SF3 - Second Impact

System: Arcade


Game Type: 2D Fighting
This is the series that defines 2D fighting. Need I say more?

Gameplay: 95/100
I must first make it clear that my ratings will treat Second Impact as its own distinct game, for which I respect it, rather than as an upgrade to SF3, which I do not.
Truth is that not that much has changed. There are only three new playable characters, only one of which Capcom had to do any new artwork for, and that one character design is horribly lame. Aside from that there are a few new backgrounds and pallette swaps of all the others, a few new special moves scattered among the characters (Yang now has a few moves different from Yun), and tweaks and timing changes to many existing moves and combos.
I won't say that it's not an improvement, though. Experienced SF3 players will have to relearn even their old favorite characters to work new moves into their routine or compensate for a change in the timing of a combo. And of course there are new characters like the upgraded Akuma, Gill (in the form of his slightly weaker lookalike Urien), and the Andore-esque Hugo to learn how to use and/or abuse. And of course the same old addictive SF3 gameplay is there, just tweaked and (maybe?) improved.
OK, so it's not much of an upgrade. But it is an excellent game. It's based on the greatest fighting game ever, so how could it not be?

Graphics: 90/100
Gameplay wasn't the only area that was tweaked. Menus, onscreen displays, the stages themselves... everything has a darker, cooler look now. Gone are the cute bystanders like the wannabe ninjas by Ibuki's dojo, or the silly tribesmen at Elena's arena. The effect is very cool. The same insanely high level of animation quality is still there of course. A further improvement to an already graphically beautiful game.

Sound: 90/100
Even music and sound have been tweaked to a degree, and the snippets of new tunes I've heard do sound quite cool. Like most people, though, I can only play this in a noisy arcade for now, so I can't go into audio extensively. Maybe someday they'll reintroduce headphone jacks like on the Neo-Geo systems.

Overall: 95/100
I don't know at this point which will game history will remember, SF3 or this new revision. Frankly either would do. But there's no doubt that fighting game fans will look back fondly on one or the other.
When playing SI you'll find yourself thinking "this is how it should have been in the first place..." more than once - in regard to the moves, graphics, you name it. It's not changed sufficiently for me to look on it as a whole new game, to be sure. But hey, you should be making at least weekly trips to the arcade to play SF3 even without a new revision.


Fight Extra Opponent Win five rounds in a row with Super Finishes.
Fight Akuma Get three perfects without losing a round. Akuma will appear after Gill.
Fight Super Turbo Akuma Win against Akuma with two Super Finishes.
Play as Akuma On the Character Select screen, highlight Ryu and tap D, D, U, highlight Ken and tap U, U, D, highlight Ryu and tap U, highlight Ken and tap D, and highlight Sean and tap D, D, U, D, U, U, U. Akuma should appear on the selection screen.


Copyright © 1997/1998 Jay McGavren. All Rights Reserved.