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YMMV / Street Fighter III

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: The game had several huge things working against it:
    • Right off the bat, the decision to replace most of the cast from Street Fighter II proved to be a disastrous one. While Capcom had previously been able to successfully pull off a near complete cast changeover from Street Fighter I to II, that was largely because the first Street Fighter game wasn't particularly successful, meaning few fans cared about those characters. Conversely, the characters from II had proven to be extremely popular and had subsequently reappeared in the Street Fighter Alpha games and the various adaptations based on the Street Fighter franchise. This meant there was far more backlash to their omission than there had ever been over the cast of I not returning for II. It was particularly telling that at first, Sean was going to be the sole representative of the Shoto archetype, but Capcom made the move to at least bring back Ryu and Ken to satiate long time fans. Those two, along with Akuma in 2nd Impact and Chun-Li in 3rd Strike, were the only veterans from either II or Alpha to return in this sub-series.
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    • The game was more complex and difficult to master than the previous Street Fighter games, alienating casual players even further. While III did later gain a major following among tournament players and in the Fighting Game Community, to this day, it still has a reputation for being very unfriendly to newbies.
    • The game came out as the arcade scene was dying and while 3D games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter were becoming increasingly popular. III was also developed on Capcom's new CPS-3 arcade system board, which allowed for more fluid and detailed sprites than had previously been seen. Unfortunately, this also made III much more expensive, and this, coupled with the declining popularity of 2D fighters and arcades in general, meant that many arcade owners passed on ordering the game.
    • The expensive and time consuming process of making brand new sprites also resulted in III only having 11 playable characters (even with Ryu, Ken and Sean sharing the same body) at launch, which seemed downright paltry at the time. For comparison, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (released the same year) had 17 playable characters, while Tekken 3 (released the following year) had 23.
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    • The advanced graphics meant that III could not be ported to most of the then-current consoles without sacrificing animations and features. Consequently, the Street Fighter III series was initially ported exclusively for the Sega Dreamcast. It wasn't until 2004 when 3rd Strike was re-released as part of Street Fighter Anniversary Collection.note  Because of the failure of the CPS-3, Capcom's future 2D fighters, such as the Marvel vs. Capcom and SNK vs. Capcom series, were either developed on the CPS-2 or Sega's new NAOMI system board. Street Fighter Alpha 3 was released the following year on the CPS-2, and while the sprites weren't as good as the ones used in III, it was significantly more affordable for most arcade owners. The less-refined graphics also meant it could be more easily ported to the PlayStation, where it sold a million copies.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Ken has earned a lot of scorn from mostly online players because so many fans use him online. No one knows why, but it might be due to his ease of use instead of Ryu, who somehow got harder to use as time passed.
    • Remy. You either think he's cool and more interesting than either Guile or Charlie, or you think his emo attitude, SNK-based design and his reason for fighting are dumb.
  • Character Tiers:
    • Chun-Li is S+ tier in the Arcadia list, and Ken is A+, with Akuma not far behind. Especially tragic since this plays into Complacent Gaming Syndrome (see below). Let it be noted that these are not tiers decided at the margins, Chun and Ken all have 7-3 and 8-2 matchups against much of the rest of the cast. Thankfully the high tiers are also populated with new, fun and unique characters like Yun, Makoto, and Dudley.
    • More tiers have Chun-Li and Yun at S-tier, with Ken and Makoto at A+. Akuma has dropped down to B-tier and is considered slightly worse than Dudley now (though he still has some disgustingly cheap bullshit according to Kuroda).
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: As a result of removing all of the old cast except Ryu and Ken, 75% of all players picked Ken, 20% picked Ryu, and 5% picked one of the other characters. It got a little better in 2nd Impact. But in 3rd Strike, not only was Ken a tad bit easier to learn than Ryu in the III series, but he was top-tier (alongside Chun-Li and Yun) in 3S. In other words, Tournament Play was filled with Ken, Chun-Li, Yun, and the occasional Makoto, Dudley, and Akuma. This status followed him into Street Fighter IV and V, with lukewarm reception (especially in the former). There's a reason the trope used to go by the name of "That Damn Ken."
