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CD AGES
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Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by CD AGES Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:06 pm

Image

Unleashed onto the arcade scene in 1996, Alpha 2 had a lot to answer for after Capcom’s attempt at re-establishing the SF brand resulted in, quite frankly a major disappointment. The original Alpha reeked of a rushed job, with graphics and (more importantly) gameplay that did not meet the standards that the series was renowned for at the time. The games graphics looked lifeless and dull especially in the backgrounds, and the gameplay felt out of place as the established “Magic Series” combo engine did not blend at all with these World Warriors as well as it had with Capcom’s other popular IP in the 2D fighting arena. It goes without saying that Alpha 2 sought to correct every major mistake set by its predecessor and thankfully, achieved in doing so with such efficient execution, that the series was once again able to bask in the glory it had attained for itself. Everything Alpha 2 offered felt fresh and cohesive. The visuals received a major facelift with beautifully detailed backgrounds, an improved color scheme and amazing artwork throughout. The roster bolstered 4 additional fighters and the inclusion of 1 all new character, Sakura Kasugano. The Alpha Counter system was expanded with one additional counter for every character providing more diverse counter measures during combat, and most importantly, the dreaded magic series combo engine was thrown out and replaced with a new innovative mechanic known as the Custom Combo (IMO one of the greatest mechanic ever devised for the genre). I was exposed to this game much like every other fighter back then… at the local arcade. I can still remember being completely awed by the cabinet’s marquee; you know the one with Ryu staring directly at Akuma with a look of fear (perhaps one of the most iconic images in the franchise, at least to me). Alpha 2 ranks in my top 3 favorite Street Fighter games of all time… 3rd Strike, Alpha 2, and Turbo Hyper Fighting. With Alpha 2’s success on gaining back the respect of the community and fans alike, it was only natural that major home consoles would get a translation of the arcade game.
This comparison video review is just a means to see how 4 different console ports of this game stack up to the original source. We’ll be looking at the versions found on the Saturn, PS1, SNES, and finally PS2 (where the game can be found in Alpha Anthology).
All four 4 versions in these videos were displayed on a flat CRT 30’ Sharp brand TV with all 4 consoles outputting video in S-video. Controllers used for this exercise consists of a SNES standard controller, an official Nubytech 15th anniversary Street Fighter arcade stick and a tototek “Classic Joypad Converter” for stick compatibility on a Saturn. The character subject for this exercise will be Rolento (secondary color), difficulty is set at “4 Star” default and game speed is set as follows…
PS2/SNES: default arcade speed “Turbo 2” with “Turbo” enabled after character selection.
Saturn/PS1: 5 out of 8 star speed with “Turbo” enabled after character selection (this is the closest setting that mimics the default arcade (PS2) speed without being faster or slower than).

PS2 (The most accurate of any home console. The games unlockable dip switch setting allows the user to tailor and replicate the mechanics and changes of any revision that the game received during its arcade run. The game also has the distinct honor of being the only home version to retain its original CPS2 soundtrack.)
http://youtu.be/4V3TcgTsF4U

Saturn (Formally the most arcade accurate home port. Sprites look larger on screen out of all home ports available. Loading is quick, perhaps a tad faster than PS1 version. This version has the least animation cuts of the 2 ports. Some missing frames worth mentioning, like Rolentos "Patriot Circle" special spin animation looks a bit choopy and Zangief's retreat animation was removed and replaced with a reversed forward walk animation. Both PS1 and Saturn share a new arranged soundtrack with the Saturn's running at ADPCM format. Whatever that means, the result is music audio sounds superior of the two!)
http://youtu.be/X7xkCyluebA

PS1 (This version has a few setbacks. Plenty of animation frames have been cut throughout the cast. The most interesting animation cuts come from Zangief's removal of BOTH retreat and forward walk animations. They are now replaced with a very unique, less memory intensive walk animation that substitutes both actions. The games intro is simply an FMV recording of the arcade intro. Speed is not as much a problem as people perceive it to be. There is some slowdown here and there, but its never a frequent issue and it doesn't impact gameplay when it does creep up. Perhaps the biggest setback of the PS1 port lies in the original content of the arcade. The PS1 version does not have the 3 hidden characters E. Ryu, Old Zangief and Old Dhalsim!)
http://youtu.be/TygzxxwmeHQ

