Only time I will say this: Street Fighter 3 nails its protagonist perfectly.
Street Fighter 3 got a lot of things wrong. Love it or hate it, you must admit that after years of Capcom establishing the 2-D fighting concept with Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter Alpha, and even the Versus series, Street Fighter 3 was different enough to be… annoying. Taken on its own merits, this is a gorgeous game that introduces wonderful innovations. Unfortunately, those same innovations were entirely too opaque in the arcades of 1997, so a lot of players gravitated back to the earlier games in an effort to spend their hard-earned quarters on something that wouldn’t include being smacked around by an albino eel creature.
None of this was ever Capcom’s fault. “The arcade” as a concept was dying, and the whole “competitive fighting game” genre was going down with it. Playing at home was simply not the same as defeating all comers at your local house of joysticks, and we were still a solid decade away from reasonable online play. And even if you did like playing from home, the consoles were putting more and more of an emphasis on “3-D”, and not the gorgeous 2-D sprites that had been created for Capcom’s greatest blockbusters. Street Fighter 2 was the biggest thing the ever hit the Super Nintendo. Street Fighter 3 had as much to do with the N64 as Sonic the Hedgehog. In fact, we would see Sonic on the Nintendo Gamecube years before a port of Street Fighter 4 arrived on its first Nintendo system, the 3DS. And this was not because Street Fighter 3 “killed the franchise”, it was because the hardware and the audience simply were not there. Blame Remy all you want: Street Fighter 3’s mistakes existed, but they were not the only reason we had to deal with Street Fighter EX for a generation.
But one thing Street Fighter 3 got absolutely right? Alex.
The subtitle for Street Fighter 3 is “New Generation”, and Alex is supposed to be the poster child (literally) for this new generation. He does not practice Shotokan karate like Ryu, Ken, or any of the other dragon punch crowd (there were a lot of them by the finale of Alpha/Versus). He is a grappler (like Zangief), but with significant agility and a host of moves that separate him entirely from anyone that might piledrive a bear. He is American like some other Street Fighters, but has a “global” look that does not pin him to any particular cultural stereotype. And on top of all of this, he has a rivalry with the final boss of Street Fighter 3, which, for the first time in the franchise, positions him in a perfect diametric clash with the monster at the end of this story.
Gill, the big bad of Street Fighter 3, sure is something. His stage, look, and powers all appear to be something that was rejected from Warzard, and accidentally stumbled into a franchise where the last game had a dude whose “special move” was “can pick up a knife”. While M. Bison or Sagat were imposing opponents, Gill straight up just stole fire from Prometheus, and his goal is to conquer the world through his innate ability to fire meteors at lesser beings. He leads an organization that creates abominations in their spare time (sorry, Twelve, but you know it’s true), and even marginally pulls off the story-escalation gambit of claiming the previous big bad (Shadaloo) was a “lesser” offshoot of this real threat.
And that “god” is defeated by a regular guy from New York who is avenging his uncle. And his uncle turns out to be okay, too! We didn’t even need a canon event!
Alex is the hero of Street Fighter 3. The new generation had a new luminary, even if most of that generation got old fast…
Even Worse Streams Presents Street Fighter 6
June 27, 2023
- We are here in Japan with Beef not Afraid, fanboymaster, Jeanie, and me. Let’s talk about Final Fantasy 8!
- BEAT joins as we inevitably advance to Final Fantasy 13 and comparing it to Xenosaga. It is a personal interest of mine.
- And Ample Vigour joins with the perils and promises of penis enhancement surgery.
- Synecdoche, New York is named as one of my favorite movies apropos of practically nothing. Love Liza Is also noted for huffing.
- Caliscrub joins up as we discuss the legal rights of various Sega collection games. Always remember to check your Shinobis!
- “That refrigerator is going to be the refrigerator at Ram Ranch.”
- As we encounter Guile, we naturally discuss Beavis and Butthead.
- Please enjoy watching me die to a bun delivery guy repeatedly while we discuss the ”controversy” of Skullgirls dropping its nazi imagery.
- “Mark Zuckerberg is 18 inches tall.”
- Beef Not Afraid travels to a Nayshall (it’s fictional. Don’t look it up), and we discuss the paradox of notaries.
- Bongo Bill joins the chat for the first time since the Xenogears days.
- And we close as Beef not Afraid maybe gets too steam punk. It’s a fine line!
Next time on the Ballad of Beef Not Afraid: World Tour!