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Street Fighter EX is a 2.5D fighting game originally released as an 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 it is the first game in the EX series. Although non-canon to the mainline installments, it was the first Street Fighter game to have 3D graphics.
The Street Fighter EX fighting system uses fighting systems of the Street Fighter II and Street Fighter Alpha series. In many ways, EX still plays like a 2D fighting game, but the linear plane in which characters fight often changes along a 3D battleground. The game uses special moves and super combos familiar or similar to the previous games in the series. Like in Alpha and Darkstalkers, the super combo gauge, used to do Super Combos, was divided into three levels. The game introduces various new features to enhance the player's combat choices.
Aside from throwing the opponent or wearing away their life by using special moves to drain it, another 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. In EX3, The Guard Break is changed into the Surprise Blow, which still stuns enemies on contact and doesn’t need a level of the super combo gauge to work. However, unlike the previous Guard Break move, the move is guardable and stuns only if it's used on a crouching opponent.
A Special Move can be done after a Regular Move or another Special Move. This is called "Cancelling". In the process of doing a Super Combo, another Super Combo can be performed. This is called a "Super Canceling" and can be done with Super Combos. A "Momentary Combo" can activate a Super Combo in the middle of another Super Combo, by just pressing the punch or kick button.
|D. Dark||Wataru Takagi|
|C. Jack||Banjō Ginga|
|Akuma (Gouki in Japan)||Tomomichi Nishimura|
*-As of May 2000, Shiozawa is the only cast member to have passed away.
|M. Bison (Vega in Japan)||Tomomichi Nishimura|
Street Fighter EX Plus
A few months after the original version of Street Fighter EX was distributed to the arcades, an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX Plus was released to the arcades on March 1997. In this version, all the hidden time-released characters are available by default, as well as Garuda and Bison, who were exclusively computer-controlled in the original game. This version also adds four new hidden characters, Evil Ryu from Street Fighter Alpha 2, an alternate version of Hokuto named "Bloody Hokuto" and two cyborgs named Cycloid β and Cycloid γ. This was also the only version that has modified background stages and colors, much like the color changes on Champion Edition then Hyper Fighting. The first attacks, reversals and combos now display the amount of bonus they give to the Super Combo gauge, despite a typo in the mention, which reads "GAGE+10" instead of "GAUGE+10".
Street Fighter EX plus α
A PlayStation version of the game, titled Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha (or Street Fighter EX plus α) was released on July 1997. All the characters from the arcade version of EX Plus are featured, along with two characters exclusive to this version: Dhalsim from Street Fighter II and Sakura from Street Fighter Alpha 2.
The PlayStation version also includes several game modes in addition to the standard Arcade mode: a dedicated two-player "Versus" mode, a "Team Battle" mode, a "Survival" mode, a "Practice" mode, a "Time Attack" mode and two interestingly uncommon modes: an "Expert" mode where the player's tasked with performing 16 "tests" consisting of moves or combos from each character, and a "Watch" mode where the player gets to witness a match between two computer-controlled characters, thus showing off the Playstation's 3D capacitites and 1st person emulation. Additionally, it also includes an arranged soundtrack and CG animated endings for all the characters, where there was previously text-only endings in the arcade versions.
Street Fighter EX plus α received overall good critics for its playability, despite its poor story content, and went platinum.
- The Japanese releases of the games contain text-only epilogues which are displayed on-screen after the player defeats Bison in the single-player mode. The Japanese PlayStation version features new epilogues (different from the ones featured in the arcade versions) in addition to the FMV endings.
- In the international versions of the game, D. Dark's punch throw was censored and replaced with a generic throw; the original punch throw had him slit his opponent's throat. The move is also censored in the prefectures of Odawara and Niigata due to stricter regulations in those prefectures.  His kick throw was also censored and replaced with a generic throw in the International version, as the original version involved him using an explosive on the opponent's throat which caused them to explode and set on fire.
A sequel to Street Fighter EX was released for the arcades titled Street Fighter EX2 in 1998. It was also followed by an upgraded version titled Street Fighter EX2 Plus, which was released for the arcades and ported to the PlayStation in 1999. The third console installment in the series, Street Fighter EX3, was released exclusively for the PlayStation 2 as a launch title in 2000.
- The working title of Street Fighter EX during development was Street Fighter Gaiden.
- In early 1996, a version of the game was rumoured to be in development for Nintendo 64.
- The storyline of the EX series takes place in an alternate time and is not canon to the official main storyline of the Street Fighter series. Chronologically, EX happens around the same time as Street Fighter II does in the main timeline.
- Some of the EX characters have some traits from other popular cultures and characters.
- C. Jack's appearance is very similar to Daisuke Jigen (who Banjō Ginga voiced in "Plot of the Fuma Clan") from the Lupin III manga and anime series.
- Allen Snider is slightly similar to a young Chuck Norris.
- D. Dark's moveset is very similar to Scorpion from the Mortal Kombat series and the blades on his arms are similar to Baraka. His fighting stance is also similar to Tekken character Lee Chaolan's stance from the original Tekken and Tekken 2.
- Skullomania's design was influenced by Kamen Rider and it's predecessor, Skull Man, the inspiration being more obvious in EX2.
- Music themes from this game (and its following sequels) were remixed in the Playstation 2 music-rhythm game, Technictix, and it's sequel, Technic Beat. These themes are; "Arabesque", "Sakura Mankai", "Stronger", "Fake World - Maniax", "Crowded Town" and "Ancient Zone". Additional remixes of "Arabesque" and "Fake World - Maniax" are present on Volume 3 of the Technictix Remix soundtrack album.
- Superplay, Issue 41, March '96, p60
- Street Fighter EX Plus α official site (archive)