Name: Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike (85.71% in 7 votes)
Release date: 2000
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
Chun Li. Chun Li, Chun Li, Chun Li, Chun Li, and Chun Li. This is what Capcom screams when they released Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike. Released in the arcades sometime ago, Capcom decided to release the 3rd incarnation of the SF3 series onto the Sega Dreamcast. Like most Capcom games, it comes with a mundane vengence of rehashed Cap goodness. 3rd Strike is no exception of the Capcom repetative plague which seems to like to avoid revolution.
Like all other Street Fighter games, it involves 2 fighters in infamous Capcom visual styles and beating the heck out of each other via button and joystick combinations. Unlike any of the versus games, Street Fighter 3 rears back to the old school days of Street Fighter 2. Requiring the player to use concentration, timing, and elegant combos to defeat the enemy rather than pure button mashing. The entire 3rd Strike package for the Dreamcast was much improved over the the first two SF3 games; however, the redundancy still remains. It's still the same game, and doesn't really revolutionize the Street Fighter franchise anymore than any other SF game does. This isn't the design purpose of SF3; more so to bring back the nostalgia of the original SF2. Leave the revolutionary, or rather the so called evolutionary steps of SF to something like Street Fighter EX. SF3 is pure SF2 goodness; and if you've been waiting for the old school to return, 3rd Strike is probably the closest you're going to get to perfection for a long time.
With some little detailed improvements over the first two games, 3rd Strike has an even more psychotic game system where comboing and countering is even more possible. If people thought SF3 was intuitive, wait till you play 3rd Strike. It's much more open ended; for example, you can counter a punch quickly, medium punch, and then super art shouryuken the enemy all in one continuous stroke. This might seem like a fairly common combo, but in SF3 somehow it seems all the more fluid and uncounterable. Besides the slight improvement in comboing, the biggest features of the game are two things; the replay system, and the system direction feature. The replay feature is great as it lets you save your battles and even training battles to watch them later and observe your play style. Of course, you can always upload these replays to the Internet for others to gawk and drool over. The system direction feature enables you to customize the game engine within certain aspects. You can turn on and off things like throws or even toggle super art energy consumption. There are just too many things you can toggle in system direction, however; there isnÃ†t anything like giving Ryu the ability to chuck 10 hadokens within 1 second. Sorry guys.
For graphics and visuals, I can't believe Capcom is still using the same game engine as they did from their last billion games. There isn't anything astoundingly remarkable about 3rd Strike's graphics in terms of technological advancement. However, I can say that the sprites and backgrounds; although not in high resolution, are something to behold. You'll probably never find animated sprites as well animated as 3rd Strike's anywhere else. Taking some of the first two SF3 games' sprites, rehashing them but improving them a bit, then adding several new characters. For those who thought SF3 had a strange cast already, you'll practically climb the walls over these. Q is a metal faced, trench coat wearing, sly guy who has some sort of fetish with grunting and zombie-like movements. Motoko is a young girl with an karate attitude out to challenge Ryu; cute, but doesn't seem to fit in the SF universe. You have Remy, a French skinny guy who has strangely nostalgic Guile moves. Then you have a weird white plastic guy named Twelve who twists, bounces, and stretches while he does all his moves. He's probably the weirdest of the bunch, and will make you just stare at the screen gawking; "why?". Of course there's Chun Li in probably her best incarnation yet. She is excellently animated and has all of her old win poses, as well as one extra one which seems to seldom come up during my games. All of her moves are there from SF Alpha and SF2, as well as a couple of new ones to cover her new super arts. They are brilliantly animated in an Anime babelicious, drool worthy attitude. Everybody though (including me) seems to have a problem with her thighs; they are just too big. But they seem to eccentuate her sexiness (if you think of that kinda stuff), and her elegance while she does her moves. Well noted although seemingly strange.
For sound; OW. The music is incredibly good as it's a mix of techno and rap. Some people seem to think that it seems a bit americanized, but I found it to my liking. For sound on the other hand, I can't seem to give Capcom credit here in anyway. All the sound is very cool except for the darn character voices during combat. Capcom used very drowned out, mono and scritchy scratchy samples which seem to scream "out of date" while you play. If you pump the music and just concentrate on the gameplay, this doesn't seem to be that large of a problem.
Well, 3rd Strike doesn't really offer anything in terms of complex and indepth gameplay. However, it does offer old school Street Fighter if you haven't gotten enough of it already. I personally don't like Street Fighter all that much for it's gameplay, other than it's theme and the story of Ryu and Ken. Yet I found 3rd Strike to be very enjoyable and I probably would dedicate more time to it if I didn't have so little of it. If you are a huge fan of Chun Li, then this will probably merit a purchase of 3rd Strike just for her. I don't think Capcom has many plans to bring her back for a long long time. All in all, 3rd Strike; good game, but not an eye popper.
Graphics (technical) - 4/5
Graphics (creative) - 4.5/5
Sound (technical) - 4/5
Sound (creative) - 4.5/5
Technical Gameplay - 4.5/5
Fun Factor - 4.5/5
Diversity of Features - 4.5/5
Story - 3/5
Overall Value - 4.5/5
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