Street Fighter Alpha 3


Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2013
Wii U


Street Fighter Alpha 3 (Upper)

Release Date: December 1, 2002 (GBA version)

Developer / Publisher: Crawfish Interactive, Capcom

This game was a major feat on the Gameboy Advance. Not only was the entire game almost 100% completely intact, but also, it even added more characters onto this cartridge than were on the original Playstation disc. Crazy. Yep, this GBA version has Eagle, Maki, and Yun, who were not in the original Playstation version. Meaning that the GBA version had more characters than the Playstation version, more characters than the arcade version, and even had more characters than Alpha 1 and Alpha 2 combined (even counting the same characters twice). Insane.

The only real downside to this version is that the GBA only had 4 buttons. L, R, B, and A. That was it. So, since Street Fighter was a 6 button game, that means that you had to press 2 buttons at the same time for it to register as the 5th and 6th buttons for the game. Some got adjusted to it relatively quickly and easily. Meanwhile, others either didn't like it, or couldn't get used to it.

That said, this was an amazing game on the GBA. Crawfish Interactive really gave this game their all. They went all out for this game. You could even use the Gameboy Advance link cable and connect two GBA's together and play against your friends. Fun times indeed. Remember, this was before handhelds had the online feature.

And, as you can see in the video, Dramatic Battle Mode is still intact too. Playing 2 on 1 was a great Alpha 3 feature that my friend and I played a lot on the PS version. So I was happy to see this mode return. In fact, I was happy with how this game turned out. As I said, Crawfish Interactive really went all out for this port.

In fact, they were so dedicated to it, that it pretty much ruined them, which is why they are no longer around. I read a whole article about it a couple of months ago. It was long, but a good read.

Basically, they were working on other projects as well, but they really put all of their effort towards Alpha 3. They wanted to make Alpha 3 the best it could be on the GBA. They loved the game, for one. But also, they felt that this port could help bring their team up to the limelight, and get even more, bigger, projects to work on. They even hired new programmers to help them make the game. All of their best people were on this project. However, once they sent the game back to Japan for testing, they got "extensive" bug reports back, that were all in Japanese. So they had to hire a Japanese translator, and go through all of the bug reports, and re-work on the game. Which made the development time take longer than expected. Because of this, they had to turn down other projects from other publishers, simply because they didn't have the manpower to put towards those games. Even tho they had hoped that their work on Alpha 3 would get them the recognition that they desired to get these new projects.

In the end, Street Fighter Alpha 3 missed it's original launch date. It ended up launching almost a full year later. Because of this, Capcom wasn't happy about it. Crawfish then focused even more manpower onto the game, to make sure that they did it right, and soon. However, because they missed the launch deadline, Capcom was so upset (because they really wanted the Christmas sales for the GBA's first holiday season - also, so they could say that they had one of the first "Must have" killer titles on the GBA in it's first year) that they decided to cut down on the money that they were paying Crawfish to make the game, and cancel the promised royalties for the game to Crawfish. Meaning, Crawfish wasn't getting much, if any, money to complete the game or to pay the staff, so the company had to start using it's own money to pay the staff and for the game...., and were told that they weren't going to get any royalties for every unit the game sold. So they weren't going to make any money off of the game now, since they were late on it. However, they still wanted to complete the game because they didn't want to tarnish their reputation by not completing it and just giving up on it. They promised to have the game done by a certain time, and it wasn't done. They promised more than they could deliver, in the allotted time. They could do it (as they did), just not in the time frame that they promised.

However, in the end, they did go on to finish the game, and it was eventually released. To much praise. The GBA version was highly praised. However, because Crawfish Interactive weren't able to finish the game on time, it had ill-lasting effects on the company. They lost the funds to finish the game, they lost the royalties from the games sales (so they had to pay out of their own pockets to work on the game at that point), and they had to turn down other projects (which they could of made money off of) in order to continue development in order to finish it. By the time that they finished making the game, they had worked so hard, but were completely out of money, and couldn't afford to start work on other new projects. So, eventually, the company went under.

Crawfish Interactive, if they had been able to deliver the game on time, or, not upset Capcom by the delay, then they would of been paid to finish it, and seen all of the royalties from the game sales. And, they would of been able to work on the other projects that they wanted to work on, as well as the other projects that other publishers were asking them to work on. They would of been around even to this day (most likely). However, Alpha 3 ended up ruining them, in a way, instead of making them the 'next big thing'. They had hoped that finishing it, and releasing it, would of still of gotten them the reputation and work that they wanted. However, it, instead, put them in too big of a hole to get out of. Sad story. But, great game.

The owner of Crawfish Interactive, at the time, Cameron Sheppard, he both loved and hated the game. He loved it, because he was proud of the work that he and his team had did on the game. However, they hated it, partially because it ended up ruining them, but also, because they put all of their hard work into the game, and Capcom really screwed them at the end. They stopped paying them to work on it, and they didn't get a dime from the sales of the game. But, had they not finished it, their reputation would of been ruined, and they wouldn't of gotten many, if any, more offers. Especially since this was such a high profile game franchise. So, in a way, they were "damned if they do, and damned if they don't".

