Street Fighter Alpha

Game Boy Color

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 9

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 7

Wow. Just plain wow. No developer should be able to create such a great port of a game like this into an 8-bit portable. It's simply not natural. Anyway, what we have here is an absolutely stunning port and easily the best fighting game on the Game Boy/Color.

Ten characters plus two hidden ones (don't get all excited, one's Dan and the other is Bison) have been crammed into this little miracle. A few stages had to be cut, but the vast majority remain intact. All of the super combo's and special moves have made it with no sacrifices. Everything is easily pulled off, even with the small D-pad. It's obvious at times that the developer, Crawfish Interactive, eased up a bit on the controls. There are times when it's blatantly obvious you didn't pull of a dragon punch, but the game will register it.

As for only having 2-buttons to work with for a 6-button fighter, never fear. Taps are for the light punches and fierce shots are done by holding down the button a split second longer. This does lead to a few unwanted moves, but this hardly lowers your satisfaction of the game any. Oh, the taunts have made their way in too. Press select once per match.

Though shouts of "Sho-ryu-ken!!" may not be bellowed out in this one, the music has been captured intact. Every tune is instantly recognizable from it's console/arcade counterpart. It's the sound effects that bring this one down. Every hit sounds exactly the same regardless of it's effectiveness and the loss of voices makes everything sound barren. Taking into consideration the hardware limitations, it's about what's expected.

Those looking to dive deep into this games feature list will most likely be disappointed. There are two choices here: Arcade and Training. Nope, no multi-player at all, a fatal mistake for any one-on-one fighter. The options let you customize the game just like any other version (thankfully including a speed option), but no multi-player. Also, if you manage to unlock the hidden fighters and hit the power button, they're gone. There is no battery back up or password option.

Instead of opting for the super-deformed look like so many other portable fighters have, the characters have been shrunk down, detailed with 3 colors, and animated smoothly. Even with the color issue, the characters look stunning considering the hardware. The actual fighting area is small and is crushed between two black bars which house the energy and special meters. The backgrounds have lost a lot of their animation, but there is still some activity (the cat still paces during the fight is Rose's stage). Considering the animation disaster that was Street Fighter II in the Game Boy, this is a welcome change of pace.

If you can live without the ability to link up, save feature, and sound problems should be able to thoroughly enjoy this title. There's a decent challenge level here and enough characters to keep any gamer occupied on a long road trip. While it looks incredible and plays even better, it's still hard not to think about what a few extra features could've done for this one.

Side note: GBA users be aware! If you switch to the widescreen mode in the middle of the fight, your timing on your jumps will be WAY off. Make sure to choose which mode you prefer before you play!


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 04:50 AM