The Cult of the Game: Street Fighter III
February 23, 2009, 1:14 am
Filed under: The Cult of the Game

If you grew up as a teenager during the early 90’s you know just how big a deal Street Fighter II was. It revolutionized a new genre of gaming; single handily revived the arcade market and helped elevate the SNES as the top 16 bit system. The original Street Fighter II: The World Warrior sold six million copies on the SNES. It is estimated that the gross profits from Street Fighter II coin op machines out paced the box office sales of Jurassic Park.

From Street Fighter II came Street Fighter II: Championship Edition, introducing the four boss characters and the “player vs. player” ability. Street Fighter 2: Turbo would up the speed and give characters new moves and palettes. This continued, Capcom releasing incremental updates on its existing cash cow creating ire among the fanbase. The common joke in game magazine was, does Capcom even know how to count to three?
By 1994 Capcom had released five iterations of its Street Fighter II franchise and while Super Turbo is arguably the best in the series many gamers simply didn’t care at this point.

Ever after Super Turbo Capcom would continue to tinker around with the fighting game format. The Alpha series, which takes place between Street Fighter and Street Fighter II, shows off anime style graphics with combo oriented gameplay. The Street Fighter EX series had Capcom force the series kicking and screaming into the 3D world with less than stellar results. Having had huge success with both X Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Super Heroes Capcom crossed Marvel with their own Street Fighter characters in X Men vs. Street Fighter

It seemed odd for Capcom to take so long to get to Street Fighter III. By 1997 though it the years of waiting have finally come into fruition as then dubbed Three: A New Generation was unleashed to arcades around the world. Street Fighter III was originally given much buzz but for some reason failed to catch on as well as its predecessor did.

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Capcom’s take on Street Fighter III was shocking to say the least. While players even through the Alpha series cried for change Capcom was looking to totally reboot the Street Fighter franchise with Three. The original plan was to jettison the entire cast of Street Fighter 2 and cut all ties with all the previous games. Due to fan outcry during the early stages of beta testing Capcom felt obligated to put Ken and Ryu back into the game. However the rest of the cast would feature all new characters, with Capcom pushing American Bruiser Alex as the main character if the new franchise.

One of the biggest advancements Street Fighter III had over its predecessors were the graphics. Just as Street Fighter II had jaw dropping graphics in 1991 Three’s graphics were a 2D achievement back in 1997 for arcades. Featuring a higher resolution and extreme detail the game had gone back to a more realistic styling featuring large sprites and intricate 2D back grounds. Along with all the graphical upgrades the game also animated more fluidly, allowing for more hit stun frames enabling combos and even creating a “turn around” state which can stun enemies with their back turned to you.
As mentioned earlier Street Fighter III’s cast has been totally revamped. While Ken and Ryu return the rest of the group seems to be a weird circus of freaks and weirdos which was probably another turn off for players looking for more Street Fighter II. While characters like Yun and Yang, Alex and ninja Ibuki make a lot of sense in Street Fighters context oddballs like Oro, an ancient fighter who binds one of his arms, Necro, a weird genetic experiment who can extend his limbs like Dhalsim and course electricity through body like Blanka, and gentleman boxer Dudley do seem a little out of place in the game.

While Street Fighter III is less about combos like the Vs. series and the Alpha series it is nonetheless one of the deepest fighting games ever. With the deliberate pacing returned to Super Turbo levels Street Fighter III offered many new mechanics. For one characters chose from one of three super moves, each with varying size in super meters and how many levels they could hold. A large super, like Ryu’s Shin-Shoryuken may have a large bar at 1 level while Sean’s relatively pedestrian Hado-burts (a glorfied fireball) would have three levels of short b bars. The super bars would become quit important in later iterations as characters could unleash “EX-move”, powered up versions of normal special moves done by hitting all three attack buttons, adding damage, range and hits.

The biggest and most prohibitive in terms of baring new players into Stree Fighter III mechanic was the game’s much touted parry system. Parries were different from blocks, instead of holding back to block a person would tap forward just when an attack was about to hit them. The attack would be parried and it offered a lot of advantages. One unlike with a block no chip damage would be done by special moves. More importantly parries don’t have a block stun animation, which means one can counter attack right away from a parry. While parries were amazing for strategy newer gamers were often afraid of the risk and reward of paries, eating full damage hits if their timing was off. Parries were difficult to practice in the quarter based arcade system of gaming.

Despite not reaching the popularity of Street Fighter II, Three had two updated iterations. Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact would introduce new characters while 3rd Strike would add more new characters including Chun-Li and some vast improvements on the fighting system.

Street Fighter III seemed to have been the victim of a lot of things. The arcade industry was sagging by 1997 and gamers seemed to be gravitating more towards 3D fighting games like Tekken and Soul Calibur. Further the difficult game mechanics and deliberate pace while matching Street Fighter II was pretty foreign by the time Street Fighter III was released.

It seems odd that many things Street Fighter III did are being done again in Street Fighter IV which has become a resounding success. Focus attacks are an improve version of parries (in terms of riskiness) and the graphical updates and odd new characters seem in line with Street Fighter III. Despite not lighting the world on fire Street Figther III remains a tournament favorite and remains one of the deepest fighting games of all time.

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и всё эе: благодарю!

Comment by гей знакомства date




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