Showing posts with label Street Fighter Alpha 2 for Saturn and PlayStation Print Ad (1996). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Street Fighter Alpha 2 for Saturn and PlayStation Print Ad (1996). Show all posts

Monday, August 3, 2015

Street Fighter Alpha 2 for Saturn and PlayStation (1996)

Original ad published in the December 1996 issue of Ultra Game Players (no. 91).
Press to enlarge or download in higher resolution.

A visual 2D tour-de-force with excepcional gameplay

For gamers, Street Fighter is a microcosm of the 90's.  A fantastic series that had ups and downs, flirted with 3D, returned to its graphical roots, and was highly exposed to commercial interests from Capcom. Throughout the decade, however, it maintained its superb gameplay. Even today, when the euphoria for fighting games has died down, these middle of the 90's Street Fighters can be picked up played with enjoyable results. Some would argue that Street Fighter Alpha 2 is the pinnacle of this mindset. One minute to learn, one year to master.

Street Fighter Alpha 2 was released in late 1996 for the most popular 32-bit consoles of the era, meaning PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Of those, purists maintain that the latter is the superior version, being a practically perfect arcade port. There was also a Super NES version of the game, but the dated machine just wasn't technically capable of competing with the newer, more powerful consoles. 

I'm not the one to say if Alpha 2 is superior to the previous versions of the game. Specially when you take into consideration that I loved playing Street Fighter II in the arcades and SNES and later advanced to the excellent Street Fighter II Champion Edition. I will say, however, that I really enjoyed Street Fighter Alpha 3 for the PS2. There's a notable speed difference between the three games I just mentioned, but I don't think the originals suffer from this fact. They are perfectly well balanced, "pure", video game experiences.

As a side note, the Street Fighter Alpha series is actually a prequel to the original games. That's why some of the characters appear younger than, say, in SFII. Other than that, there really in no "story" the gamer should feel he needs to know before trying them out. Street Fighter lore is incredibly complex. Thankfully, Capcom stayed true to the essence of the franchise by publishing a beautiful 2D game during the height of (ugly) 3D fighters for the PlayStation and Saturn like Fighting Vipers, Iron and Blood or even Tekken. For that alone, this game deserves to be remembered fondly. 

Here we have one of the better ads of 1996. Forget the copy and just concentrate on the visual impact of the image. A diagonally crafted advertisement is rare. In this case, Capcom didn't stray from the same box-art of the game. Why should they? In the diagonal we see the game in a nutshell: light versus dark (Ryu vs Akuma), a fight about to break out and the famous character design Street Fighter is all about. Everything is hand-drawn and would look quite good as a poster on your wall. As an added bonus, we get depth-of-field with the hidden Sakura staring straight at the reader. This is advanced framing. Otherwise the image of both men would look too plain, without volume. That simple graphical layer ads huge intention to the overall editorial design. Also, check out the character's eyes: Ryu's are subdued; Akuma's are bright red. But since Ryu's clothes are white, both colours balance out on the printed page. Both of those triggers are the brightest spots on both of the character's drawings.  

Street Fighter Alpha 2 for Saturn and PlayStation print ad copy

Suddenly, things are getting personal.

Now, it's your reputation on the line. And time to leave your mark in this perfect translation of the #1 arcade phenomenon. On your side is the innovative custom combo system, now allowing you to link together your own series of brutal attacks. You'll need every possible advantage to take on a total of 18 fighters, the most ever in Street Fighter legend. Remember, hesitation is deadly. Because in the end, it's all about who's the last one left standing.