Making the change to A3 Upper

Now before I pose the question, let’s try not to get bogged down in “why we should stick with A3 and not change over to Upper”…

As a point of discussion, how would the game change in terms of how it is played.

We know these things for sure:

V-ism takes a hit
Crouch cancel is gone
Meter for whiffed throws is gone
Character Cast +3 (FeiLong, T.Hawk, DeeJay)
A-ism builds meter faster.

All things considered, does this bring A-ism and X-ism more into the viable play environment?

Which characters have fewer poor match ups and do the tiers remain consistent?

Is the game more or less fun in your opinion?

I know there is a lot of well, hate towards this version. The general concensus among players is that Upper was too little too late. However you feel, let’s try to discuss the game on its own merits.

Now if only DeeJay were as good as his PS1 version was…:sweat:

It sounds like an attempt to bridge the gap between V-Ism and Z-Ism, while X-Ism seems left untouched. You’re sort of looking at the demise of V-Gouki & V-Sakura and pushing Z-Guy & Z-Dhalsim up the ranks. So yeah, obviously V-Ism will do less damage, infinite opertinities are gone and Z-Guy builds meter faster.

didn’t upper also nerf dhalsim considerably? specifically his normals? i remember reading he got seriously short changed.
also, provided akuma can still execute his vc’s, i can’t see how he wouldn’t still be on top of the list. his ability to force damage on an opponent from anywhere on the screen should still be fantastic, and i can’t see how upper could have seriously inhibited his ability to run away/build meter.

I’m not saying they’re not top tier, just they got shafted and Z-Ism didn’t, so obviusly it’s going to close the gap between them…

So characters that based their gameplan around A-ism get a good boost.

Gen, Guy, and Rose should move up considerably. I don’t think Rose’s Soul Illusion (A-ism combo that works like V-ism) got nerfed, so she should fair much better.

Now DeeJay isn’t his PS1 self, but I think he’d play out fairly strong as well.

i agree with this entirely, sorry if i came off as contentious.

is there an upper tier list anywhere? i haven’t been able to find one, but maybe i suck at looking.

That’s kind of why I brought up the discussion, I don’t think the game has been explored enough to know if there is a real difference from A3 standard.

i think v-akuma would become more dominant

let’s take charlie for example after he has done his vc he can’t regain bar with cc ender

no AC =free unblockable vc for akuma

charlie also can’t wiff throw for bar while akuma can just short hurricane

a-ism chars(guy gen rog blanka) would get stronger but I dunno how much don’t know how fast their meter would build.most chars only use lvl 3 supers anyway

. chars which were better in V would stiil be better in V in upper.

i think the scary thing about v-ism isnot cc but

invinsiblity when activating
high damage ( dunno if they changed this)

Odd, I had always understood that Upper removed the whiff throws for meter aspect of the game, but in playing it tonight, that shit is still in there.

It can be disabled through a dip switch.

I have a thread on this forum where one can change the dips on SFA3U to make it a combination between vanilla A3 and A3U. It keeps some of the perks of A3 like whiffing throws for meter, crouch cancels, Juni’s double damage on CSP, etc; but you also get hte use of all the new characters. I think the thread is called “SFA3U Dip Switch Settings”. I think it would be an interesting alternative to regualr A3, but you don’t lose anywhere near as much as regualr A3U:)

ya know, i’ve always wondered about this exact same thing myself. although i was never a fan of A3 when it 1st came out, the later discovered glitchiness of the game really put me off years later.

i remember Apoc and I having a brief conversation at Norm’s in L.A. around a year or so after A3 had been out already. initially alot of people disliked A3 when it 1st came out, but now the game was starting to rebound and was getting more popular. Apoc was one of the guys who disliked it at 1st if i remember correctly, but by this time he’d given the game more of a chance and he’d changed his opinion about it. he told me the game was much better and much deeper than he originally thought.

now this was before all of the infinites, etc. had come into play. once the game turned into “glitch/infinite city” i personally lost any notion that A3 could ever be a truly great SF game. i mean, even if the basic gameplay of A3 was pretty solid… watching people doing infinites turned the game into a joke, and it was just broken and silly, imo.

anyhow, later when A3 upper came out and i’d heard that the gameplay was tweaked, fixed, and infinites were taken out, i was genuinely curious to see how the game turned out. but word was that the japanese players hated it, or that they never gave it a chance because they were already so used to A3.

