I was sure I’d never completed this before, but as I got to the three “guards” just before the Geese/Bison double fight, I realised I had played it before. See.
Not only that, but I chose Ken to play as this time too. Because of course I would. He’s Ken!
Looking at my post from a couple of years ago though, it seems I really struggled in the final few battles last time. No such trouble this time around. Well, I mean, they weren’t a walkover but each of the guards/Geese-Bison/Iori only took a handful of attempts each.
While I was in Neo Geo Pocket Colour Mode, I busted out SNK vs Capcom. The NGPC had a lot of fighting games, but perhaps the best was this crossover title featuring characters from both SNK and Capcom series.
I picked Ken, because Ken is Best, and quickly made it through as far as what I thought was the final boss battle – a team-up between M Bison from Street Fighter and Geese Howard from Fatal Fury. It was easy going until then, as I lost just one round (and that was close) before meeting that pair, then it all went wrong.
Several million attempts later, most of which ended before I’d even defeated one of the two fighters – and a few before I even got a single hit in – I finally beat them. Naturally, they were not the final bosses after all – Iori in full on Zombie mode was.
Thankfully, he was a much easier than Bison and Geese, although he still took a fair few attempts, and I’d completed it!
There’s no way that Street Fighter Alpha, Capcom’s CPS II based arcade fighting game, would be any good on the Game Boy Colour: A system not just lacking in buttons, but also roughly one ten-millionth as powerful. It’d be like expecting Elite Dangerous to run on a Speak and Spell. And yet, here it is, surprisingly well turned out.
It doesn’t have all the moves, characters or backgrounds. The animation isn’t as fluid (but for a Game Boy title it’s pretty damn good) and the sound effects are limited at best – not least in there’s no speech – but it feels and plays like a Street Fighter game. Most importantly, Ken is Ken, with all his special moves intact and he is best. Ken is always best.
Since Ken is best, it’s him I used to complete the game and in doing so found one major difference between this version of Street Fighter Alpha and the Saturn one I used to play so much: the Game Boy Colour port is incredibly easy. I only lost one round in the whole game (versus Birdie, if that matters) and even that was close. Final “boss” Ryu was a complete walkover.
Crawfish have worked miracles with the GBC hardware to pull this game off. They did it again with the Game Boy Advance port of Street Fighter Alpha 3 too (which I also played, briefly, a few days ago) but somehow that endeavour seems more feasible. At least the GBA is a 32bit sprite-pumping powerhouse to begin with, whereas the GBC is a calculator. Incredible.
Another game from that Capcom Classics compilation I bought a while ago, although infinitely better than the terrible Exed Exes. But then, most things are.
Usually, when I play Street Fighter games, I pick Kenneth. He’s the best, of course, and his blond locks are far more enticing and suggest he’s far more fun than boring Ryu. I mean, Kenneth drives fast cars and loves the odd drink, but Ryu spends his evenings meditating on the floor of his bedroom while his parents wonder what’s wrong with their special little boy. Kenneth, man.
But this time, I chose Boring Ryu. I’m not sure why.
What a struggle. Sure, I’ve never been the best Street Fighter player. I’ve only clocked it a couple of times in the arcade, and tend to only beat those players who haven’t really played fighting games before, but this… this was hard. I must point out that the Vita’s analogue stick (yes, I was playing the arcade game included in a PSP game pack on a Vita) is useless for Street Fighter. And the d-pad is terrible for dragon punches. In effect, I was playing with one hand behind my back.
Which is why Chun Li beat me 18 times straight.
And Zangief gave me Zangrief 12 times.
And Bison double perfected me 5 times before I even got a single hit in.
But! Eventually, I prevailed, and Boring Ryu walked off into the sunset, heading home for a glass of milk and a digestive biscuit, while Kenneth and his bevy of ladies partied at Spearmint Rhino for the entire weekend. Oh Ryu.
“So how do you complete this then, eh?”, I hear you ask. I bet you’re thinking I got to the credits with one character and that was it. Well, no – I did it with all 35 characters. All of them.
15 hours later… done!
