Fatal Fury 3

Neo Geo

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


Once again completely revamping the series, Fatal Fury 3 is an odd one. It seems to be more of a test for the series evolution into the Real Bout games, and doesn't quite come together as flawlessly as Special. The core fighting mechanics have been toyed with, and that multi-plane movement is still here, though it's been reworked.

fatalfury31.png (24165 bytes)The roster has been cut from 15 to ten. The usual fighters return, including the Bogard crew, Mai, and Geese. Everyone else is new. The oddity here is Sokaku, a character that's perfect for newcomers with far too easy combos and specials. He's brutal to fight against, with multiple hits delivered with a single press of a button. To fight as him is flat out cheating.

That of course throws the balance completely off. That cheapens the title, though the basic workings of the game are worth it. The core mechanics has been tweaked again, including jumping hits that will knock a character down, instead of becoming a combo starter. The four button scheme meshes with the game as well as it did in the first two sequels.

fatalfury32.png (30565 bytes)Multi-plane movement is not only included, but expanded. There are now three planes to move in and out of, though it's not much of a focus in combat. It's more a quick slide to maneuver away from projectiles. You can still attack from one of these if you're quick and the opportunity arises. It's generally easy to fail doing so. The addition of a second plane is rather pointless, as one of them would have served the same purpose just fine.

The stages make note of this new dimension, showing excellent depth, and making it readily apparent there's room to play with. The re-drawn sprites are detailed better, though smaller. Animation has undergone significant additions, giving the game a better flow and feel.

There's plenty of merit here, and SNK's decision to work the game completely over again is commendable (and almost makes up for the Fatal Fury 2/Special debacle). While not all of the ideas are decent ones, they don't completely kill the game either. This is still Fatal Fury, and while it's obviously evolving into something else, this third addition is a positive one.


Go to Digital Press HQ
Return to Digital Press Home

Last updated: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 01:43 PM