Street Fighter 3: Third Strike


Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 10

Sound: 6

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 9

The ongoing saga of Street Fighter never seems to end. The stagnation of Street Fighter II forced Capcom into finally releasing a true 3rd game in the series that, unfortunately, never took off like it should of. Street Fighter III: Third Strike was the final revision of the game, by far and away the best in this series, but not the best of the Street Fighter games.

For those who want backstory on the characters, you'll be sorely disappointed. There isn't one. You can flip through the instruction book all you want, there's no mention of it. It's a shame since the game features so many new faces. Only 4 characters of the original 19 return from the series and another is ripped from Capcom's beat-em-up Final Fight series. The strange mix of creatures, humans, beasts, and other unlikables is probably the main reason the game wasn't as successful. Their designs are well thought out, but they simply seem out of place in the universe Capcom has created for the series.

Even though you may not like the designs, you can't help but be in awe of their animation. It's one of the few games ever made that you will actually want to watch. NEVER in the history of gaming has a 2-D fighter packed so much animation in just one round. You can actually see the pain of the blows expressed on the fighters faces. Each hit gives players a different reaction depending on what they are hit with. One look at Elena's standing animation is jaw-dropping. Every characters clothes flow freely, muscles flex, and move with uncanny detail. This is all a true testament to the Dreamcast's unmatched 2-D power.

The new backgrounds also feature some great details. Fighting at different times results in consecutive rounds that occur during the day, night, daybreak, and sunset. All of them change according to the time of day. Some of the fights even occur in a pouring rainstorm. It's the most spectacular 2-D presentation in the history of video games..

It's unfortunate, but even will all the glitz, the gameplay is still pretty much the same. There is a higher emphasis on parrying and super combos then the previous games, but the Alpha series had already used these additions. A "stun gauge" has been added instead of the dizzy feature, but again, this is highly similar to the "blocking meter" from Alpha 3. Maybe it was the risk of changing it too much that worried Capcom, but I think a big change would do this series good. Purists still love this one, and there's reason for it.

Regardless, anyone who may be trying these games out for the first time will be deeply engrossed in a flawlessly designed and solid game engines. Veterans will be pleased to try out all of the new characters, but may soon realize some copying has gone on here as well. Check out Dudley for a Balrog clone, Necro for Dhalsim, and Andore for Zangief. Techno makes up most of the soundtrack. All of the classic themes have been tossed for highly forgettable music that is blaring through the speakers. The usual assortment of grunts, yells, and screams are ever-so present, but these can't make up for the pathetic soundtrack.

Die-hard fans will certainly enjoy their time here. There's never been a better time for "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Still, even those fans will have a hard time arguing that something different should've been done with the series. The animation is a wonderful change, but it's obvious innovation is lacking if not completely exhausted.. After it's all over though, Street Fighter is Street Fighter, and everyone knows the gameplay is solid as a rock.


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Last updated: Saturday, June 18, 2005 04:46 AM