SNES (Just an awful port that should have never been released on the aging platform. Alpha 3 upper on the GBA was a more impressive port of that partcular game than this. Just check out the video for yourself. Sorry, I just couldn't bare to go through 5 matches on this port :lol: )
http://youtu.be/a--d19j-Ok0
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Balasubbie
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by Balasubbie Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:37 am

But, but, but......I really liked the SNES port. I was impressed with the sheer hobbyism that must've been involved in getting the thing to run on a SNES, and it's still playable. I mean, it has 'loading' times, but it's not 8-bit Micros levels of bad, it's not even 'bad'. It loses a lot, but remains involving. It's not my playing preference for the game, but hey, I find it quite impressive nonetheless.
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by 8bit Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:59 am

I am a proud owner of all of the versions reviewed so I can appreciate your review. I think your pretty much spot on except I still think the import saturn gold version is my favorite. The saturn controller really makes a difference for me too since I don't have that amazing 15th anniversary fight stick.
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Nyukki
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by Nyukki Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:09 am

So....like....please don't crucify me, but....HTPC, MAME, decent USB stick, job done!

:mrgreen:
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CD AGES
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by CD AGES Fri Oct 12, 2012 6:22 am

I am a proud owner of all of the versions reviewed so I can appreciate your review. I think your pretty much spot on except I still think the import saturn gold version is my favorite. The saturn controller really makes a difference for me too since I don't have that amazing 15th anniversary fight stick.


Thank you for the compliment. Well in all honesty "Zero 2 Alpha" (known as Alpha 2 gold in the states) is a completely different game that should not be compared to the standard alpha 2 releases. Not only did the whole cast go thru major balance changes, but so did the game's entire engine (and these changes were for the worst as the game got virtually no support nor praise among the community). Not to mention the addition of a new character, anywho, I would love to do an alpha 2 gold review comparison (between PS2, PS1 and Saturn ports) if there is interest in such a thing.

You mention you perfer the import version of gold... may I ask why you favor it over the US version of the same game on the saturn??? I'm just curious, if you don't mind me asking...
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by hashiriya1 Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:00 am

Thanks for this comparison. Alpha 2 is my favorite Street Fighter game. I spent hours playing it back in high school at arcades, dominating with Rolento. I thought I was really good, but as time went on I realized that the game is very unbalanced and Rolento has an unfair advantage over pretty much every character.

I, too, love the SNES version. It could be pity, but I really enjoy playing it.
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by AppleQueso Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:35 am

Doesn't the ps2 version of Alpha 2 not support 240p?
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CD AGES
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by CD AGES Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:39 am

Thanks for this comparison. Alpha 2 is my favorite Street Fighter game. I spent hours playing it back in high school at arcades, dominating with Rolento. I thought I was really good, but as time went on I realized that the game is very unbalanced and Rolento has an unfair advantage over pretty much every character.

You're welcome. Yes Rolento is a Beast in this game, but he def does have match ups that are difficult for him. Chun Li springs to mind. She is arguably the most dominant character by a wide margin. She has absolutely no bad match ups against anyone so she can't be counter picked. Her tools give her an edge to just about any given situation and her CC are the most damaging and very deadly.

Doesn't the ps2 version of Alpha 2 not support 240p?

I'm not entirely sure how to determine if it does. I know the game supports Progressive Scan 480p and is compatible with the PS2 HDD.
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by sevin0seven Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:10 pm

i'm another one who also enjoyed the SNES version of SFA2. it might not be the best version of all the ports, but it's the best 16-bit version. :wink:
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Re: Street Fighter Alpha 2 Multi console comparison review

by AppleQueso Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:12 pm

I think I'll throw my hat into the "Hey the SNES version was pretty cool" ring too. Sure it's undoubtedly the worst port, but what do you expect?

I think it's actually pretty well done considering the hardware.
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