(Capcom/Akira, October 26, 2000)

The first ever PS2 version of Street Fighter features the same tired and true game play of the past games but now there are new tag team options available, a Character Edit game, and, of course, all new 128-bit graphics. So is this the ultimate PS2 fighting game? Nope!

The story is pretty much the same old get M. Bison storyline that has been going on now for years. Even the character endings are weak because they are very familiar. Select from 16 different Street Fighters like the usual Ryu, Ken, Chung Li, and Guile plus the EX exclusive characters like D. Dark, Cracker Jack. There are also a lot of secret characters too that can be unlocked in the Arcade mode.

In the Arcade game you can get tag team partners after beating you opponent after the match. Depending on the rules of the next fight you can switch with your partner at any time during the match plus you can even do certain Super moves together.

The Arena game is basically the old versus mode from before but now there are 4 options. You get Tag Battle (Just like arcade mode but now you're fighting your friend), Dramatic Battle (This mode is the dumbest of the four because you can only fight 3 on 1, or 2 on 1 battles), Team Battle (Choose a team and try to eliminated your opponents team one by one), and Multi Play Mode (Use the PlayStation2 Multi Tap for some cool multi player fights).

If you get bored with the Arcade mode or Versus games then you can try out the new Character Edit instead. In this game it's your have the option to learn various fighting moves for your fighter named ACE by first getting enough points to purchase them. Getting points can be either too easy (like performing a special move) or annoyingly difficult (perform a series of combos). Overall this mode is very limited because you only have one character to choose from this time and he can only have six moves at a time which is pretty lame.

The game looks way better than the blocky Street Fighter EX plus Alpha and Street Fighter EX2 for the original Playstation, but the fighters lack realism (they almost look like toy dolls or something); the detail could be a lot better. There are some nice lighting effects when you pull off a super combo or super move but a lot of the game still looks far too goofy though especially when compared to other fighting games on the PS2 like Dead Or Alive Hardcore or Tekken Tag Tournament. For example; Cracker Jack has this move called the Final Punch and when he throws the punch his fist nearly triples in size which looks like something out of a cartoon and not a serious fighting game.

Most of the music and sound effects are recycled from the last two games and any new music is just too forgettable. There is nothing special in the sound department and the recycled music isn't even remixed either. It is a very poor effort by Capcom here.

Despite the somewhat cool multiple player games, I felt that the game lacked some serious replay value in just a few days because of the limited moves per character and the whole 'been there, done that' feel of yet another Street Fighter game. Playing the Final Fight-like game at the end of the credits was fun but it's not really part of the real game and I guess Capon just threw it in there as an afterthought. Street Fighter EX3 is a safe bet if you're looking for a simple and fairly average fighting game and you think that Tekken and Dead or Alive are too serious to be any real fun. However, if you are looking for the most state of the art fighting game around then this game sure is not it.  Consider getting it if it's cheap but that's it.



overall rating: 55/100

Find this game on eBay here!

For 1 to 4 players

Rated (T) for Teen
graphics: 6/10
sound: 5/10
gameplay: 7/10
replay: 6/10

(Ryan Genno) 2007

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