Reviewed: September 18, 2011
Released: August 24, 2011
Right off the bat I knew I would be in for beat downs of epic proportions; I just didn’t know it would happen every single match. My first impression of Street Fighter III: Third Strike - Online Edition was that I’d be able to pick up and play just like I used to since the original Street Fighter came out A.K.A button mash till I did something awesome but soon found out everyone has moved on from that into what I call “actual skill”. When anyone thinks of Street Fighter they always go back to the times of 2D side scrolling fights, random fight music playing and a very annoying 90s arcade announcer yelling out every single time you got a combo or have your super attack ready, unfortunately all that is still the same. Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online edition is still the same old game that came out 1997 with maybe a bit of polish behind it. |
Graphically, Street Fighter III: Third Strike - Online Edition’s animations are still decent for its time. The characters all have their own unique look and fighting animations and all look decent on a high-definition screen but nothing really pops out at me, its 2011 I really expected a bit more work would be put into updating the sprites that have been around for over 15 years into closer to that of the Nintendo 3D’s version. Third Strike is still using the same sprites as the original Street Fighter 3 with the addition of “filters” to clean them up and smooth them over a bit. The backgrounds are still the same old basic themes of city, subway, dojo, country and even junkyards thrown in for the mid-game bonus rounds. All in all I was not impressed with the quality of the characters themselves and their special moves.
What can one say about amazing sound quality that is Third Strike, except that amazing isn’t what I would use to describe it. When you start the game you are greeted by the most amazing booming voice telling you what game mode you chose and great music that says Street Fighter, in my case Arcade mode, and that same voice goes on in your games to yell out when you have a combo ready, when you win and lose also. As soon as I started Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online edition and heard that voice I thought “well hey this is going to have awesome sounds the whole game” and I was sadly wrong. It almost seemed that the main menu and the rest of the game are two completely different games only judging from the music and announcer I heard. The music playing during your fight stages hasn’t changed since the original release “aka dated” and is mostly blocked out by your fighter’s war cries and the very loud announcer yelling that the other guy got a giant combo on you.
As with every Street Fighter game you have of course the Arcade mode where you have to beat a set number of opponents until you fight the last boss. Normally I would go on to tell you who the last boss is and how easy/hard he was but here is the problem, I couldn’t get past the 5th round due to the unstoppable A.I and its relentless assault on me. The A.I in this and every other Street Fighter game that has been released in the last 5 years for Xbox 360 that I have played is almost unbeatable no matter how much you block and try to revert to cheap tricks such as grapples and low kicks to even scrape by.
At first I thought I should just lower the difficulty from normal to easy until I got used to the controls again but even that didn’t help much. Along with arcade mode we have the Online mode which is what Street Fighter III Third Strike: Online edition is all about. I played a few online matches but could easily see the difference between my button mashing to their refined play style. All my online opponents moved and attacked like they were the characters they played as. There were no awkward two punch combos for them as they were all able to seamlessly integrate all their moves together and move smoothly through them all.
If you are new to fighting games or the Street Fighter franchise, I don’t recommend playing online because there is also no filtering system to play against lower ranked people either. It’s a free-for-all baby and it might be his 500th fight and your very first. Along with the two previously stated moves there is also the Training mode where you fight an unmoving, unblocking opponent and trials mode where the game tries to teach you how to fight, a good idea at first but not when your only instructions are a picture of a foot and the word “Fierce” but I’ll get to that.
Controls from what I’ve seen haven’t been altered from the original, though they did take out the parry as one would have to predict where an attack was coming from to be able to block anything at all. No matter how many times I looked at the move list, which you have to pause the game then choose your character to even look at, I couldn’t figure out what most of the button combinations were supposed to be as they used terms such as “Fierce punch, Short punch and Fierce kick” with only fists and feet to show you if it was a kicking or punching move. It was akin to trying to decipher ancient Egyptian writing without any sort of translation available. As I stated earlier i saw that you could integrate all your moves fluidly into your attacks but no matter how much I tried all mine were slow and easily dodged or blocked by my opponents.
Street Fighter III: Third Strike - Online Edition is not a game for everyone. This is for the die-hard Street Fighter gamers that are looking to relive their childhood and to improve their skills by fighting real opponents and move up in the online leaderboards. The music and graphics are dated, the A.I is overpowered and I couldn’t find M.Bison and Guile anywhere at all, which was saddening. 1200 Microsoft points is a bit overpriced for something most people are going to pick up only for nostalgic value. I believe it would have fared much better if instead of doing a port they could have built it from the ground up and improved the graphics and sound to match something more up to date.