Streets of Rage 3
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|Streets of Rage 3|
Streets of Rage 3 US cover art
|Series||Streets of Rage|
|Release date(s)||March 18, 1994 (Japan)
June 1994 (North America)
June 1994 (Europe and Australia)
|Genre(s)||Beat 'em up|
|Distribution||24-megabit cartridge, digital distribution|
Streets of Rage 3, known in Japan as Bare Knuckle III (ベア・ナックルIII?) and subtitled Tekken Seiten (鉄拳聖典 lit. Iron Fist Scriptures?) in pre-release media and the official soundtrack release, is a side-scrolling beat 'em up released by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. It is the last part of the Streets of Rage series. It was later released for the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, and for the Wii Virtual Console on September 24, 2007. The game also appeared in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The game had featured several enhancements over Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 such as a more complex plot, multiple endings, longer levels, increased difficulty, more in-depth scenarios (with interactive levels and the return of traps like pits) and faster gameplay (with dash and dodge moves). Weapons could now only be used for a few times before breaking and could now be integrated with unique moves with certain characters, hidden characters were added and a few cutscenes were included to give the story greater depth.
The game is more fast-paced than its predecessors. Running and vertical-dodge moves were added (only Skate could run in Streets of Rage 2), and most player attacks deal less damage than in the predecessors. The level timer has been replaced with a "power meter" that, when full, allows players to perform special moves without draining the player's life bar.
Unlike the first and second game, weapons in Street of Rage 3 can only be used a fixed number of times. However, additional weapon special attacks could be performed. The game also features return of SOR1 team attacks in which two characters work together to perform a powerful attack as in the first game. Blitz moves, performed while players run, were altered so that they can be upgraded in strength over the course of the game. The player would have to earn a set amount of points on one life to upgrade it. Losing a life would put the blitz move down a level, but the upgraded moves could still be performed by pressing X on a 6 button controller, followed by a button sequence.
Traps in stages were brought back from the original game, for example, enemies can once again be thrown into pits or off the side of an elevator.
Enemy AI was expanded so more enemies can pick up weapons, block attacks, employ co-operative attacks (usually, a Big Ben-like enemy will throw one of the Garcia enemies at the character to smack them down), and even steal exposed food items to regain health.
The Japanese version of the game also brought back of riding a Motorcycle, which was removed from the Western release of the game.
After being defeated twice, Syndicate crime boss Mr. X has started a research company called RoboCy Corporation to act as a cover for his illegal activities. The world's best roboticist, Dr. Dahm, has been brought in to help him create an army of realistic robots to replace important officials from the city. With the replacements in place, Mr. X plans to run the city using a remote control device. His criminal organization, The Syndicate, has strategically placed bombs around the city to distract the police while the city officials are dealt with.
Dr. Zan discovers what the research is really for and knows the Syndicate must be stopped. He contacts Blaze Fielding with the details of The Syndicate's plan. Blaze quickly contacts her old comrades Axel Stone and Adam Hunter for a task force to bring down The Syndicate once and for all. Axel quickly joins the task force, but Adam can't make it (due to his own assignments from within the police) and sends his young brother, Eddie "Skate" Hunter instead. The game has four endings depending on the difficulty level and if the player defeats certain levels in an allotted amount of time.
Good ending: The player has completed the game in Normal or Hard mode, rescued the Chief of Police and defeated Robot Y before the time limit expires. The Syndicate headquarters are about to explode, but Adam manages to rescue his companions in his helicopter. The headquarters explode, and an image of the four characters looking happily at the saved city on a blue background appears, with an upward text relating the officers' rescue and the deactivating of the bombs, as well as the fact Dr. Dahm is being rehabilitated in a psychiatric hospital. Meanwhile, the characters have their own separate ways, as depicted on the background pictures in the credits. After the credits, an image of the gang watching the sunset with Adam and Max is shown, with the message "THE END" below.
