ST as "Street Fighter III"

Suppose you could take an extremely technical manual (or a Capcom project director) back in time to 1993 and convince someone important that instead of releasing SSF2, they should release the game that would eventually be ST as “Street Fighter III.”

Now obviously, there are some changes that would have to be made. Since SSF2 would have never existed, the Old characters would have to be the HF versions. I actually see this as being a good thing; Zangief and Blanka would get an immediate and obvious benefit, Boxer would get invincible TAP as an option (though New would still be better, more options are always nice) and I don’t think Sagat would really be affected (assuming that he still received the not-quite-the-original changes that ST O.Sagat got, like cancellable kicks).

The only real losers would be Cammy/DeeJay/T.Hawk/Fei (who have no HF version), but since their old versions are largely useless anyway, I don’t think the game would be affected. If it came right down to it, they could just give them a “classic” mode, in much the same way that there are “Vampire” and “Vampire Hunter” versions of Jedah/Bulleta/Q-Bee/Lilith in Vampire Chronicles.

So the questions are:

  1. Would this hypothetical game be better or worse than ST?
  2. Would a proper “Street Fighter III” released when the game was still at the height of its popularity (instead of many years later after people had gotten sick of almost-sequels) have made a significant impact on the way the arcade scene ended up (i.e. dead)?
  1. Ummm… I’m not even going to touch that one.
  2. I doubt it would have made much of a difference in terms of impact and/or popularity. Mainstream gamers (at least in the US) were already getting sick of fighting games by the time SSF2 came out - as evidenced by the warehouses of unsold console versions Capcom and Nintendo had to deal with. Regardless, the arcade scene didn’t die because of the arcade games, it died because the 16 and 32 bit systems were able to run enough great arcade ports that people just stopped going to the arcades.

erm… no, sorry :slight_smile:

ST or SSF2 aren’t really different or revolutionary enough over HF to be called SF3. The number change implies a big jump, as from SF1 to SF2.
People would just be even more sick of the series (shouting “rehash!” x n) than they already were, imo

Then again the real SF3 (including 3s) was a bit “too revolutionary” for many old school SF heads. A lot of them don’t even acknowledge it as a real Street Fighter, and some of them would prefer if it was called something other than Street Fighter lol

The Chef - I dunno, I think ST is pretty different from HF. Super moves, combo counter, teching throws, totally new characters, new animation for old characters, etc. In my opinion, the game doesn’t have to be drastically different (like from ST to Alpha) to be called a sequel.

If the “old” characters kept their ridiculous damage and dizzy potential from HF, then the game would suck, just like AE. If they fixed that and a few other things, it would be awesome.

I think it would have helped a lot to keep SF alive. I wasn’t actively playing in the arcades back then, but I hear that SSF2 absolutely killed the scene.

if it means that fake street fighter shit like well… sf3 would have never come out. Then yes. It would have been a good thing.

ST wasn’t revolutionary enough to be called SF3.

Same music, same backgrounds, same endings, same sprites. With Midway (Capcom’s biggest competition at the time) putting out MK2 and then MK3, both of which were revolutionary from their predecessors… I’m sure the fans would have cried outrage if Capcom renamed ST as SF3

  1. I don’t want to touch on this one.
  2. I doubt it. Arcades were getting far too expensive to maintain. With near arcade perfect ports showing up on the dreamcast and PS2 and xbox… it was only a matter of time before Arcades would bite it. I doubt the release of SF3 would have changed matters.

I’ve thought about that, but rather than putting ST as SF3 right after HF, I was imagining it after WW.

I think you need to take a closer look at HF and ST…:confused:

First off, originally SSF2 WAS SF3. EGM et. al. were saying so…

(yeah, I know that’s not true…)

Secondly, I’ve always imagined that CAPCOM create a “SSF2 Turbo: 3rd Strike”, which would basically be Third Strike, but with the cast of SSF2T.

Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li and Akuma would be unchanged, while the rest of the cast gets luscious new CPS-3 sprites. And I’d throw in Sean & Alex just to fill the 19 slots.

Each character would have three of their supers and choose one, just like SF3:3s and there’d be parrying, etc.

