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Old 10-14-2002, 10:22 AM   #1
Mr Mort
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Post Report: Street Fighter Alpha/Zero 3 on GBA

I recently acquired the import version of SFZ3 for GBA. For anyone who cares, here's what I've come up with so far:

-Yun, Maki, Eagle, Guile, and Evil Ryu are not immediately selectable. Taken from GameFaqs.com, here is how you unlock these characters and other features:

...You must use difficulty lv2 to unlock character and option:

Drama Mode: defeat once in Arcade mode with any character
Survive Mode: defeat once in Drama mode
Evil Ryuu: defeat Arcade mode 3 times in Arcade mode(3 different Characters)
Guile: defeat Arcade mode 5 times in Arcade mode(5 different Characters)
Maki: defeat Arcade mode 7 times in Arcade mode(7 different Characters)
Yun: defeat Arcade mode 9 times in Arcade mode(9 different Characters)
Eagle: defeat Arcade mode 11 times in Arcade mode(11 different Characters)
Final Battle : Beat Boss Survival
Saikyou Mode : Beat 10 Survival
Mazi Mode : Beat 30 Survival
Classic Mode : Beat 50 Survival
Zero Combo : Beat Final Battle
ISM Options
Zero Combo: Defeat Final Battle once
Zero Cancel: Defeat Final Battle Twice(different characters)
Super Zero Cancel: Defeat Final Battle 3 times
Super Guard: Defeat Final Battle 4 times
Infinite Guard: Defeat Final Battle 10 times
Auto Guard: Defeat Final Battle 5 times
Air Guard: Defeat Final Battle 6 times
Zero Counter Plus: Defeat Final Battle 7 times
Hard Body: Defeat Final Battle 8 times
Guard Destroy: Defeat Final Battle 9 times
Gauge Plus: Defeat Final Battle 11 times
Limit Off: Defeat Final Battle 12 times


-Control:
The default button scheme is set up as follows: L&R buttons are light attacks, A&B are hard attacks, and pressing 2 punch or kick buttons together result in a medium attack. Of course, you can customize the buttons as you see fit, so that you can press 2 punches or kicks to result in either a light or hard attack. Having to press 2 buttons to get a medium attack is akward at first, but once you've been playing for a while, you get used to it. I normally assign the button(s) I use the least for 2 button presses, and it seems to work out just fine. After a while, you'll start to instinctively remember to press both buttons at once, but regardless, it would have been nice had the GBA had 2 more face buttons to ease things. In addition, the select button is used to taunt, and throwing is now accomplished by pressing towards or away with fierce or roundhouse as opposed to the normal 2-button throws in the arcade and home versions.
When it comes to performing supers, you are given 2 choices in the options screen which determine the commands you use to perform a super. These options are classic and simple. Classic allows you to imput super commands just like they are in the arcade and home versions, nothing different here. The only problem is performing supers with the GBA's tiny D-pad. Performing a double-fireball alone is a chore, and don't even think about doing a somersault-justice motion. I've only been able to perform a double-fireball a handfull of times, and I never once got a somersault justice to happen. The D-pad simply won't allow for it. Now, enter your other option: simple. This option allows you to do a double-fireball motion super by pressing d, df, f, A&B (i.e. one fireball motion then press A&B). Charging supers which are ordinarily b, f, b, f, are now done by charging back and pressing forward + A&B. Somersault justice motion supers are now also done by a single fireball motion and pressing A&B. However, many characters use both these commands as they have more than 2 supers. The result is much easier and less frustrating, as it allows for greater accuracy and less misses of your supers. Now, on a console or arcade version I would call an option like this a disgrace and a rookie cop-out (like the EO groove in CvS2), but given the GBA's D-pad, it's the only way to play the game correctly. The only super I don't know how to perform using this option is Akuma and E. Ryu's Instant Hell Murders.

-Graphics:
All I can say is that I'm impressed. The sprites are lacking some detail due to their reduced size on the GBA screen, but the majority of the animation has been left intact. It is apparent there is SOME animation missing, but the game doesn't look butchered in the least bit. You can almost tell the programmers sacrificed a bit of detail on the sprites to keep the animation, and it payed off in a big way. Some of the charcaters are missing one or two of their win poses (like Zangief's "cooking a fish with Blanka" win pose), while others just have some details missing like Rolento's troops popping down from the top of the screen. Intro animations seem to be intact though, even R. Mikas wrestling ring still slides in at the beggining of a match.
Some of the special intros, such as Ken vs. Ryu, are still in, but not all of them. The rest of the animation is smooth during standing animations and during actual gameplay, again no great loss here. On a side note, Sodom now has sais in X mode instead of Katanas.
As far as the backgrounds are concerned, unfortunately, many are missing. To the best of my recollection, the following backgrounds are available: M.Bison/Vega, Juli/Juni, Fei Long, Ryu, Ken, Cammy, Blanka, Birdie, T. Hawk, Balrog/Vega, and the cloud background from the DC version Survival mode. There's not much really to say about the backgrounds other than they are very faithful to the other versions, and are missing some minor animation here and there. I don't know at this time if unlocking new characters also unlocks new backgrounds, but I doubt it. One thing that is very impressive is the "sparky" effect when you finish off an opponent with a super or custom combo. It looks very impressive on the GBA, much better than the PSX "polygon super finishes".

-Control:
Before I begin here, I think it may be important to understand that this is a conversion of Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper, which is not a straight port of the console versions, but an arcade version which has all the characters in it. It (the arcade version) has minor gameplay tweaks from the console versions. Having said that it's hard to determine if the gameplay issues are due to it being a port of the arcade game, or if the arcade game actually plays this way and I don't know about it since I haven't played the arcade version. So far, every combo I have been doing on the console versions can be done on the GBA version, but there are issues: Jumping in with an attack (like a fierce or a roundhouse), and going into a jab is almost impossible to connect. A lot of my jumping in combos go from a fierce or roundhouse into a crouching jab, and I can only get it connect a fraction of the time in most cases, but it is possible, just much harder. I can't really comment on V-ism combos since I don't particularly care for V-ism, but I've seen the computer dish out some snazzy combos. One thing I do feel strongly about is the AI and Zangief. I can't explain why, but Zangief is a monster in this game. His SPD and FAB have disgusting reach. You can be almost a whole characters width away, and he will still snatch you with a 360. Couple that with the AI, and you make for some serious frustration. When the computer is using Zangief, nothing can stop him. It seems like he cancels out of block animations and sntaches you from great distances. Start up a super and, he will snatch you right out of it at just the right time. The AI in general is pretty unforgiving, mixing up cross-overs, top downs, and ducking attacks relentlessly until it connects and goes from there. As previously stated, Zangief, and also Karin are of particular frustration.

-Sound:
This is the aspect of the game that took the greatest hit, but if you ask me, it matters the least. The music, is Ok, more or less what you'd expect from a GBA version of the game, nothing all that great. The announcer is no more (which some of you may say is a blessing), and most of the characters now have the same voice for minor grunts and their scream when losing a round, but they do still call out their special moves when performing them.

All in all, this is easily the best fighter on the GBA, and one hell of a conversion considering it has 3 new characters. The graphics are right-on, the control is nice, and the gameplay is intact. Definately a contender for best handheld fighter alongside match of the millenium. I can't comment on how the new characters play, but I'll keep posting as soon as I unlock them.

Hope you enjoyed, and if you have any questions, just ask.
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Old 10-18-2002, 05:27 PM   #2
Rubeus
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The game is almost unplayable with these button layouts, especially if you need to use a weak, strong, fierce combo! Nintendo should really put at least 4 buttons on the face in the first place!
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