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So WHY exactly did Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter EX fail to grab people?

01011001

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...Not noone ever. REDRZA MWS just said it. I might say it too. I respect SF3 3rd, but if I were to dig out a fighting game to play over some beers right now, I can't imagine what circumstances a 3 would be a better hang than good ol' 2.

SF2 is more casual, that's why. more casual and easy to play =/= better
if I wanna play some braindead game over some beers I would play neither, I would play Mortal Kombat 3, which all things considered is a terrible fighting game by any modern standards, and even back then was barely able to compete when you really wanted a fighting game with good systems
 
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Animagic

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Street Fighter 2 and it's many versions in the early 90's took the world by storm selling truck loads of copies. Even when MK came to take some of it's thunder in the regions it was allowed to be sold in, SF 2 still sold strong. Understandably Alpha was treated more as a side series that also did well but not as much.

But fast forward to the highly anticipated Street Fighter 3 and it failed to gain interest in the arcades or at home to the general audience, despite having a massive graphical upgrade, advanced audio, top tier animation, and faster action. Some say it was because nearly the entire cast was new, but they fixed that with the next two iterations and that didn't work out either.

But the big one that never made sense to me was Street Fighter EX. It was pretty much everyone's favorite Street Fighter, Street Fighter 2, in 3D.

You had all the crowd favorites plus new characters, all the classic moves were there along with new combos and special attacks, nice polygon graphic designs, CD Audio, and flashy effects.

It carried the weight of the Street Fighter name with the hype of 3D polygonal gaming. Anndddd SF EX and it's sequel pretty much bombed on the PlayStation. The 3rd game released at launch on the PS2 killed the series.

What happened? Why were people not excited for Street Fighter 2 in 3D along with classic+new characters and moves? It wasn't broken to my knowledge, all 3 games got good ratings from what I recall.

It's not even just that these two parts of the series didn't meet the same popularity as SF2, but they didn't even get a fraction of it.

SFIII(mostly Third strike) at least kind of survived due to the core EVO community but outside that? Nope.
I loved EX, but it just wasn’t as good as 2.
Never played 3 until emulation because I never saw arcade machines of 3 anywhere
 

Ol'Scratch

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Speaking for myself EX just was not Street Fighter to me. Tekken and Virtua Fighter did the 3D thing better, that is how I felt back then.
As far as Street Fighter 3, while it did have Ryu and Ken I just did not get into any of the characters other than Ibuki and if I remember right I leaned harder into Tekken for my arcade time. I did not actually come to enjoy 3rd Strike until I had time with it on Dreamcast
 
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Keihart

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How? SF3 third strike was always full at my arcades and i did grew up as something of an arcade rat myself.
Matt Leblanc Reaction GIF
 
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Tekken was the new hot series at the time. Street Fighter was considered lame and old by mainstream gamers by that point. In the case of Street Fighter III, 2D games were also considered "outdated". Does this all sound stupid? Yes, but it's sadly true.
The vs series was doing reallyt well during that timwe
 
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CamHostage

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SF2 is more casual, that's why. more casual and easy to play =/= better

Doesn't stop someone from saying what they feel.
I like SF2 better. I find its character variety and challenge scale better, I enjoy playing it with friends better, owning it has paid off better since I don't think I have any copy of SF3 left (there was a communal copy in college that I don't know who bought but I might have ended up with) but I have a bunch of different SF2s and I have no regrets either way, it has stood the test of time better, I actually like the graphics better because it's all of a piece whereas SF3 is animated gorgeously but feels like it was slowed down in the process... what's your metric, that it's "balanced" better?

Also, Mortal Kombat 3, how dare you suggest people go play any fighting game with a 'Run' button...
 
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DJTHEGREY

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Street fighter EX was great... but Tekken was better to me.... Also... Idk if they were released near each other but I remember having both rival schools and street fighter EX at the same time. And Rival schools was 🔥🔥🔥🔥...and I think street fighter vs x men was a thing around that time too. So long ago I could be totally wrong.
 
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InfiniteCombo

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I'd go with the Arcade OST of EX2 myself.
Eh. EX2 arcade OST is kind of generic. Several steps back from EX Plus A; actually, several steps even from original EX.