This is an interesting post, something I’d thought abt for a long while. SSF2 killed my scene and I have opinions abt the direction ST took/how it was executed.
I wont go into it in depth here because I have a big post I’ve been wrting/thinking about for a long time on this very subject.
This alt history couldn’t have happened tho. ST was a manifestation of the faliure of SSF2. ST, just like HF was never planned out in the corporate grandscheme, it was prompted by outside events. With HF it was the hacked versions (Rainbow, Blackbel etc…) and with ST it was a combination of SSF2’s failure, viewed at the time as a retrograde release not only in terms of quality after HF (SSF2 was already in dev before the release of HF) but also in terms of design progression in light of the system features incorperated into SSF2’s competitors, namely the Super Death Moves of Samurai Shodown and Fatal Fury Special and the Juggles of MK2.
It was a matter of prestige for thier flagship game as well as money, ST was a cheap upgrade for the flagging SSF2 board, tho the wherehouses full of unsold SSF2 Snes cartriges couldn’t be saved…
Capcom were forced into incorperating features into SSF2 they were saving for thier true next generation of fighters, starting with Darkstalkers (which must have already have been well into production by the time of ST). Alot of these features are a perversion of the origonal risk-reward design philosophy of SF2, but which were fundamental to the direction Capcom was taking with Darkstalkers onwards. This is why ST is often refered to as a progressive ‘bridge’ game, and ‘not propper SF2’. Tho the distinction isn’t that simple (I’ll go into this in detail in my future post).

NKI I’m surprised at your comments about the “ridiculous damage and dizzy potential from HF”. I’ve never heard anyone say HF is broken with regards to ST! The dizzy’s are going to seem crazy coming from ST, just as the lack of them in ST does coming from HF. Anyone who was a high level HF player (and I’m sure Mike, Tomo and Jeff would back me up here) knew exactly when they were coming. That was part of what made the pacing and risk-reward trade-off so good in HF, those times when you knew one more hit would make you dizzy and you were forced to take a risk on blocking and being thrown which you cant escape and it really made risky attacks worth going for because you would be rewarded with a dizzy (and in this regard you didn’t need and extra mixup factor like topdowns to force a situation), unlike in ST where you are often rewarded more for negative meter building play and safe attacks using supers than traditional combo skill and aggressive tactics.
Factoring in you coming from ST and the speed AE is played at (probably too fast for HF’s dizzy system and certainly too fast for CE/WW’s damage levels) I can see how the dizzy will seem very random, but the critisism of HF’s damage levels with regards to ST, I must totaly dissregard. I don’t think I really need go into points that overlap with those above, esp regarding Supers.

As fo where I stand. I’ve played both equally since thier release, I think ST is the best game in the series, in as much as it has the most good stuff in it, fleshed out characters, bigger roster, topdowns, but it also has a lot of crap in it too. To say HF is broken compared to it is wrong. HF, tho it not nearly as rich/ fully formed in many area, is the best in terms of being the least broken/ most perfectly formed game in the series.
So ST is my fave game to play casualy, most of my fave matchups are in ST, mostly among the low tier characters. But my fave game to play compet is HF.

I’m going to give a much fuller clearer explination of this in my upcoming post, tho I’m certain we will just always represent different camps, esp as you are an out and out ST Chun player.


As far as ST not being enough of a jump… I couldn’t disagree more. I mean, as a direct and timely comparison, did you see anyone complaining that Samurai Shodown II wasn’t enough of a jump to be a sequel? HF -> ST would have more changes than SS1 -> SS2.

The reason I bring up question #2 is because it’s almost universally acknowledged that SSF2 absolutely killed SF; it took the enormous arcade mindshare that Street Fighter had and immediately sent it into a death spiral. A timely SF3 (and, even more than that, a good SF3) certainly wouldn’t have had the same result; the question is whether or not it would have been enough to keep the scene going.

Wow Spider-Dan lives!

Yeah, SSF2 killed the scene where I was. Part of that was that it wasn’t really too new or different though, which ST would have suffered from as well. Part of it was the speed. Part of it was the character balance. (I personally killed all interest in my arcade by playing a zoning Sagat)

In the end I don’t think it would have made any difference to the arcade scene, which has failed for a variety of reasons, some as simple as the fact that nobody ever fixes controllers.

