Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX

August 23, 2006

Handheld fighting games have been pretty bad for the last few years. The Street Fighter franchise has already been ported to the Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance, and now, Street Fighter Alpha 3 MAX is released for the PSP. And I can say that this is an excellent fighter for the Sony PSP, and a great fighting game in general. Allow me to explain.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 isn’t a new game, as a matter of fact, it’s a 8 year old game by now, having been released previously for the PlayStation, Saturn, and Dreamcast consoles, as well as the Game Boy Advance handheld. The PSP version of this 2-D masterpiece, however, is the ultimate version, because this version contains all of the characters and features from the previous releases, along with a few exclusive new characters one brand new game mode. There are 39 unique characters to pick from, while the Dreamcast version had 35 characters, and the original arcade game contained 25 fighters. The single player modes are: Arcade, Training, VS 100 Kumite (battle your way through 100 matches), Survival, Dramatic Battle (2 players against 1, you and a CPU controlled fighter against 1 CPU opponent), Reverse Dramatic Battle (you versus 2 CPU characters), Variable Battle (You pick 2 players and you can switch between them during a match, it is just like a tag team mode), Final Battle (you fight the final boss without having to play through the entire Arcade mode), and World Tour (pick a character and travel the world, fighting certain matches to improve your characer, this mode adds a RPG element to the game). There is also a Edit and a Entry mode to customize your character, and ofcourse, a Network mode for multiplayer, no online play however, only ad hoc, which is a disappointment.

When you pick a character in one of the many modes, you get to pick a ism, you can choose between X-ism, A-ism ( Z-ism in Japan and Asia ) and V-ism. X-ism gives you a single super combo and a single bar, A-ism lets you use multiple levels of super moves when you’ve got enough energy and V-ism is a custom combo system. Experimenting between these ism’s is fun, I personally prefer A-ism above all, since I like to have multiple super moves for certain amounts of energy. Now for the controlls, I have read many reviews about this, and most of them talk about the fact that the D-pad is a real pain when playing the game, and that the analog nub isn’t perfect neither. If you ask me, it is just a matter of practice, when you play the game for the first time, it can be pretty hard to pull of certain moves, but after a while, you can perform almost every move. I prefer this method to play the game: I use the D-pad to move around and use the analog nub to perform my special moves, or combos. And if you still have trouble with the controlls, you can always buy a mod for your D-pad.

The graphics are absolutely stunning, despite the fact that this game is completely in 2D. The PSP screen helps to bring the visuals to life, the characters look great, the backgrounds are beautiful and the animation is perfect. The audio in this game is top notch as well, the music is nice and the sound effects are good as well. Now the bad thing about this game, you can’t unlock characters, stages, music, art, or anything else in this game. You get all the characters right form the start, same for the stages and game modes, you can’t unlock anything in this game. This is, together with the lack of online play ( and perhaps the controlls to some people ), the only bad thing about this game.

Conclusion – You have a PSP? You like fighting games? Get this game right now! You have an amazing roster, excellent gameplay and a wide variety of game modes. The only bad thing is the lack of unlockable content, online play, and perhaps a D-pad issue for some gamers. Despite these things, this game is a must buy for PSP carrying gamers hungry for a beat ’em up.

Rating: 92 / 100

Reviewed by Justin

Related Article – Mortal Kombat VS Street Fighter Poll



  1. Good review. If it’s anything like the PS version, I’d have liked this game already anyway :p .

  2. It is just like the PS version, only with the new Variable Battle mode and a few new characters 🙂

  3. This game is just perfect no getting around it.

  4. Just wondering, does Alpha 3 MAX have endings and battle cutscenes for the 4 “new” characters(u know who I’m talking about, right, perhaps only 1 is new); anyway, I thought I saw a screen shot of Sakura talking to Maki, since it’s in Japanese, can’t really confirm it, so if you know, please tell and thank you. By the way, great review, completely agree with the “with practice control will be no problem” thing; might get a PSP just for this game, Thank you

  5. Yes, the four new characters have all the neccesary arcade mode scenes, including unique artwork during the intro.

    They do not have their own stages however.

    BUT, the care put into giving them their story sequences goes a long way in not making them feel like a simple add on.

  6. I love Street Fighter Alpha 3 and i whant to play Street Fighter Alpha 3

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