The Street Fighter Alpha series started somewhere between Street Fighter II and III and served as a sort of prequel to the series. As such, I've always kind of thought of the three games as a bit of a remake of the original Street Fighter. Only if it was really good.
Even though there are three Alpha games and they're actually numbered, they were released in fast succession and feel more like incremental upgrades. In my mind, Alpha 3 is just the "best" or final version of Alpha, much like Third Strike is best or final version of Street Fighter III.
I actually have some pretty fond memories of Alpha 3. Back when my wife and I first bought our house and I finally had my own game room, I remember setting up a makeshift arcade stand with a standing desk and some arcade sticks. I can remember spending weeks playing the Dreamcast port of Alpha 3, trying to really learn a handful of characters and see how far I could get on a single credit. I was tenacious back then. And I had time to burn.
Playing the game now on the Switch Street Fighter Collection is a whole different story. At this point in my life, it feels funny that I was ever any good at Street Fighter games at all. And maybe it's the difficulty of the arcade original CPU, but oh my gosh I'm getting destroyed. It's honestly embarrassing.
But what can you do?
The game itself is still awesome. I love the look of Alpha 3. It's a beautiful looking game. Just look at a screenshot of Blanka and how awesome he's drawn in this one. And what's cool about Alpha 3 is the interesting roster, which lies somewhere between the old familiars of Street Fighter II and the kind of weirdo new inclusions we'd see in Street Fighter III. It's also a very large roster, which I appreciate.
So I spent some time last night dancing between various characters. Cammy has always been my favorite in Alpha 3, which is interesting as I never really use her in Street Fighter II. Though I did like her in Street Fighter IV. Chun-Li works okay for me if I switch it to the X-Ism (the "isms" being Alpha 3's various playstyles... it's complicated). I also like Blanka a lot here. So okay, I guess I'm a bit of a traditionalist. But I also think Sodom is pretty cool.
Anyway, like I said it's a neat game that bridges a gap. Or rather it sort of makes up for the weakness of the original Street Fighter by re-imagining it as something altogether awesome and also retro-fits a lot of the Final Fight universe. And it's gorgeous looking and plays well. But... I am terrible at it. Terrible.