Synyster Graves

Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition

by on Oct.06, 2011, under Xbox Live Arcade

Ah yes, my one serious weakness when it comes to gaming, that is the Street Fighter franchise. While perhaps in my youth I was overly immersed in the Street Fighter 2 series and it’s plethora of iterations, I appear to have totally missed out on the Street Fighter 3 iterations which culminated finally in Third Strike. This was Capcom’s attempt to try and introduce a new set of fighters billed as “the Next Generation”, yet still managed to retain the services of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Akuma. The Online Edition has been released for Xbox Live which is where I have now come into possession of it.

SF3:TS is very smooth as arcade fighting games go, as the rebooted editions for Xbox Live tend to be quite stodgy playing it now, having it smooth and flowing game dynamic sacrificed for crisper graphics which would look more at home in the contemporary HD environment, such as the newly released Mortal Kombat 1-3 release. Fortunately the graphics for this game are perfect and everything you would expect for a 2D fighting game so no complaints there.

A whole host of new characters to choose from, alas majority of them are awful

Perhaps its the Xbox controller being somewhat impractical when it comes to the fighting game genre but pulling off moves really isn’t as easy as it was on the SEGA MegaDrive and now with the obligatory double movement to perform the Super moves, this limitation is more apparent. With new characters comes new moves and call me stuck in nostalgia, but the new characters just didn’t really do it for me at all. I’m not sure if when the designing of the character concepts was being done Capcom decided to employ a series of interns who all had LSD problems but the over the top and frankly stupid design of the new characters leaves you playing as Ryu and Ken all the time as the new characters are almost impossible to adapt to properly either being just too slow or weak as shit as well as have convoluted actions for the D-pad to perform just to do a special move. Characters such as Oro, Q and Hugo are just simply awful and you do wonder what on earth they were thinking when they devised the design of these characters to be put in the final release, not to mention the over emphasis of the “lunchboxes” for Urien and Gill.

Seriously Gill, cheating to win gets you no respect. You cock.

Which brings me to my next point, Gill as a final boss is a spam fest of cheap moves which suffers from the same problem which Seth had in SF4, of being an utterly shittily designed character who has to rely on an endless string of cheap moves to provide any modicum of difficulty. Whereby the balance has to switched to make the boss hard by just having him constantly be able to spam to high heaven loads of stupid moves is one thing, but if he manages to fill up his super bar, upon defeat he can “resurrect” himself and totally replenish his health bar, as if he wasn’t hard enough. Why Capcom have to reach new levels of cheap is beyond me but, same as Seth in SF4, am left thinking the whole time, what is wrong with M.Bison? He was a great final boss and while at least Mortal Kombat have stayed consistent and most of their final bosses have stayed as Shao Kahn, yet Street Fighter has to reinvent the wheel by creating fucking terrible characters like Gill and creating new “generations” of shit characters.

SF3:TS does however have a huge positive which I have been screaming out for for years when it comes to fighting games. It has a switch system whereby you can toggle the parameters of the game to suit your preferences, and by this you can in fact turn off blocking. For years I’ve been doing the “relentless attack” style on a cowering AI opponent who simply deflects all my attacks with the raising of an arm and my potential 32-hit death combo is minimised to mere pixels of damage and a tirade of swearing. Here, this does not exist, and I enjoy this game more as I can actually do what fighting games are designed for, beating the holy hell out of an opponent as finally for the first time a fighting game had the guts to turn cowardice off.

So in conclusion SF3:TS is a competent and great looking fighting even if the majority of characters are totally lame, but saved by the familiar faces of Ryu and Ken. Gill is a truly shite end boss and nearly totally ruins the game with his cheating resurrection buff but all in all the missing link in the Street Fighter chain was a worthy one keeping Street Fighter the top of apex of fighting games, just ahead of Mortal Kombat and Tekken after all these years. Street Fighter 3: Third Strike is a good game to add to your collection if you’re a fighting game fan like myself, but there are way better Street Fighters out there, namely all the ones with “2” in the title.

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