Space World 2001 Hands-on: Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper

Capcom is bringing another Street Fighter game to the Game Boy Advance.

Hot on the heels of its rerelease of Super Street Fighter II Turbo for the Game Boy Advance, Capcom is now working on a GBA version of Street Fighter Alpha 3. The game, currently titled Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper, contains many of the modes found in the Dreamcast version of SFA3, and it looks like it's on the right track.

SFZ3 Upper contains an impressive number of modes. Aside from the standard versus, arcade, and training modes found in most modern fighting games, Capcom's upcoming fighter will contain the world tour mode and two-on-one dramatic battle mode found in the Dreamcast release of Street Fighter Alpha 3. The dramatic battle mode was functional in the 60-percent version shown on the show floor here at Space World, but there's no word yet on if three players will be able to link up and play dramatic battle mode. The only other playable mode was arcade mode, and the incomplete version shown was missing a few characters and only allowed you to pick the Z-ism fighting style.

Graphically, SFZ3 Upper looks pretty amazing on the GBA's little screen. While the characters aren't as detailed as their arcade counterparts, the small screen makes it hard to notice the differences in animation and detail. The game features vibrant color and moves along at a nice pace. The background and special move animations seem to have suffered a bit, and the backgrounds are now mostly static. Additionally, super moves like Chun-Li's kick look a little choppy. The sound seemed incomplete, though the noisy confines of Space World 2001 made it difficult to tell exactly what the sound was missing.

The GBA version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo defaults to putting your heavy attacks on the triggers and using the face buttons for light and medium attacks--tapping the button gives you a light, pressing it gives you a medium. The version of SFZ3 Upper shown puts light attacks on the triggers and heavy attacks on the face buttons. Overall, though, the game's control feels unfinished at this time. The game feels slightly sluggish, and there is currently a brief delay between entering commands and the onscreen action.

Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper has a ways to go before it's ready for release, but there's nothing wrong with it that a few more months of development can't fix. Capcom hasn't announced any firm release date for this game in either Japan or North America.

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Jeff Gerstmann

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.
Street Fighter Alpha 3

Street Fighter Alpha 3