Street Fighter Alpha 2 (SNES) on Virtual Console

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It’s sort of hard to look back to 1996 and imagine what Capcom was thinking with their port of Street Fighter Alpha 2 to the SNES. The PlayStation and Saturn versions were excellent, released at the same time. The Super NES did not have a version of the first Alpha, and the hardware specs would have made it almost impossible anyway.

Still, on a console with three different versions of Street Fighter II, some higher-up thought it was a good idea, and in 1996, Alpha 2 made a 16-bit debut. The results, well, it didn’t work so well.

The usual and expected cuts were made, including smaller sprites, limited animation, and typically static backgrounds. Even that wasn’t enough, causing the SNES to chug as the fight moved on, forcing slowdown and sluggish gameplay that completely eliminated the smooth, satisfying feel Alpha was known for. Despite being on a cart, Alpha 2 SNES needed to load before each match.

With additional cuts, Alpha 2 could have worked on the SNES in some limited form. After all, the Game Boy Color had a surprisingly enjoyable port of the original Alpha, just knocked down to three-color sprites and two buttons. In the end, Capcom likely rushed the project, or insisted it maintain as much of the original as possible. Regardless of the case, asking 800 Wii Points for a watered-down, choppy experience isn’t worth it.