but that doesn’t seem logical to me. i just can’t imagine the japanese players ignoring upper and not giving it a chance, especially considering how popular A3 already was.

so that brings up this same question here in this thread that i’ve always wondered about. if A3 upper is a “fixed” version of A3, then why the hell didn’t it become the next great tournament game and the definitive version in the alpha series?

i’ve read a few things and a few threads, but no one has really said exactly why A3 upper isn’t the better version, or exactly why both japanese and US players never transitioned over to it. i do understand that upper came out long after A3 was already out, but that doesn’t really seem like a good enough reason for players not to play it. hell, if SF3- 4th generation were to come out today… everyone would play it, regardless of how long 3S has been out. and the other points about how some things were made worse or how some characters became worse, well… i’m just not clear on what exactly that all means, in terms of overall gameplay and balance. my thinking is that less glitches/no infinites = a better SF game, but i’m not sure what the real problems with A3 upper are.

anyhow, i’d really love to hear from some of you guys that actually know alot about this game, what the REAL reasons are.


In my opinion infinites is sfa3 are great, they take skill to setup and to perform. They give chance to more characters to compete. Some glitches make game more deep, only akuma’s pickups i dont personjally like. And Sfa3 is great game as it is. I think thats the reason everyone rejected fixes, and jap still running sfa3 strong.

wait a sec.

so if i’m reading what some of you guys are saying correctly, then in sfa3 upper more than half the characters are unplayable, and have NO chance to win.

in other words, for example, even though cody still has a VC that can still do 50%+ damage… he still cannot win unless he has the ability to do infinite jumping shorts over and over?

so half of the characters in sfa3-upper still need a glitch which allows them to be able to jump up and hit a button over and over, in order for them to be able to stand a fighting chance?

and watching birdie(for example) spend 30-40 seconds of gametime repeatedly jumping up and hitting a button makes the game better? that makes the game more fun?

sorry, that’s just not my idea of good, fun SF.

does anyone have any good info on what exactly the tiers are for sfa3-upper. i’d seriously like to know whether the game is better balanced or not.


People aren’t saying that cody can’t win without CCs, neither are they saying that in order to stand a fighting chance on a competitive level characters need CC infinites.
I think the general concensus is that many characters don’t stand a fighting chance even with their CC infinites, so taking them away just pushes V-Akuma, V-sak etc further up into the dizzy heights they reach.

Essentially, removing infinites takes nothing away from the most powerful characters, it just makes the sub-par ones even worse.

Furthermore, there are a lot of very nice combos that require crouch cancelling that are not infinites, such as some of the stuff Ken can tack onto his corner dragon punch trap. These cool little combos and finishers are all removed with crouch cancelling. Removing crouch cancelling takes a lot of skills people have built up out of the game and damages character balance. For some people this isn’t a price worth paying just for cosmetic reasons (ie. “I think infinites look silly”).

This has been brought up before, but there are a couple reasons Upper never caught on.

A#1, it was never released in the U.S. So that pretty much killed it right there.

Moreover, Upper first came out in what, 2001, 2002? A3 had already been out for like 4 years, so yeah people were used to it.

A3 Upper was “fixed” in the way that Capcom fixes things, ie. raped. V-ISM as a whole isn’t as good because the invinicibility on activation was shortened, so if you consider the fact that half of the game is better off in V, you can imagine what that may do to your favorite character. Cody, for example, is absolutely better in V-ISM even without infinites.

Crouch cancels were removed, which in addition to getting rid of infintes, got rid of regular combos too. It’s like if in ST they removed crossups to get rid of re-dizzy/100% combos. It hurts more characters outside of the top 5 than within it.

There were various character-specific changes: Dhalsim was slowed down and weakened compared to the arcade version, Dee Jay was weakened compared to the PSX/Saturn versions, and I’ve heard people mention Guy being changed, etc. Also, arcade Upper inherited a glitch from the PSX/Dreamcast versions of A3, where you can do the ground recovery (KK roll) out of Rose’s level 2/3 throw supers, and probably some other stuff.

The changes weren’t really well-thought-out, and it was late as hell, in addition to being sloppy. It’s like asking why people don’t play A2 Gold or CvS2:EO or PSX ST or whatever. It was viwed by a lot of people as a perverted version of the original, and was only around long after the original.

And actually, it’s sort of a weird issue to talk about now, since every single version of Upper (and A3 in general) is different: original arcade Upper is different from Gameboy Advance Upper, which is different from PSP Upper, which is different from the Alpha Anthology version, which is what I’d assume most people here refer to.

