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(the following is a blurb I contributed for pangburn’s massive “sight & sound” project from earlier this year, preserved in this lone journal entry to please no one beyond myself. i thought it would be nice to have something on my page for my favorite
traditional fighting game, and after seeing djscheddar do something similar for silent hill i thought it would be a good excuse to crib his style and finally post something small on third strike.)
Being a series that founded its core identity on timeless, generalized depictions of caricatured combat, it’s fascinating to me that Street Fighter tried to reinvent itself with the SFIII Series, seemingly to appeal to the masses and ultimately burning bridges with a large number of their fans in the process. I think that’s a large part of why it's so special to me though: this series of games (especially Third Strike) stands nowadays as a perfect time capsule of a bygone era laced in frivolous sass and a shared optimism for a new generation. Third Strike could easily be held up on the merits of its artistic tendencies even if it wasn’t strong mechanically, but this aesthetic isn’t just cheap set dressing - this drive for creativity and spunk is interwoven with every thread of its design. While mechanics like parrying and a brand new roster of bozos may not appeal to everyone who loved the simplicity of SFII, the confidence on display in every element to the identity of SFIII makes it a peerless monolith in one of the most colorful and creative genres in the medium. As the turn of the millennium draws near and the world resets at midnight, what's the harm in being the most honest and playful versions of ourselves in the meantime?