EX Plus A soundtrack had a lot of personality, and each track was a nice remix from its arcade counterpart. In some cases it felt almost like King of Fighters, where the Arranged soundtrack was often miles ahead of the Original soundtrack.
 

Animagic

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Street fighter EX was great... but Tekken was better to me.... Also... Idk if they were released near each other but I remember having both rival schools and street fighter EX at the same time. And Rival schools was 🔥🔥🔥🔥...and I think street fighter vs x men was a thing around that time too. So long ago I could be totally wrong.
Rival schools was hot fire.
Yes there were a lot of great fighters at that time. EX was really a weird feeling SF game. I loved it anyway, but yeah.
 

Hulk_Smash

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🙋🏼‍♂️Hi. Yes, hi. Filthy casual here.

Me and my filthy casual friends that don’t know every combo of every fighting character (I didn’t even play EX, shhhhh...) can tell you why SF3 wasn’t as successful from our perspective:

Confusion and burnout.

I played the hell out of SF2 and SF Turbo. But every version after that was confusing and unnecessary. I couldn’t keep up after turbo. I just kept wondering why SF3 hadn’t come out.

But when it did, me and my filthy casual friends moved on to MK and eventually Tekken.

I can honestly say most of the technical and character stuff you guys are talking about didn’t even register on the radars of most casual SF2 fans which is where most of the millions $$$ made came from.
 
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MvCSpiderman

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🙋🏼‍♂️Hi. Yes, hi. Filthy casual here.

Me and my filthy casual friends that don’t know every combo of every fighting character (I didn’t even play EX, shhhhh...) can tell you why SF3 wasn’t as successful from our perspective:

Confusion and burnout.

I played the hell out of SF2 and SF Turbo. But every version after that was confusing and unnecessary. I couldn’t keep up after turbo. I just kept wondering why SF3 hadn’t come out.

But when it did, me and my filthy casual friends moved on to MK and eventually Tekken.

I can honestly say most of the technical and character stuff you guys are talking about didn’t even register on the radars of most casual SF2 fans which is where most of the millions $$$ made came from.
Good points. I know average Joe gamers and they are confused every time the parry mini game comes up and have no idea how to do it.

However they loved 3D Street Fighter 2.
 

Alphagear

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It was, though. 3rd Strike got a standalone PS2 release in Japan and it was part of the SF Anniversary Collection on PS2 and Xbox in North America.
Yes my bad. I should have said PAL region.

We only got a Dreamcast port here in the UK.

We didn't even get the SF anniversary collection here.
 

MayauMiao

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SF III came at a time when every gamers were into 3D fighters and most of the favorite old character did not make a return too. Capcom taking 6 years to release III after II didn't help either.
 
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Not in home sales. For some reason people only wanted to play them at the arcade. SFIII neither.
Well that because sega refuse to release the 4 mb ram cart. I was enjoying xmen vs street figther and marvel vs street fighter on ym saturn. It was also the era where some people believe shitty 3d is better than 2d.
 

Neff

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the general gaming audience.

There was no general audience for 2D fighters from the mid '90s onwards. Once 3D happened, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, KOF etc became pretty much only played by enthusiasts. Even MK struggled.
 

Yoboman

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A good port was impossible on the hardware of the time. Comprimised ports of other Capcom games running on older arcade hardware for example.
Not sure I believe that, it’s a 2D game

even still could have been a PS2 launch game

Third Strike came out in arcades in 1999, PS2 launched March 2000 and then it came out on Dreamcast in June 2000.

PS2 didn’t get the game until July 2004.

Thats just poor business sense
 
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sncvsrtoip

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Street fighter ex was inho just avarage and 3 was in totaly different times compraing to 2, people generaly weren’t longer excidet after psx with 2d games (tough for me alpha 2 on saturn was perfect)
 

nbkicker

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I played a load of streetfighter 2 on megadrive and snes, but once i played a virtua fighter stopped playin streetfighter , especially when no controller had six face buttons which streetfighter used, from then my attention changed to mortal kombat, virtua fighter, soul blade, tekken till today where i only play soul calibur and tekken
 

jufonuk

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I think SF3 didn’t hit so hard as it came towards the home consoles becoming as powerful as arcade machines. Add to that some of the cast of characters were a little out there. Just wrong timing I guess. Because in hindsight it’s a great game.

can’t really remember much about EX. I think I played it and it was a floaty slow SF game. At least the one I played was.
 
