Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior (known in Japan as Art of Fighting: Ryuuko no Ken Gaiden) is a fighting game developed and published by SNK for the Neo Geo
. The game uses a new engine with smoother animation and gameplay mechanics built around special "command moves". This game is often compared to Street Fighter III: New Generation
(released a year later) for its similarities. (Brand new character roster with the exception of the two main characters, parrying, smoother animation)
The game was not as well-known as the previous Art of Fighting games. The game was later released in the Neo Geo CD
platform with improved music. The game was also released for the PlayStation 2
in the Art of Fighting Anthology
The story follows Robert Garcia, who meets an old childhood friend in GlassHill, Mexico
. Other characters have stories of their own, such as Ryo
(who is searching for the whereabouts of Robert) and Kasumi Todoh
(who is searching for a battle with Ryo).
The mechanics in this game are similar to previous Art of Fighting games. The first two buttons are punch and kick, which can be combined with joystick presses to form special "command moves", each with varying strength and utility. The third button is a utility button that allows for strong attacks, throws, and parries
. (The first fighting game ever to include the concept of parrying) The fourth button is used for taunting. The player can dash forwards and backwards by tapping the joystick in either direction twice. The player can also attack downed opponents through the "pursuit" command move.
Like the previous Art of Fighting games, this game includes the concept of the "spirit gauge", which determines the effectiveness of special moves. The gauge lowers after the player performs a special move. It also depletes when the opponent performs a taunt. The gauge can be recharged by holding down any button. Unlike the previous games, the gauge slowly recharges automatically.
This game has no bonus stages and the player's life and spirit gauges are equal to the opponent's. The player no longer needs to learn super moves in Story mode. "Desperation" moves still exist in this game, which can only be executed when the character itself flashes red (20% life or less). When you finish an opponent with a desperation move and that opponent has 10% life or less, it counts as an "Ultimate K.O.". An Ultimate KO leads to the win of the entire match, even on the first round.