It's not only my favorite fighting game, but my most treasured video game release of all-time.
While there's been many a game in my lifelong catalogue I've enjoyed --and still do enjoy-- immensely, there exists a very (can't emphasize this enough) exclusive handful of experiences that propels my past self to the present, where I'm simply allowed to drop day-to-day challenges for a moment's time, reliving the late '90s through early '00s.
Although gaming can provide a fun distraction, a trip back to less complicated times is a bonus unlike any other, whether it's wreaking havoc in a winery or communicating your aggression via Fierce and Roundhouse against a defenseless '90 Lexus LS 400. Personally speaking, there's not a more gratifying feeling possible when handling a controller.
Unfortunately, Street Fighter III: New Generation & 2nd Impact, which comprise this compilation, never had a fair shake, if I'm frank. The Sega Dreamcast, while the console closest to my heart and well worth the price of admission, wasn't exactly occupying households to the degree its contemporaries were; arcade releases in the US (and elsewhere not named 'Japan,' I'd presume) were relatively limited, the lone home version was released in '99 (a full 2 years after debuting in arcades) and the omission of tried-and-true series characters, namely Chun-Li, made many either look the other way or drop either like an Oro-carved hot potato.
Shame, too, since the CPS-3 offered lush visuals and audio that were uniquely 'Capcom.' I was --and to this day, continue to be-- in awe, upon first duking it out with Ibuki in Kyoto in New Generation (especially during Round 2), 'Sharp Eyes,' a complementary soundscape:
Tight controls, loose combo system, charm from all angles-- in a word, entertaining.
Love Street Fighter III and it'll love you back. You'll often read that 3rd Strike is a 'good game,' which it truly is, but so were its predecessors.
Fight for the future, but embrace your origins, as well, folks:
Thoughts on/fond memories of this oft-forgotten gem?