Street Fighter EX

Street Fighter EX (ストリートファイターEX, Sutorīto Faitā EX) is a 2D head-to-head fighting game with 3D graphics, originally released as a coin-operated arcade game for the Sony ZN hardware in 1996. It is a spin-off of the Street Fighter series co-produced by Capcom with Arika and was the first game in the series to feature 3D polygon graphics. It was followed by an updated arcade version titled Street Fighter EX Plus, as well as a PlayStation-exclusive home console version titled Street Fighter EX Plus α, both released in 1997. A Nintendo 64 version was also announced for release in 1997,[2] but later cancelled.

Street Fighter EX
Street Fighter EX flyer.jpg
Poster for the arcade version.
Virgin Interactive (EU)
Designer(s)Junichi Ono
Akira Nishitani
Noritaka Funamizu
Kazuko Kawanaka
Masashi Tanaka
Programmer(s)Hori Takamasa
Hiroyasu Od Hassy
Akira K
Artist(s)Jun Matsumura
Alien Pole
Masaaki Tanaka
Kazuko Kawanaka
Composer(s)Takayuki Aihara
Shinji Hosoe
Ayako Saso
Platform(s)Arcade, PlayStation
  • NA: December 19, 1996
  • JP: December 19, 1996
  • EU: December 19, 1996
  • JP: March 3, 1997
  • NA: March 3, 1997
(Plus α)
  • JP: July 17, 1997
  • NA: September 30, 1997
  • EU: November 28, 1997[1]
Mode(s)Up to two players simultaneously
Arcade systemSony ZN-1
DisplayRaster, 640 x 480 pixels (Horizontal), 65536 colors


The Street Fighter EX fighting system uses fighting systems from the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha series, but also has some original ones. In many ways, EX still plays like a 2D fighting game, but the linear plane in which characters fight often changes along a 3D arena. The game uses special moves and super combos familiar or similar to previous games in the series. Unlike in the Street Fighter Alpha titles or Darkstalkers, the EX series features a super meter with three separate sections, not levels, which is unique to this spinoff game series.

Aside from throwing the opponent or wearing away their health by using special moves, a way to fight blocking is the "Guard Break". The Guard Break is a move that, if it connects with the blocking opponent, breaks the block and makes the opponent dizzy. The Guard Break can be used at any time with one level of the Super Combo gauge.[3] This is also a SF mechanic but in Alpha, the guard break simply results in an opening, while EX guard break is more like a stun.

A special move can be done after a regular move or another special move; this is called "Canceling". In the process of doing a Super Combo, another Super Combo can be performed. This is called "Super Canceling" and can be done with Super Combos. This allows a player to string multiple super combos together for monumental damage.


The original Street Fighter EX features 17 characters. With a total of 18 new characters in the three games of the Street Fighter EX series, this represents the largest original set of characters introduced in a single Street Fighter series.

Version Characters Anno
Street Fighter EX
Hidden characters
Street Fighter EX Plus New characters 1997
Street Fighter EX Plus α New characters

Boss characters



Street Fighter EX PlusEdit

A few months after the original version of Street Fighter EX was released, an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX Plus was released in arcades on March 3, 1997. In this version, all of the hidden time-released characters are available by default. This version also adds four new hidden characters, increasing the total number of characters to 21: Evil Ryu from Street Fighter Alpha 2, an alternate version of Hokuto named Bloody Hokuto, and two cyborgs named Cycloid-β and Cycloid-γ.

Street Fighter EX Plus αEdit

The PlayStation version of the game, titled Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha and promoted as Street Fighter EX Plus α, was released on July 17, 1997. All of the characters from the arcade version of EX Plus are included, along with two characters exclusive to this version, increasing the total number of characters to 23: Dhalsim from Street Fighter II and Sakura from Street Fighter Alpha 2.[4] In addition, there is a hidden bonus stage where the player has to smash barrels, similar to one of the three bonus stages from Street Fighter II.[5]

The PlayStation version also includes several game modes in addition to the Arcade mode: a dedicated two-player Versus mode, Practice mode, Team Battle mode, Survival mode, Time Attack mode, and Watch mode where the player witnesses a match between two computer-controlled characters. The PlayStation version also includes an arranged soundtrack and CG animated endings for all of the characters.

Regional differencesEdit

The Japanese versions of both EX and EX Plus contain text-only epilogues which are displayed on-screen after the player defeats M. Bison in single-player mode. The PlayStation version features new epilogues (different from the ones featured in the arcade versions) in addition to FMV endings.


Development of the game was headed by Akira Nishitani, best known for his work on Street Fighter II.[6] Though the gaming media had widely perceived Capcom's first in-house polygonal fighting game, Star Gladiator, as a warm-up for their first polygonal Street Fighter game, Arika did not consult with the Star Gladiator team in making Street Fighter EX. Arika vice president Ichiro Mihara explained, "In specific terms, it's a different development line. In addition, technically, it's completely different. The know-how we're using for this 2D/3D fighting game has no relation to Star Gladiator. Fundamentally, Akira is not a subsidiary company of Capcom. ... Some people may be under the impression that as we came from Capcom, there's some sort of link between us but in reality it's a different team making a different game. The concept is new and the know-how is new."[6]


The music was written by former Namco composers, Takayuki Aihara, Shinji Hosoe, and Ayako Saso. The themes are predominantly jazz fusion, with rock and electronic dance music elements. Entitled Street Fighter EX-SCITRON 1500 SERIES, the complete 20-track CD album was released on February 21, 1997 by Pony Canyon, complete with a 19-track voice collection. The 13-track live band CD Street Fighter EX Arrange Sound Trax was released on March 5, 1997, with a drama CD released on March 21 of the same year.


