third and last installment to their epic SFIII series marks the return
of Chun Li and adds four newcomers: Remy, Makoto, Q and Twelve. The
returning SFIII characters have been given
new moves, many new outfit colors and even some new (and notably witty) win
quotes, many of which are character-specific! The Street Fighter III series quickly became known in the
fighting game universe for its breathtaking 2D animation
and rock solid gameplay, and 3rd Strike continues the trend... withstyle.
Make your first move... so
what's it gonna be?
The "parrying" system is still intact and more solid than ever before. Parrying
is a skillful way to defend against your opponent's
incoming attacks (by tapping forward in time with your opponent's attack), instead of
just holding back to block. By parrying,
you can quickly counter-attack your opponent with a priority attack, special
move, or even right into a combo or super move if you have such skills.
The fluid pace of SFIII's animation makes it easier for the eyes to
anticipate incoming attacks,
which is why parrying works so well with this game. You can of course parry
while standing, parry low attacks by tapping down and parry in the air (with
more punishable outcomes this time around since fighters aren't "pushed back" like in New
The commands for air parries, throws and leap
changed from 2nd Impact. Additionally, the player can perform a
"guard parry" or a parry during a guard stun if the timing is right. A
guard parry is also known as a "red parry" due to the fact
that the character turns red while performing it. The game also introduces the "judgment
system," where the winning player is given a letter grade based on their
performance in several different categories: offense, defense, techniques and
extra points... pretty cool!
Wanna be good at this
game? You best learn to parry... and parry with style.
Parrying also adds
power to the super combo gauge, which of course allows players to perform a devastating
super art (or two) against their opponent. The super combo gauge can also
be used to perform "EX specials" which enhance regular special moves by making them faster or
more damaging (This mechanic was introduced in the prequel, 2nd Impact).
Characters have a great selection of priority attacks, command attacks, special
moves and a choice of three hard-hitting super moves. Overall, the characters are represented incredibly well and
are some of the "deepest" 2D fighting game characters to date. Thanks to the
updated character roster, SFIII is definitely more fun than ever, but that's not
all that's changed...
3rd Strike also features a brand new soundtrack
which can be summed up as a "mix" of techno, jazz and hip-hop... an interesting choice that takes some getting used
to, but the end result is a win! BGMs are particularly well done... each song actually
has three different remixes, which kick in during the beginning of each round
and brilliantly flow with the "pace" of the fight. The new tunes also
do a superb job at creating the feeling of "unique atmosphere" in each
location. The 2D backgrounds themselves are also completely new to the Street
Fighter series and look excellent for the most part.
Also updated from the prequel was the character voice acting. All voiceovers for
each and every character were completely re-done and sound spot-on for the most
part. However, I must say that I prefer 2nd Impact's voice acting (and
music) over 3rd Strike's... but I was still glad to see that they
actually took the time to update the sound in this installment. Capcom
definitely paid close attention to presentation this time around, which some of
us more "nitpicky" fans really appreciate.
Possibly the best "traditional" 2D fighting game of all time.
In closing, 3rd Strike's overall
presentation is expertly done; from the flashy (yet simple) introduction, to the
awesome music & sound, to the slick game menu & options. Visually, it
stands out as one of the best looking 2D video games ever made... 3rd Strike
is also one of those fighting games that "looks good" regardless of
the skill level of the people playing the game. It's literally a "work of
art" in motion. And this game is definitely not all about looks,
because (if you didn't know) Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
is one of the deepest 2D fighting game experiences in existence. It's a
timeless fighting game, and you'd be a fool not to play it and like it.
As far as traditional 2D fighting games go, it really doesn't get much
better than Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. You're simply not a true fan of
2D fighting games if you don't like Third Strike... my words can't really do
this game justice; you just have to play it. Flawless animation, awesome and
memorable characters and breathtaking martial arts action!
The character roster isn't huge, but this time it's about
"quality," not "quantity". The gameplay & parry
system is spot-on and also stands out as unique in the fighting game
genre. 3rd Strike is fun to pick up
and play, but an incredibly tough game to master... it's a timeless
fighting game and will always have a place in history as one of the all time