have the animated things going on as well.
The majority of the complaints goes to sound which I don't really think is all to bad. It's definatly not amazing sound but it is damn good enough for me. I hooked mine up to speakers and it sounded even better. The quality is between the best of the GBA sound and the best of a Gameboy. You could say it has enough spunk to be better than beeps and melodies.
The sound effects are just as they should be. They say their moves out loud and you can understand what they said. Kicks and punches sound as they should and nothing seems wronge there.
This game is packed with different modes. One I really enjoyed was the Dramatic Mode. I mean, what's more fun than having another charcter fight with you against one opponent? One thing I did not like was how two human players coudl not go in Dramatic Mode. There are around 33 characeters to choose from. Some will always be used like Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, E. Honda, Akuma, etc. However, some will be forgotten but hey, at least they are there to pick from. There are obvious favorites and obvious "throw away" characters who are just plain not as fun to play with. The lamer characters make up with good combos or speed.
There are three "ism's" in the game: X, V, A. It adds more of an "RPG-ish" feel to it although not that much. You minorly customise your character by picking these three. A-ism is the standard one most will like. You can perform three super combos at level 1, 2 or 3. You also have standard defense and offense. With X-ism, you will get only get to use the level 3 super combo so you won't be able to use weaker combos. X-ism is good for offense but the defense is not as good. V-ism is when you do your moves and the shadow following you also inflicts damage. It allows the player to cutomise their combos but once they get hit they lose it. Overall, most will perfer A-ism.
This game boasts a lot of replay value. I think as much as Advance Wars did, maybe more since you can get tired of playing Advance Wars. The fast action of Street Fighter will not keep you dulled down so playing again is no "task" like Advance Wars can seem to get. You can't go wrong with this game and replay. After you get all the hidden characters and unlock all the locked options, you'll then have to do them all. There is a lot to do and they even have a score trackers so you can try to beat your scores. Three characters are able to be unlocked so that'll take some time since I don't know how to unlock them :)
Well, you'll need to have a friend who has the game in the first place. After that you can immediatly start to go VS. It's always fun to play against a real person. Favorite things you'll complain about is the cheating involved like keep on tripping your opponent or keep shooting from afar...but if they were good enough they could stop that kind of stuff. This adds a lot of replay value but it may be hard to find someone who also has the game.
I do not think the cramped buttons are a factor in this game's con. Who would want to hit their opponent with a light punch anyway? I like the fact that the strong attacks are A and B. I also like that the super combos can be done with a more simple button combo. Veterains who practiced day in and day out to do those complicated combos may feel it is a con but people like me who didn't grow up with the game much will like the idea. What's a super combo if you can't do it? I mean, it would be near impossible to do most of the close range combos in the game because the enemies move to much. It's hard enough with the simple version.
The small buttons are not too bad if you get used to them. It may make it faster to do moves since the pad is so small. Others may find it difficult to do combos and such because their thumb is large compared to the whole directional pad. Pushing up down and diagonal may be a process.
The character-choosing screen not for single player is a con because you may not be able to tell who is who based on a very small square with the character's face in it. Believe me, it sucks when you start.
The biggest con is the fact that in a lot of parts in the non-fighting of the game, you can't UNDO a selection. This pizzed me off because I wanted to go back but couldn't. They don't even supply the "hold-the-certain-buttons-to-restart-the-game" thingamajig. Also, they pick up a selection too early. When you select to go to a certain place and, being impatient, push the A button multiple times to get there (although technically you only need one push of the A button), they pick it up on the next screen and you can't go back so that gets frustrating. If you can get past that than there are basically no real big con.
HOW IT CAN GET DIRTY:
One player you need to worry about is Sagat, or I like to call him Sagat the _aget. He constantly shoots at you, I mean constantly! Then when you get close he does his multiple knee upper cut thing on you. His legs are very long so he has a lot of advantages. Not only that but he blocks almost throughout the whole fight. This makes it a harder opponent since he's always before Bison but damn does he get on your nerves. Be prepared.
You yourself can get cheap by tripping the computer constantly. I say trip two times than do something like 100 slap attack on him to knock him down again, then do the same over and over. E. Honda is one of my favorite characters since he is really unstopable up close, he's very agile for his size and he gets the strength of his size. Usually they balance character out. That's why stronge guys can't shoot blasts and they are only good up close. Honda can do his flying head but so thats just as good. So for anyone who just wants to win easy, pick E. Honda. Ryu and Ken are also good, very balanced. Maybe when your really good at the game you can go for harder to use characters.
One last thing that can pizz you off. Sometimes the enemy can keep hitting you and you just can't do anything about it for a while. Akuma does this a lot so try not to get trapped in that stuff.
Remember, this as a HARD game. For some reason, they made the enemies more hard than most remember. Without the options of auto guard, etc you get later on, 30 or 50 battle, for example, is impossible.
BANG FOR BUCK:
At $29.99 at nearly every store, it's a decent price and worth it. I don't see the price dropping any time soon so don't think you'll just wait for a couple of months for it to drop. Usually this kind of game only drops in price if another game comes out like Street Fighter 4 or something. Street Fighter Revival is quite cheap...but now every wants Alpha 3! Gameboy Advance games go only as high as around $40 so I'd say $30 is a good deal for this game. The lowest it can get is from $20 to $25 but that's only for really bad games or really old games or games that don't sell well. So in conclusion, get this game despite your price range because this is just an average price.
I only wanted two games ever since a couple of months ago: Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Golden Sun 2. For any teen to adult gamer, games like these are the ones to be waiting for. SFA3 has too many modes and replay value it is just as good as two average GBA games combined. If you buy it definately try to make your friends get it so you can fight them. This is THE BEST fighting game for the GBA, no contest. The closest competator is Street Fighter Revival but why get that whne this one is updated with much more? Just like the GBA is king of the portable gameing world, Street Fighter Alpha 3 is the king of fighting games on the GBA. So you wanted a fighting game for the GBA but don't know what to get? Believe me, this is the game to get, don't get those cheap immatations. I even believe Mortal Kombat won't be as good, they've only gotten worse with every game (don't forget Mortal Kombat Advance...ek).