A sequel to Street Fighter Alpha may be more likely than you think, here's why

It's more than 20 years since we last saw an Alpha game, maybe it's time Capcom brings the series back

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • January 3, 2019 at 7:13 p.m. PST

We've still got a good bit of juice left in the Street Fighter 5 tank, but it's certainly not unfair to propose that this game is more than likely over the hill in terms of its lifespan.

Developers have told us support is planned up to 2020, and so we have to speculate that a follow up Street Fighter title is likely in the early stages of development. It very well could be that Capcom is simply aiming for a Street Fighter 6, and that would probably be just fine by the general community.

What if, however, their next pitch is a curve ball and they pursued Street Fighter Alpha 4 instead? Such a happening may be more likely than you'd initially think. After the groundbreaking success of Street Fighter 2 Capcom chose to reroute away from the chronological progression to SF3, and instead went to Alpha (also known as Street Fighter Zero) in 1995.

Street Fighter Alpha 3 sold one million units on PlayStation 1 alone, and was also featured in arcades, Dreamcast, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation Portable and Sega Saturn (Japan only). Obviously total sales for the game were even higher than 1 million, and this was at a time when Capcom fighting games didn't have nearly the legacy and clout they do today.

In an era where everyone was simply trying their best to copy SF2, Capcom continued to pave the way with new approaches such as the Alpha Counter, Guard Power Gauge, "isms" (three modes that allowed players to use the same characters in very different ways) and new characters such as R. Mika, Birdie, Dan, Karin and plenty others that would become iconic franchise staples.

Air blocking, a roll mechanic, various Super combos and the famous custom combo were all mixed and matched depending on which of the three "ism" modes players chose (A-ism, V-ism and X-ism). While there are certainly other ways of ensuring personalized player expression, "isms" would be an almost surefire way of achieving this.

Indeed, Street Fighter 5 was initially criticized for not offering enough in the way of player expression, and perhaps bringing this approach back for the next title would help avoid such issues.

It was also Alpha 3 that saw CYG|Daigo make his first United States appearance to challenge LU|Alex Valle back in 1998, thus helping to kick off a long and storied FGC rivalry between Japan and the US.

Video source: Sephirosuy.

Especially if the upcoming SF entry winds up on next generation consoles, a modern approach to Alpha's anime-style visuals could be absolutely stellar.

Street Fighter 5 has taken public heat for some of its visuals, which have moved towards a more realistic approach than any SF title past (unless you want to argue about the digitized cast of Street Fighter: The Movie the game).

Capcom themselves seem to have a soft spot for the Alpha series, and actually initially wanted to remake Alpha 3 instead of Super Turbo.

"Capcom really wanted Alpha 3," Sirlin told VideoGamer back in 2008. "They just really liked Alpha 3! It has all these different versions, and it's been ported to PSP, and Anniversary Collection, every time they add some new features to it and add some new characters to it."

The history and love for this particular series within the Street Fighter universe are both very significant, and a revival after more than 20 years would likely be well-received by the community.

Is it something that's outright necessary? Surely not, and there are a few different avenues we'd be just as excited to see Capcom go down with their next Street Fighter venture, but bringing such a classic as Alpha to a new generation seems a good call on many fronts.

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