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Street Fighter Alpha 2 - Capcom

by Lim Se-Duk (


    After long wait, SFA2 finally came out to us. With a near-perfect arcade translation, as a fan of arcade version of SFA2, I looked forward to playing the home version. In this review, I will make constant comparison with PSX version of SFA2, but do not get me wrong, i'm not writing this review to bash PSX version which I thought it is a fine conversion for the PSX. Psx SFA2 just came out earlier than Saturn version so, it lacks of certain elements of the game which does not effect game play on PSX version. I also own PSX as well.
Originally, I was going to get import because: First of all I was afraid that it might be censored from original Japanese Saturn version of SFZ2 and make both the PSX, and Saturn version the same by cutting extra options for Saturn (PSX version came out first and it does not have some of extra option and game play that Saturn version has). But, thanks to cool Capcom, they did not got rid of anything (correct me here if I'm wrong, I have not played or seen Japanese version of SFZ2.)

SFA2 has vibrant animation color characters/background which I very much appreciate. Tons of animations are in this game and Saturn version has fairly short loading time considering how much frames of animations are presented. Compared to the old PSX version of SFA, loading time is really minimized/optimized for Saturn. Which optimized to play awesome 2d games (according to next generation article and simply playing cool Saturn 2d games) with minimal loss of animations (including background animations). SFA2I think this game is far out best home conversion of SF game. Saturn version also features original animated introduction while PSX version is done in full motion video(FMV). Again, it shows more effort to create closer translation on Saturn. I could nit-pick every elements that are added to Saturn version compare to PSX but I will point out some-what major ones. This list does not change the fun-factor. The are just extra features that can be appreciated by big fan of SF like me. (Still even I appreciate it but I don't really care).

Some of background animations are intact on Saturn version.

  • Strider throwing his teddy bear on ken's stage.
  • Water reflection on gen's stage
  • In Rolento's stage, the elevator cage the characters are riding gets all the way to the top and stops. Giving you a view from the top of the city. In all the time i've played the PSX version, the elevator never reaches for the top.
  • In M. Bison's stage, the big plane after the 2 saluting soldiers got moving sunlight reflection.

That's about the minor improvement in Saturn version. I give SFA2 graphic 10 out of 10 because i'm the person who appreciate hand drawn animations. (I'm an animator and I know how hard to create such dynamic motions). and good color and nicely finished animated backgrounds. Improvement in endings are also plus. (If you remember the terribly drawn SF2 endings).

SFA2 features 18 characters (not including secret characters) from previous version of SF universe including original and new characters from the Capcom universe.

  • From Original Street Fighter 1: Gen,Adon,Birdie. (Ryu,Ken,Sagat)
  • From Street Fighter 2: Ryu,Ken,Chun-Li,Akuma,Sagat,M. Bisom, Zangief,Dhalsim
  • From Final Fight: Guy,Sodom,Rolento
  • From Street Fighter Alpha 1: Rose, Dan, Charlie.
  • From Street Fighter Alpha 2: Sakura.

Also there are alternative secret characters. They are:

  • Satui No Ryu Aka Evil Ryu (Moves of Ryu and powers of Akuma.)
  • Shin Gouki Aka Super Akuma (With 2-air fireball and long range raging demon.)
  • SF2 Cloth Chun-Li (With charging fire ball, instead of half circle motion.)
  • SF2 Zangief And Dhalsim (No super meter. They have old techniques and no air-block).

That totals out to 23 characters. I believe in PSX version, evil ryu and old school Zangief and dhalsim are not selectable. (In the Japanese version at least). I think this is another little extra for Saturn or closer translation from arcade which features all the characters above.

SFA2 With distinguishing variations of the characters SFA2 features new system call custom combo (I presume that you already know what this is so I will skip explaining everything.) I think that should cover basic introduction of the game.

The music is the same SF music we've been hearing for last 5 years so it is just re-hashed, re-mixed of same SF theme music. While it could get really repetitive, but it is the music that i'm grown to love. Sound F/X is where Saturn version falls short than PSX version but fear not! If you want really clear sound effects, just choose same characters in versus or training mode. SFA2Now, you get full animations for that character and it also gives you crystal clear sound effects!!!!! I think Saturn managed to put more animation quicker while sacrificing quality of sound effects. Even with some-what muffled sound effects, it has awesome separations in sound effects. Also I don't mind about muffled sound anyway. For me it sounded pretty good.

I have 2 joysticks (1 Psycho Pad KO and a Virtua Stick) and they respond very accurately and feels really good! Also the Saturn version is now for better control because of Saturn pad.

Fun-factor and replay value. I do not have to say a thing about this part. If you're bored out of beating level 8 computer opponents, get your friend! The fun never ends in SF...(Or some of my other fighting games like vf2...) Saturn (again) also features survival mode! PSX version does not features this option. You play one character to beat all 18 characters and possibly more (I made it to 15th guy and died but there might be chance of playing secret characters).

Overall, it is an awesome translation and I thank Capcom for doing such awesome job. Any SF or fighting fan should get this game!

Graphics: 10
Sound/Music: 8
Gameplay/Control: 10
Lasting Power: 10
Overall: 9.5

-Se Lim

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