REVIEW: They sure took their
sweet time, but Capcom
finally made the big jump from the iconic Street Fighter 2 series to the
highly anticipated Street Fighter 3 in February 1997. No doubt it was a long wait for Street
Fighter fans, but the final result was nothing short of epic. Instead of
giving fans the roster they might've expected, Capcom introduced a completely
new cast of characters, some of the flashiest and most stylish 2D graphics to date, and also some
of the most solid gameplay known to man.
No worries... Dudley's
about to parry that thing.
Along with the return of the iconic Shotokan
fighters, Ryu & Ken, a brand
new cast of fighters make a name for themselves with unique appearances and
memorable fighting styles. Most of the newcomers cleverly
"take the place" of several veteran Street Fighters. For example: Alex
instead of Zangief as the grappler, Dudley in place of Balrog as the boxer, and
Yun/Yang as a homage to Lee (and Gen) as the Kung-fu stylist.
All of the new characters have a nice balance
of priority & special moves and also pack 3 different "Super Arts"
which are selectable before the match begins... and man do those Super Arts HURT
when they connect! Thanks to SFIII's amazingly fluid animation and vivid sound
effects, classic Street Fighter moves seem to "sting" like
never before when they connect, and Super Arts are off the "ouch
factor" charts completely. Also notable is the manner in which fighters
fall and crash onto the ground, which is undeniably satisfying. (For the
record, that's how you get a score of "10" for Ouch Factor on TFG!)
Ibuki's ninja town is too
Street Fighter III's most
notable new gameplay feature is the parry system, which allows players to block
and effectively counter their opponent's moves (which is done by pressing
forward at the same time of the opponent’s attack). This gameplay mechanic is
a very innovative step in 2D fighting game mechanics, and proves especially fun with
the Street Fighter series. Now, there's actually a proper defense against
jumping into a Shoryuken, or getting up into a Hadoken (if you've got the
skills). The new parry system was great for the time, but it still had some kinks
to be worked out. Parrying was greatly improved in the sequel, SFIII: 2nd
Impact... and of course, mastered in the third game in the series, SFIII:
One of the toughest bosses
to date..... RESURRECTION!
Visually, New Generation vibrantly stands out
above all other 2D fighters before it, easily showing off the smoothest 2D animation
ever seen in a fighting game (or video game) to date. Characters move
incredibly fluidly and look nothing short of spectacular as they battle it out.
For the record, many of the fighters' offensive and defensive techniques are
indeed based in authentic martial arts, which are represented spot on.
Finally, the characters of SFIII are
simply overflowing with personality thanks to the superb voice acting...
seriously, this is some of the best voice acting ever heard in a fighting game.
On top of that, the background-specific music is moody, very catchy, and suits
the amazing hand-drawn environments like poetry in motion. Character selection artwork,
victory artwork and even "KO" art also make a huge statement and
complete this unmatched presentation of a fighting game.
While not as fast as other 2D fighters out in
1997, SF3 was easily the best animated and arguably the "most solid"
traditional 2D fighting game experience one could have at the time. At a time
when many "classic" 2D fighting games were starting to feel old and
tired, and many other fighting games were going the "3D" route, SFIII
demonstrated that the best days of 2D are ahead of us. The classic
gameplay that made the series so iconic in the past was brought back to life
with New Generation.
I'm sure many fans cried a few tears when
classic characters like Dhalsim, E. Honda & Chun-Li were missing in action;
but the new character roster definitely stands on its own, even though it's
considerably small. Personally, I think SFIII's original roster is
cleverly diverse & interesting, and it only got better in the sequels. Capcom's new take on the classic series was greatly
appreciated by the fans looking for something "new" out of Street
Like I said earlier in the review, the music
and sound effects of Street Fighter III: New Generation are among the
fighting genre's ALL TIME BEST. If you haven't listened to the SFIII: New
Generation / 2nd Impact "Voice
Collection," along with the original soundtrack, you're missing out. After you give it a listen, you'll
realize SFIII's sound is far superior to many titles out there, old and
new. Just compare Dudley's voice from SSF4 to SF3, or Alex's voice
from TVC to SF3... the voice actors from those games simply can't
hold a candle to SF3's.
Street Fighter III is one of the most
beautiful and well thought-out 2D fighting games to date, and was succeeded by
two amazing sequels. Even though vanilla was surpassed by its sequels, I still
enjoy playing the original from time to time. ~TFG