At Cornell I had to constantly tape signs to the machines that said “broken” to get them to fix them. In games where controls are precise non-working sticks WILL kill all interest.

Arcades failed for much larger reasons that any single game. Another reason is that a lot of styles of games got old (like Final Fight style games) and no new styles replaced them.

In Japan you see they DO have new game styles. Games based on collectible cards, networked RPGs, etc. The games have evolved. Most of the popular games I saw were based on cards you move around the map, which is something very different and also has two revenue streams - the game itself and the buying of cards. It also encourages social activities like trading cards with other players.

Around here the big arcade is Good Time Emporium, which has a lot of different arcade games, a bar, batting cages, shows the UFC, etc.

(IMO,) ST as SFIII would have been enough to keep the scene going, but only until all of the problems in margalis’ post showed up. Besides, it’s not as if SF2 was the only thing to play at arcades. When SSF2 killed the SF series, MK and MK2 and KI replaced SF as the reason to go to arcades. I’m not saying i like those series, but if arcades had any chance of surviving via fighting games, then the MK’s and Tekkens of the world would have been enough.

Also, Capcom is a company made of humans. We are all fanboys but let’s not give them unreasonable amounts of credit. Capcom has never been able to release a good fighting game without a prerequisite failure preceeding.

WW -> HF | SSF2 -> ST | SFA1 -> SFA2/SFA3 | SFIII -> 2I/3S | CvS1 -> CvS2, et cetera.

It’s highly unlikely that they would have been able to make ST without going through SSF2.

In regards to it ST being enough of an change to be acccepted as a true SF3, for the hardcore SF2 fans yes (tho with the release of Darkstalkers this perception may have not held up for long), but for the casual gamer no, and unfortunately thats was the issue was coming into 94, start of the new era, Playstation etc…
I remember even from the time of CE there were complains among mainstream gamers abt SF2 ‘upgrades’ rather than true sequels, and that just grew with each successive release, eventually ending up in all those jokes about SF2 uber mega blackbelt tournament championed edition turbo etc…
ST as SF3 in 93 would have saved the street fighter scene, but not the arcade scene as a whole.
Its been Alpha in alot of ways thats really filled the SF3 role. If you said Street Fighter to most gamers, they’d think of that Alpha Ryu design.

That issue was because Capcom refused to release a “Street Fighter III” and instead kept releasing revisions of SF2. It was almost completely a name-related objection; as I’ve already mentioned, Samurai Shodown I and II aren’t that drastically different, yet no one complained about SS2 being an “upgrade”.

It’s very rare that gamers object to a sequel not being “different” enough, especially with a popular game. Is Mega Man III that different from Mega Man II? Was Gran Turismo 2 really that much changed from Gran Turismo? Maddens come out every year with little more than a roster update, and they fly off the shelves.

When it comes right down to it, Capcom could have released CE as “Street Fighter III” and there wouldn’t have been a peep about it. By the time SSF2 came out, SF2 was overdue for a sequel, if in name only.

So if there had been an extra I on the end of SSFII people wold have been more happy with it? I think completely the opposite. Certainly at tha point.

Capcom could prolly have called CE SF3 and ‘got away with it’, but no upgrade after that, simply because CE its self had been openly an upgrade not a new game. As soon as CE came out, SF3 had to be radicaly different.

SSF2 would have still have the same effect if CE had ben called SF3, HF SF4 and SSF2 SF5, and the same people who had problems with the constant SF2 revisions would have lost faith in the series much sooner had they been named in this way because the next number held no promise of the kind of fundamental changes the mainstram players wanted to see, certainly by the time of SSF2.

