Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory
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|Fatal Fury 3|
Cover art, Neo Geo CD version.
|Arcade system||Neo Geo|
Fatal Fury 3: Road to the Final Victory (餓狼伝説3 遥かなる闘い? Garō Densetsu 3 Harukanaru Tatakai, "Legend of the Hungry Wolf 3: The Distant Battle") is a 1995 head-to-head fighting game released by SNK for the Neo-Geo arcade and home platforms. It is the fourth game in the Fatal Fury series after Fatal Fury Special (which itself was an updated version of Fatal Fury 2). Console versions of Fatal Fury 3 were released for the Neo Geo CD, Sega Saturn, Windows-based computers and on the Wii Virtual Console. The game is also included in the compilation Fatal Fury Battle Archives Volume 1 for the PlayStation 2.
Fatal Fury 3 retains the format and controls of the previous game in the series, Fatal Fury Special. However, the two-plane battle stages have been revamped into a three plane format known as the Oversway System. The player fights primarily in the middle plane or the main plane, but can move or "oversway" into either of the sway lines at the background (LP+LK) or foreground (LK+HP). When the player performs an attack in a sway plane (or an Oversway Attack), their character will return to the main plane. Likewise, the player can attack an opponent who is in a Sway Plane with an Anti-Oversway Attack. The player can also do a "Quick Sway" to avoid an attack, leaving the opponent vulnerable to a regular attack.
Other new techniques introduced in this installment includes controlling the height of the character's jump, block an opponent's attack at mid-air (Air Guard), and a new type of combo techniques known as Combination Arts, allowing the player to cancel a specific series (which varies between characters) of regular attacks from one to the other. In addition to the regular Special Moves, and the Super Special Moves which can only be performed when the life gauge is flashing red, each character also has a "Hidden Ability", which is a stronger version of a Super Special Move. A Hidden Ability occurs once in every 1024 chances whenever the player inputs the command for the character's Super Special Move. A Hidden Ability can also be used by activating "Super Mode" before a match using a secret code. The player then enters a specific command for the Hidden Ability when the life gauge is flashing red. Unlike Super Special Moves, a Hidden Ability can only be used once per round.
Fatal Fury 3 also features a Fighting Level system when fighting against the computer. When the player completes a round, their performance is graded from D to SSS. The final opponents the player faces at the end of the Single Player Mode is determined then by the player's average.
The player will have a choice between four characters as their first opponent (Joe, Mary, Bob and Franco). After the first four opponents are defeated, the player will fight against Ryuji Yamazaki for a plot-based match in which the player must win only one round. The player will then proceed to fight against Mai, Andy, Hon-Fu, Sokaku, Terry and Geese in that order, before Yamazaki again for a full match. Depending on the grade average, the game will end against Yamazaki or the player will fight against either, or both, of the Jin twins.
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- Terry Bogard (voiced by Satoshi Hashimoto)
- Andy Bogard (v.b. Keiichi Nanba)
- Joe Higashi (v.b. Nobuyuki Hiyama)
- Mai Shiranui (v.b. Akoya Sogi)
- Geese Howard (v.b. Kong Kuwata)
- Sokaku Mochizuki (v.b. Kōji Ishii), a Japanese man whose clan are the sworn enemies of the Shiranui school
- Bob Wilson (v.b. Toshiyuki Morikawa), a capoeira master from Brazil employed as a waiter by Richard Meyer
- Hon-Fu (v.b. Toshiyuki Morikawa), a nunchaku-wielding cop from Hong Kong
- Blue Mary (v.b. Harumi Ikoma), a blonde-haired female agent who uses combat sambo and Terry Bogard's love interest.
- Franco Bash (v.b. B. J. Love), an Italian American kickboxer fighting to rescue his kidnapped son
- Ryuji Yamazaki (v.b. Kōji Ishii), a wanted felon who fights with one hand in his pocket
- Jin Chonshu (v.b. by Kappei Yamaguchi), a young Chinese boy seeking the Secret Scrolls of the Jin
- Jin Chonrei (v.b. Kappei Yamaguchi), Chonshu's elder twin brother, who assists his brother
On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Neo Geo version of the game a 32 out of 40. The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly scored it a 7.675 out of 10. They had widely varied reactions to the game, and two of them remarked that it lacked the "feel" of a Fatal Fury game, but all four rated it as a very playable fighting game which is worth at least trying in the arcade. While acknowledging that Fatal Fury fans might be disappointed by the reduced roster of fighters, GamePro praised the new third fighting plane and ranking system, and concluded that "Instead of simply adding more fighters, FF3 does more with fewer fighters (hidden moves and so on) and a unique method of gameplay." They gave the Neo Geo CD a generally positive review as well, remarking that Bob and Franco are "uninteresting" new characters but praising the detailed stages, the controls, and the modifications to Mai's Swan Dive attack.
In a retrospective review, Maximum highly praised the game's adaption of combos and special moves, and argued that if it were not for the difficulty in executing super power moves, Fatal Fury 3 would have become the leading action game in the arcades. They gave it 4 out of 5 stars.
- NEO GEO GAMES CROSS REVIEW: 餓狼伝説3 -遙かなる闘い-. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.332. Pg.27. 28 April 1995.
- "Review Crew: Fatal Fury 3". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Ziff Davis (71): 38. June 1995.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury 3". GamePro. IDG (82): 68. July 1995.
- "ProReview: Fatal Fury 3". GamePro. IDG (85): 80. October 1995.
- "Fatal Fury 3: Fourth in the Fatal Series". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. Emap International Limited (4): 46. March 1996.