Street Fighter EX3
System: Playstation 2
Released: October 2000 (PS2 Launch Title)
Genre: 3D Fighting
Capabilities: Memory Card, Vibration Function, Multi-Tap Compatible
Review Written: May 12, 2002
Everyone knows Street Fighter is famous for setting the standard for 2D fighting games, and thats what most series of Street Fighter games has spun off too. But there has also been a 3D series of Street Fighter games around for a while too going by the EX handle. The first two were released on the original Playstation, and featured some decent 3D graphics. But now the third features the 128-bit power of the PS2. So lets find out to see how this game stacks up against such other rival fighters on the PS2 like Dead Or Alive 2, and Tekken Tag Tournament.
The EX series never really had their own unique storyline. After you win with each character, you get a screen of text telling the aftermath for who you beat the game with. Nothing too special, but at least its something. The game has a good size cast of characters. It has an even mix of well known Street Fighter favorites like Ryu, Ken, Zangief, Chun-Li, and Guile along with its own set of unique characters that feature intimidating names such as Skull-o-Mania, and Garuda.
Ive heard a lot of mixed reactions about the visuals in this game, but I admit that I was astonished at them at first, and still am. All the characters are designed in true 3D. Most of the characters from the old 2D Street Fighter games got a great translation into the 3D world. Prime examples such as Guile and Dhalsim look exactly as youd expect them to be in 3D. The special attacks also made a great 3D translation. With all the hadokens, and sonic booms looking just fantastic. The hyper and meteor combos look fantastic, with the fighters doing long, unrealistic attacks. These are complete with dazzling special effects such as a statue of something Ive never seen before popping up if you finish an opponent with a hyper combo. The backgrounds also look marvelous. The mountainous terrain and pillars featured in some of the several backgrounds look as realistic as they can. This game goes the Tekken Tag Tournament route and does that infinite border thing where you cant get ring outs, and the border never ends. Compared to other PS2 fighters, the loading times are very fast and take half the time they do to load up all your fights. And as Capcom always has achieved, their game menus have a simple, yet effective lay out so you can easily hop right into a game.
Most of the classic voice acting from the fighters as they do their special moves is kept intact. Like Ken and Ryus Hadoken. But some others sound slightly different from the way you remember them, like Guiles Sonic Boom. But either way, the altered voice acting sounds better in the end. The same goes with the new characters voice acting. It matches their persona perfectly. The sound effects is the standard stuff were use to, with all the kicks, special attack, and throws all sounding the way they should.
If you remember the controls for any of the previous Street Fighter games, then you are in luck. The controls in this are the same as most other Street Fighter games, with the same button combinations required to do all the Sonic Booms, Fireballs, and Hyper Combos. And if you dont like the default controls, you can always customize them to your liking. I wish you could control your characters with the analog stick in this game, like in other fighters like Guilty Gear X, but no such luck. This game adds a few new methods to game play. The first noticeable one being the option to do the popular Tag Battles now, which is two on two fighting, with the option of tagging in your other fighter if youre low on health. This allows you to do special two-on-one special attacks called meteor parades. The other main new feature in this game is the meteor combos which are just like hyper combos, but last twice as long, and do nearly three times the amount of damage. They require three full combo meter bars to pull off.
The games main mode of play is Original Mode where you go through several battles, starting by yourself. The opponents you defeat have the option to join your team. They come in handy in the in the boss battles against Sagat and M. Bison. Also by beating original mode, you can unlock up to eight hidden characters. The other main mode of play is the vs. mode which three ways of playing. Theres Arena which is your two on two tag battle fighting. Then theres Dynamic where all four characters battle at once. You have the option of having your partner being controlled by yourself (which can be very difficult at times) or by the computer. The last mode is Multi Play mode where up to four players can play with the use of the multi tap adaptor in Arena or Dynamic modes. All these modes play out well, except for Dynamic, where the camera keeps on zooming out to focus on all four characters at once. Training mode is up next, where you fight against a computer dummy. This mode comes in handy because you can practice and master all your moves in here. The last mode is character edit where you can customize to versions of a fighter named Ace. In this mode you complete special tasks such as performing certain moves in a specific situation. You get points for completing the tasks, and you use the points to buy special moves for your character to use.
This game actually has a bit of extras to make you come back. Like youll be playing Original mode enough time to unlock the several hidden characters. Also the character edit mode is a welcomed addition, and seems a lot like the Create-a-Wrestler mode that many people love in their wrestling games. I like it how now four people can play simultaneously, making this feel more like a party game at times.
+: Up to four people can play, Lots of characters to unlock, Great 3D graphics
-: Camera zooms out too much in Dynamic mode, at times this feels like the 2D game with 3D graphics and nothing else
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.3
Replay Value: 9.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
This was way better than I originally thought. I always held off on this game because everyone was telling me to stick with Tekken Tag Tournament or Dead or Alive 2 instead. But after this game got reduced to $20, I just couldnt hold off any longer. And it is worth it, because this game is just like the classic Street Fighter, but in 3D. And now up to four people can play in the tag modes that DOA2 and TTT made famous. So if you were like me around PS2 lauch and decided to get the more popular games instead, then go out and give this game a chance right now!
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