I remember seeing this game in Gamestop many years ago. I tried to buy the game, but the store told me that they couldn’t find the disc which ended the dream before it could even begin. When I won a contest I knew that this game would have to be one of my purchases. You can’t call yourself a fighting game fan if you have not played the legendary Street Fighter Alpha series. This way you get to play them all in one shot. The collection brings all of the Alpha games plus special versions of each title and even a little chibi crossover title. This is a must buy collection.
There isn’t much of a plot in the games since they came out so long ago. The characters do get openings and endings in their Arcade stories so you don’t need to worry about that. Of course, it is always a very basic plot and you have to connect the dots on your own. The wiki is good for learning about the extended versions of each story though. If you are puzzled about anything, just quickly head on over and be illuminated as to what actually happened. I definitely give the games props for actually having a story. Some games like King of Fighters don’t even try to give you an actual plot. Moreover, the plots in Alpha are actually engaging unlike titles like AquaPazza.
After playing Street Fighter V, it is very odd to play the Alpha games. The gameplay is dramatically different and it will take some getting used too. Once you get into it though, it really starts to be a blast. The gameplay is the real draw of this game so you’ll want a friend to play it with. If not, just fighting the computer for a few hours should be very nostalgic for long time Street Fighter fans. It is especially appropriate right now since the Alpha games basically serve as prequels to the Street Fighter V title.
Birdie, Rainbow Mika, and Karin are among the other characters from Street Fighter V who originated in these games. It’s certainly fun to see these classic versions of the characters and even favorite characters like Ryu and Ken certainly look a lot younger here. It is fun to see how the characters have actually aged along during the years. It gives the series a sense of realism…the good kind. Of course, I will be upset if it ever goes too far and whole characters are taken out because of the time gap like in Soul Calibur. After a certain point, the characters should definitely stop aging.
Graphically, Alpha 1 hasn’t aged all that well. The sprites look ancient and a lot older than I would have expected. By Alpha 3, the game looks a lot more polished like I had expected from the start. The attacks are all fun and the game is very bright so the stages really stand out. The soundtrack for this collection is excellent as well. You’ll be hearing a lot of iconic themes that have become famous over the years and this was before all of the big remixes so these are the themes are they were meant to be. Of course, a good remix can go a long way. Ryu’s theme in Street Fighter V is actually the best one that he has ever had.
Super Gem Fighter is the bonus game that came along with the Alpha titles. Unfortunately, I have to say that it is really not that good. The game tries to go for a party/fighting game mix that doesn’t go over well. If you want a game that is able to achieve both goals, just head on to Super Smash Bros Brawl. The gameplay just doesn’t make any sense and you’ll be struggling to do anything for quite a while. Seriously, button mashing won’t cut it this time and even when you stop to learn the controls it will still be hazy. I can safely say that I won’t be revisiting Gem Fighter anytime soon. It’s just not worth it, but no matter, the Alpha games are ultimately why you are here.
There is a lot of replay value to be found in this collection as you might expect. The multiplayer modes alone can last you an unlimited amount of time in theory. Beating the game with every character in every game should also take you a while. If you try to unlock all of the bonus games, that will help extend the replay value as well. There are even complex methods that you can use to unlock many other fighters. That may be worth a look if you’re a really big Akuma fan. I haven’t really messed around with it yet, but one of the secret games is Hyper Street Fighter Alpha which is like a crossover of the various Alpha games. You can have Alpha 1 Ryu fight Alpha 3 Ryu for example. I love the concept behind this and I would love to see something similar for Super Smash someday. Imagine having Melee Fox face off against Brawl Meta Knight or something like that. The gameplay mechanics may make this tricky, but I’m sure that it must be achievable. Surely such a thing could not be impossible right?
Even though this is a collection there is not much else to say about this title since there isn’t really a plot. In the end, the only way you won’t like this game is if you just aren’t a big Street Fighter fan. If you like how the series plays, then you’ll definitely like this game. Naturally, I recommend Alpha 3 the most. It’s the most modern so you can really get into the swing of things there. I can proudly say that I basically own every big console Street Fighter game at this point so that’s a nice milestone. It is definitely the best (non Super Smash) fighting game series and it is easy to see why it became a household name. I don’t see the Street Fighter franchise dying out anytime soon.
Overall, If you like fighting games then this should be like a dream come true for you. You’re getting 3 complete games along with extra versions and a nice little minigame that isn’t fun, but it’s still something I suppose. The price isn’t even that bad anymore. You’ll probably be able to buy it for like 15-20 at this point or maybe even less depending on where you look. I’ll admit that it is old though so I have more fun playing on the newer titles like Street Fighter V, but I’m always up for a round here. Good gameplay can never age badly. It’s also quite cool how Ryu basically hasn’t changed at all. His moves are still the same in SF V as in Alpha and it’s probably been at least a decade between these titles.