In Art of Fighting 3, the storyline changed focus from the Sakazaki family to Robert Garcia.
to search for an old childhood friend, Freia Lawrence, and he tracks her to
Glass Hill, Mexico. The game's boss, Wyler, seeks Freia to
complete a powerful elixir, which was created by both his and Freia's fathers.
This drug affects users in a similar manner as the potion in The Strange Case
of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
Heeey, where's the rest of
the gang? :(
REVIEW: The third
and final installment to the Art of Fighting series introduced an entirely new cast of
characters. The only returning characters are the 2 main protagonists of the
series, Ryo Sakazaki
and Robert Garcia. AOF3 highlights
all of the elements that defined the Art of Fighting series in the early
90's. One again, the series is given a graphical overhaul, with brand new
character sprites, backgrounds, and effects. Upon arrival, AOF3's character sprites were among the
largest and most impressive 2D video game sprites to date, showing off uncommonly fluid animation for such large
Following in tradition with the prequels, AOF3's visuals really
"make a statement" when compared to many other 2D fighting games. The elaborately designed,
hand drawn backgrounds are moody and mesh nicely with the large characters. The
background scrolling effect used in the first two games also makes its return
and is notably smoother as well. In addition to featuring the largest character
sprites, AOF3 also presented some of the
smoothest animation ever seen in a 2D fighting game to date.
Kasumi represents that
Art of Fighting 3's
gameplay was also taken to the next level,
featuring a brand new combo system and some new mechanics. Like in the prequels,
Bar limits the use of special moves, as each special will decrease the meter. As
each character's "spirit energy" drains, their special moves gradually
appear weaker and take off less damage. Spirit energy can be recharged by
holding down specific buttons, but recharging leaves players open for attacks.
An Ultimate Knock Out is now possible, occurring when players finish their
opponent when 10% or less of their life remains. This allows them to perform a
Desperation Move, which results in an Ultimate KO that immediately leads to
winning the whole match, not just the single round. AOF3's new combo system is
probably the best the series has seen to date, and speeds up the gameplay quite
a bit. Overall, AOF3's
gameplay is probably the deepest and best of the series.
"Gimme your lunch
Although most of the moves and animations look
some of the "collision detection" actually doesn't make much sense. For example,
Robert's spinning backfist "launches" the opponent straight up into the
air. That's a technique that
should simply knock down or stagger your opponent, not send them flying
10 feet into the air.
Otherwise, the fluid movements of the characters and the variety of moves they
can perform is impressive.
In my opinion, AOF3's "new generation" roster is slightly disappointing, since
many fan favorites are missing in this installment. Furthermore, the
newcomers don't quite manage to "take the place" of some of the classics. As a
whole, AOF3's roster doesn't have the excitement or lasting appeal that the
original cast did. Seriously, that character selection screen in
particular has a particularly "lonely" vibe about it.
Kinda depressing, actually. This is probably
the biggest downside of AOF3... but if you can get past some of the
generic designs, their fighting styles and animations aren't terrible.
Arcade, Neo Geo, Neo Geo CD, PS2
12th, 1996 (Arcade, Neo Geo) May
PS2 - in Art of Fighting: Anthology) May
PS2 - in Art of Fighting: Anthology)
heart seems to have went into AOF3's quality animation & graphics,
character designs this time around. Personally, I'd rather go back to AOF or
AOF2 for the character roster(s) and nostalgia alone. AOF3's roster really
doesn't define what the series is all about, and feels pretty barren at
AOF's trademark "sluggish" feeling of the gameplay is still
evident in AOF3, but there are some cool aspects to enjoy. While not
the all-around best of the series, AOF3 definitely isn't a game you
should miss. In 1996, it really was a "groundbreaking" 2D fighting
game, visually at least.
No doubt, Art of
Fighting was a respectable
fighting game series by SNK, and it went out with a bang. The Art of Fighting
series might be dead, but thankfully, many of the classic characters have
crossed over to many other fighting games over the years. ~TFG