Whiffed throws apparently build meter in PS2 Upper and overall it’s more like the arcade version of A3 with a few Upper characteristics.

You could make the case for it not being given a fair shot like A2 Gold or whatever other game.

hmm, you see, now that’s more like it. those points and details you guys brought out do a much better job of explaining it for me. i appreciate that.

my biggest confusion was whether a3 upper, in it’s original arcade form, was a “better” version or not. now i have a better understanding that it really wasn’t. i mean, i can see where the vism versions of characters would just all be weakened across the board somewhat evenly, but what i wondered was whether or not the other ism versions of characters now became more viable, and did that make the lower tier characters now capable of challenging the upper tiers.
(for example: would a-ism charlie now have a better chance against v-ism akuma?)

and if that was indeed the case, wouldn’t that make the game better? but like i said, i know very little about a3, so i’m just speculating. my assumptions were this:

  • a3 was dominated by a certain top tier using v-ism
  • v-ism for the most part was the best choice for 80-90% of the characters
  • v-ism infinites were (for the most part) the only way that the non top tier
    characters could win

so based on those things i figured that anything that took away from the overall strength of v-ism would automatically make the other ism’s better, thus make some of the characters much better in other ism’s, and overall create more parady and balance.

i guess i can sort of see how it doesn’t quite work out that way, now that you guys have explained some things better. i still would love to know what the new tiers are based on the current alpha anthology version of upper. i mean, if v-akuma, v-sakura, a-dhalsim, etc. are still the overwhelming top tier, then i guess the changes really don’t help.

anyhow, thanks for the info.

btw, i never said i think that “infinites look silly”. what i said was, that when i saw players doing infinites, it made the game itself seem silly to me. (somewhat different, although to be honest, yeah… i do think infinites look silly, in the context of basic SF play)
this is just my opinion, but to me, any glitch that changes the basic/fundamental rules or properties of gameplay, to the extent where players can manipulate the game for extended periods of time, and for very large amounts of damage (much less infinite damage)… basically “break” the game. those kinds of glitches undermine the general principles of the game and imho, do more bad than good.

for example: take pro basketball. there are rules and guidelines that govern the basic principles and fundamentals of the game. so let’s take travelling violations. players can take only 2 steps after their last dribble before they have to shoot or pass.
well, what if all players were now allowed to throw the ball up in the air after their 2 steps, keep on running, catch their own pass, (basically keep passing the ball to themselves over and over without dribbling) an infinite # of times until they wanted to shoot, or until the shot clock ran out?

i mean, what kind of ridiculous game would basketball then become? who would go for that? it would basically ruin the game. now, i know those are very different analogies, but i really do think they describe the basic fundamental point i’m trying to make about certain kinds of game glitches. i also feel the same way about cvs2’s roll cancelling, i think they destroy the basic principles and rules of SF, and imo… they ruin the game. but hey, that’s just my personal opinion.


I don’t know if you check this thread anymore, but you might be interested in this post:

In a nutshell it’s possible to set the dipswitches in SFA3U so that it acts a lot like an arcade perfect version of SFA3. There’s just a few things missing which you can see in the list at the bottom of my post.

Personally I think it’s totally viable to play SFA3U with the modified dipswitches, but obviously it’s going to effect a few major things for some characters.

With modified dipswitches, it might be interesting just because of the extra characters. I’d love a chance to play V-Hawk.
A game with A as the dominant ISM would be a giant Dhalsim/‘Gief/Chun’ fest though.

As a late reply, that’s why I don’t really group A3 in with the rest of the SF series. It’s very much its own game. A lot of people get turned off it when they realize what it actually plays like.

I always wondered what the tiers for Upper are. But the japs really don’t bother at all about it. They just don’t care. I have the tiers for Double Upper (as this game get some play in japan), but Upper? No way.

But upper has some balancing factor’s we all just don’t know about. Maybe it’s a really perfect SF maybe not. In Upper you can throw (PP/KK) a reversal Dragon Punches out of the start-up. You will see reversal, you will hear “Shoryuuken!” but you can throw it.
Sometimes some moves cause no damage a all. (glitch or balancing?) Like you just got the mechanics of the gameplay. A counterhit would get you no damage but you could still link another normal. (like you’re used to do it.) Or a major counter will juggle and set the enemy into a juggle state. Only got those normals, that caused no damage about 2-3 times.

Upper is explored for maybe 30%.