Sad story, but still, great game. Sucks that Capcom gets all of the profits from the game, given all of the quality work that Crawfish Interactive put into the game. This game turned out great. It looked great. It controlled pretty good, given the GBA control scheme. Also, there were different input methods in the game. If you had it set to one method, performing certain moves were easier than others. Set it to another method, and other moves were easier to pull of instead. Wierd, but that's how it was. But the sound was mostly there. Some character voices are missing. A stage or two is missing. But most almost all of them are there. But, as you can see in the video, the game plays smoothly, has more characters than the arcade or Playstation version, and, is just as much fun. All around, solid game. Sad story behind it. But still, all around great game. And the Gameboy Advance was a truly capable machine. Too bad it only had a short life cycle.
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Great review. Crawfish Interactive did a lot of nice work on handhelds, and this was probably one of their best. I didn't play this game a whole lot, because by that time SFA3 was fully playable in MAME without any sacrifices, not to mention the Dreamcast/NAOMI version which was also amazing.
Thanks. Yeah, I put my fair share of time this version. However, I played the original Playstation the most. My friend and I played that so, so, so many times. It's still one of my Top 3 favorite fighting games, ever.

However, along with the Playstation version, I also had the Pocketstation version too.


Here is a picture of a Pocketstation that I found online. I have this exact same one. The clear one. They only made two. A clear one, like this one, and a solid white one. I imported it from Japan. Cost me $60, at the time, with shipping and handling, and what not.

I was still in high school at the time. So I was stoked when I finally got it. Took a couple of weeks for it to arrive, but it finally did. And I have used it ever since. Even to this day, I keep all of my important game save files on it... for the PS1, that is.

See, the Pocketstation is a PS1 memory card that you can stick into the memory card slot of the PS1, and you can save your games regularly, as if it was any standard memory card. However, some games are actually compatible with the Pocketstation. Street Fighter Alpha 3 being one of them. And what that means is, once you have the save file on the Pocketstation, you can then play the game on the Pocketstation without the console. So, it was great to take to school and what not, and then play it here and there in class. Good times. Then, you can save your progress of your Pocketstation playthrough, and then, when you pop it back into the Playstation console, it'll load up the save file that you played while you were away. It worked similarly to the Sega Dreamcast VMU. But a little different.

Also, the Pocketstation had much more features than the Dreamcast VMU. For instance, not only could you save games on it, treating it like a regular memory card, but also, you could play your games on it on the go, but also... it was an alarm clock, "pocket watch", Universal tv remote control (if you programmed it in, which I did, and it worked), and, you can save a "dictionary" file onto the memory card, and you'll have the "dictionary" in your pocket.

The Pocketstation was going to be released in Europe and America, officially. However, it was so popular in Japan that they had trouble keeping up with demand. So they didn't have any units left to send to Europe or America. Eventually tho, they ended up discontinuing the product before ever shipping it overseas. However, there were still games that were compatible with the Pocketstation that were released, even tho the Pocketstation never was released. However, since I imported it, I found that the units were universal, and not region locked. So I was able to play the Pocketstation games on it.

Now, the Pocketstation games weren't the full Playstation games. The fact that there is only 5 buttons on it should of given that way. There are 4 directional buttons, and one main 'action' button. So the games were more or less mini-games based on the full game. For instance, the two games that I played the most were Final Fantasy 8 and Street Fighter Alpha 3.

In Street Fighter Alpha 3, on the Pocketstation, you got to choose between all of the characters. And with those characters, you could compete in mini-games with the characters, similar to those from the old SNES games, like breaking the car or bricks or falling barrels. Things like that. But they were all different in the Pocketstation version. And, they were considered "training", where you could level up your characters on the Pocketstation, and then import the leveled up characters back to the full game. So it was a great way to level up your characters easier, and on the go. Every character has a limited number of moves, usually just the main signature moves. And, each has their own animation and poses. However, if you have 2 Pocketstations, then you can "fight" with your characters. One character will be on one screen, while the other will be on the other. Just point the Pocketstataions at each other, so the infrared sensors are pointing at each other, and you're good to go.

In Final Fantasy 8, you play as a Chocobo, and enter a bunch of "random encounters". And the elusive giant "Cactus Man" thing
is what you are looking to beat the most. Hard to do, but possible. Anyways, you can level up your Chocobo, and win items and money by defeating enemies in the game.. sort of Pokemon style, and then, you can transfer your save file back to the Playstation game, and give all of the money and items and experience back to your characters in the real game. Honestly, I played the Pocketstation version of Final Fantasy 8 way, way more than I did the full console version.

But yeah, there were other compatible titles on the Playstation in the US for the Pocketstation. They still work with the imported Pocketstation. But, over the years, I stopped playing on it. It started when the battery died. It's a regular common watch sized battery, easily findable everywhere. Literally, everywhere that sells watches. The original battery seemed to last forever. It even had a Playstation "PS" logo on it. But, for whatever reason, the regular watch batteries, although the exact same battery just without the PS logo, don't last nearly as long. However, if the battery does die, you don't lose any of your save data, as it's still on the card and you can always access your files like any regular memory card. You just can't play it on the go without a working battery.

But yeah, when I think Street Fighter Alpha 3 (or Final Fantasy 8), I immediately think of the Sony Pocketstation. Always.

Here is a picture of the Pocketstation with it's "flap" up, in Memory Card mode.. (note, you can play the games with the flap up, by pressing the button underneath, since the "main" buttons just press down onto the real buttons below anyways.)

And here is what it looks like in the memory card slot

And here is a quick review of Street Fighter Alpha 3 on the Pocketstation. Doesn't show much, but it's something... Enjoy.

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