The Street Fighter III series is a trilogy of fighting games that are part of the Street Fighter universe created by Capcom. The series is a sequel to the Street Fighter II series, and takes place several years after, with a mostly new character roster. Ryu, Ken, Akuma, and Chun-Li are the only characters to return, with Chun-Li and Akuma not appearing until later on in the series.
The Street Fighter III games were produced for the CD-ROM based CPS-III hardware, which allowed for more elaborate and detailed 2D graphics.
Street Fighter III: New Generation was first released in February 1997, introducing several new features to the series. The gameplay is similar to Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but players can now parry most attacks, and also perform dashes, high jumps, and quick stands. The Super Art system was also introduced, with at least 3 Super Arts available to each character, and the choice of Super Art determined the size of the Super Art Gauge and the number of Stocks available. The Arcade Mode of New Generation consists of seven fights, with the first six being made up of random opponents, all leading up to the seventh and final fight against an unplayable computer-controlled only final boss named Gill.
The ten/eleven playable characters are listed as follows:
- Yun/Yang Lee (Yang serves as a palette swap for Yun in this game)
An updated version of the previous game, Street Fighter III 2nd Impact - Giant Attack was first released in September of the same year and introduced even more new mechanics. EX Special attacks made their debut and allowed more powerful special attacks at the cost of some of the Super Art Gauge. The choice of Super Arts would also determine how many EX Specials could be stored.
Throw Technicals allowed players to counter and escape their opponent's throw attempts. Personal Actions marked the return of taunts and added effects that benefited users, from increased defense to powering up the next attack. Bonus Stages also returned in this game.
2nd Impact's Arcade Mode consists of eight fights, culminating with the eighth and final fight against a specific final boss for the chosen player character. Gill is fought as either the final boss for a few characters on the playable roster or as the seventh opponent from within Arcade Mode. The chosen player character can also encounter their rival halfway through Arcade Mode if certain requirements are met by the player.
A few changes were made to the playable roster, carried over from the first game:
- Akuma reprises his role as a secret boss and is playable as well. His "true" form also appears and is playable in the home console versions.
- Hugo, originally planned to debut in the first game, makes his first playable appearance here, traveling with his manager Poison, who appears during his intro and victory animations.
- Urien is Gill's younger brother who shares a similar moveset (though not similar enough to be considered a clone). Gill himself was made playable for the first time in the home console versions.
- Yun and Yang are now playable as separate characters with their own special attacks and Super Arts.
A compilation of the first two games was released in 1999 as Street Fighter III: Double Impact for the Sega Dreamcast.
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike was first released in May 1999, and is the final game of the series while serving as a sequel to 2nd Impact (the latter, as mentioned above being an update to New Generation). 3rd Strike introduced a couple of further gameplay changes - the "Red Parry", which lets a player parry while blocking, and a grading evaluation system which ranks (from lowest to highest): E, D, C, B, A, S, SS, XS, MSF. The car-destroying bonus round from the Street Fighter II games also returned.
3rd Strike's Arcade Mode, which consists of 10 fights is unique from the previous two Arcade Modes of both New Generation and 2nd Impact in that the player can choose between two opponents of whom they wish to do battle against. The chosen player character's rival serves as the Stage 9 sub-boss while Gill serves as the tenth and final boss for the entire playable roster (with the notable exception being in that Alex serves as the final boss for Gill if he's the chosen player character from within the home console versions). Despite being a playable character, Q can only be fought in Arcade Mode as a hidden boss if certain requirements are met by the player.
In addition to the previous roster, 3rd Strike also introduced four more playable characters and one returning playable character:
- Chun-Li, who searches for an orphan kidnapped by Urien while under her care.
- Makoto, looking to restore the popularity of her late father's dojo.
- Q, another secret boss and a mysterious robotic-esque figure sighted at various murder scenes.
- Remy, who holds a grudge against all fighters since the loss of his father and sister.
- Twelve, a shapeshifting humanoid weapon of the G-Project that was ordered to hunt down and kill/retrieve the original prototype, Necro.
A downloadable online port entitled Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition was released by Iron Galaxy Studios on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade in August 2011. First announced at Comic Con 2010, the online edition features, among other new content, enhanced visual settings including various HD filters (although the sprites themselves have not been reworked), YouTube Sharing and GGPO-built online play. All the moves, bugs, glitches, and quirks of the original game remain so as to leave the experience unaltered.
According to Takashi Nishiyama, Capcom decided to withdraw from the fighting game genre due to the lack of sales of Street Fighter III and the shrinking market of the same genre. Street Fighter IV was released almost a decade later, and made use of several concepts introduced in the Street Fighter III series, including the Quick Stand, Throw Techs, and EX Specials. The series introduced a new feature known as the Revenge Gauge, which served as the gauge for Ultra Combos.
Super Street Fighter IV gave each character a second Ultra Combo and the ability to pick one before a match, similar to Super Arts. Some characters from the Street Fighter III series, including Dudley, Ibuki, and Makoto, would make another appearance in the series. The Lee twins would appear in the Arcade Edition version, after making cameo appearances in Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Upper/MAX.
The crossover game Street Fighter X Tekken was released in 2012 and, in addition to reusing the same concepts as Street Fighter IV, also reintroduced Super Arts, though there is a major conceptual difference. Hugo would appear playable and Poison would go on to make her first playable appearance as a Street Fighter character and as Hugo's tag partner. Ibuki is also a member of the roster, having previously appeared in Super Street Fighter IV. Dudley (who also appeared previously in Super Street Fighter IV) and Elena would also appear as playable DLC tag partners.
Ultra Street Fighter IV brought back all the characters from Street Fighter X Tekken that did not previously appear in a Street Fighter IV installment. Of the Street Fighter III characters, that includes Hugo, Poison, and Elena.
In Street Fighter V, Alex, Ibuki, Urien and Kolin (making her playable debut) appears as DLC characters. Gill also made a small appearance in the ending of the cinematic story mode as well as Kolin's character story. He later appeared playable in the Champion Edition. Oro was seen in Dhalsim's character story and later appeared playable in Champion Edition.
Ryu Final, a manga adaption of the series, was written and drawn by Masahiko Nakahira. It has two volumes.
Super Street Fighter
UDON's Super Street Fighter and Street Fighter Unlimited comic series are loosely based on the stories of the Street Fighter III games and Super Street Fighter IV.
|Character||New Generation||2nd Impact||3rd Strike|
- TN: Keiji Inafune worked under me when I was at Capcom, and in the old days after Street Fighter III didn't do so well and the fighting game market shrunk, Capcom decided to leave the genre behind. But later he took over the company's development and proposed Street Fighter IV, and I don't think Capcom had people available to form an in-house team to develop it, so Mr. Inafune proposed that they should have Dimps make it, and Capcom approached us with the proposal.
from The Man Who Created Street Fighter