Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max review

This might just be the best PSP game in the world...

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Odd one, this. Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max is the best and worst choice for conversion on to PSP. Crammed on to its screen, those gorgeous 2D graphics look sharper and brighter than ever, like a lovely cartoon about two men in pyjamas.

It's also perfect on-the-go gaming fodder- with most bouts lasting a furious two minutes or less, there's nothing to stop you sneaking a quick smackathon in while you're queuing up to buy some stamps or having a dump.

And if you're not acquainted with the Street Fighter series, Alpha 3 was its pinnacle - the one before Capcom started 'experimenting'.

This is SF at its best - big hitters Ryu, Ken, Akuma and Chunners are all there, backed up by later favourites like Charlie and Cody (of Final Fight fame).

It's got the best backgrounds of the series, jammed with little details for Capcom lovers (Haggar and the Mad Gear Gang turn up in the Metro City backdrop) and the most excitable announcer ever ("Go for broke! Triumph or die!").

Best of all, Capcom has included a stripped-down version of Marvel vs Capcom 2's tagging system, allowing for two-on-two bouts- though, sadly, no team-up super moves. It is, in short, absolutely brilliant.

Yes, of course there's a but. The thing is, SF's controls really don't work that well on the PSP D-pad. It's not hopeless - fireballs and even super-moves are reasonably easy to pull off- but dragon punches and spinning piledrivers are tricky, and impossible to manage really consistently.

On the lower difficulty levels it barely matters, but in WiFi bouts it's crucial - and it'll only take half an hour or so of play before your thumb's aching like anything.

In Japan there's a miniature control pad that slots over PSP and includes 'proper' diagonals, but until it comes out over here, this is simply a slightly-too-tricky version of one of the greatest fighters ever.

More info

DescriptionThis is shaping up to be one of the most classic, elegant ways to punch 2D foes in the pie-hole on the PSP
Franchise nameStreet Fighter
UK franchise nameStreet Fighter
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Joel Snape
Joel Snape enjoys Street Fighter V, any sandbox game that contains a satisfyingly clacky shotgun and worrying about the rise of accidentally-malevolent super-AI. He's also the founder-editor of, where he talks a lot about working out.