Capcom has yet released another Street Fighter title, as they seem to keep pumping them our or at least Street Fighter related games at a rapid rate. This time it is Street Fighter III – 3rd Strike Online Edition for download on the Xbox Live arcade as well as the Playstation 3 Network and is is more of a modern title if you will. I say that meaning it in two different ways as the title screen music is not that arcade style music we have been used to for ages but rather a hip hop song actually created for the game. In other terms of the game being modern, it is as if the Street Fighter series has almost learned from the past and evolved into one of the best Street Fighter titles yet. The game original came from the Dreamcast and Playstation 2 version but has come a long way since then, that is is hard to believe that this is an Arcade game. It will run you 1200 Microsoft Points/$15.00 but will play like a full retail Street Fighter game for the most part.
Obviously the graphics are not like some of the Street Fighter franchise titles in 3D on console retail versions, but that can easily be forgotten when enjoying one of most evolved Street Fighter games ever, in enhanced HD. It is like all of them have come to a sum and out popped this arcade game. Don’t get me wrong, you may be able to button mach your way through the campaign if you are lucky, but the games relies on its true roots of precise parry’s and combo’s to really master the game. You can forget button mashing a win on the Ranked matches which will level you up or you may choose to take part in Player matches where you can play with friends. There are literally tons of different challenges in the game such as parry in mid air so many times or used your super to end a match and harder ones like complete a match without taking any damage so many times, which are quite fun to try and complete. These challenges are also how you gain all the achievements/trophies. This along with playing ranked matches (win or lose) will give you XP as well as VP, and these vault points can be used to unlock art, pictures, music and more. It is a pretty cool setup believe it or not.
The game has also manages do get the display option just right this time with you having the option of full (wider) screen, to the standard square 4.3 aspect ratio default mode, where your challenges pop up on the left side of open screen (or right side depending on which player you are). This new addition or redux to the franchise also has literally tons of settings, most of which I have never seen in a fighting game all together at once, while completing the game will give you a ‘dip switches’ setting allowing you to change even more specific things, like parry timing among much more. Completing the game with each character will give you the option to play as the boss or last character you defeat in arcade mode, ‘Gill’ who has a dirty ability to gain his entire health bar back once being completely depleted. Both Gill and the Dip Switches Settings can be purchased online for around a dollar. There is also a Tournament mode online too.
Now Street Fighter 3rd Strike Online Mode is definitely a true game deserving a place in the franchise where it is difficult for new players, while letting veterans comfortably squeeze right into a new game. However there are a load of trials in the game that can help someone just getting into the franchise to a seasoned veteran get better as the game truly relies on precise, quick thinking and perfect timing. There are a series of Beginner and Expert parry trials which require you to simply press forward at the right time to pressing block to forward, forward, down forward on with perfectly exact timing. Another example might be tapping forward 10 times in a row with just the right timing or parry trial failed. These were extremely hard and took a lot of practice but are meant to prepare you for the ultimate fight. Not to mention the perfect parry could bring you from virtually no life, while the other player has nearly full health to an instant win on your part… not an easy task though, I must add. The trials also contain all of the players combo training, showing you step by step how to pull off there combos.
Online is a big plus in the game, maybe I was lucky but I experienced no lag whatsoever while getting beat up online, not even any frame rate issues. As mentioned before how you can level up in ranked matches, it also shows in big ass letters how many times a player has disconnected from a match.. that you can’t miss, so ‘rage quitters’ beware. Depending on our rank, skill level and XP the game automatically determines the best matched player for you, or obviously as close as it can get. A lot of the settings can be tweaked for online including the option of not letting players play as a certain characters, which is a feature that would have been so very nice in other online fighting games. Although this feature is hardly needed, seeing as how all the players are truly equally balanced, and I say that with sincerity after all the previous cheap moves past characters have had in games.
It is easy to admit that each title that is released in the franchise is truly better than the last for the most part, as I must say the same for this title as well. It is probably the best Street Fighter game to date and if you are a fan but have not purchased all the previous games, this should be the one you purchase. As for fans of the series… you would be delirious not to pick this up. One of the greatest features in the game is the wide variety of characters. While you may not warm up to them right away they each have their unique styles that are all equal to each of the other characters. No more ‘Haduken spamming’ stopping you from winning that round, with the balanced gameplay (of course depending on skill), it is what every fighting game strives for and I believe Street Fighter III – 3rd Strike Online Edition has finally done it.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Gain XP and completing challenges gives you Vault Points to purchase pictures, art, music, etc. Extremely balanced roster. Online mode.
Extremely difficult, especially for new players. Very hard to pull off perfect parry's and certain combos.
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