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Street Fighter Alpha Anthology PlayStation 2

Published by Capcom
Developed by Capcom
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £19.99

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology, an introduction.

When it comes to 2D fighting games few developers can claim to have as impressive a portfolio of classic games, such as Capcom. Perhaps the best loved series of them all when it comes to 2D fighting games is the Street Fighter Alpha series. The arcade versions of Street Fighter Alpha and its sequels were tremendously popular in the 1990s in the US and Japan and such was the quality of the games that even today they are held in high regard by fans of the genre. It makes perfect sense then for Capcom to put all of these great 2D fighting games into one collection and that's exactly what we have here with the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology.

What's the game about?

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology contains Street Fighter Alpha,  Street Fighter Alpha II, Street Fighter Alpha II Gold, Street Fighter Alpha III and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. This is the first time these games have appeared together in a compilation and are all arcade perfect ports. There are also some unlockable games here too, such as  Street Fighter Alpha III Upper and if you complete that you'll have access to Hyper Street Fighter Alpha  (which allows you to pick earlier versions of each of the characters to play as). In fact it's simply a compilation all Street Fighter Alpha fans will be keen to get their hands on.

What's good about the game?

The most pleasing aspect of the compilation is that the games are arcade perfect. There's nothing missing and no problems as a result of placing the games on the PlayStation 2. The controls in each of the games are absolutely fine too. The best of the bunch is Street Fighter Alpha II (even so long after its release I don't think there's been a fighting game that's been so well balanced or enjoyable to play and that has such an interesting roster of characters) but there's not a bad (or even mediocre) game in this impressive compilation. In fact you look at the quality of the games on offer in this compilation and I think it's safe to say that 3D fighting games will never surpass (and will do exceedingly well to equal) the quality of some of the games on offer here.

What's not so good about the game?

The real disappointment with this compilation is that you can't play the games online. Given the quite miserable state of online PlayStation 2 gaming this is no surprise to be fair but you could imagine how good these games would be if they were on a console such as the Xbox 360 with full support for Xbox Live. Of course if you have a decent circle of friends who like the game and who visit you regularly you'll no doubt have a great time with games. I suspect for most people this won't be the case though and it would have been great to have been able to take the games online and play against others. The Hyper Street Fighter Alpha game is a versus game only so if you don't have the opportunity to play against another in your home then you won't be able to play this game at all.

How does it look?

The games look just as you would expect them to. You can tell from the screenshots that the graphics haven't been improved or modified in anyway which is just how it should be with a compilation such as this. You can opt to play the game using NTSC (60Hz) or NTSC Progressive output if you wish but the game runs fine in the default PAL (50Hz) mode. You can apply a filter to make the games look slightly less pixelated but in fairness it's not really needed. There are only small loading times to get you to the game of your choice but there are no loading times after this point unless you decide to return to the main menu.  

How deaf gamer friendly is the game?

The original arcade games of what we have in this compilation were created at a time when games didn't really rely on sound to convey important information. None of the games in this compilation will cause deaf gamers any problems. Dialogue from the characters that takes place outside of the fights is shown in text. Some announcer speech and the occasional few words spoken by the characters during a fight (and on the character select screen) are not subtitled but this is hardly a problem.

Final thoughts.

The Street Fighter Alpha Anthology compilation has to be regarded as a must own purchase for fans of 2D fighting games and at the price of £19.99 it represents excellent value. Street Fighter Alpha II is without a doubt the best game in this compilation but the other titles, including Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix , are all great fun to play. The only disappointment is that you can't play these games online meaning you'll have to rely on relatives and friends to provide your human opposition. Had online play been available it would have been the icing on the cake but in fairness to Capcom the game would have had to have been on the Xbox or Xbox 360 in order for the online play to have worked well.

Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10

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The Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is quite simply a must for anyone with even a passing interest in 2D fighting games. It's an excellent compilation that only needed online play to be more or less perfect.