September 13, 2000  -  What SF3 SHOULD have been...

Late summer 1996, I tested SF3 for Capcom.  When they asked me what I thought, I said "Except for the same old shotoclones, where is everybody... how could you leave out a cool, popular, and interesting character like Cammy?!  Who are all these new people?  What happened storyline-wise between SF2 and SF3?!  Why is the gameplay more simplistic? This is Street Fighter...?" 
*Note* at this time, about 5 months before the official release, they didn't have the intro, the endings, or Gil available... or I would have had more to complain about.
When I criticized the game, the people from Capcom seemed pretty confused because it was obvious that they thought SF3 was at least as revolutionary as SF2.  I bluntly told them that I didn't think this game would go over very well.  Fans aren't in it for the name of the game or the company... we're in it because we love how it plays, and we love the characters and their stories.  Capcom took things too far and got lost.  It's like they couldn't see the forest for the trees.
The graphics was only major improvement.  Actually, the graphics were a little overdone and exaggerated in my opinion, but capabilities of the new CPS3 system were impressive.  And personally, I didn't like the art style of the characters.  I'm much more partial to the SF Zero look.  Needless to say, except for the graphics and some of the characters (namely Alex and Ibuki), I didn't like SF3 from the start.
Now that we can look back on it, it's obvious that the game was a failure - especially to expectations!  In general, the fans never did take to the game or its cast of characters.  The upgrades helped (especially Double Impact), but it never did feel right to most SF fans.  The gameplay was obviously made to those players who are super precise and calculating with their movements and button taps.  Personally, I like to be able to fight fast and furious.  Anyhow, the final slap in the face, was the fact that Capcom released the SF3 3rd Strike home version separately!  Releasing the SF3 & Double Impact separately from the 3rd Strike upgrade was a really cheap scheme to scam fans out of more money, especially since they really didn't add anything from the arcade version.
A side note... what happened to Chun Li was probably the worst of SF3's many crimes!  I like her a lot, but the same old thing really grew old over the years.  This was the perfect opportunity to update Chun Li and make her great again.  However, they didn't really change Chun Li's story, they just gave her insane bodily proportions and drastically changed the way she moved... the way she flops and flails around is really downright awkward (i.e. - stupid looking).  I can barely watch at her.  Capcom even tried to hype Chun Li's return, but fans didn't seem go for it.  After seeing Chun Li, I'm a little bit happy that Cammy never made it into the SF3 series... I can just imagine big fat legs and pigtails down to her ankles (and if course the pigtails would fly wildly all over the screen).  If what they did to Chun Li could get me so upset, I'd hate to think how I'd feel if they did that to Cammy!
Anyhow, if I'd been in control of SF3, I'd definitely have tied the game into SF2 by continuing the storyline, brought back favorite characters, added new characters, and hinted at what the future might bring for Street Fighter.  The best thing about SF3 was that it was more or less serious (SF Zero 3, although a cool game, had way too many silly gimmick characters that kinda ruined the atmosphere ).  It's lame to be a critic if you don't offer any solutions, so here's what stefan99's Street Fighter 3 would have been like...
After Cammy defeats Vega (with Guile's help) in SF2, he's captured and brought to trial.  With its leader gone, Shadowloo was thrown into chaos as everybody fought for control of the organization.  Some fought to get Vega back, while some fought to take power for themselves.  Now, about 1-2 years after SF2, things are coming to a head.  In my SF3, various events tying all the street fighters together would lead up to a final showdown... much like the set-up of SFZ3.  For the final ending, I would have Vega escape from custody (with some help from an old friend) and return to take back what is his by right.
*Note*  I know it will seem like I'm a little biased by making Cammy look like the star of the game, but I do that because I think she has the best storyline, personality, and support from fans (in SF2).  She's really not the star of the game, but she does play a big role in many storylines.  If anything, Vega is the real star of Street Fighter.  Anyhow, the main reason why Cammy wins SF2, is because she has a great motivation to win, she has the ability, and her win would help expand the overall storyline (unlike a simplistic motive such as revenge or fame).
Cammy - Guile contacts Cammy to help him take down Shadowloo once and for all.  But she doesn't get permission, so Cammy goes AWOL from the English Secret Service.  And although she won't admit it to herself, she's also looking for more clues about her past.  Personal boss = Balrog.   Mid-boss = Chun Li (who's the "World's Strongest Woman"?)
