Street Fighter III is Released

Street Fighter III (ストリートファイターⅢ, Sutorīto Faitā Surī?) is a series in Capcom's Street Fighter series of head-to-head fighting games, originally released as coin-operated arcade games.

The series was started in 1997 with Street Fighter III - New Generation, followed by an updated version released during the same year titled Street Fighter III 2nd Impact - Giant Attack (ストリートファイターⅢ セカンドインパクト?) —which introduced new features and characters—, and a third version, titled Street Fighter III 3rd Strike - Fight for the Future (ストリートファイターⅢ サードストライク?), released for the arcades in 1999. The Street Fighter III games were produced for the CD-ROM-based CPS III hardware, which allowed for more elaborate 2D graphics than the CPS II-based Street Fighter Alpha games (the previous incarnation of the Street Fighter series), while revamping many of the recurring gameplay features. The game, which was designed as a direct sequel to the Street Fighter II series, initially discarded every previous character except for Ryu and Ken (hence the "New Generation" subtitle), introducing an all new character roster led by Alex. Likewise, a new antagonist named Gill took over M. Bison's role from the previous games as the new boss character.

Released in February 1997, the original Street Fighter III features ten unique selectable characters (not counting Yun and Yang separately) and a non-selectable computer-controlled character as the game's final opponent. In the single-player mode, the player will face seven computer-controlled opponents, including Gill.

The gameplay of the original Street Fighter III is based on Super Street Fighter II Turbo, but with several new abilities and features introduced. Players can now dash or retreat like in the Darkstalkers series, as well as perform high jumps and do a quick standing after falling from an attack. The game also introduced "leap attacks", which are small jumping attacks used against crouching opponents. As well, the player cannot block in the air like in the Street Fighter Alpha series.

The main new feature introduced in Street Fighter III is the inclusion of Super Arts. A Super Art in Street Fighter III is a powerful special move similar to a Super Combo in Super Turbo and the Alpha games. After selecting a character, the player will be prompted to select from one of three character-specific Super Arts to use in battle. Like the Super Combo gauge in the previous game, the player has a Super Art gauge which will fill up as the player performs regular and special moves against an opponent. The player can only perform a Super Art once the gauge is filled. Depending on the Super Art chosen by the player, the length of the Super Art gauge will vary, as well as the amount of filled Super Art gauges the player can stock up.

The other new feature is the ability to "parry" an opponent's attack. Parrying (or "blocking" which is the term used in the Japanese version) is the ability to deflect an incoming attack without receiving damage. At the exact moment an opponent's attack is about to hit his or her character, the player can move the controller toward or down to Parry the attack without receiving damage, leaving the opponent vulnerable for a counterattack. Additionally, this also allows the player to defend against Special Moves and even Super Arts without sustaining the normal minor damage. However, parrying an attack requires precise timing.

Also, as this and the next two Street Fighter III games run on the CPS III engine, more elaborate 2D sprites were created. Among the elaborated sprites include multiple hit stun sprites, including a new "turned-around state," in which a character is turned around (his or her back faces the opponent) after being hit. Only certain attacks can put characters in a turned-around state, and grabs and throws can now be comboed, as it typically takes longer for an attacked character to recover from this new type of hit stun.

The only returning characters are Ken and Ryu, the rest are new. However, some of the new characters are related to the old ones. Sean is Ken's pupil, Yang and Yun are Gen's grandsons and Ibuki is rumored to be the daughter of Geki (a ninja from the original Street Fighter). Some characters have fighting styles similar to some of the older characters.