Growing up, I never played Street Fighter Alpha 2 – I didn’t even know it existed! While I loved the plethora of original Street Fighter 2 games, I feel like by todays standards they are a bit dated – somewhat clunky and simple. Street Fighter Alpha 2 – which was released at the end of the SNES lifecycle in 1996 – is in a whole other ballgame.
With a selection of 18 old and new characters (although with a few missing favourites including Blanka) and the introduction of the Super Combo Gauge (which allows players to unleash some super-charged moves), this game has some excellent gameplay that feels much faster and smoother than the previous iterations. I always found it difficult to chain combos together in the originals, but not here! There are also a few different modes including a one-player mode where you must face off against 8 random foes, and the obvious multiplayer mode.
There was one kink in the game though that was somewhat annoying. Before each round the announcer yells “fight” but then everything freezes for a few seconds before the fight actually starts. When I first played the game I thought the game froze. Apparently because the game is so large, there are load times before the start of every fight. While the freeze only lasts a few seconds, its still kind of annoying. I would have preferred if the announcer yelled “fight” at the beginning of the battle versus before the 2-3 second pause. In terms of sound, there are lots of yells and battlecry’s that feel right at home in this game.
In terms of graphics, this game looks phenomenal and out of place on the SNES with its awesome intro, amazing colour pallet, detailed backgrounds, and excellent characters. The music is also awesome, and found battling at Ryu’s stage almost nostalgic because of the awesome music.
Overall this game is probably one of my favourite fighting games on the SNES – and well worth the pickup for some awesome multiplayer retro-fighting. Great innovation with the addition of the Super Combo Gauge. I give it a score of 8/10 – loosing some marks because of the slowdown before each battle.
FINAL SCORE 8/10