I’m curious to hear opinions on this as the Alpha series seems to have fallen in popularity both in terms of play and discussion greatly in the past several years. When I first got into A3, I hadn’t played much, if any SF since SF2T. I never played ST, A1, or A2 so I had a lot of catching up to do. I never got any good with custom combos, never played competitively, just scrubbed it up for hours in arcade mode learning the moves/combos of all the characters (PSX, so fucked frame data, but lots of characters). I went back and explored previous games but eventually I got into the SF3 and CvS games and forgot all about Alpha.
At the time A3 seemed to be the most popular SF besides Marvel, all the game magazines said it was the best SF ever (whatever that counts for) and all the pros seemed to be playing (judging from reading SRK at least). There were some old timers who still claimed A2 and ST were superior, but everyone seemed to be hot for A3 and Marvel. However, over ensuing years 3S and CvS2 seemed to eclipse the Alpha games, and by now it seems almost no one talks about them.
So I’m curious as to where the Alpha games, and particularly A3, stand in the eyes of competitive players. Which Alpha game is considered best? How do they stack up against the venerable ST, and popular 3S? What do people think today about features like airblocking, air throws, custom combos and alpha counters?
Discuss and enlighten!
** Also, I would ask that we keep this discussion to gameplay, balance, and combat mechanics mainly, as the one thing which has already been discussed thoroughly even of late is fans’ love for Alpha’s art, character designs, stages, etc. which I don’t think needs to be retread too much. Please post your Dan/Sakura/insert character here raving fanathons elsewhere.*