  • Contested Sequel: When first released, III was criticized for ditching majority of the cast from the previous games, its steep learning curve, and its "dated graphics." As described below, the years have been far kinder.
  • Cult Classic: Street Fighter III didn't do particularly well when it was released.note  Many fans, however, consider 3rd Strike the best Street Fighter game for competitive play.
  • Ear Worm:
    Make your first move, so what's it gonna be?
    You're trapped in the new world of Street Fighter III!
    The third chapter, so what's it gonna be?
    The 3rd Strike y'all, it's Street Fighter III!
    Make your first move so what's it gonna be?
    You're trapped in the new world of Street Fighter III!
    Fightin' for the future so what's it gonna be?
    The 3rd Strike y'all it's Street Fighter III!...''
    (Let's get it on now), Select and make your first pick,
    (Let's get it on Yo) 10, 9, 8, 7, 6,
    (Let's get it on Yo) Choose and pick the best one
    (Let's get it on now) 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
    • Elena's awesome 3rd Strike theme. "Beats in my head," indeed!
    • The theme from the E3 2011 trailer for 3rd Strike Online Edition by Adam Tensta:
    (Welcome to the world of Street Fighter III)
    As I stare at myself in the mirror, and the noises around me fade
    No fear for my health, never give up though the voices around me say:
    "It's a long shot, it'll never happen - don't put you money on that" as they're laughin' (Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha)
    I know I'm up against the best but we fightin' in the streets - left right, right left
    This is what I live for right here - you think I'm gon' fold cause the lights glare?
    Like I don't know what this life is? Well think again cause I won't no hype is
    Ever what they paint it up to be, and the underdog is evidently
    The one who got more to win - I'ma make you taste the ground; here's my Hadouken!
    You know what they say: "The Third Strike is what counts"
    And you can get it too - don't think that l can't knock you out
    Out, out knock knock you out
    Out, knock knock knock you out
    Out, out knock knock knock you out
    Don't think that l can't knock you out
    (Prepare for Battle)
    Out, out knock knock you out
    Out, knock knock knock you out
    Out, out knock knock knock you out
    Don't think that l can't knock you out
    (It's over)
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Ibuki, to the point where she placed 22nd on IGN's List of Top 25 Street Fighter Characters. She's had the second-highest amount of non-SF appearances after Yun (Pocket Fighter, SFxT), has cameos in Capcom Fighting Evolution and Onimusha Soul, was considered for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, returned for SSFIV, and most recently has appeared in SFV as DLC. She and Remy were also the only new characters from the III series to be included in SOTA's popular line of Street Fighter action figures.
    • Dudley. A lot of fans like him better than Balrog, to the point where he actually won a fan poll to see who fans wanted to appear most in Street Fighter IV. Capcom granted the fans' wish by including him in Super Street Fighter IV, alongside Balrog. In addition, he placed 25th on IGN's List of Top 25 Street Fighter Characters.
    • Makoto. Unlike many of the newcomers in III, she has actually been hailed as a great addition to the cast. Episode 33 of's Retronauts podcast actually singled out Makoto as being "pure Street Fighter" in relation to the rest of the cast, when she placed 23rd on IGN's List of Top 25 Street Fighter Characters. Her popularity might also be due to her high-risk playstyle and high-tier status. Perhaps being savvy enough to realize this, Capcom included her in SSFIV. Furthermore, when the results of the first Street Fighter Character Popularity Poll was announced, Makoto took second place, right behind fellow darkhorse Sakura.
    • According to the polls for Street Fighter X Tekken, Q is the second most requested character from Street Fighter III after Alex, the main character. Sadly, neither one of them made it in, and Capcom specifically requested that Q be left out of Tekken X Street Fighter. Also, according to the aforementioned Character Popularity Poll, Q is the 4th most popular character in the entire series, and the most popular male in the series by extension.
    • Yun and Yang. The fact that Yun has had the most playable out-of-series appearances out of all the III characters (CvS2, later revisions of Street Fighter Alpha 3, Capcom Fighting Evolution) and the fandom rejoicing for the twins' inclusion in the Arcade Edition of SSFIV cements them as this (though Yun has a slightly unfavorable rep of late for other reasons).
