Street Fighter III is a bizarre game. It’s small cast is both eclectic and strange. To some it’s a masterful work of art, Capcom’s very best. To others the changes are extreme and not at all the way Street Fighter should be played. Perhaps for all intents and purposes Street Fighter III tries to be everything Street Fighter II was not. Not only does the gameplay radically differ due to parries, structurally it’s similarities have strands of Street Fighters DNA but is it’s very own beast.
I remember talking with individuals prior to the release of Street Fighter IV and it was alarming to me that a even though there are three versions of Street Fighter III most people had never even heard of it! Even more alarming is that many considered it to be inferior to Capcom’s other releases. The character design was considered to be weak in comparison to the Alpha series and the classic World Warriors. However, the game has since gone from being the underdog and excelled to legendary status praised for it’s superb animation and stunning backgrounds. It makes you wonder what the game would have turned into if it did not stop at 3rd Strike. Street Fighter II received many different versions and even Street Fighter IV has seen it’s fair share of revisions and patches, while SFIII stopped dead at 3S.
Early new generation and concept stages revealed some very interesting design choices and even with all the critism from the roster choice you can see that Capcom did their very best to weed out some of the bad stuff. Some of this stuff was later revealed in Capcom’s Secret Files flyer.
Here are some early concepts:
Alex and Dudley
Sean and Ibuki
Q, Makoto, and Chun - Li
Remy and Twelve
Note: Q without his mask?!
Unused character designs
With everything listed above It does make you wonder what a fourth version of Street Fighter III would be like. What would be changed? Who would they add? What kind of influence would the fans have? What sort of story would be revealed? How would gameplay differ? etc.
I am personally happy with 3rd Strike but it’s not hard to romanticize what a new game would be like. So in the spirit of imagination and conceptualization in new title what would you personally like to see in a new iteration of Street Fighter III? What would you change or add? If you could be the art director for the next SF III game what would you do different?