Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max Review

This game was Developed and Distributed by Capcom and is Rated T for Teen.

SFA3MaxWith the Release of the arcade game Street Fighter 2 in 1991, Capcom single-handedly changed the way we play games. The popularity of arcade gaming was on a decline, and the gaming public needed a shot in the arm to maintain interest. Street Fighter was just that shot we needed. While it wasn’t the first fighting title, Capcom introduced hidden special moves and ushered in the age of furious 2 player matches across the world.

Appearing in arcades in 1998 Street Fighter Alpha 3 was the last true street fighter game to be released. This title combined most, if not all of the characters from all the Street Fighter 2 incarnations, and even included some of the favorites from Street Fighter 1. Also new to the series was the introduction of the ISM. When selecting your character you could choose 1 of 3 ISMs, those being X, V or A-ISM. Essentially the ISM choices control how your super gauge fills and how your super moves go off. This would be one of the more confusing aspects of this game, so it pays to read the manual.


Anyways, that’s enough on the history of Street Fighter, what you’re all wondering is does this game play well on the PSP? The answer to that is a simple yes, but there is more to it. The game looks gorgeous, it’s games like this where you really can appreciate the quality of the PSP’s LCD screen. The game sounds good too. It’s the control that brings this game down from a must own. I’ve said this in previous reviews, and it’s been beaten to death on all the websites. The PSP’s DPad is horrible for games like this, hitting the diagonals is iffy at the best of times. This will mean that your fireballs and uppercuts may fail at the worst possible time, or that you’ll end up jumping straight up when you really wanted to jump back.

It’s an example on how great the game is though that you’ll keep on playing despite the controls. They are flawed yes, but not because the game was designed wrong. Capcom had to make due with a slightly flawed portable system, and they a commendable job.


Street Fighter Alpha 3 contains a surprising number of gameplay modes. In fact when you get to the main menu and notice that there are 12 options to choose from you may feel a little overwhelmed. Examples of the modes are: Arcade mode, where you take your chosen fighter through 10 fights, earning his or her ending sequence. World Tour mode, where you take your chosen fighter on a series of fights earning upgrades in the process. This mode plays out like a mini RPG, and it was a great addition. The fact that your fighter gains abilities and strength while playing through this mode is enough of a carrot to keep you going back for “Just 1 more match”. I’ve seen modes like this done before in other fighting games, like Soul Caliber and Mortal Kombat for instance. But Capcom just did it right in this game. Kudos to them.

My other favorite modes were the Dramatic and Variable battle modes. Dramatic battle has you and a computer controlled character taking on a foe, while variable battle is essentially the reverse of that. I would have loved a true and developed tag system like the Capcom versus series of games had, but I can’t fault them for leaving one out. I’m personally hoping for a Marvel vs. Capcom game to come out in the future to fill that craving.


When you are tired playing through the various play modes, you can do what I did and try unlocking the endings for all the 40 or so characters in the game. While a true story may be a little bit much to ask for in a fighting game, the endings have always been fun to watch in the Street Fighter series. Basically what I’m saying is that you’ll be playing this title for a while before running out of things to do.

If multiplayer battles are your thing, Capcom has also thrown in a slew of multiplayer modes. Sadly these are available only through Ad-Hoc play. You can battle in versus mode, team battle, dramatic battle and variable battle, but I still would have loved some form of online multiplayer. You’ve heard me whine about the lack of Infrastructure enough here though, so I’ll save it for another time.


All in all Street Fighter Alpha 3 is an amazing port of a great fighting game for your PSP. While the controls take some getting used to, there is enough meat here to keep the gamers coming back for more. If you are new to the Street Fighter series you may want to rent first, but if you are a fan this is a must buy. You may want to look for one of those limited edition DPad covers on Ebay as well, I hear that that work wonders to fix the DPad control issues.

Although SFA is 2d sprites, they are bright and clear.
This is a port os an arcade classic. Some of the sounds seem to have been reworked, but nothing major.
One of the best fighting experiences I\’ve had on a console. Capcom did us right with this release.
Depending on your collection of friends, the Ad-hoc multiplayer may be used greatly, or not at all.
Overall: 8.5

4 Responses to “Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max Review”

  1. 1 Brian

    May get it

  2. 2 Dr.Hookems

    No wait till mortal kombat hits the psp thats gonna be sweet

  3. 3 Mystic Gohan

    I don’t know, I’m a life long Street Fighter fan. Been playing since the Street Fighter and Street Fighter 2 days back on the Sega Genesis.

  4. 4 cordie

    hey i was wondering if there are any hidden characters in the game. i was going to try and unlock all of the story lines for the characters but i wanted to know if i should before i wasted time doing it. thanks

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