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Art of Fighting 3 by BMan2
Game:Art Of Fighting 3Company:SNK
Type:FightingPlayers:1-2

You've all heard a saying that first impressions count? Well, walk up to Art Of Fighting 3 and you'll be amazed at the slickness of the graphics and the opening funky introduction music. "WOW! This MUST be better than the last two"
And you're right. Art Of Fighting 3 is a DEFINITE improvement of the last two episodes of this trilogy - and thankfully so. However, in amongst the very slick graphics engine and this good soundtrack - seems to be lacking one vital ingredient - there's STILL not much of a game there.
The premise to this game is fairly identical - you choose your character and fight your way through a storyline (and a rather weak one at that this time) - getting to the big boss - and killing him dead. Okay - that's the premise for almost every fighting game on the planet - but some pull it off betters than others. And while the cutscenes and talking sections LOOK pretty - you'll find yourself almost giggling at some of the characters "insults" and taunts.
Hit detection - is one thing that has been improved MARKEDLY in this incarnation - the earlier releases were decidedly dodgy on where and when you could hit a player. Other than this - your players on screen (and you have a choice of 8 now - each with individual story lines) MOVE well - period. This game was invented by a graphic artist - nothing surer. The character animation now flows beautifully - and is great to watch - one of the better graphics used by a Neogeo fighting game. Sound also is quite funky and appropriately effective samples are used (these are only partially supported by MAME - stopping once the actual fight begins)
But, with all of this comes a downside - the AOF control system. In my opinion, the AOF series has been plagued by a poor setup of the moves/buttons. Special moves are often unnatural and general fighting is a combination of guesswork and a lil bit of button bashing. Unfortunately, AOF 3 is no different - which is a shame - because the IS the framework for a decent sort of game lying here - but if you're good at it - you'll get bored by it - and if you're hopeless at it ... you'll throw it in the bin - not willing to learn.
Overall, Art Of Fighting 3 IS a definite improvement on the last two incarnations - and if you ARE a fan of the series - get it - because you'll love what they've done to the graphics engine and sound system. But - if you're after a good, all purpose fighting game - steer clear - there are MANY better less commercial ones than this.
Graphics
9
8
Sound
Play Control
6
7
Challenge
Replay Value
6
7
Performance
1999 EmuViews