Neutral ending: The player has completed the game in Easy mode (which lasts until level 5). The player has defeated Mr. X's robotic clone, but after that, he says the characters must 'try harder' if they want to save the city. The image shown results to be a monitored image from Mr. X's office, who breaks the wine cup while furiously looking at the scene. The text "THE END?" appears below and there are no credits.
Neutral ending 2: The player has completed the game in Normal or Hard mode, and failed to rescue the Chief of Police. In that case, the last level is played in the City Hall and the player must defeat the Chief's robotic clone and Shiva in front of the press. When both are defeated, Dr. Zan tries to make Shiva confess, but he fails to do so, and an image of Shiva wounded with the gang behind him appears on Mr. X's monitor and, again, he breaks the wine cup while furiously looking at the scene. The text "THE END?" appears below and there are no credits.
Bad ending: The player has completed the game in Normal or Hard mode, rescued the Chief of Police and defeated Robot Y after the time limit expired. The gang is saved by Adam, only to see the city devastated by the explosion series. The Japanese version contains a destroyed city, with the text telling of the player's failure, and there are no credits. In the English version of this ending, the background of the destroyed city is replaced with a picture of black blanked, further emphasizing the impact of events.
Three of the playable characters from former games return in the sequel: Axel Stone, Blaze Fielding, and Eddie "Skate" Hunter (Sammy Hunter in the Japanese version), each of which have their respective strengths and weaknesses. Dr. Zan replaces Max from the second game, with any weapon he picks up turning into a ball of energy. Adam from the first game makes a story cameo, and Max only makes a cameo appearance in the game's "good" ending.
Three of the game's boss characters can also be accessed through in-game codes. The first mid-boss, the homosexual caricature Ash, was removed from the Western releases of the game (although he can be accessed through cheat cartridges). Shiva, the martial artist who debuted in Streets of Rage 2 and newcomer Roo (Victy in the Japanese version) the kangaroo can also be accessed. Shiva, Roo and Ash are unable to use weapons.
Several pre-release screenshots show that there was originally a section where the players got to ride the motorcycles they are so often attacked by. This section was removed for the final version, but is still playable (though buggy and unfinished) with a Game Genie code in the Japanese version.
Axel and Skate are absent from the European box art, while the new character Zan appears alongside Blaze. The artwork was created for a British European magazine for promotion and Sega bought the piece to use for the boxart.
When the game was adapted from the original Japanese version, to the western release, significant changes were made. The clothing of the three returning heroes (Axel, Blaze, and Sammy) were altered from their original colors seen in previous Streets of Rage games, the female enemy characters wore less-revealing outfits, and a sub-boss named "Ash", a gay stereotype was removed from the English version (though he is still accessible in Streets of Rage 3 as a playable character via cheat code). The voice-effects were also changed, with most noticeably Axel's catchphrase of "Grand Upper" for his semi-special move being replaced with "Bare Knuckle".
Another notable difference between the two games is the plot: The Japanese version of the story opens with a new explosive substance called "Laxine", discovered by a character named Dr. Gilbert (who is revealed to be the true identity of Dr. Zan), which explodes in the city and kills thousands of people. At the same time, a military general named Ivan Petrov vanishes. It is later discovered that Mr. X orchestrated the general's disappearance and plans to use Laxine to start a global war.
In the English version, all references to Laxine were removed, General Petrov was replaced by the city's Chief of Police, and the plot now involves a scheme to switch major city officials with robot clones in order to take control of the city. Another difference was if the player failed to save the general, the player has to head to what appears to be the White House. This too was changed in the English adaptation, where instead if the player failed save the Chief, then the player has to head to City Hall, although the building depicting the City Hall is still clearly based on the White House. The bad ending sequence of Bare Knuckle III features a photo of a devastated city as text narrates the player's failure; this was removed in Streets of Rage 3 and text scrolls upward on a black background. The credits were removed from the bad ending of Streets of Rage 3 (possibly to show that it was not the true ending), whereas in Bare Knuckle III they still play.
