| paleface [sys=PS3; cat=Fighting; loc=NA] |
|A 720p version of the PS2 version (see entry 1374) of the Dreamcast version (see entry 1357) of Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike, with online play added. The online play runs via the now defunct as a business but still popular among aficionados GGPO 3rd party rollback netcode which, as far as I've read, is regarded as superior to that of the PS4 version in Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection (see entry 1368), and it has about 1 frame less input lag (2.5 frames vs ~3.5 frames; the PS4 version has about 4 frames of input lag, and the DC version has 5-6 frames of input lag), making this, in the eyes of some, still the best console version of the game to date.|
It does omit some things the DC and PS2 versions had, rather mystifyingly; VERSUS mode is gone, so you can't do one-off VS CPU battles, and the Extra Options menu is gone, so you can't tweak the UI elements (turning off part or all of the HUD, for instance), or do things like change the overall HP scaling, or turn off Arcade Mode's bonus games (PS2 only for that one).
It's also got some surprisingly obvious bugs: just trying to set things up, I found that many of the "Music Pack 2" stage tracks do not preview correctly--it just plays the default menu music instead, and after a while of sitting in training mode or music preview mode or somewhere, the game's sound just died entirely, and wouldn't come back until I quit and restarted.
The Music Pack thing is part of the DLC available: 2 music packs, letting you swap in music from the previous two SFIII games, 2 character color packs, letting you swap in different sets of the 7 colors available to each character, eh and some other junk like unlocking the "Dipswitches" menu (called "System Direction" in the DC/PS2 versions) without needing to beat the game first, and match replays from some tournament or other.
You can also unlock remixes of the 3rd Strike music tracks, and art and stuff, by points earned by completing various "challenges" in the game; this whole "Vault Points" system is incredibly extensive, and includes separate challenge modes, combo completion modes, and somewhat arbitrary "play this way" challenges that come up during normal play (you can turn these off). It's all a bit much, but at least it let me swap out Chun-Li's stage music for a remixed version that's a little less hackneyed-sounding.
Switching the music tracks and character colors is more of a pain than it should be. If you have the music packs, for instance, you can't just swap them all in, but rather have to do it on a stage-by-stage setting basis, through an interface that doesn't make anything very clear. With character colors, you can't access all Color Packs at once when choosing a character--you have to back out, go down into the DLC options screens, and set color pack settings on a per-character basis--and these don't affect the AI characters.
(On the slight plus side, at least once you're in the DLC options screens, you can see preview thumbnails of the character colors per pack, so you don't have to go laboriously preview them in Training mode if you're like me and don't have the character colors memorized. : P)
Online Edition also replaces the game's original low-ish-resolution UI graphics with high resolution versions; the high-res character art on the character select screen and in the panning graphics between matches looks quite nice; I'm less fond of the high-res versions of the health and power meters, those look a little weird next to the arcade CPS III-resolution characters and backgrounds.
So, some perplexing decisions with game options and interface, but at least--for my eyeballs--I can still do most of my flash FX reduction by turning off supers, EX moves, and parries (I can't turn off the display of the super meters themselves in this version, blah--so they just sit there uselessly onscreen, filling up and flashing; and I can't scale character HP so fights last longer, thus reducing the frequency of the screen flashes you hit between matches), so I can play a reasonably low-flash version of Arcade Mode, and with less input lag than any other version of the game.
(I had been favoring the DC version for its 240p graphics and VERSUS (CPU) mode, but CPU difficulty scaling in this game is pretty funky, and I think at least half baked into the characters according to the order they come up in arcade mode: for instance, in the DC version's VERSUS (CPU) mode, Ryu and Akuma, who you only face later in arcade mode, are tougher than Sean and Necro, who you only face earlier, regardless of what difficulty level you have the overall game set to when you play one-on-one fights against CPU-controlled characters in the VS CPU mode. I wonder if that's why Iron Galaxy, who made this PS3 port, took that mode out.)
|Another feature added for this version is random character select--press Start on the character selection screen. It's a nice basic feature that should have been in from the start (no pun intended!), by which I mean the Dreamcast version.|
On the other hand, the DC and PS2 versions instead used the Start button to toggle to what is here the first DLC Color Pack (colors from SFIII: 2nd Impact). No paying for colors, or having to back out and drill down to some deep menu layer to select your set of colors! : P
|And another feature: positional stereo sound. I haven't heard this in any other version of 3rd Strike, but in Online Edition, if your character is closer to the left side of the screen, the sounds they make will come mostly from the left speaker, and if your character is closer to the right side of the screen, their sounds will come mostly from the right speaker.|
This is actually a bit annoying and distracting; it means the volume level per speaker is constantly changing; if you're using headphones, a volume level that sounds fine when a character is in the center of the screen will be painfully loud in one ear when they move to the side of the screen; if you turn the volume down, then it's too quiet when they're in the center.
It doesn't make any sense, either: if you were a spectator, watching these fights, from a position approximating that seen on screen, you'd be far enough away that the sound would be reaching both ears almost equally, no matter where the fighters were standing.
