Time to strike a combat pose

It’s the return of the dragon as Capcom takes the PSP street fighting

Time to strike a combat pose

OK, so over 27 million Street Fighter games have been sold but on the minus side there was that awful movie with Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie. We think that probably makes it even-stevens when it comes to whether it can be considered a worthwhile cultural institution. Capcom hopes to be breaking through such attitudes, however, as it preps its spectacular 2D beat ‘em up for its PSP debut.

As is usual in such circumstances, the game - Street Fighter Alpha 3 Max - will be based on an old arcade version and include characters and scenes from other games like Capcom vs. SNK 2 with some added bells and whistles for the PSP.

Street Fighter fans will be excited to hear that four new characters will be added to 30 or so longterm brawlers such as Ryu, Ken and Zangief.

Perhaps more interesting, though, will be the addition of the Variable Battle Mode, which allows real-time tag team action. In this you can tag your fighter out of a battle, swapping him/her with your secondary character who enters with an automatic jump attack. Another potentially cool element is the wi-fi League Battle Mode that allows up to eight players to bash each other in round-robin mini tournaments.

Other modes include the single-player Battle Mode, where you team up with computer-controlled characters to fight computer-controlled opponents, and the Survival mode where you're challenged to see how many enemies you can take down before you finally get KO’d. You can also select a team of three and engage in team battles with Team Battle Mode.

But for most players, the joy of Street Fighter on PSP will be slipping back in time to re-live the arcade-perfect days of their youth. Because even considering the lack of beat ‘em ups on the PSP, the days of such 2D games topping the charts are long gone.