The game's overall difficulty was also altered for the English version, with the game's Normal setting being significantly more difficult than even the Japanese version's Hard setting. Also, the English version of the game cannot be completed on the Easy setting (it will end after Stage 5).
Axel and Skate are noticeably absent from the European box art, while the new character Zan appears alongside Blaze. This is because the box art for the game was originally used as a magazine cover art that Sega of Europe brought later to be used.
There is unofficial fan translation that revert to the Japanese version of the game. The translation has swearing content which was removed from the western release and also brought back Motorcycle and the extended Stage 6 that was removed from the western release of the game.
The game's hardcore soundtrack featured influences from Detroit's hard techno scene (Jeff Mills, Robert Hood, etc.), who were popular in Tokyo dance clubs at the time. It used a random note generator programmed in C++ by Yuzo Koshiro and featured more robotic, hard-driven lines.
"Boss" from Streets of Rage 3 (1994) demonstrating elements of electro, house, techno and jungle.
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For the soundtrack to Streets of Rage 3, Koshiro created a new composition method called the "Automated Composing System" to produce "fast-beat techno like jungle." It was the most advanced techno technique of the time, incorporating heavily randomized sequences. This resulted in innovative and experimental sounds generated automatically that, according to Koshiro, "you ordinarily never could imagine on your own." This method was very rare at the time, but has since become popular among techno and trance music producers to get "unexpected and odd sounds." The soundtrack also had elements of abstract, experimental, gabber, and trance music. As with Streets of Rage 2, the soundtrack features tracks composed by both Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima.
The game's experimental, abrasive noise-based, electronic music received a mixed reception upon release, but has since been considered to be ahead of its time. According to Mean Machines, the "music takes some getting used to – ironically it pre-dated the 'trance' era that came a short while after release." The experimental sounds and use of heavily randomized sequences are also considered ahead of its time.
Although Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima both co-composed Streets of Rage 3's music, the game's credits show Koshiro is credited only as a sound producer, and Kawashima is credited as the main composer.
The Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection includes Bare Knuckle I, II, III (Streets of Rage 1, 2 and 3). These, along with Bonanza Bros., are excluded from releases outside Japan to obtain lower age ratings. Streets of Rage 3 later appeared alongside its other games in Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection.
On 3 May 2012 Streets of Rage 3 was released on Valve's Steam platform, both as a stand-alone game as well as part of the SEGA Genesis Classics Pack 5.
A Streets of Rage Collection, which released under the Sega Vintage Collection series, featuring all 3 games and allows the player to choose between the Japanese, European, or North American versions of all three games. Only the Xbox Live Arcade version was released while the PlayStation Network Release has not been announced.
GamePro commented that the game is little different from previous entries in the series, but praised the new moves and support for the six-button controller. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly praised the new moves and larger levels, though two of them criticized that the soundtrack was well below Yuzo Koshiro's usual standard. They scored it a 7.25 out of 10.
- Davis, Jeff. "Interview with Yuzo Koshiro". Gaming Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- Chris Greening & Don Kotowski (February 2011). "Interview with Yuzo Koshiro". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2011-06-20.
- Horowitz, Ken (February 5, 2008). "Interview: Yuzo Koshiro". Sega-16. Archived from the original on 21 September 2008. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "Yuzo Koshiro / Motohiro Kawashima – Bare Knuckle III". Discogs. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "Streets of Rage 3 review – Sega Megadrive". Mean Machines. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
- "ProReview: Streets of Rage 3". GamePro (61) (IDG). August 1994. pp. 42–43.
- "Review Crew: Streets of Rage 3". Electronic Gaming Monthly (60) (EGM Media, LLC). July 1994. p. 34.
- Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
Streets of Rage 3 guide at StrategyWiki