Street Fighter EX3
REVIEWStreet Fighter EX3 is the third and final installment to the EX series developed by Akira and published by Capcom. EX3 was an attempt at bringing the Street Fighter franchise "into the next-gen" as a PS2 launch title. Unfortunately, the game was clearly rushed to meet the date of the PS2 launch, and lacked many fundamental qualities that one would expect out of a fighting game sequel. 

Street Fighter EX3 has a very similar gameplay system to the prequel, Street Fighter EX2 Plus. The three-tiered Super Combo gauge and Meteor Combos have returned. The main difference in the gameplay is that the Guard Break system was taken out and replaced with the "Hard Attack," which doesn't use super meter but can be blocked by a standing opponent. Other new additions to the gameplay are the "Critical Parade" (using a tag-partner to attack the opponent for a brief period of time) and "Momentary Combo" (chaining special attacks together).


NO NEW CHARACTERS... and still missing fan-favorites.


Expectedly, the 3D graphics have notably improved from the prequels. Previously, the EX series was infamously known for blocky character models and grainy textures. The jump to PS2 presents smoother and more detailed character models & textures. However, the overall character rendering is downright bad for the most part. Awkward skeleton-looking hands and weirdly shaped faces are only a few of the visual problems with the 3D models. The animation of the EX series has also seen better days... as it really hasn't evolved the way it should have by now.

The background designs EX3 are also uninspiring, boring, and noticeably inferior to the prequels... (which is quite a feat in itself). Even though the backgrounds have more 3D elements this time around, they are indeed some of the most BORING backgrounds ever to be seen in a fighting game. Nearly every stage has a lonely "how the hell did I end up here" kind of vibe. To continue the bad news, there are no "classic" stages or environments at all..... Booooo! Oddly enough, many of the BGMs are re-used from the prequels. To their credit, the classic BGMs actually stand the test of time and still sound pretty good (they even sound remastered a bit). However, one would expect some "new" BGMs in a new game. Right?


Possibly the most innovative aspect of Street Fighter EX3... being able to add characters to your team after defeating them. 


Possibly the only noteworthy gameplay enhancement of Street Fighter EX3 over the prequels are the new Tag Team & Dramatic Battle modes. In the single-player mode, players have the choice to add new characters to their team after defeating opponents. Once a player assembles a team of up to four, characters can then can be assigned to teams of 2. The 2P tag-team mode compliments the gameplay rather well; but at the end of the day, the gameplay is practically the same as EX2 or EX if you took out the tag team element. Alas, EX3 really does look and feel "aged" from the start. On top of that, there are NO new characters added for this sequel... I repeat... ZERO NEW CHARACTERS. WTF INDEED.

To make matters worse, they couldn't even bring back all of the characters from the prequels... where the heck are Blaire, Allen, Hayate, and *ehem* Akuma... WTFIA?!?!? (Where The F*ck is Akuma?!?!?). The only "new" character is a customizable character named Ace, whom players can create a moveset for, using other characters' moves of course. Unfortunately you can't change the way Ace looks, so it's kind of a stupid feature. A little customization would've been nice. Returning characters didn't get much new as far as moves go, but returning fans of the EX series should be glad that characters at least play like they did in the prequels.


Dramatic Battle comes to EX... but it isn't enough to save EX3.

On the bright side, there is the potential for a die-hard Street Fighter player to actually have some fun with EX3... if they really try. Like in the prequels, some pretty flashy combos are possible. The action can also get pretty insane when 3 or more characters are on screen at once. Since EX3 is compatible with a PS2 Multitap, 4 human players can actually play at once... which can be fun for a little while. Any fans of the original EX or EX2 will also find some minor nostalgia value, but there's no denying Arika could've done a lot more with EX3 if they gave themselves more time.

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Page Updated: March 25th, 2024
Developer(s): Arika
Publisher(s): Capcom
Artwork by: Bengus, Shima Maeda, Uji
Platform(s): PlayStation 2
Release Date(s): Mar. 2000    
Oct. 2000     

Mar. 2001
Characters Ryu, Ken Masters, Chun-Li, Area, Vulcano Rosso, Ace, Dhalsim, Guile, Sagat, Blanka, Nanase, Kairi, Zangief, Sakura Kasugano, Hokuto, Skullomania, Pullum Purna, Darun, Cracker Jack, Doctrine Dark, Sharon, Shadowgeist, Garuda, Vega, M. Bison

Featured Video:

Related Games: Street Fighter EX, Street Fighter EX2, Fighting Layer, Fighting EX Layer, Street Fighter 6, Street Fighter 5, Street Fighter 4, Super SF4Super SF4: 3D Edition, Super SF4: Arcade Edition, Ultra SF4, Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, SF2 Champion Edition, SF2 Turbo, Super SF2, SSF2 Turbo, SSF2 Turbo: Revival, SSF2 Turbo HD Remix, SFIII: New Generation, SFIII: 2nd Impact, SFIII: 3rd Strike, SF3: 3rd Strike OE, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter Alpha 3, SFA3 Upper, SFA3 Max, SFA Anthology, SF Anniversary Collection, SF: The Movie, Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo, SPF2T HD Remix, Samurai Shodown 64, Fatal Fury: Wild Ambition, KOF: Maximum Impact, Tekken Tag Tournament, Soul Calibur

Gameplay Engine  6.5 / 10
Story / Theme  5.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  6.0 / 10
Animation  6.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  6.0 / 10
Innovation  5.5 / 10
Art Direction  6.5 / 10
Customization  5.0 / 10
Options / Extras  5.0 / 10
Intro / Presentation  3.0 / 10
Replayability / Fun  4.5 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  6.5 / 10
Characters  6.0 / 10

 5.6 / 10



Final Words:

The EX series was off to a decent start... built some solid momentum with SFEX2, but then... SFEX3. Indeed, quite a speed bump. More like a road block. The series had such potential for its time, and it's a shame the third time wasn't a charm for SFEX. (In retrospect, it took Capcom that fourth 3D Street Fighter game to get it right).

I still can't believe EX3 didn't introduce any new characters... that's just pathetic, especially for a Street Fighter sequel. Did they think some players just wouldn't notice that there were no new characters?!? The tag team gameplay & dramatic battle were halfway decent innovations, but the lack of characters and shoddy graphics don't compliment the gameplay enhancements or the PS2's potential in any way.

Clearly, EX3 was terribly rushed, just to end up being a disappointing PS2 launch title. Compared to the PS2's other fighting game at launch, Tekken Tag Tournament (which was simply groundbreaking), SFEX3 was nothing more than a joke. I bought both SFEX3 and TTT at the PS2's launch, and let's just say that EX3 disc started collecting dust as soon as TTT1 was spinning around in my PS2. (Namco = 1, Capcom = 0 to start the PS2 era). SFEX3 is a perfect example of a title that really should've been delayed and improved before it was released.
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen

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