Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max PSP Review - 16/08/2007

The famous Street Fighter series arrives on Sony’s handheld but the question is, does it pack the punch to compete with all the other fighters out at the moment?

The answer to that is yes it does. Capcom have taken one of their best Street Fighter incarnations in the form of Alpha 3 Max and transferred it seamlessly over to the PSP.

The immediate gripe that gamers might have with this would be the difficulty to perform the special moves such as Ryu’s fireball due to the slightly uncomfortable directional buttons sported by the console. And they would be right as after maybe 15 minutes of play, if you are heavy on the special moves, I can assure you that your thumb will start to ache. The solution for this though is given in the form of button mapping. The game allows you to map the moves to any button layout you feel comfortable with and I can safely say that once you map the movement button to the analog nub instead of the directional buttons then your fun factor will increase dramatically as your hands feel more comfortable.

Alpha 3 Max sports all the fighters that the console version does from the likes of the staple characters such as Ryu, Ken and Blanka to the lesser known fodder like Guy and Rolento. There are an abundance of modes at your disposal that you can play around with ranging from the normal ‘Arcade’, where you take on nine of the fighters chosen at random and face Bison in round ten, to ‘Variable Battle’ where you can switch characters during a bout, reminiscent of Tekken Tag Tournament. You can also edit your characters to an extent by giving them increased powers in some areas which you can then take into the different modes and decimate your opponents.

You can also take part in the ‘World Tour’ which sees you go round the world and battle all the fighters in different countries in different modes ranging between your normal fight and a two on one. Or if you believe yourself to be a ‘Hardcore’ player of the game, you can choose to take on 100 characters one after the other to see how far you can get.

With so many modes at your fingertips it is safe to say that a multiplayer mode must feature and it does. You can engage in normal, team, variable and dramatic battles against a friend via wi-fi and see who is the ultimate Street Fighter.

All in all this is a great port of a console classic and feels right at home on the handheld [once you adjust the button layout that is] with its short bouts being just the thing for on-the-move gaming. If you are a Street Fighter fan then this is a must have, or even if you are just looking for a good portable beat’em up this remains a good choice.