    • Alex was a very contested character at first; replacing Ryu as the face was always gonna be met with concern and apprehension, and being a Grappler with charge moves instead of an easy to learn shoto character didn't help. However, over the years, Alex got a lot of traction from fans and became a classic and iconic character in his own right due in fact to his very striking and iconic design, memorable moves like the Reverse Hyper Bomb and his signature smack talk ("At Ease Losah!" "WEAK!" "I DON'T LOSE!" "YOU CAN'T ESCAPE!"). It also doesn't hurt that his theme, "Jazzy NYC", is one of the most beloved songs in the series in part to it playing in one of the most famous moments in fighting game history.
    • Elena is this as it's hard to dislike her optimistic personality and you'll find plenty of fanart of her. She even made it into Street Fighter X Tekken as DLC and later showed up in Ultra Street Fighter IV. Her 3rd Strike theme is a huge contributor to this fact, being one of the most recognizable songs in the Street Fighter III series.
    • According to a 2014 poll, Alex and Q were the top two most desired characters for Street Fighter V, and Alex eventually made it into the game as DLC. Q for his part would get the character G as a Spiritual Successor in SFV, who has possible connections to him (and has become a darkhorse in his own right).
  • Fountain of Memes: Dudley.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Gill, natch.
    • Urien due to his Aegis Reflector combos which, if done correctly, take off an exceptional amount of damage and are unblockable.
  • Genius Bonus: Despite being perfectly capable of mimicking human speech, all of Twelve's win quotes are in binary.
  • Good Bad Bugs: All three games have their share of shenanigans:
    • In New Generation, Alex can continually Flash Chop Elena into a KO due to a delay in her animation.
    • In both New Generation and 2nd Impact, certain characters can float and reset their animations in midair. This is includes Ibuki in both games, and Ken doing a Shoryuken during Gill's Ressurrection in 2nd Impact.
    • In both New Generation and 2nd Impact, Sean can fill his EX meter twice as fast as any other character by holding Back on the directional pad while tapping an attack button.
    • In 3rd Strike, Akuma's Fierce Shakunetsu Hadoken can juggle opponents completely across the screen, provided they hit the tip of the fireball at just the right angle.
    • Aside from copying Guile's moves, Remy also has one of his classic World Warrior glitches. He can freeze Urien by getting hit right after his neutral throw animation connects. The most common way to do this is when Urien's Aegis Reflector is triggered. Not only does it let you escape from the Super Art, but it completely freezes Urien as well. He will be unable to attack or even move until Remy hits him again.
    • Q's Total Destruction Super Art is very finnicky. Due to how it quickly drains a target's health bar instead of immediately defeating them, it's possible to beat Q during his post-attack animation frames by using a slow projectile like the Aegis Reflector. If characters trade hits during the explosion, the game won't always register that the explosion actually occurred, giving you chance to trigger a second one.
    • Dudley can be comboed into any Shoryuken-style Super Art if he's thrown to the ground in a corner.
    • A few others can be found in this video.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: One of Chun-Li's win quotes is "No, I've never thrown any of my bracelets away. Why do you ask?" While likely intended as a reference to an Urban Legend of Zelda that she could throw her bracelets at the opponent in Street Fighter II, it also works as an unintentional Take That! against the (not overly well-received) Street Fighter II pinball game and the Street Fighter: The Movie arcade game, where she does throw her spiked bracelets as weapons.
  • It's Hard, So It Sucks!: A common complaint is that the game is too technical compared to other Street Fighter games. That said, hardcore players eat it up and contributes to why they love it so much.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • People like to joke that Ibuki, due her goal to meet "cool boys" in SSFIV, is extremely horny and willing to go to great lengths to get some.
    • Q's trenchcoat has caused some to joke that he's a public flasher.
  • Moe:
    • Makoto.
    • Shaomei, who is Yun's girlfriend and Houmei's little sister.
    • Necro's girlfriend Effie.
