Even though the concept of a Street Fighter rehash sounds very old, Street Fighter Alpha 2 proves itself to be among the best fighting games on the market, be it in the 2-D or 3-D arena. Players jaded by performing the same moves with the same characters for years, take note: Capcom managed to put it all together in Street Fighter Alpha 2, creating a fantastic fighting package that mirrors the arcade version.
Alpha 2 contains the same eclectic mix of old-school Street Fighter characters, a few Final Fight characters, and a couple of totally new creations - including the old Russian brawler Zangief; the mystical Yoga master Dhalsim; Street Fighter 1 alumnus Gen; grenade-tossing Final Fighter Rolento; and Ryu's biggest fan, Sakura. Toss in the three hidden characters from the first Alpha (Akuma, Dan, and Bison), and you've got a fine selection.
The graphics in Alpha 2 are the best the Street Fighter series has ever seen. They approach cartoon-like clarity, right down to facial expressions. The sound is right on, and the music is festooned with arranged versions of classic Street Fighter tunes.
The gameplay has been tweaked from Alpha 1. The designers removed the simple-to-do chain combos and replaced them with custom combos, which allow your fighter to go absolutely insane for a short period of time (and dish out heavy-handed pain with lightning fast attacks). Super combos remain the same as the previous Alpha, with three different levels for each attack.
Though Alpha 2 may be the same as the rest of the Street Fighters, its high gloss graphics, sound, and gameplay really make this a near-perfect fighting game. 3-D fighters may be the future of the genre, but Alpha 2 proves that 2-D fighting can at times be better than its polygonal brethren.