I don't know of any fighting game players who would have been asking for this feature. Maybe Iron Galaxy's sound engineer just got bored.
|Drawback of the random character select: after wasting some seconds teasingly cycling through random characters, it lands on its choice--and selects it. And only picks the first character color.|
Silly and unnecessarily limiting way to do it. Why didn't they just have it highlight the character, instead of actually selecting them? That way you could re-roll if it happened to be a character you didn't feel like playing just then. And also that way, you'd be able to pick the color of your choice. And why waste time with cycling though characters its not going to pick first? Just another example of silly UI choices in this conversion.
|Hah! Okay, the "Music Pack 2" tracks *do* preview correctly; what was tripping me up was that if you start the preview play of Pack 1, which is on the same preview screen for each stage, by pressing X, then toggle down to Pack 2, and press X on that one, X is still acting like the toggle-off action for Pack 1, so it toggles preview play off and returns to playing the menu music, whereas I assumed it was triggering preview play for Pack 2, since that's what I had highlighted.|
That's me being confused, I guess, but it could have been set up less confusingly! Speaking of which, when flipping through the Dip Switches list, the game doesn't show you which ones have been modified from the default settings--which is kind of important to know. The DC and PS2 versions did this simply and intuitively by changing the color of the setting when it was modified from default--that doesn't seem to have impressed the team that ported it here to high resolution, though! : P
Both of these PS3 ports were handled by Iron Galaxy, and are technically excellent--with its arcade-accurate, sparkling 2 frame input delay, 3rd Strike Online Edition, the earlier of the two, is still the best console version of 3rd Strike to this day; Darkstalkers Resurrection is even more polished, particularly for this vs COM Training Mode thing I'm doing: Resurrection saves your vs COM and Training difficulty settings, and lets you access the regular game Options within Training, neither of which 3SOE does. Both let you change the difficulty setting in Training Mode on the fly, which is really handy, especially for 3rd Strike, where difficulty can vary a lot by character. (And it's something you can't do in the Training modes in Vampire: Darkstalkers Collection on PS2, which is where I originally got this endless Training VS COM idea.)
I wanted to see if I could play them this funky way because a) my occasional photosensitivity leads me to avoid the red screen flash effect that accompanies the end of a round in all but the first Darkstalkers games (Resurrection includes the second and third Darkstalkers games: The Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge (which this collection very confusingly calls just "Night Warriors"--confusing because the first Darkstalkers game, NOT included here, is called "Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors" : P), and Vampire Savior)--in Training, there are no knockouts, so no red flashes!--and b) I've just never clicked with the Arcade mode in 3rd Strike, really, so I was looking for another way to play it.
The DC and PS2 versions of 3rd Strike--this PS3 port is based no the PS2 version, I think, which was based on the Dreamcast version--have an actual VS CPU mode in them, which is all right, but didn't keep me coming back; you have to re-pick characters and stage after each match, which is kind of a hassle, and also 3rd Strike does have slightly annoying flashes at the start of a round.
Grooving vs the CPU in long, running Training battles is really fun! : )
Gill was looking real bad... Was sort of finding ways to get him with supers reliably--weirdly it was the one counter I could find after his flying knee drop--but still hitting clock trouble what with his Resurrection super, then found oh, LK jump-ins in the corner. Hadn't tried jumping in on him much after the start when he'd elbowed me out of the air repeatedly, but at the end there with LK at least it was working!
Oh right, you can hit Gill out of his Resurrection super to stop his health regain. : P I was doing it with supers and EX fireballs, I suppose you can probably just do it with a jump attack or something, I'll hafta try that.
Jump-ins again on Gill, couldn't get it working for a while though, there's some particular approach it requires that I can't quite put my finger on yet--but if you don't have the groove going, he'll just chop you out with anti-airs or long sweeps.
I suppose Yun/Yang's Hong Kong stage isn't really all that flashy. Let's face it I just object to Yun and his superman super that's abused in tournaments forever. : P (Along with Ken's super uppercut or whatever and Chun's super kicks--but Yun's is by far the worst to watch because generally the opponent just turtles and hopes for the best.)
I think my problem taking down Gill at first has stemmed--aside from my general sloppiness in execution, and poor decision-making ; )--largely from my incorrect execution of jump kicks; my default is to do them KOF-style, where your character is in the attacking state for the entire rest of the jump once they've pressed an attack button while in the air; that doesn't quite work in 3rd Strike (or any SF?), where your character is only in the attack state for a limited time after pressing the attack button while in air--so I've been whiffing a lot of jump-ins, and it takes me a while to start--apparently subconsciously, until now--getting the timing right enough to make them succeed consistently.
I hope that's the trick, anyway. Darn Gill. : P
Got through a bit faster this time, I think. Still a bit of a mystery fighting Gill; there's just some adjustment it takes me a while to make before I can start getting to him, although this time it didn't end up with jump-ins in the corner, but more fireballing. Figured out can throw as a counter to his knee drop sometimes but not the one with heavy push-back, which is frustrating--and that one kept blasting me the whole way through. Did figure out not to keep crouching after getting overheaded, which he does a lot. 'p' Still not up on how to knock him out of Resurrection real fast to minimize his HP regain.
