Retro Head2Head

“Step into the ring with our FIRST Retro Head2Head!”

Capcom Capcom
Capcom  DVD
Fighting Stereo
Stereo Fighting
Release: 10/04/2000  3 Sec
 3 Secs Release: 02/22/2005
ESRB: Teen

Retrospect Head2Head: Street Fighter III 3rd Strike.

Length: 00:05:55

 We go Retro style Head2Head with Street Fighter 3 Third Strike for the Xbox and Sega Dreamcast consoles. Watch the video to see which version is crowned our first retro Head2Head champ.

Welcome to the Lens of Truth’s first attempt at a Retrospect Head2Head. Now before anyone gets excited, we decided to start off this new section with a game  almost every person should have heard of once in their life,  and that’s Street Fighter. With Super Street Fighter IV rocking the industry as we speak, we thought it’s the prime time to focus or lens on its predecessor, Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Stick around as we step back a few years and crown our first retrospect Head2Head champion.


Street Fighter III – New Generation was originally released in 1997 as a coin-operated arcade exclusive. Back then no home console on the market could even attempt a decent port due to the intense graphics processing required to render the insane amount of animations each character held.  As with all the other games in the Street Fighter series, Street Fighter III had multiple variants of its original skew, which includes Street Fighter III 2nd Impact and Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. These games were produced and developed for the CD-ROM/Cartage based CPS III hardware (See image below for reference), which allowed for more elaborate 2D graphics than the CPS II-based games. In 2000, the  Sega Dreamcast version of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike was released, claiming to be an arcade perfect port; four years later, Microsoft made their attempt to claim the same. So the question remains, which version of Street Fighter III 3rd Strike is the total arcade experience. 


Graphics/Sound: Before we continue, we would like to share with you that both the Xbox and Dreamcast version of this game were captured using S-Video connections ensuring an even graphical comparison across the boards.  Street Fighter III 3rd Strike was the best looking animated 2d fighter around, and for a console to reproduce these graphics was an accomplishment in and of itself. However, one version flexed its graphical powerhouse with pixel perfection while the other fell a little under the bus. The Sega Dreamcast version came out swinging, having a sharper image throughout. As seen in the videos, the characters looked more detailed and more defined, while the Xbox seemed to have some type of filter applied, creating a washed-out look. Furthermore,  we compared both versions side by side to the arcade version to distinguish any speculation we had. The Dreamcast version was no doubt a pixel perfect port from the arcade.

Another area the Dreamcast come out on top was with its superior audio. At first, we questioned our audio capture because of how significant the audio differences were between the two versions, but after re-inspection of our captures  we confirmed that the audio samples in the video are accurate. The Dreamcast version was  more crisp and clear, while the Xbox version seemed muffled.


Performance/Controls: Both version performed flawlessly, accurately replicating the complete arcade feel. Both versions’  combo-systems, parries, and super moves executed to the tee.  On the other hand, a bad controller could spoil this game like milk left out for days  in the sun. Right off the bat, it’s clear both systems controllers suck for fighting games, period. Luckily, the Dreamcast had an arcade stick available for purchase at the time of this release; also the  Xbox had a pretty decent arcade stick of its own.  The Xbox introduced the  Street Fighter Anniversary Arcade Stick simultaneously with their game’s release, and let it be known it’s one of the best looking and most accurate arcades sticks the industry has to offer.  This category ended in a deadlock with  each system ensuring an arcade experience.

Loading: Surprisingly, loads times were rather quick on both consoles, clocking in around 2 to 3 seconds. Furthermore, considering the Dreamcast was sporting a 12x maximum speed CD-ROM drive while the Xbox had an 16x maximum speed CD-ROM drive, the Dreamcast held it own in this category. Regardless this category was a tie.

Roll over the image to see the differences


Roll over the image to see the differences

Roll over the image to see the differences


Conclusion, Technical Score and Staff Choice on Page 2.

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