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nush

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A long haul flight from wherever you are.
Not sure I believe that, it’s a 2D game
SFIII has an astounding amount of animation frames, that want going to fit into the working RAM of the consoles of the time. Capcom could have bodged something onto those system that looked like SFIII in screenshots but it sure wasnt going to play like it. That would have damaged the games perception even more.
 

SkylineRKR

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New Generation was dull. Beautiful but dull. Alpha 1 was also kind of dull, but had a more memorable roster at least. Alpha 2 came out rather quickly after 1 as well, and before SF3. Alpha 2 was far more fun than SF3 NG, with a far bigger and better roster, and almost better everything.

I do like Second Impact a lot though, but damage had probably been done and I never saw in the wild. Also take into consideration that SF3 was only ported to the ill fated Dreamcast. The PS1 was ofcourse too weak and the PS2 was too late (TS on anniversary was a decent succes though, I think).

SF EX I didn't like, especially not the first arcade version. EX2+ however was pretty awesome, however this was already at the turn of the new millenium and there were lots of great fighting games by then. For me it didn't hold a candle to 3D fighters such as Tekken, SE and VF.
 

DGrayson

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Street Fighter EX was fun but to me it played a bit slow. That might not have been the case technically but it felt slow to me.

SF3 Third Strike was incredible and we played tons and tons of that game. I never played the first 2 versions though.
 
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MvCSpiderman

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There was no general audience for 2D fighters from the mid '90s onwards. Once 3D happened, Street Fighter, Fatal Fury, KOF etc became pretty much only played by enthusiasts. Even MK struggled.
MK Trilogy sold millions. Fatal Fury and KOF were never usually played by the general audience even in the early days. It was MK 4 going 3D that didn't click with the general audience ironically.
 

MvCSpiderman

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Not sure I believe that, it’s a 2D game

even still could have been a PS2 launch game

Third Strike came out in arcades in 1999, PS2 launched March 2000 and then it came out on Dreamcast in June 2000.

PS2 didn’t get the game until July 2004.

Thats just poor business sense
I thought SEGA had an exclusivity contract which is why many Capcom games on the Dreamcast were not on other systems?

I don't think Capcom had a choice.
 
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I'd agree with others and say that both games played and looked too different to SF2.
Of course Third Strike was great. EX+Alpha was probably my favorite PS1 fighting game too. I loved its look, mechanics and atmosphere.
 

s_mirage

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Not sure I believe that, it’s a 2D game

Sorry, but I've got to reply to this as this commonly held idea that something being 2D makes it easier to port is something that's pissed me off since the '90s. If anything, 2D games with extensive sprite work could have been harder to port than 3D games. All those individual frames of animation take up lots and lots of RAM, detailed animated backgrounds take up RAM, high quality sounds take up RAM, etc. The consoles of the time had fuck all RAM. The best CPS2 to PS1 ports were probably Vampire Savior and Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both of those had lots of animation cut. Neither of those games were anywhere near as well animated as SF III and had less colourful sprites.

The PS1 had 3.5MB of RAM total. 1MB of that was VRAM which contained the framebuffers, sprites, etc. By way of comparison, the Neo Geo CD was specifically designed to run 2D games and it had 7MB of RAM, 4MB of which were dedicated to storing graphics data alone, and it didn't use framebuffers so no space needed to be saved for them. Those were ports of Neo Geo games too, which was an older system than the CPS-3.

Trying to port SF III to the PS1 might have technically been possible in the same way that porting SF II to the Commodore 64 was possible, but it would have been a choppy mess with reduced quality sprites that lost all of the fluid animation that made SF III what it was. Maybe something would have been possible with the Saturn and its 4MB RAM cart, but I'm going to assume that Capcom didn't think so seeing as they didn't attempt it. The N64 maybe could have done it with a large cart, but I'm not super familiar with its capabilities and the 2D fighters it had weren't super impressive.
 
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MvCSpiderman

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Sorry, but I've got to reply to this as this commonly held idea that something being 2D makes it easier to port is something that's pissed me off since the '90s. If anything, 2D games with extensive sprite work could have been harder to port than 3D games. All those individual frames of animation take up lots and lots of RAM, detailed animated backgrounds take up RAM, high quality sounds take up RAM, etc. The consoles of the time had fuck all RAM. The best CPS2 to PS1 ports were probably Vampire Savior and Street Fighter Alpha 3, and both of those had lots of animation cut. Neither of those games were anywhere near as well animated as SF III and had less colourful sprites.

