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Street Fighter Alpha 3 was an incredible step forward in the Street Fighter series. It saw the realization of integrated systems of fighting, namely, combining the Custom Combo system from SFA2 and the ancient, one combo (or super special, if you will) system from SSF2, as well as the recent multiple combo system seen first in SFA.

An interesting point to make in the integration of the system is that it changed the damage ratios depending on what style you fought in, as well as your actual abilities to do different moves. In V-ism, you do less damage as a balancing agent considering that you get to make up any combination of special moves you want to, 'on the fly.' A-ism is the standard SFA system where you have a choice of a few different special moves. This has an average amount of damage done by normal moves, and then there's X-ism, also refferred to as 'the beast,' and not to be confused with Milwaukee's Best. X-ism does more damage than any other fighting style as far as normal attacks go, but most characters have only one super special, and you don't get to block in mid-air. This can be a tremendous drawback if you enjoy jumping. So only choose this if you're playing a character that you can stick to the ground with (say... Guile, Ryu clones can usually handle it too). A good player at any particular style can usually hold his own against any other style player, although I have read about a technique for an infinite combo using Ryu on Shoryuken.com. Doesn't seem to me like many people would be able to set it up in a fight though, and I've never seen a person put it together in a game either, so I guess that's a good point to back my theory.

On a completely unrelated note, this game, a la MKT, had eleventy-billion characters, hidden and otherwise, to choose from. These included newcomers like Bison's henchwomen, and Karen, as well as old favorites who hadn't seen action in a while, like Fei Long and Guile (mentioned here because my friends and I loved having them back). I'll also tell you here that the PS and DC versions were fantastic ports from the arcade, and hours of time were spent by the local crowd on my bedroom floor, playing round after round of this delicious game. As far as a fighting game to own an old copy of, I recommend this.

I highly, highly recommend this.

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