We poked and prodded every producer and PR rep we could find in order to learn more about the game. We didn't find out much, but the tidbits we did learn have us excited.
Japan will get the game first, sometime later in the fall if all goes according to plan. There, it will be released as Street Fighter Zero 3 Upper. Devoted fans of the franchise will recognize this title as the final revision of the arcade game, which means that the PSP version should have all 34 characters selectable and include the "classic" mode play option.
Similar to the recently released Darkstalkers Chronicle, the graphics in SFA3 will be taken directly from the arcade assets. That's good news for fans who want an "arcade perfect" port, but bad news for any of the nitpickers that didn't like the stretch or letterboxing options afforded by Darkstalkers Chronicle. Once again, the PSP will have to stretch the graphics to fill the screen dimensions, or players will have the option of viewing the original arcade resolution with borders filling the left and right portions of the screen.
We were also assured that the game will include ad hoc wireless play for head-to-head matches, as well as a tournament mode that will allow as many as 12 players to go at it elimination style. Capcom representatives had an official "no comment" when we asked about infrastructure (online) play, so we assume that it probably won't make it into the game.
That's about all we were able to learn. Currently, the game is roughly 25% complete. No one was able to tell us if the RPG style World Tour mode from the Dreamcast game would be implemented, nor were they able to give us any insight as to how the load times would be. Judging from the brief video snippet, which was clearly not just footage of the arcade or Dreamcast game, the animation and audio in the PSP version will literally match the arcade.
Unfortunately, a release date for the PSP version of Street Fighter Alpha 3 in North America was not announced.
5/26/2005 Frank Provo