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Street Fighter 3 W Impact
Platform:  Dreamcast
# of Players:  1-2
Developer:  Capcom
Publisher:  Capcom
Features:  VMU, Jump Pack
Ratings:  Early Childhood
Memory Req.:  
It is strange how many different versions and sequels of games featuring Ken and Ryu have come out over the years and they have the nerve to call the latest Street Fighter III. By my count they are on about 12. Yes, it is another Street Fighter Game and no, there are no happy surprises. There is no new kind of fighting style or fancy cool concepts that blows the state of 2D fighting games out of the water. In fact, this Street Fighter game plays a lot like the last 5 Street Fighter games with little improvement. Aside from new characters with new moves and animations there is nothing new about the game. But then what can you expect from a 2D fighting game from Capcom.

The disc has two versions of the game on it. Street Fighter III and Street Fighter III 2nd Impact featuring extra characters and access to the bonus game. The most original and refreshing aspect of the new game is all of the new characters that are featured. There are some real gems that make for some great animations. There is a guy who bases his attacks around snot and mucus, a girl with a kick ass attitude, and guy that rips off his clothes and fights in his skivies. Even with all of these additions most of the characters are reminiscent of the older game. There is a black boxer, and strange guy who can stretch his arms and of course there is Ken and Ryu (wouldn’t be a Street Fighter game without them).

If you love 2D Capcom fighters then you will love this game for all of the reasons that you love 2D fighters. It plays fast, there are some great animations, and there are some great special moves. Every character has a different strategy to fit even the most particular fighting style. The different characteristics also keep the game from getting repetitive. The intelligence of the enemies is much more advanced than in previous games. They seem to learn when you do your special moves and block them much better. Also, jumping up and down and smacking them on their heads just doesn’t seem to work anymore.

I hope you have your fireball move well practiced because that is pretty much all you have to know to do most of the special moves in this game. Every character has at least one move that uses this movement. It is enough to make you want to go out and buy a fighting stick. I was really thinking that there would be a different strategy to this game. One that would require a Capcom 2D veteran to learn something new but I was wrong. The only new aspect is the choice of super special move. Each character has a selection of three special moves of growing intensity that they can choose from at the beginning of the round. Once the power meter if filled the move becomes available. Weaker moves become available quicker, but stronger moves are much cooler and much more devastating.

Sure there have been some advancements in the world of the 2D fighter; we have come a long way from the days of the first Street Fighter II. There are more animations and much more detail then there ever was before. However, the essential nature of the game has not changed or improved really over the course of the last 10 years. The same moves still work, the same strategy can be applied, and it all looks (surprisingly enough) the same. If you don't mind playing game with all new characters then by all means go out and pick this up. I am gonna keep my money and wait for something new.

Chris Shade

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