Kept getting rolled by Hugo. ; )
Finally unlocked all the art and stuff in Vault (using "points" accumulated from completing arbitrary "Challenges" while fighting, like uh doing X super arts or beating the game with x character or something; by default these display on the sidebars while playing, I found that ugly and distracting though so I turned their display off.)
Is it just jHK that's my current best tactic against Gill, then? And save super fireballs to knock him out of his Resurrection if needed? They don't seem to run into a wall/time-freeze like jK or regular fireballs do. ; ppp
Had trouble with Oro and Ken this time, too. Gahh.
Oh no this took longer, I guess I'm getting worse. : P Those close losses to Elena (14:09) were awful. Probably once every week or more isn't enough for my old brain to retain and improve. ; ) Well heck. At least this week I learned that I just don't know what it is that ends up working against Gill because it keeps changing, seemingly. This time it was just...hanging back and fireballing and trying a heavy sweep maybe if he came in but getting away if he landed a kick or something so hopefully he wouldn't combo me.
And he hit me with a new angel nova super thing he'd NEVER used on me so far!!! As far as I can remember, anyway, which probably isn't that far... The first time (47:50) it just disintegrated me, the 2nd time (58:48) it took off 51% of Ryu's life bar but then I won because he was almost dead too and he ended up charging into my (second) super fireball. So, neat? = oooo
On the down side I've completely lost whatever knack I had had for hitting him out of his Resurrection health restoration with a super fireball. ... Ah I think (46:08) I'm firing them too early; gotta wait until he goes into his arm-spread animation probably. Oh well then I also just completely failed to do the super input (51:06) so there's that to work on. : PP
And I guess the arcade opponents aren't so random 'cause this time they were coming out the same pairs and I kept picking the same as last time each time and they were all the same the whole way through so eesh.
- It's giving me the same pairs of opponents to choose from for each match, regardless of which ones I've picked for previous matches : P (and I'm pretty bad at fighting the ones I haven't been fighting, like Alex and Ibuki :p)
- Can just jab Gill out of Resurrection to cut short his health regain (I'd thought I had to use a Super to do it, since regular fireball had seemed to fail and for some reason I didn't think to try just poking him until I had a non-fireball character such as Q there)
- So I can save super fireballs for just bombing at Gill (I mean ideally you'd combo into them of course... ]_])
- Gill will micro-crouch--or just regular crouch--to compress his hitbox and make you miss a jump kick : PPP...so waiting to press K until the very last moment as you sail through the air at him seems to help in being able to land jump kicks on him
^ Those last 3 things make a huge difference in fighting Gill; maybe the boss fight won't be nearly as annoying if I can keep them in mind. = o
Oh and yeah, big neon letters on neon dragons in Yang/Yun's stage say "Hong Kong Restaurant," I managed never to notice that before. = oo
Did much better vs the non-boss opponents this time. Except maybe for Ken, darn him. Until Ken, I was able to maintain a kind of chilled out stance and just sort of coolly kick--or more specifically sweep, especially medium sweep (this seemed to break Makoto in particular)--the opponent.
Lost my cool against Gill as well, as usual; there's just that weird way his rhythm is totally different than the rest of the game, and I have to re-learn every time how to play hit-and-run vs him. Heavy jump kicks, and not getting sucked in to his hop elbow or axe kick into sweeps blender. I actually jump-kicked him out of his levitating angel super both times he tried starting it up, just because I was jump-kicking at him anyway. But I kept screwing up jabbing him out of his Resurrection health restoration: once I was a bit far away so I thought I'd try getting there faster with a jump kick, forgetting this hits an invisible wall, and a second time when he Resurrected in a corner, where the wall push-back effect on the start of my jab barrage pushed me out of range of being able to jab him! Argh.
And then sometimes I just couldn't get his range and I'd miss him every time and he'd hit me every time.
I think mostly I'm living my 3rd Strike life for the Hugo fight, which is always fun. Dudley and Urien are a little fun. Ken is sort of fun in a love-to-hate-him way...maybe.
Fighting Remy now instead of Elena; the flashing on the right-hand side of his BG isn't actually so bad, I guess. He's kind of a drip, but less annoying than Elena's legs, I think.
Keep tweaking my wrist cranking too hard at his fireball super. Come to think of it, this is the only game where I still do double-motion super moves. Maybe I should stick to EX fireballs. Hm... It looks like (17:46) his EX fireball takes about 1/3rd of a super meter. A FAQ says it does 16 damage (8,8), whereas the super fireball does 42 damage (10,9,8,8,7)--which means EX fireballs are more efficient; maybe sticking to them isn't such a crazy idea after all--and so ergonomic!
(Measuring pixels in Photoshop, an EX fireball costs 104 of the 286 pixels in the meter. 104/286*42/16 = 0.95, so the super only does 95% of the EX fireball's damage per super bar. On the other hand, you can cancel more things into super--like fireball into super--than you can into EX fireball; I'm not good enough to take advantage of that regularly, though.)