Critical reactionEdit

Aggregate score
GameRankingsPS: 86%[7]
Review scores
CVGPS:      [8]
GameSpotPS: 8.3/10[9]
IGNPS: 8.3/10[10]
Next GenerationARC:      [11]
PS:      [12]
PSMPS: 8/10[13]
Electric PlaygroundPS: 9.5/10[14]
PSMStar Player
PSM9th best PlayStation game of all time

A reviewer for Next Generation commended Capcom for bringing the Street Fighter series into 3D, but judged Street Fighter EX to be an ultimately failed attempt. He remarked that while the characters are evenly balanced and have a handful of innovative moves, "The game plays more like a distant cousin to the Street Fighter series" and is simply not as fun. He also found the animations and backgrounds to not be up to Street Fighter standards.[11]

The expanded PlayStation version was much more positively received. GameSpot stated "In the video and audio departments, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha is pretty solid. Its old characters closely resemble their 2D predecessors", and that "taken as a whole, Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha is a fun game with great gameplay, better than average aesthetics, and a large number of characters." They summarized as "a 3D Street Fighter game worthy of its heritage."[9] The Official UK PlayStation Magazine said that the "gameplay is as recognisable as the Taj Mahal", and that it was "the most fun we've ever had with Streetfighting since Turbo", rating the lifespan as 10/10. They concluded "this is like a second honeymoon. The true master of martial arts games remains unrivalled."[citation needed] IGN's Jason Boor stated "this is one of the best Street Fighters I've ever played, and I think it's a good switch. It's still a 2D fighter, but it looks a whole lot better."[10] Next Generation called it "an outstanding title even non-SF devotees will enjoy."[12]

In 1998 PlayStation: The Official Magazine listed it as number 9 on their "best PlayStation games of all time".[15]


The arcade version saw limited distribution.[16]

The PlayStation version sold over 400,000 total copies worldwide after its first year on sale, qualifying for the Platinum Range.[citation needed]


A sequel to Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX2, was released on May 26, 1998. It was also followed by an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX2 Plus, which was released in arcades and ported to the PlayStation in 1999. The third game in the series, Street Fighter EX3, was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 on March 4, 2000. The Street Fighter EX games all run at a vertical resolution of 480 lines, which makes them the only Street Fighter games to run at a definition above 256 lines until the release of Street Fighter IV (which also has 3D graphics) in 2008.

Although not technically a sequel to Street Fighter EX, both Allen Snider and Blair Dane would later appear in Arika's arcade exclusive fighting game; Fighting Layer released exclusively in Japan by Namco in 1998.

In early 2017, Arika announced that a new fighting game was in development with the working title "Arika EX". On April 1, 2017, a teaser for a new title featuring the Street Fighter EX characters was released, which was initially believed to be "a very elaborate April Fool's joke".[17] It was later revealed that the game was indeed in development and that more information would be revealed during EVO 2017. The game was released in June 2018 under the name Fighting EX Layer.


  1. ^ "Games Guide". Computer Trade Weekly. No. 665. United Kingdom. 24 November 1997. p. 36.
  2. ^ "Stop Press". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 15.
  3. ^ "Coin-Operated". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 14. Emap International Limited. December 1996. pp. 90–91.
  4. ^ "So, What Exactly Does the 'Plus' Do for Us?". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 96. Ziff Davis. July 1997. p. 97.
  5. ^ "Tricks of the Trade". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 99. Ziff Davis. October 1997. p. 65.
  6. ^ a b Harrod, Warren (December 1996). "The Akira [sic] Interview". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 14. Emap International Limited. pp. 91–95.
  7. ^ "Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha for PlayStation". GameRankings. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  8. ^ Lomas, Ed (November 1997). "Review: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha". Computer and Video Games. No. 192. pp. 74–75. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha Review". GameSpot. November 4, 1997. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Boor, Jason (October 26, 1997). "Street Fighter Ex Plus Alpha Review". IGN. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b "Street Fighter EX". Next Generation. No. 27. Imagine Media. March 1997. p. 103.
  12. ^ a b "Finals". Next Generation. No. 35. Imagine Media. November 1997. p. 196.
  13. ^ Magazine review, issue 25, Nov 1997, page 117
  14. ^ Lucas, Victor (December 10, 1997). "Reviews: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha". Electric Playground. Archived from the original on December 5, 1998.
  15. ^ "Imagine Media's PSM Names Top 25 PlayStation Games of All Time". Business Wire. August 3, 1998. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Street Fighter EX Plus α: Street Fighting Finally Goes 3-D". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 99. Ziff Davis. October 1997. p. 130.
  17. ^ Arika confirms untitled fighting game with Street Fighter EX characters

External linksEdit