I also played online a bit over the last week or so, with various people. I’m not very good, so generally lost more fights than I won. Sadly, it wasn’t better skill that beat me – if that were the case I wouldn’t mind. If they blocked my attacks, countered them, punished my mistakes – that’d be fine. But no: they just use Cammy and spam drill/spike/drill/spike/drill/spike until I’m dead. Bah.
Thankfully, there were a few decent fighters who didn’t rely on cheap tactics like this, and those matches were fun.
I’ve also collected almost 400 of the 500 figures in the collection. The instructions say there are 300 though, not 500, so I’m slightly confused. Not sure I’ll get all 500, but you never know.
On Thursday, my 3DS arrived. And with it, was Super Street Fighter IV.
And it is FANTASTIC. It’s just like the 360 version, only in 3D! And I love it. The controls are great, the graphics are impressive, and I’ve completed it three times – with Ken, Fei Long, and Rufus (who is amazing, by the way) already.
I also played it online a few times, winning only one match. I was about to win against a Barcelona Roll-spamming Vega player, but just before landing the winning kick, he rage-quitted on me. Bah.
Been a while since I last played this, but the Street Fighter II table for it was released recently and, in an attempt to break free from the evil clutches of Fallout 3, I gave it a go.
It’s a pretty good table, actually. Better than most of the others in Pinball FX, anyway. It’s difficult to light the lights above the top-left bumpers as they’re hidden, but aside from that it’s very nice. Except Trousers is already above me on the scoretable, beating my score of about 5 million with one approaching 9 million. Boo!!
Hmm. Whereas Alpha 2 was mostly just Alpha with new (or rather, returned) characters and new backgrounds, Alpha 3 is totally new. Totally new fighters, new style, new super combo mechanics, redrawn characters (well, some of them anyway), and new moves.
I played as Ryu, who seems to have gained Ken’s super flaming dragon punch super combo and lost his vacuum hurricane kick, and had a pretty tough time of it actually. Too much blocking and countering for my liking.
It didn’t help that when I finally reached Bison, I died. And do you get to have another crack at him? No. It’s Game Over! Rubbish.
It’s a great game and all, but one fail on the end boss and you have to start the whole game again? Tch.
Erk. This was waaaaay harder than the first game. Especially when I got to Ryu, who seemed capable of countering just about every single attack I tried. In the end, I only beat him by being somewhat cheap, trapping him in the corner, and dragon punching and uppercutting the hell out of him.
I still only barely managed it though – I even thought the final killing blow was a double-KO, but I must have just had a slither of energy bar left.
After competing it, I played for a while longer with some other characters, and then had a go at Dramatic Battle as Ryu and Ken. It’s hard. Way hard. You’d think it wouldn’t be as it’s a two-on-one session, but both of your team share the same energy bar, and often both get hit with the same blows, doubling your damage. Managed to see off Adon, but Sagat was a no-go.
After finishing the first game, I thought I’d have a look through the other titles on the disc. I used to play Alpha 2 a bit a uni too, but not as much as the first one for some reason. It’s still great, and yes, it’s technically better than Alpha, but I think maybe it’s just down to what I knew and loved first. Anyway, I played a few rounds, again as Kenneth for the main part.
And doesn’t Dan look like Steven Seagal? He’s just as crap too.
Then it was onto Alpha 2 Gold. I’d never played it before. Or even heard of it. And the only difference I can perceive is the fact there’s an extra couple of squares on the character select screen to select random characters…
Next up was Alpha 3. Which I’ve only ever played briefly in the arcade. It looks way more polished than the other games, and has a huuuuge character roster. It also has confusing (I didn’t read the manual) “isms” for fighting styles. I have no idea what they do. Ken is still ace.
Finally, it was Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, which wasn’t the Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo sort of game I was expecting it to be. Instead, it’s a super-simplified fighter, with power-up gems, only three attack buttons (punch, kick, special) and Super Deformed characters from all over the Capcom Universe. It is nuts.
I bought the Street Fighter Alpha Anthology pack for the PS2 yesterday, and put it on today for a quick play. Of course, the “quick play” turned into the completion of Alpha with Kenneth. Who is, naturally, the best of all the animals.
I’d forgotten how much I like this game. I used to play it for hours at university on the Saturn – literally hours playing Ken vs Ryu against a flatmate. HOURS. Of Ken vs Ryu. Good grief.