What do you do when you are nearly at the end of being able to milk a franchise release? You re-invent that franchise with better graphics, a new storyline and leave the core elements alone. That is exactly what Capcom did with Street Fighter Alpha. Sadly, this gave Capcom yet another franchise, within a franchise, to milk to death. Fans didn’t seem to mind it though.
Street Fighter Alpha took the franchise in a new direction with additional “super” moves and an all new art style. Basically, Capcom did the “duh” thing fans wanted for a long time. They gave the graphics a major update. The new style helped SFA fit in with X-Men: Children of the Atom, Darkstalkers and other titles that featured a more ‘animation’ based look. Fans ate it up. It is iconic and it is very detailed.
Set between the events of Street Fighter and Street Fighter II, Alpha allowed Capcom to play with the look of mainstays like Ken, Ryu, Chun Li and Sagat. We also see a bit of Guile and Sagat’s history with the introduction of Charlie and Adon respectively.
The shadows are BLUE!
Interestingly, Street Fighter Alpha was the point of a fair bit of controversy in Gamefan Magazine. Well, at least the home versions were the point of the argument. Anyone that was a gamer back then will probably remember the argument over “blue shadows”.
Back to Street Fighter Alpha now. Another thing that Capcom added in this release, which was quite cool, was “Dramatic Battle”. This was where two players controlling Ken or Ryu respectively, could fight M. Bison in the final battle. This was quite a game changer for one on one fighting games (I mean, the genre name is kind of direct on what is going on).
So, which type of fighting game fan are you? Capcom? SNK? Something else?