Chun Li - She's also there to help finish off Shadowloo... and she want's to avenge her loss to Cammy in SF2.  Chun Li desperately needs something to spice up her personality & storyline, so I think it would be fun for her to try and take back her 'title' as "The Strongest Woman in the World".  Also, by beating Chun Li, Cammy kept her from avenging her father.  Personal boss = Cammy  Mid-boss = Ibuki
Ryu - He lost to Sagat in SF2!  Ryu's fighting his way back for the 3rd and final match with Sagat... each now has 1 win.  Ryu is also in DESPERATE need of a storyline and some change in his lame life.  I wouldn't have an Evil Ryu, but I'd hint that his desire to regain his honor comes close to forcing him over to the the 'dark side'.  My idea behind Ryu, is that sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes.  I'm actually helping Ryu become the champion he should be.  If I gotta have the bastard around (and I know I do), then he should be a real hero!  Personal boss = Sagat  Mid-boss = Ken (Ken helps him tune-up for the big fight)
Ken - After settling down with Eliza for a while, he's itching to get out and fight again.  When the events surrounding SF3 start, he sneaks off to go have some fun!  Personal boss = Ryu   Mid boss = Dudley
Alex - He's just a young fighter looking for glory.  He thinks he's ready to take on the guys he's grown up admiring...  Personal boss = Ken  Mid boss = Guile
Ibuki - As part of her final initiation into her ninja clan, she's got to find and defeat Balrog, the Spanish ninja.  Personal boss = Balrog  Mid boss = Fei Long
Necro - He's crazy... nobody's really sure what he's doing.  Personal boss = Fei Long  Mid boss = Hugo
Urien - Nobody knows who he is, where he came from, but it's obvious that he's trying to take control of Shadowloo.   Personal boss = Guile  Mid boss = Dudley
Dudley - He's undercover on behalf of Colonel Wolfman of English Secret Service to keep an eye on Cammy, and back her up if need be.  Personal boss = Alex  Mid boss = Balrog (Dudley knows that he's after Cammy)
Makoto - First of all, I gotta make a big change!  The fact that she looks blatantly like a cross between Sakura and Ryu is lame in theory and reality.  I love the way she fights, but she needs a totally different look... but I'm not gonna get into that here.  Anyhow, I don't have any idea what her storyline is, but we'd think of something for her.   Personal Boss = Chun Li  Mid Boss = Fei Long
Zangief - He's getting old, but he thinks he's still got what it takes for one last go around!   Personal boss = Hugo  Mid boss = Alex
Hugo - He's dominated the pro-wrestling world, now Poison's bringing her big guy to a new arena.  He also wants to defeat the wrestling legend, Zangief.  Personal boss = Zangief  Mid boss = Alex
Fei Long - He's trying to make a documentary of the whole Street Fighter/Shadowloo scene.  Personal boss = Necro  Mid boss = Ibuki
Guile - He's there with Cammy to take down Shadowloo once and for all.  Personal boss = Urien  Mid boss = Zangief
Balrog - He's after 2 things... Cammy and control of Shadowloo.  He'll do anything to get what he wants!   Personal boss = Urien  Mid boss = Cammy
Sagat - He doesn't care about Shadowloo, but he can't escape it.  Sagat's real desire is to get ready for the final showdown with Ryu.  Personal boss = Ryu  Mid boss = Ken (practices on 1 shotoclone in order to prepare for the other)
Vega - He escapes, and he's mad as hell...  Personal boss = Random  Mid boss = Sagat  (Vega demands that he gives up on Ryu and helps to re-form Shadowloo... Sagat says "No.")
Juni - After being lost for many years, she's back!  Juni is the one who springs Vega from jail, and she once again fights at his side!  Where has she been all this time?!  Are there any other Dolls left...?  Personal boss = Cammy  Mid boss = Chun Li
Gouki - He's a secret character like he was in SF2... you never know when or where he'll show up.  Personal boss = Random  Mid boss = Necro
And that's if for the characters.  18 is a good number.  If I added more, I think I'd let Yun/Yang in, return Adon to the series, bring back some of the Final Fight guys, and then maybe invent a few new characters.
-  Each character would have a personal mid and final boss, with Vega being the final boss... and Gouki being an extra/secret boss.
-  I'd like to have personal winning quotes for each character... e.g.  Cammy would say 'X' to Chun Li, 'Y' to Balrog, and 'Z' to Juni.  Etc...
-  The CPS3 system is impressive, but I didn't like the artistic style and the excessive animation.  I'd rather have it look more like the art in the SFZ series.
-  Besides alternate colors, I'd love to have an alternate outfit for everybody.
-  I'm not gonna get into gameplay too much, but I'll just say that I'd much rather have an SF Zero-style gameplay.
-  Gotta include the personal intro animation for rivals... like when Vega fights Cammy, he motions for her to come to him, and she salutes.  That's always cool.
-  Each character would have their own stage with lots of cool stuff in the background.
-  If I had any between-round games, I'd add something a little more interesting than smashing a car or blocking ABA basket balls.
-  I love the idea of using memory cards to personalize characters... I'd like to look into that a lot more.  For instance, creating your own color scheme, dividing strength points to make your character better suit your style, etc.
-  I would put in a lot of time to make sure the characters as balanced as possible.  The SF series is renowned for being cheap and unbalanced (SF2 Guile, SF-anything shotoclone, etc.).
Well, that's more or less it... that's what I think of SF3, and that's a rough outline of what my SF3 would have been like.  I don't know if you agree with me on SF3, or if you liked my ideas for what SF3 should have been, but I hope it was interesting to read nonetheless.
PS - the grading system from SF3 3rd Strike sucks too!