Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams / Street Fighter Zero

REVIEW:  The iconic Street Fighter 2 series undoubtedly had a long, highly successful run at arcades and on home consoles in the early 90's. After the barrage of SF2 updates (in the form of many new arcade cabinets and console releases), Capcom finally gave the loyal fans what they've been waiting for, a real through-and-through Street Fighter sequel... putting a bittersweet "end" to the somewhat monotonous, yet beloved, SF2 saga.


New art style, intro, and fighters refresh Street Fighter's identity.


While not actually a sequel in terms of storyline (since Street Fighter Alpha actually takes place before SF2), Street Fighter Alpha brings back a few of the original Street Fighter (1) characters previously not seen in Street Fighter 2, such as Adon and Birdie. SFA also hosts the first big "crossover" in the fighting game genre, bringing Guy and Sodom from Capcom's classic arcade beat-em-up Final Fight (1989) over to Street Fighter. The epic "merging of the universes" was surely appreciated by Final Fight and Street Fighter fans, alike. On the flipside, several familiar Street Fighter 2 favorites, such as: Dhalsim, Zangief, E. Honda, and Blanka are M.I.A. this time around (but thankfully, they end up returning later in the series).


Street Fighter Zero / Alpha character selection screen.


SFA's gameplay mechanics are traditional enough to please fans of Street Fighter 2, but also introduce several enhancements to keep things fresh and attract new players. "Chain Combos" (introduced in Darkstalkers) make their debut in Street Fighter Alpha, and are performed by interrupting the animation of one priority move by performing another of equal or greater strength. "Air Blocking" also makes an appearance in Street Fighter for the first time. Lastly, fighters can also perform a quick counter attack technique known as an "Alpha Counter," which can be initiated immediately after blocking an opponent's attack if the player has enough energy in their Super Meter.

NO Gief in this one. . . Time to learn the new Big Guys!

The Super Meter / Super Gauge returns from Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo - but now contains three levels instead of one. When full, fighters can unleash a devastating super combo for serious damage! Comparatively to other 2D fighters, the damage level in this game is definitely "harsh" to say the least. Ken's fierce shoryuken = OUCH!!! The damage is probably my main gripe about the gameplay. Otherwise, SFA was a solid and straight-forward 2D fighter for the time.

Visually, Street Fighter Alpha / Zero was very impressive when it debuted. All of the returning Street Fighters were completely re-drawn, re-colored, re-animated... and now look like they could be ripped straight from a Japanese anime. If you ask me, the new character sprites look at least 10 times better than their classic Street Fighter 2 counterparts.


All new sprites & animation.  Best graphics in the series to date!


The hand-drawn stages are nicely detailed, but a few are a bit sleepy, dreary, and/or a bit too "barren" for their own good (this flaw was remedied in SFA2). In typical Street Fighter tradition, each stage features brand new theme songs for every character for the game, which is always an appreciated feature in a fighting game sequel. On that note, Street Fighter Alpha's soundtrack was excellent for the time... hearing those remixed classic SF2 tunes for the first time was simply epic (Chun-Li's, Ryu's, & Sagat's are among my favs)... not to mention Guy's & Sodom's badass remixed songs from Final Fight! Such a huge fan service!!!

Finally... just to state the obvious, the artwork for Street Fighter Alpha was (and still is) totally and utterly badass. Bengus reinvented the art style of the Street Fighter series, and simply "raised the bar" for fighting game artwork. Thanks to all of these elements coming together brilliantly, Capcom delivered a solid successor to the groundbreaking and hugely-influential Street Fighter 2 saga... demonstrating to the world that the Street Fighter series is just getting started.












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Page Updated: January 25th, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Noritaka Funamizu
Haruo Murata
Hideaki Itsuno
  Character design
Artwork by: Bengus (CRMK), Dai-chan
Platform(s): Arcade, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, Game Boy Color, Windows, PSN
Release Date(s): June 5th, 1995                Arcade
June 27th, 1995              Arcade
Dec. 29th, 1995              PS1
Jan 1996                             PS1
Jan. 26th, 1996               Saturn
Feb. 1996                           Saturn
Feb. 29th, 2000              GBC
Mar. 30th, 2001              GBC
Characters Ryu, Ken Masters, Adon, Chun-Li, Guy, Charlie Nash, Birdie, Rose, Sodom, Sagat, Akuma, M.Bison, Dan Hibiki

Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFA3: Upper, SFA3: Max, SFA Anthology, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, SF2: Champion Edition, SF2 Turbo, Super SF2, Super SF2 Turbo, SSF2 Turbo: Revival, SSF2T HD Remix, Ultra SF2, SFIII: New Generation, SFIII: 2nd Impact, SFIII: 3rd Strike, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4, Super SF4: 3D Edition, Super SF4: Arcade Edition, Ultra SF4, Street Fighter V, SFV: AE, SFV: CE, Street Fighter: Anniversary Collection, Street Fighter EX, SFEX2, SFEX3, SF: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, Pocket Fighter, The King of Fighters '95, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge, Fatal Fury 3, Marvel Super Heroes, Mortal Kombat 3, Killer Instinct 2, Final Fight Revenge, Fighter's History

Gameplay Engine  8.5 / 10
Story / Theme  9.5 / 10
Overall Graphics  9.0 / 10
Animation  9.5 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  8.5 / 10
Innovation  8.5 / 10
Art Direction  9.5 / 10
Customization  7.0 / 10
Options / Extras  7.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  8.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  8.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  8.5 / 10
Characters  8.0 / 10

 8.7 / 10

 Review based on Arcade version    


Final Words:

Overall, Street Fighter Alpha was an arcade classic that brought the Street Fighter series into a new light. It would easy to say that SFA "isn't as good" as the many iterations of Street Fighter 2, but many fans that played the hell out of the SF2 games were growing a bit tired of the look and feel of those games.

Thus, SFA was the start of a fresh chapter in the Street Fighter universe, introducing some truly memorable characters and gameplay systems. No doubt fans of the original Street Fighter Alpha were ecstatic when Street Fighter Alpha 2 hit the arcades (and later to consoles). Street Fighter Alpha 2 would turn out to be a much better (and more balanced) playable game, overall.

However, it's important to remember that SFA1 still made a great artistic impact upon its arrival! It was very pretty game, indeed. Overlooking its shortcomings and small roster, this was obviously the step the series needed to be going in. SFA2 would pave the way for the epic Street Fighter Alpha 3, which had numerous title updates.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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