Three strikes, you’re out! Review

Street Fighter III: Third Strike Info


  • N/A


  • 1 - 2


  • Capcom


  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now


  • DreamCast


Three strikes, you’re out!

There’s a war on the horizon. It will be big and it will be bloody. No, not console

system wars…it’s the game reviewer wars. Us, Game Revolution, versus all the

rest of them (and Belgium). We’re already equipped with our top-notch gaming talent,

but for this battle, we’re out to break heads. With the martial arts training

of Sensei Gee, we’ve been honing our skills in preparation for the day when the

one "true" magazine is decided.. We will move in quickly like the snow

fox, and strike hard like the mountain gorilla.

Of course, time spent training would be all for naught if nothing actually

gets better. For example, Street Fighter III: Third Strike. It’s

had all this time to improve, to perfect, to, dare I say, grow, and yet

here it is, just the same as it ever was.

Amazingly, this is the third Street Fighter game released for the Dreamcast

in the U.S…in just over one year. Add to that other Capcom SF clones

like Marvel vs. Capcom and Marvel

vs. Capcom 2
and you’ve got a whopping 5 games that are essentially identical,

differentiated mainly by a few features and characters. The catch? Each one

is full-priced, and you can’t trade up. Argh.

Like it’s been a hundred times before, fighters from across the world have

gathered to fight. Apparently, there’s this new bad dude named Gill. He’s all

painted up, half-red and half-blue, or maybe that’s just his natural skin color.

But anyway, he’s supposedly quite a bad-ass because his body strobes and flashes.

So these fighters not only have to whoop on each other, but also must take Gill

out in order to “fight for the future.” I wonder if that future includes even

more Street Fighter games?

You really don’t find out a thing about any of these characters until after

that last match with Gill. I’d really like to get to know more about the character

I select, aside from those empty taunts between matches. What does that say

about who you are? And what’s so bad about this Gill guy anyway? Okay, so he

wants to take over the universe, but maybe he’d be a benevolent dictator. And

his strobe light would be a hit at parties. I’m not asking for Shakespeare,

just some semblance of a coherent story would be nice…it’s not like they haven’t

had enough time to think one up.

Gameplay wise, there are two principle differences from the Alpha Series – Parrying and Special Arts. We’re all used to blocking by pulling away from your opponent. Parrying adds a different, riskier style of blocking. By tapping towards your opponent at the right moment, you can deflect the shot away and create an opening for your own offensive. Of course, if you screw up your timing, you’ll just leave yourself more vulnerable.

The Special Arts (SA) are extra moves you can select with your character;

before the fight, you choose from one of three additions that you can execute

once you’ve maxed out your SA meter. Most SA moves work on double joystick motions.

For example, normally you would have to do a quarter-roll for a "Hadouken"

fireball. For the equivalent SA move, you would need two consecutive quarter-rolls.

Your SA meter can also be used for stronger non-SA special moves by hitting

two attack buttons instead just one.


for those of you who missed it, they’ve brought back the “Beat up the car” bonus

stage. Except now, you get a pre-rendered SUV to destroy. Just enough senseless

destruction and vandalism to keep you from doing it in real life.

What has always been the greatest improvement in the Street Fighter III

series has been the ramped up animation. But as silky smooth as it is, it still

looks and feels like more of the same.

One new character, Matoko, does have some cool new animations. She’s a little

karate girl who actually looks like she’s getting into the fight. As she walks

around, she moves her hands into different defensive stances. The bounce and

stretch qualities of her animation just seem to work better than the other fighters.

Chun Li is a close second for all her twirly action. If only all the characters

had been given this extra treatment…

The backgrounds are washed out and completely boring. They are just sitting

there, statically uninteresting and tiresome. Am I just waxing on nostalgia,

or did the elephant room of India or the biking streets of China convey more

with their older technology than any of these stages do combined? Those early

stages were able to capture the feeling of an area better.

C’mon, people! Let’s see some advancements in 2D screen technology! What if they did updates to those older backgrounds and make them more interactive? Perhaps the ability to break through the backgrounds into new areas…sheesh…anything new would be nice. Up the ante for a change.

The music either stinks or is flat out inappropriate. Play a versus match,

and you get a looped rap medley that keeps repeating, “Let’s get it on now.”

Let’s not and say we did, kay?

The driving force behind Street Fighter in the arcade has always been

that chance to prove you are the best. In case you didn’t realize it, there’s

a modem in your Dreamcast. What about network capabilities? Isn’t it every Street

‘s dream to challenge others across the nation? Let’s take that idea

and put it to the entire world. Ranking systems, tournaments, I can see it all

now. It’s just too bad I don’t see any of it in this game.

In terms of the actual fighting, I’m satisfied. It’s still solid and to the

seasoned hardcore Street Fighter nut, this mirrors the arcade experience

well – sans the human challengers. Third Strike comes out marginally

better than the previous Street

Fighter III Double Impact
only because of the additional characters, but

viewed as a whole is still lacking inspiration and ingenuity. If Game Revolution

can improve its martial arts skills, why can’t Capcom?


Flowing animation
Strong gameplay intact
Washed out, boring backgrounds
Lacks innovation
Been there, done that