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Street Fighter Alpha Anthology Review: All the Street Fighting You Could Ever Want
game: Street Fighter Alpha Anthology
two star
posted by: Amanda Bateman
publisher: Capcom
developer: Capcom
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date posted: 06:15 PM Mon Aug 14th, 2006
last revision: 06:20 PM Mon Aug 14th, 2006

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Click to read.We\'re seeing a lot of series compilations lately for Playstation 2. These bundles try to repackage the best of old console games into products that can be played on the newer consoles, much like video game time capsules. The Street Fighter Alpha Anthology is another one of those collections.

Street Fighter Alpha Anthology takes everything you love about the Street Fighter series and compiles it onto one convenient Playstation 2 disc, along with various extras expected from any product trying to sell you ten year old programing code. Included in the compilation are Street Fighter Alpha, Alpha 2, Alpha 2 Gold, and Gem Fighter, all mostly well-known games from the Street Fighter bloodline of old.

Each game has, obviously, its own characters, plot, graphic style, and music, but any one is basically a shadow of the others in the compilation. Arcade Mode allows the player to fight a series of battles while advancing through a small bit of plot. Versus Mode lets a second player pick up a controller and fight against the first player. SFAA also includes a CPU option that allows the second player to be controlled by the computer AI, making it like Arcade, but without the wisp of story or the hierarchy of characters. We\'re seeing more options like this in games like Rockstar Presents Table Tennis, but it still feels like it goes against the nature of \"versus\" - however if you want to learn how to beat Hawk on the hardest difficulty, this is the way to do it. Survival Mode challenges the player by seeing how many battles they can win without replenishing health. In the Options menu, you can adjust difficulty, sound, and control commands, which, of course, would not be possible to alter if you were actually playing at the arcade. Here, new players can also set a handicap for themselves for when the going gets tough, while those with experience can bump up the difficulty and get a real challenge.

The Anthology can also be downloaded to the PS2\'s hard drive if you have one, allowing for faster loading times and better gameplay. It\'s a novel idea, but I found this feature mostly superfluous. The load times are pretty short to begin with, so unless you\'re just compulsive about your load times, it\'s useless. Kudos for someone actually using the PS2\'s hard drive, which has been, largely, just a bloated memory card for Final Fantasy XI. Downloading parts of games to the PS2\'s hard drive to cut down on the loading is a great idea. If SFAA were larger and had more significant load times, it would have been a cool feature. But as is it\'s nice, but not terribly useful.

SFAA is great in that it has that arcade feel to it, except that it\'s happening in your living room and not at the local pizza joint. As a result, SFAA reminds you why the home console was such a significant advancement in video games, allowing the arcade experience in the home without a constant diet of quarters. However, after repeated exposure to advances in both graphics and gameplay in fighting games today, Street Fighter might not be worth your time. For fans of the series, they\'ll definitely want to add this collection to their game library. They\'ll enjoy an old favorite without having to pull out the old consoles. SFAA is also ideal for those new to the series and who are curious what the famous name is all about. Overall, SFAA offers some 2D side-scrolling, button-mashing fun, but it doesn\'t boast anything new and exciting that we haven\'t seen before. Street Fighter has been copied often enough now days that you\'re not going to encounter anything unexpected. At a budget price, Street Fighter offers enough fun to entertain you for a day, but not much beyond that.

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