Capcom’s Street Fighter series over the years has been very successful. They have taken the time to go back to some of the older games and bring them out onto XBLA and PSN new, with online play, and HD boosted. Making its way through their older Street Fighter games, Capcom finally gets to one Street Fighter most people didn’t hear of or got the chance to play; Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike.
3rd Strike is one very hardcore and technical fighter. Playing it gives the feel that this game is strictly a tournament based game, you really need to know how to play well. This isn’t an easy game to get the hang of easily. You need be at least one well rounded veteran of the Street Fighter series to stand some chance and be able to win.
Other than the addition of online multiplayer, 3rd Strike does have new Trials and Training modes to help new players pick up things. Each character will have their own trials to complete. Although, some of these trials are very tricky and extremely difficult to pull off. The first combo you are asked to link for most of the characters, isn’t so hard to pull off after just a few tries. About the time you get to the second or third trial, depending on the character, you then need to pull off ridiculous combos.
3rd Strike doesn’t provide much of a learning curve in the trials as Street Fighter 4 does. You’ll definitely need some practice if you wish to prefect the character trials. Aside from combo trials, there are other trials set mainly on 3rd Strike’s parrying system which allows you to block an attack without taking damage. The Parrying Trials have Basic Parrying and an Expert Parrying sets. If your a fan of some of the crazy moments that happen at EVO, the last expert parry trial is recreation an EVO moment from 2004; Daigo’s match against Justin Wong.
Another good edition to the game was the massive amount of challenges added. Challenges are different than the trials. The challenges become a bit of a mini game when trying to aim for them as you see them on the side of the screen with descriptions and how much of the challenge you’re missing. Example of a challenge would be: pull off 100 supers. Completing the challenges unlocks Vault Points which you can use to buy things from the Vault such as characters concept art and some re mixed music for stages and classic music. There are two different challenge lists to complete. There are regular local challenges and online challenges (non ranked) which will unlock VP. As for ranked matches, the challenges will give you additional Exp to rank up.
3rd strike brings new multiplayer the game didn’t havebefore. You can create a Player match lobby with up to 8 people at a time. Like in MvC3, the order is set by who gets readied up first. Unlike MvC3 though, there is a spectator mode! None of that waiting for your turn to come to fight, enjoy watching others duke it out in the mean time. Player matches lets you ban certain characters to use if you wish to do so. Ask your friends what their main character is, ban the character and invite them to the match for hilarity.
A problem with online matches is the issue with lag. Luckily, 3rd Strike uses a great net code called GGPO. GGPO helps minimize the lag in matches and helps the match flow well. Despite GGPO being good and all as a net code, finding Ranked matches takes a while. There were times where I sat 20 minutes just waiting to find an actual match. In 3rd strike you are forced to find a Ranked match. You can’t just make a match and wait for someone to join you. There’s also a tournament mode which lets up to 4 to 8 players fight in one tournament. Like in regular player matches, for tournament mode, you watch all the matches before yours come along. It would have been a great idea to just have all matches be played at the same time while others are under way. Either way, you’re at least not left there waiting.
Through out matches, you’ll have some matches that are pretty epic. It’s a good thing 3rd Strike allows you to save any of your replays. After every match you have offline or online, you’re given the choice to save the replay. Don’t panic if you forget to save a replay, there is a section for unsaved replays where you can easily go back and save them. There is also a reply lobby for you to invite people and watch replays. One neat thing to note on is a new feature letting you upload your replays straight onto Youtube! Now you can share the beating you gave to someone or the beating you received yourself with everyone through the service. Sadly, you cannot upload your videos onto your own Youtube account on the 360 version. Once you uploaded the video, the quality of the video isn’t all that great; 240p.
To me the boost in graphics given to 3rd strike makes it look great, but if you’re one of those people who prefer its original state, you can change the filter setting to have the game displayed however you want. Also, you can change the actual display from normal, widescreen, stretched, or one which might everyone’s personal favorite; Arcade Cabinet. Arcade Cabinet it really makes the game look like as if you were playing it on an arcade machine. Not only are display changes available, you have these Dip switches to play around with to optimize gameplay. The Dip switches allow you to change the time set for how you parry in the game, the ability to even block can be turned off, and you can just turn off the jump. Play around with all the Dip switches to find how you want your game set up or just to make your game completely broken in some ways.
Lots of new features were added to 3rd strike. They were for the better adding lots of verity. It’s not a game that’s going to be a cake walk to master and will need lots of hours of practice to finally settle right in. It is great to see that Capcom brings back one arcade prefect game. Take on the challenge that 3rd strike offers and maybe then, you can knock it out!
- Online matches with spectator mode is great.
- GGPO Net Code for minimized lag between players
- Trials and Challenges provides more things to complete.
- Finding Ranked matches takes a while.
- Quality of the youtube videos isn’t all that good. Plus not being able to upload it to your own account.
- A tiny bit of a learning curve wouldn’t be too bad so people can actually find out how to pull off some of the combos.