Monday, September 13, 2010

Street Fighter Zero 3 on Sega Saturn

Obviously, since I brought up Capcom's outstanding fighting games on Sega Saturn, I have to show Street Fighter Zero 3. This game is absolutely astounding. Even in the year 2010, I am left speechless. This may be the greatest arcade-to-home translation of all time. Even the mighty Dreamcast could not match the Saturn for 2D brawlers.

This game is the peak of the Street Fighter series. In addition to the new characters from the Zero/Alpha games, all the original Street Fighter 2 brawlers are included. There are two different speed settings, three different styles of super-combos, numerous game modes exlusive to the home versions (the same for PSX, Saturn, and Dreamcast), and the sharpest graphics and animation up to that point. Clearly, Capcom meant for Zero 3 to be the ultimate Street Fighter.

Personally, it's a toss-up between Zero/Alpha 3 and Street Fighter 3: Third Strike. Both games are very different, however, and I find they compliment one another perfectly. Zero 3 demonstrates all the innovations and flash of the Alpha series, while Third Strike is more strategic, a back-to-basics approach. They're both fantastic; indeed, here is one reason every gamer needs a Saturn and Dreamcast side-by-side.

How many must-have Saturn games from Japan have we uncovered? I've long since lost count. Sega of America executives like Bernie Stolar were guilty of criminal negligence. By declaring all 2D and arcade games obsolete, they all but guaranteed that Saturn would fall to the Playstation. But what would have happened if they played to the console's strengths, and brought home all these fighting games and shoot-em-ups and adventure-RPGs? I don't believe the tide of history could have been turned; the Sony Playstation was going to dominate the 5th Generation. But the gap between Sony and Sega would have been much smaller. Heck, Sega might have just saved themselves from death in the console market.

Imagine that. What if we still had the old Sega with us today? They just fell off a cliff after the Dreamcast died. It's no longer the same Sega. The old spark is long gone, and in its place now lies....nothing much. Ashes and faded memories.

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