Street Fighter Alpha for the Sega Saturn arrived today, and after a few minutes play I can safely say it’s redeemed the Saturn as a 2D fighting platform in my eyes. Prior to owning SF Alpha, the only other 2D fighters I’ve played on the Saturn are the slightly weird Golden Axe Duel, and the infinitely weirder Battle Monsters.
Neither impressed me greatly (although Golden Axe Duel is a pretty nifty concept).
Street Fighter however is one of my most beloved franchises, never failing to elicit memories of a misspent youth playing Street Fighter 2 on the SNES at the local video store (we’re talking VHS era here) so I had high hopes for Alpha on the Saturn, and wasn’t disappointed. Graphics – from big bold sprites to colourful backgrounds – are well catered for on the Saturn, and the characters move with a fluidity that is a requirement of any good fighting game. The only let down in the look and feel department (which is a product of the game more than the console) is that the fight locations are a bit drab when compared to some of the other Street Fighter games.
In terms of ]game play, Street Fighter Alpha on the Saturn is absolutely filled to the brim with exciting characters, whopping combos and screen-exploding super moves, all accompanied by some solid sound and music. To top off the experience, the Saturn control pad is a 6 button powerhouse, destined to be used to beat an opponent into submission with a variety of kicks, punches and grappling goodness.
Yeah, I’m a little excited. And why not? Street Fighter Alpha has proven – to me at least – that the Saturn is a capable 2D fighting platform that holds its own against other SF friendly consoles like the SNES, Dreamcast and Panasonic 3DO. If you have a Saturn and a penchant for fighting games, you could do a lot worse than seeking out a copy of Street Fighter Alpha.