Street Fighter Alpha 3 - GBA

Also known as: Street Fighter Alpha 3 Upper', 'Street Fighter Zero 3

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Also for: PlayStation, Arcade, Dreamcast
Viewed: 2D Side-on, Scrolling Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Crawfish Soft. Co.: Capcom
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Capcom (US)
Released: 29 Nov 2002 (GB)
2002 (US)
Ratings: 11+, ESRB Teen 13+ (T)
Connectivity: Link Cable


Even with only four buttons at your disposal, the quality, depth and attention to detail on display in Crawfish’s swansong port is undeniable. Heralded by fans of 2D fighting games to be the very pinnacle of the genre, Street Fighter Alpha 3 is without doubt the best conversion ever seen for the Game Boy Advance.

Built from the bones of the Dreamcast code, an impressive feat in itself, SFA3 delivers what the GBA has been promising since its release: home console-quality gaming, in all respects, on the move.

More than 30 characters make up the roster, featuring the entire Dreamcast line up and supplemented by three new fighters, namely Yun, Maki and Eagle.

As with Super Turbo Revival, SFA3 offers an interesting and somewhat tricky control method to deal with the lack of buttons on Nintendo’s handheld wonder. Each button can now be given two functions, differentiated by the amount of time the input is given. For example, a quick move will need a quick tap where as a medium move requires a, erm, well, slightly less quick tap. It’s not that easy to master but you can get there in the end. Or you can just resort to playing without certain moves. Not ideal, but possible.

When Street Fighter Alpha 3 was announced by Capcom, a sort of mini tear occurred in the global gaming conscious, as fighting game fans around the world struggled to come to terms with such a massive revelation. It was widely thought that a decent portable version of such a precisely balanced and detailed game, that has been split to the core by millions of hours of glitch-hunting enthusiasts, would be possible in any meaningful sense. The good news came in the announcement that UK-based Crawfish, the developer behind the excellent Game Boy Color version of Street Fighter Alpha, had been commissioned for the conversion. And then Crawfish declared that its version of Alpha 3 would be the best yet released.

There is a graphical splendour at work in this game, the likes of which have never before been seen. Pick up and play gaming makes up easily for the occasional missing sample or background.

Don’t even get us started on the two-player mode, available without the need to purchase a second cartridge. An absolute must-have title. It is a crying shame that this release heralded the end of Crawfish, without doubt the best handheld developer of all time. RIP