So a bunch of little things are occuring that are reigniting a bit of interest in Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike. The biggest one of these is the announcement of a 3S Online Version, made by Capcom (which presumably would be on the GGPO Netcode). The idea here, of course, is that people would finally have a legitimate location in which to play 3rd Strike on their console online in a way that doesn't lag. This is, naturally, great for that community. It can only hope to breed more interest for the game and broaden the community for it.
With SF4 as popular as it is, it will probably piggyback on the popularity of the Street Fighter franchise and find itself with a lot of people playing it out of the blue. It will probably never reach the popularity of SF4 (it is a slightly more dated game, less people will be willing to "switch over" to it and there's no real chance for any professional circuit to crop up in the way that it's trying to happen in SF4), but it likely means that 3rd Strike will find its way again into the lineup of Evolution with a little bit of luck (although probably in a 2v2 or other similar team format).
The other curious thing is that, amidst all of this, some guy on the internet has undertaken a project in which he's decided to rebalance SF3 by making his own custom version by hacking the original 3rd Strike ROM and cleverly branding it as 4th Strike). There are a number of changes to a few of the characters, although some of them are a little perplexing, with some of the design choices not feeling like they make a whole lot of sense.
Let's start out with the first character that he showcases: Alex. Stungun Headbutt has been changed to a comboable super -- cool. Flash chops reflect projectiles; including super projectiles -- what? You can combo into a flash chop easily, and then afterwards into Hyper Bomb -- yeah, no.
This is usually the theme for most of the characters in the game. He starts off with a couple of really good ideas, and then slowly but surely pisses all over them by incorporating other, less good ideas. Here's a few of these not-quite-so-brilliant moves:
- Twelve's X-COPY now adds a Yang Super Art 3 effect to his moves; he shows this off by doing a combo on Dudley, transforming into Dudley, and then finishing that combo by spamming toward+FP over and over, killing Dudley.
- Yun's Geneijin bar has become extended. Yang now also receives Geneijin instead of his old SA3, but for some reason his SA3 bar isn't as long as Yun's (which means he now has Yun's old problem of Geneijin forever).
- Sean's uppercut was changed to the two-stage uppercut, but the move sprite wasn't changed to the old uppercut. Why? Who knows.
- Sean has a focus attack. (What?)
- Hugo received comboable lariats -- you can now do stuff like LP LP LP MP into Lariat, which is cool. The uncool part is how you can now somehow do his anti-air super cancelled off of his Lariat.
- Multiple characters can now combo into their throws. Welcome to the King of Street Fighters, '98th Strike.
- Ryu's SA3 has been changed to Shinkuu Tatsumakisenpuukyaku (he can do it on the ground or in the air), in favor of moving Denjin into a secondary role over SA1; Denjin now costs two bars instead of one. Ryu already had Shinkuu Tatsumaki as an EX move, and it doesn't make an interesting super.
- Urien's tackles... just watch the video.
There are a lot of great ideas in here too (Sean being more like his 2I version, where he has a good hurricane kick, his flip kicks are decent and his uppercut is useful; Q has more ways to combo things in, Twelve combos more things altogether, Remy looks viable and fun) interspersed with the garbage (Urien), which makes me wonder why half of this stuff was necessary. I noticed that the majority of these changes serve the purpose of giving ways for characters to get in and do their damage, but some of them are just really perplexing.
Some of the really good ideas in here could be taken and included into a version that doesn't have all of these crazy ideas. Some of the upgrades, reverts and changes to the characters make enough sense that they should be considered for their own version of SF3 without needing all the extra garbage this dude feels he should include. Some other ideas are just cool because of what they are, but it leaves me with the lingering feeling that it's all majorly unnecessary. Ryu having 2 stocks of Denjin, for instance, would have been a good enough upgrade that he likely wouldn't have needed anything else. Adding another super was unnecessary, although his changes to Shin Shoryuken make it viable if you want to do stuff like hitconfirm c.MP into something useful (like Ken can).
I want to see where this project winds up, and I think a lot of it can be kept because of how solid it is. But I almost am hoping that someone else with a bit more common sense can hop aboard and keep the guy from making his version of the game a little too ridiculous.