How different sequels are is not a general rule, you have to do it on a game by game basis, and Street Fighter 2 was vastly different from SF1.
Samurai Showdown is a completely different matter. It along with many other games were created in the SF’2’ series image, and existed within a set of expectations set up by the SF’2’ series, including being able to release multiple upgraded revisions of a game, and it wasn’t a flagship game in the way SF was. FF was SNK’s flagship fighter, and the naming of its games reflected the changes in the same way that SF did, so 2 was vastle different from 1, but FF2 Special was openly named as the upgrade that it was. And do you think you would have even ever had releases like FF2 Specal if not for the this set of rules set in place by the SF2 series? Same goes for Mortal Kombat. 1,2 & 3 are very different, but Ultimate MK3 is openly an upgrade. Ditto with Virtua Fighter, and Tekken…

The things I’m saying aren’t my opinions from the time, I’d be happy for Capcom to still be working towards the perfect revision of SF2 with an ever increasing character roster. These were the accusations leveled by magazine reviewers and every mainstream gamer I knew at the time. The revisions were enthusiasticaly received by the mainstream and hardcore players alike up unitl SSF2. ST won the hardcore back (tho great damage had been done) but the mainstream had been lost. Capcom needed a release as radicaly different as Darkstalkers at the time of SSF2 to hold onto mainstram interest the way it had. Not the number 3 in the ttle.


I feel like I must have been the only person in the world that liked SSF2…

You give casual gamers way too much credit. They just believe whatever the media tells their gamer friends to tell them to believe. And the magazines just say whatever they think makes them look good. All it takes is for people to be hyped by something, and the magazines will run with it - cover features and everything. It’s not like any of the people at magazines can tell the good SF games from the bad ones. Maybe it’s not even their fault. Maybe it’s the industry or maybe it’s the deadlines. But it is what it is.

One guaranteed way to kill your following is to take a fast-paced highly nuanced game and slow it down enough to make it unfun. That’s exactly what SSF2 did.

Most people don’t notice this, but a LOT of the sprites in SSF2 were redone from HF. Even Guile’s standing animation is different. Plus it’s on NEW HARDWARE!! If they had gone from HF to ST, they could have easily named it SF3. If everyone liked it (and they would have), then the lemming magazines would never have dared to talk shit. The only reason those “reporters” got away with making those jokes about SF upgrades is because SSF2 sucked. If everyone liked SSF2, then those jokes would never have gotten started.

But once again, i stand by what i said about ST being impossible without SSF2. Capcom’s Greater Plan of Fighting Game Perfection goes something like: Release a crappy unbalanced poorly executed game with nice graphics, then fine tune the upgrade into a classic tournament game. The first step is to take out or tone down whatever horrible idea they thought would be the greatest thing ever. Examples include WW irreversible throws, A1 chain combos, MvC1 duos, SF3 overpowered down parries, CvS1 ratio imbalance, etc. So what i’m saying is that the way things happened was kind of unavoidable. Turning SSF2 into “SF3” would probably have killed the franchise and making SSF2 then turning ST into “SF3” would not have gone over well.

Your own example of A1 -> A2/A3 seems to contradict this. If they can go from A1 (bad) -> A2 (good) -> A3 (good), why can’t they go from WW (bad?) -> CE/HF (good?) -> “SF3” (good)?

People would have been just as dissatisfied with the game (because it’s not a good game), but wouldn’t have had the lack of a sequel to add insult to injury. SSF2 failed not only because it was an upgrade (instead of a sequel), but because it wasn’t very good. No one complained when HF (a good upgrade, good being the key difference) came out.

Even SSF2 was a new game, with new characters, new music, and new graphics, on better hardware. SSF2 had as much right to be called a sequel as practically any other sequel on the market.

More to the point, nobody says “this sequel isn’t different enough” when the sequel is actually good. That’s the key difference we’re talking about here; if ST/SF3 came out and it was good, who’s going to complain? Once again, see SS2; that game could have easily been Super Samurai Shodown, yet no one complained.

This expectation of “radical change” was brought about by SSF2/ST and the Alpha games! It was only Capcom’s steadfast refusal to release a proper sequel that made players think that SF3 would have to be revolutionary. Remember, WW came out in Spring '91, CE in Spring '92, HF in Winter '92. That’s a pretty short turnaround for arcade games; no one had any reason to expect some crazy new paradigm in a SF sequel in the space of 2 years.

If there’s any game in the history of Capcom that can be called a flagship, Mega Man is it. Mega Man II and III (the two most recognizable and prestigious Mega Man games) are nearly identical. So there’s clearly a precedent.