The PS1 had 3.5MB of RAM total. 1MB of that was VRAM which contained the framebuffers, sprites, etc. By way of comparison, the Neo Geo CD was specifically designed to run 2D games and it had 7MB of RAM, 4MB of which were dedicated to storing graphics data alone, and it didn't use framebuffers so no space needed to be saved for them. Those were ports of Neo Geo games too, which was an older system than the CPS-3.

Trying to port SF III to the PS1 might have technically been possible in the same way that porting SF II to the Commodore 64 was possible, but it would have been a choppy mess with reduced quality sprites that lost all of the fluid animation that made SF III what it was. Maybe something would have been possible with the Saturn and its 4MB RAM cart, but I'm going to assume that Capcom didn't think so seeing as they didn't attempt it.

Early 3D didn't need much ram until you started adding effects, lighting, and textures. Maybe blend some fmv on the models or background to.

This is why it took ps1 some years before developers started pushing the system and started using workarounds to deal with the low ram. That's why for years many PS1 games wouldn't look out of place on the 3DO, and the worst of which could probably be ported to the Jaguar.

Saturn had the advantage though since it was designed to be a 2D console from the start. Still had low ram though, but Sega likely though the Saturn's 2D and basic 3D was enough until they were forced to adapt later before the console released.

But even so, I don't think it would have been too much of a cut to port SFIII to ps1 or saturn. Some of the best selling console fighting ports on those systems and even older ones like SNES were modestly to heavily compromised and the average consumer did not care.
 

Fuz

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SF3 had a very weird cast and played differently to 2. There was a lot more competition from SNK, Sega, etc.
👆

Weird, uninteresting, unappealing cast. Art direction was kind of bad, SF went suddenly too cartoony.
And at that point, KoF was a much better game.
 
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Faithless83

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Because

1) It didn’t really take off with fans until 3rd strike
2) Arcades were dying
3) For whatever idiotic reason it was a Dreamcast exclusive. Completely bypassing PS1 and N64 and only getting to PS2 in 2004 (5 years later)
PS1/N64 SF3?
Is this a joke post?

Capcom vs SNK lack of animations on PS1 is big. The parry system needs fluid animation.
 
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The SF EX games lacked the pacing, fluidity and timing of the 2D Street Fighter games the base liked at the time, plus in terms of 3D it wasn't as impressive as its competitors (though I was awed seeing it as a kid in arcades).

Street Fighter III gutted all of the favorites from SF2 outside of Ken and Ryu (and originally they weren't even planned to be included), and didn't seem as flashy as the Vs. games. It was also HORRIBLY balanced, to the point it was a disaster for competitive play. Also I feel that the parry mechanic may've been a bit too punishing for some players to adjust to. Lastly, the CPSIII system was very expensive for Capcom to produce; it got so bad that they were super-quick to abandon CPS3 and move on to Sega's NAOMI board.

The quick shift in arcade boards for them IMO also impacted the development of Third Strike; it may be loved by a lot of the FGC today but I think that's due to a combination of having gotten used to its quirks and memories from stuff like Evo Moment #37; actually playing the game regularly these days if one's nostalgia glasses aren't on too tight, they can still notice lots of questionable imbalances and certain sprites (like Hugo's) weren't even finished, and background quality/detail was actually downgraded from Second Impact. It's still a great game but IMO it's not the godly savior of fighting games some of the hardcore fans (and internet casuals who barely have played the game extensively) try making it out to be.

Even so, elements from both the EX games and SFIII series have helped shape Street Fighter into what it is today, so they still deserve their props and respect for that.

Because

1) It didn’t really take off with fans until 3rd strike
2) Arcades were dying
3) For whatever idiotic reason it was a Dreamcast exclusive. Completely bypassing PS1 and N64 and only getting to PS2 in 2004 (5 years later)

SFIII on PS1 would've likely ran like dogshit; it was already somewhat starved for VRAM which was essential for 2D fighters at the time, but the CPU was likely also a bottleneck in a port of the game to that system. Keep in mind; the sprites could've technically been transformed into flat polygons for rendering on PS1 to get around that system's lack of dedicated sprite hardware (and this is how modern GPUs basically render sprites; they're flat polygons or clusters of flat polygons with warping and other effects handled through the GPU). However, the 3D in home consoles at that time wasn't capable enough to completely convert 2D sprite games in this fashion, and the amount of VRAM at that time DEFINITELY wasn't enough to completely offset lack of dedicated sprite hardware in a system for 2D games.

