Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike – Online Edition Review

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike is known by some as the best Street Fighter game ever. It traded off the majority of the classic characters, brought in a new cast, and ushered in a more technical fighting system. This game is 12 years old and people are still playing it, so it makes complete sense that Capcom would re-release it with online multiplayer support (using famed GGPO netcode). That alone doesn’t make the game great, but thankfully Capcom added a lot more than just multiplayer.

Street Fighter III is more technical than other fighters, including Street Fighter II. It introduced parrying to the fighting game world, or blocking a move without taking any damage and leaving your opponent vulnerable for a counter-attack. This takes proper timing and can get quite complicated when attempting to parry a multi-hit special attack. There are Parry Training and Trials modes to help hone players’ skills. The parry trials include two sets of 5 parry-based challenges. One of these challenges is to replicate the famous Daigo comeback from EVO 2004. The Trials mode also includes challenges for every character where players must perform a certain set of moves in consecutive order. These start easy, but become increasingly difficult with each new trial.

The game features a classic Arcade mode, the likes of which one would find in almost every fighting game. Players go through 10 fights after which they are treated to an end-game video featuring their chosen character. Like most fighting game bosses, Street Fighter III‘s final boss, Gill, can seem impossible to beat, especially when he regenerates all of his health. Before every match along the way, players have a choice of two fighters to challenge, and along the way, there are two bonus stages. The first one requires the fighter to wreck an SUV within 50 seconds by relentlessly attacking it. In the second bonus round, Sean throws basketballs at the player, which must be parried.

Along with the substantial gameplay and mode revamps, Street Fighter III is a great looking game. With options that let you emulate an arcade cabinet, add scan lines, and change filters, the game can take on a variety of different looks. If you choose to view the game in Normal or Arcade Cabinet view, you will get a list of “Challenges” on the side of the screen that sort of work like in-game achievements. Completing these challenges will get you VP (vault points) which you can spend in the Vault on things like concept art, music, and end-game videos. The music consists of remixed themes and hip hop.

The main attraction of 3rd Strike Online is, of course, the online multiplayer. It uses the GGPO netcode (GGPO stands for Good Game, Peace Out) which is made specifically for playing fighting games online. Although playing online is almost as flawless as playing offline, it will not turn a bad connection into a good connection. You will still encounter players with latency from time to time, but even when I did it was never an issue.

When looking to play unranked matches, finding a lobby is very easy, except if the lobby happens to be full. This can be annoying if you just want to get in a few quick games. While waiting for your turn to fight, you’re put into spectator mode and can watch your future opponents duke it out. Once you finally get into a match it is just like any other fight. The winner gets to play on and the loser moves to the back of the line. It’s very reminiscent of Mortal Kombat‘s King of the Hill mode.

Ranked matches are as easy to get into as selecting the Ranked Match option. You are paired up with a completely random player where you fight and then go your separate ways. To rank up you need to complete the same challenges as the ones you unlocked offline, but of course it’s much harder because you’re playing against a real person. The ranking system is very much like levelling up in an RPG. Once you gain a certain amount of VP, you rank up and every time you do, that number increases.

If you’re in a competitive mood, you can join or start a tournament. In a tournament there are 4-8 people competing for the top spot, but like the unranked match lobbies, you do a lot of waiting. Also like the unranked lobbies, you’re put into spectator mode. This time I felt more involved in the matches because instead of waiting for my turn, I was cheering on one of the fighters or praying I didn’t have to play a Hugo. Nothing really special happens when you win other than getting an achievement/trophy.

Another feature Capcom added is Replay. After any match you can save your replay and upload it to the Match Server or even YouTube. If you forget to save a replay, no need to worry! You can save it in the Unsaved Replays menu at any time. You can even save and upload any match you’ve spectated. The quality of the video when uploaded to YouTube isn’t very good, but it definitely works.

Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition is exactly as it claims to be and a little more. It’s not the greatest fighting game ever made, but it’s definitely an awesome package for the price. The online can be a little testing if you’re not the patient type and it also has a steep learning curve. If you don’t have any friends who are at the same level as you to play with, it might not be as enjoyable. All in all, this iteration of 3rd Strike is a must-buy for anyone who was a fan of Street Fighter III.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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