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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fatal Fury 3


Fatal Fury 3 - Road to the Final Victory is the fourth installment of the series, as this particular title comes to you as the direct follow-up to Fatal Fury Special, the actual third statement of the franchise. Do not exhibit the Special Turbo Edition 2 Fear yet, though.

While the cited Special variant of Fatal Fury, essentially speaking, is an improved version of Fatal Fury 2, it also sported trends - even hidden! trends - that made it both an extremely popular delivery, AND an output SNK chose to develop further on. Following the 1993 Fatal Fury Special that offers a subtle, yet quite cunning blend of existing SNK games, the firm gives us this here third episode in 1995. Fresh territories, approached from familiar paths - seems like a legit method to settle crisp elements you could offer consecutive blends with in a future of perspectives and sweet responsibilities, right? Perhaps we will see whether such an idea occurred to SNK, as well.

Enjoy and Read on!

Fatal Fury 3 offers a set of the more recognized characters the series has by the release date of this effort, along with five newcomers and a highly confidential number of mysterious main meanies. Since each classic- and fresh characters are fueled by the mutual desire to weigh in as memorable sprite-imprints at the end of the sessions, let us see if they exhibit convince power we must count with.

The core system utilizes quite a few of the focal elements that fueled the previous Fatal Fury installments. A primal trait of the series is the ability - or, even need - to molest opposing entities on multiple planes. Fatal Fury 3 keeps this particular tradition intact, even refined, now giving you a Front, a Middle and a Back plane to wage war on. Characters are able to switch between these Planes by consensus commands, and, as with the previous Fatal Fury titles, your palette of executable actions is deeply dependent on the Plane you standing on at the moment.

The Plane system always was a neat trait in the series, now is the time to devote steep attention to the more complex implementation Fatal Fury 3 delivers the method with. Now each character has a rather robust set of quasi-Specials specifically tailored to Plane-Based combat. These maneuvers do come via different attack types and you surely could assault multiple body regions with them, while switching Planes still remains a safe method to leap out of the way of most attacks and even Specials - granted of course that you happen to be a Bad Enough Dude and swift enough to do that.

The K.O. Move simply NEVER gets old - because it IS old already.

While blocks and Throws all do use the same methods you already could familiarize yourself with via the previous Fatal Fury statements, there is a nice set of nifty Specials that are massively context sensitive. A good example would be Geese Howard, who now is a playable character. Geese is Master, even a Masta of countering attacks with quite satisfactory Throws, yet, you need to invoke these Specials in the right time, AND in the right context to successfully state them. An example: Geese must be attacked by a Special to make his Dragon Throw invokable.

Fatal Fury 3 introduces a semi-coarse, nevertheless fresh addition in the form of its combo system, inviting you to master the respective chain attacks of each character, usually made out of four- or five consecutive hits. Surely, you can stop a chain any time you like, but, naturally, the main idea is to perform your combos all the way through, dealing sentimental quality damage in the hostile organic structure in front of you. This early, and, as such: quite significant implementation of a combo system is one of the most important traits this sequel brings to the fray, regardless the fact that it is not of a supercomplex character yet.

It seems to me that the - sorry about that - special Specials became a little more tricky to pull off, the main reason being the more precise rhythmization you must give SOME of them in with. A circumstance that becomes quite noticeable when dealing with various Desperation Specials, as we will now see.

While Command moves and the "common Specials" are easy enough to invoke, some of the Desperation moves have a tendency of occupying the identical button commands as a certain Special - or even Specials - of your character relies- or do rely on. The factor to decide whether you unleash your stock-Speciality or your Desperation - is entirely dependent on the precision of the tempo you give the command in with. Cool design, huh?

Well, it IS, and it ISN'T, because:

1. Desperations ain't too easy to pull off, thus you will be satisfied when you managed to do them, but -

2. Desperations ain't too easy to pull off, thus you won't exactly be satisfied when you invoke a stock-Special instead, which uses the same initial command as your Desperation.

To put it shortly, you have supersteep chance of assaulting good old air molecules with a Special instead of your Desperation move - until you master the tempo required to introduce the Desperation, that is.

Hon Fu - left - is one of the 2 entities whom I would cheerfully kill with ANY instrument you could name - Origami Flower, Plastic Soldier, Toothpick: all included.

We must hastily take care of a pretty dangerous and highly illegal timeleak in the fabric of the Universe, so let me remind you that certain conditions MUST be met before you could demonstrate your Super Desperation Special, let alone your Hidden Desperation.

The first one is the easier to pull off: once your lifebar reaches the critical state which it reacts to by intense flashing: you are free to deliver the Super Desperation, even in rapid succession, if you can. Hidden Desperations though require you to invite them in the round that is about to decide the outcome of the battle: the invitation itself happens by pushing all the action buttons you can find, - meaning the buttons of the keyboard/interface you playing on you know, it's not like you need to push all the action buttons in the known Universe AND Beyond - including the Start button once you see the GO! text appear on the screen. On a standar keyboard layout, that would be:

Left CTRL+
Left ALT+

If you gave the command in successfully, your character's name will turn bright green and you will be free to resonate your Hidden Desperation once your lifebar starts to flash. One Hidden Desperation/round, though.

Can you find the Hidden Desperation on this image?

Inviting the possibility to rely on the move is not the most difficult part though, quite the contrary: the invite command is but the introduction to Hidden Desperations. These moves are definite PITAs to demonstrate, as they are usually composed of three individual command chains that require extreme precision to sew together, thus making the Hidden Desperation a finalized- and successful attempt, forming before your very eyes as you give in these complex chains. Sadly though, in my opinion, the hardest part is NOT to keep the chain, but to START it at the first place.

Trust me, french kissing a cobra on amphetamine - meaning: it is the cobra who is on amphetamine - is a much more manageable task than giving the Hidden Desperation in to a CPU enemy in Fatal Fury 3, mainly because the difficulty it poses to introduce the first chain. Surely, it's not Near the Impossible - like skiing through a revolving door is - yet the game gives you blatantly shallow chances to shine via your ultimate delicacies, I would say.

The output has some cool, yet quite minor supportive elements you can play around with, these are invokable K.O. moves and Send to Background moves, spiced up by much less satisfactory "unique attractions" that you can utilize only on one- or two maps. Like a Ceiling-Fatality, a definite "Uhuh, So What?" vibe for the whole family.

Characterized by the stable Fatal Fury traditions that do arrive to you with a more complex Plane- and an inventive Combo system, this here 1995 installment of the series certainly registers as a solid effort, with but the extremely fragile Hidden Desperations to cast a pseudo-shadow on it. An integral delivery nevertheless.

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related recommendation:
Fatal Fury 3 Guide

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