In 1999, following the release of Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III: 2nd Impact for the arcades, Capcom released their third and final iteration of the Street Fighter III series titled Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future. 3rd Strike brought back Chun-Li from Street Fighter II, along with four new characters. 3rd Strike differs from the first two games as it features a soundtrack composed by Hideki Okugawa influenced by hip-hop, jazz, and drum and bass music. It also has updated design, gameplay tweaks, new stages, and new ending sequences.
3rd Strike was primarily developed for Capcom's CPS3 arcade hardware, but multiple console ports soon followed for Dreamcast, PlayStation 2 and the original Xbox. An updated version of the game was later released on PSN and XBLA as "Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Online Edition".
Aside from Shin Akuma, every character from previous Street Fighter III iterations including Ryu, Alex, and Yun make a return to 3rd Strike. New characters include Street Fighter II's Chun-Li, Rindoukan karate practitioner Makoto, French vagrant Remy, biological weapon and shape-shifter Twelve and the mysterious Q.
The goal of the game is to deplete a opponent's vitality meter before the times runs out. If players deplete their meters at the same time, it will result in double KO giving both a round win. If the round ends in a draw, the match will be determined by performance of both players.
After every three matches in arcade mode, players can partake in bonus stages. Introduced in 2nd Impact, players can parry multiple basketballs thrown by Sean and the car crushing mode from Final Fight is here.
3rd Strike also features special fight introductions that replace the normal ones in specific matchups. For example, the classic fist bump between close friends Ryu and Ken appears in 3rd Strike. Another one takes place between Alex and Hugo, where they have a bit of a stand-off with each other before Hugo bumps Alex a foot away from him; a nod to the Hulk Hogan vs Andre the Giant fight from WrestleMania III.
Parrying is a significant technical addition to the Street Fighter III series (referred in the Japanese version as "blocking"; in Japan blocking an attack is referred as "guarding") where players must react by pressing forward (for a high attack) or down (for a low attack) an opponent's attack to deflect as well as receive no damage if an attack depletes vitality when blocked. When performed, this renders the opponent defenseless for a counterattack. New to 3rd Strike is the "Guard Parry" where players can parry during their "Guard Stun" stance creating a red visual effect instead of the usual blue.
3rd Strike also broadened the timing window to perform a parry, reducing the risk of a parry and increasing its accessibility to new players.
Parrying allows both players to instantly wrest control of the fight's momentum, moving it away from excessive "sitting in the corner and blocking" and "attacking relentlessly" that hinders most fighting games' restrictive combat flow. The lure of a parry's potential success or failure, offers the attacking and defending players myriad options for mind games, since at any time the player's attack can be used against the player.
Similar to the "Super Combo" systems in Super Street Fighter II Turbo and Street Fighter Alpha series , Street Fighter III uses a powerful special move system referred to as "Super Arts." While other Street Fighter games allows players to access multiple supers with one meter, every character throughout the III series has three unique Super Arts which players can pick only one when fighting their opponent (while Akuma can use two hidden additional Super Arts giving players a total of three combined with a chosen main).
Aside from their effects, each Super Art has different properties including the number of bar stocks it can hold and its meter length. These properties can also determine if players can use more powerful special moves known as "EX Moves." Introduced in 2nd Impact, EX Moves requires players to perform the same motion as they would with a normal special move but with an additional attack button simultaneously. A player's character will flash yellow to indicate that an EX move has executed. EX Moves can only be performed when the Super Art meter fills a certain portion indicated with flashing.
The command for throwing has changed requiring the player to press both light punch and kick buttons at the same time while previously throughout the Street Fighter franchise required only one button press. "Grapple defense" (or technical throws) return from 2nd Impact allowing players to escape an enemy throw by also performing a throw command.
Street Fighter III: New Generation introduced "leap attacks" which allows players to perform small jumping attacks against crouched opponents has also received a command change; now performed with pressing both strong punch and kick buttons simultaneously.
Taunting, or "Personal Action," available in 2nd Impact returned in 3rd Strike. Players can access taunts by simultaneously pressing both fierce punch and kick buttons at the same time. Each character's taunt is also accompanied by an additional benefit if completed successfully; for example, Ryu's taunt will lower his stun gauge, whereas Q's taunt raises his maximum stamina.
Grading and Judgement
After every match, both winner and loser receive a grade on how they performed. Many aspects of the system include offense, defense, technical, and extra points. This can be used to help pick a winner in the "Judgement System" where if the match ends in a draw, the Judgement System can calculate who has done better in the match.
Two soundtracks of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike have been released. The first version was based on the original music from the arcade builds of 3rd Strike while the successor was an arranged version from the console releases. The soundtracks were composed by Hideki Okugawa with contributions by Canadian hip-hop rapper Infinite.
- Alex & Ken's stage, "Jazzy NYC'99"
- Necro & Twelve's stage, "Snowland"
- Hugo's stage, "The Circuit"
- Chun-Li's stage, "China Vox"
- Ryu's stage, "Kobu"
- Ibuki's stage, "Twilight"
- Makoto's stage, "Spunky"
- Akuma's stage, "Killing Moon"
- Elena's stage, "Beat in my Head"
- Sean & Oro's stage, "The Longshorehan"
- Dudley's stage, "You Blow my Mind"
- Yun & Yang's stage, "Crowded Street"
- Remy's stage, "The Beep"
- Q's theme, "Q"
- Urien's stage, "Crazy Chili Dog"
- Gill's stage, "Psych Out"
At the San Diego Comic-Con International 2010, Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition was informally announced, although platform(s) of choice were not given. At the time it was noted that "Now that we've announced it, the company can't stop us", said the game's producer Yoshinori Ono. The following months had Ono tease various pictures of the game including main menu layout as well as the graphics. More information would be announced in E3 2011 revealing its many features.
Developed by Iron Galaxy Studios for the Xbox Live Marketplace and the PlayStation Network, 3rd Strike Online Edition is an arcade perfect build of the game while grabbing some aspects of the console versions.
The online fights make use of the GGPO netcode system which uses a latency-hiding technique called "rollbacking" where it identifies both player's actions and instantly examines which motion was correct before proceeding. Players can view and upload replays in the game as well as YouTube. 3rd Strike Online Edition also features a lobby system able to hold up to eight players with capability of playing each other as well as watching other matches outside the lobby. A version of arcade style quarter matches is also available online.
Based on the 990512 arcade build, 3rd Strike Online Edition retains some various unblockable techniques but removes some game breaking glitches. Console version elements such as a mode that can modify the gameplay and special character color palettes return. None of the characters have been rebalanced for 3rd Strike Online Edition. Players can practice in various training modes including the default option as well as special parrying trials.
Players can play the game in various graphical settings. They can configure the aspect ratio with the normal 4:3 position to being stretched. 3rd Strike Online Edition also features toggle able graphical filters and even scanline capabilities.
Another aspect included is its challenge system. Players can achieve special challenges which can score vault points. The vault points can be used to unlock character concept art, fan submitted art, character music, videos and other content.
- TheShend - Youtube channel with tons of high level match videos and tutorials.
- Agtool - Youtube channel with highlight videos.