A port of SFIII being dogshit for that gen arguably can also be said of Saturn, though they had the option of 4MB RAM Cartridge if they wanted. Still likely wouldn't of helped in a port all that much as, again, the CPU(s in Saturn's case) would've been a limiting factor.

N64 simply could not get a port of the game. Granted, at the time it was a miracle it got a port of RE2 and Angel Studios did really well in compressing the FMV, but doing that same thing with sprites used in actual gameplay would've been a MUCH different deal and likely degraded their quality beyond recognition, that's even considering the largest N64 cart at the time. Also the N64 lacked a dedicated sound processor, so the music would've either been completed scaled back or sound different reprogrammed as MIDI or something.

Those are the reasons why the earliest SFIII ports were to Dreamcast; it was the first home console that could actually do virtually arcade-perfect port of those games without much to any compromises (I know the games have slightly different frame timing in the Dreamcast ports that some purists dislike, but visual fidelity-wise it's 1:1 with the arcade versions something that would've never came close to happening on PS1, Saturn or especially N64).
 
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InfiniteCombo

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PS1/N64 SF3?
Is this a joke post?

Capcom vs SNK lack of animations on PS1 is big. The parry system needs fluid animation.
Yeah I agree, that was a joke post (must've been).

PS1 was already struggling with CPS-2 games; how the hell were they gonna do CPS-3 games in any reasonable way!? I mean, did they port Jojo's Bizarre Adventure -- a CPS-3 game -- to the PS1, but it had a shit ton of loading and of course a lot of cut animations, among other shortcomings.

N64.... LMAO....
 

Futaleufu

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Yeah I agree, that was a joke post (must've been).

PS1 was already struggling with CPS-2 games; how the hell were they gonna do CPS-3 games in any reasonable way!? I mean, did they port Jojo's Bizarre Adventure -- a CPS-3 game -- to the PS1, but it had a shit ton of loading and of course a lot of cut animations, among other shortcomings.

N64.... LMAO....
If you want to see the PS1 struggling watch the Samurai Shodown 3 port. The system doesnt have enough RAM for sprite fighting games.
 
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SF Kosmo

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A few reasons that worked together against it.

1) Lack of popular returning characters and major shift in tone.

2) Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Marvel vs Capcom came out around the same time and really addresses that complaint by offering tons of beloved characters.

3) Declining arcades and the only contemporary port was on Dreamcast. Made it to other systems like what? 7 years later?

4) It was a very technical game which made it appealing to the core fighting audience and tournament crowd but the more casual/crossover audience was enchanted with the flash of the Vs. games and new 3D titles.
 

MvCSpiderman

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A few reasons that worked together against it.

1) Lack of popular returning characters and major shift in tone.

2) Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Marvel vs Capcom came out around the same time and really addresses that complaint by offering tons of beloved characters.

3) Declining arcades and the only contemporary port was on Dreamcast. Made it to other systems like what? 7 years later?

4) It was a very technical game which made it appealing to the core fighting audience and tournament crowd but the more casual/crossover audience was enchanted with the flash of the Vs. games and new 3D titles.
Good points here for SFIII.

But what about Street Fighter EX?
 

SF Kosmo

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Good points here for SFIII.

But what about Street Fighter EX?

SF EX was never really meant to be a successor to Street Fighter, it was a moderately successful spin-off series that let capcom test the waters with 3D.
 

DT MEDIA

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All I know is that I loved the hell out of Street Fighter 3: Third Strike on Sega Dreamcast and thought it was the best SF ever. I still think that sometimes, although Alpha 3 is always waiting in the wings.

Why wasn't it more popular? Probably because the market was oversaturated with Capcom fighting games, the SF fad had already faded out and 3D polygon graphics had completely taken over. But whose fault was that? I say it's the fault of the gaming public who didn't appreciate how good they had it. It's their loss.