  • Mondegreen: Elena's theme is a magnet for this.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Ibuki, especially following her more later appearances, tends to be compared to Naruto Uzumaki often, with some going as far as to call her Raida and its Yoroitoshi Super Art variation knockoffs of the Rasengan. The thing is, not only does Ibuki predate Naruto by about seven months (New Generation was released on February 4, 1997; the pilot chapter of Naruto would be published in August of that year), the Rasengan wasn't even introduced until Chapter 150, which first dropped in early 2003, long after the III series concluded.
    • Much like Street Fighter III, Art of Fighting 3 abandoned most of the previous characters in favor of an almost entirely new cast, and introduced a smoother, more detailed animation style. It also did all of this in 1996, a year before Street Fighter III.
  • Signature Scene: The one thing everyone remembers about this game's competitive scene (which also set into motion the eventual revival of 2D fighters)? Evo Moment #37. It's to the point where it's referenced in multiple videos made by Capcom.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song:
  • That One Attack: Gill's Seraphic Wing. You will taste the rainbow.
  • That One Boss: Gill. He can resurrect himself after death:
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • The series got, and continues to get, a lot of flak for its character roster. A critic of GamesRadar listed their personal worst Street Fighter characters; Street Fighter III characters placed in eight out of the eleven slots.
    • Minor one for Revision B of 3rd Strike, which hit arcades in June 1999 (and was later used for the Dreamcast port). Majority of the playerbase did not like the balance changes, especially the removal of Urien's unblockables. The result is that every release of 3rd Strike since (excluding the Dreamcast port) has used the earlier Revision A.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Ken's top-tier 3rd Strike incarnation receives much flak he gets for being used 99.9 percent of the time online. Oh Ken, how you've been a flowchart over the years...
    • Chun-Li is this in 3rd Strike.
    • Makoto gets this from certain players due to the fact that from a specific spot on the screen, she can kill you in one combo.
    • Elena is the low-tiered version, as her lengthy animations make her parry-bait.
    • Twelve is also a low-tiered version, thought by many to be the hardest character in the game to learn. It's often pointed out and joked about that Twelve's best move is X.C.O.P.Y., since it lets him temporarily become a different character.
    • Yun actually managed to mostly avoid this despite being one of the top-tier characters in 3rd Strike, but would later fall prey to this in SSFIV: Arcade Edition and Ultra Street Fighter IV, as explained here. Some of the top tournament players like Daigo, however, found their interest in 3rd Strike waning long before the advent of SFIV due to Yun's shenanigans.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Elena's animation looks pretty out of place compared to the rest of the fighters. That's probably Rotoscoping at work.
    • Q. The way he moves and attacks most of the time is most certainly not human, which deliberately plays into the in-universe Paranoia Fuel-inducing conspiracy theory he is at the center of.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • The kid who appears in Ibuki's 3rd Strike intro sparring with her is a boy named Yuta Homura.
    • While the story takes no pains to hide that she is, in fact, a girl, people not familiar with the series often mistake Makoto for a boy. But given that she is as feminine as a truck driver, her gi is quite concealing, and that Makoto is a gender neutral Japanese name, the misunderstanding is almost expected. The fact that she's absolutely ripped for a girl her age and has huge man-like hands and feet does not help matters. Her SSFIV in-game model, however, has her cleavage slightly more exposed, enough to avoid confusion in full. Previously, it was only visible during her dizzy animation, in which the shoulder of her gi slips off.
  • Vindicated by History: The Street Fighter III series was trashed when it was initially released because it was a complete departure from the considerably more user-friendly Alpha series, and some professional reviewers even went so far as to dock it for looking "like an SNES game." Eventually, tournament-level players latched onto the series as most mainstream fighting games began to resemble Guilty Gear more and more and they desired something a little more technical, and casual fans discovered the game through emulation and a PlayStation 2 and Xbox re-release of 3rd Strike. The series is now a mainstay at the EVO tournament. This came full circle with 3rd Strike Online Edition. It ended up being better received by the fanbase than the more casual-friendly Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: It must have taken the animators a ton of hard work to make the sprites move as beautifully as they do.
  • The Woobie: Necro and Sean.


Example of: