QUOTE (360 @ Apr 29 2011, 07:10 AM)
I really don't get the hate that SOR3 (or at least Bare Knuckle 3) receives. BK3 was uncensored, twice the speed of SOR2, had control upgrades and had so many awesome "oh-shit" moments like the shinobi boss-fight
and after you defeat Mr. X you fight fucking robots. That last fight with Axel versus the super robot as the timer runs down was one of the most awesome boss fights of the 16 bit era (at least for me). Yes I realise they fucked with SOR3 but I had BK3 from the start (Japanese Import) so didn't notice. The only aspect in which SOR2 is superior is in music.
BK3 had more animation, attacks, speed and interactivity, but it was a significant downgrade in graphics and sound. Also, the level design was outright boring at a lot of places, and the game had absolutely zero balance.
Let me detail some of the issues:
- graphics. SOR2 was one of the most beautiful games on the Megadrive, it was almost as if every level was composed specifically to bring out the most beautiful combinations of colors the machine could do. It also had a TON of special effects in the background, such as multilayering, rowscrolling, the ripples in the alien house, or even SNES style rotation on the pirate ship. BK3 had nearly no effects, and often they used digitized photos as backgrounds, which just looked crap on the megadrive. Enemy movement got downgraded too, such as Electras thunder bolt having no animation, no enemies having "stand-up" animations, etc.
- sound. Everybody agrees that SOR2 had better music. It just pumped up the action better. BK3 music is awesome too, but more like a separate album than a videogame score. And going beyond the music, the sound effects were downgraded too. There is a much lower variety in hit effects, lot fewer voices (direct consequence of less mid-boss type enemies), and the hit effects just don't sound as good either. I'd say the hit effect in BK3 was a sissy slapfight compared to the bone-shattering knockouts of SOR2. BK3 just sounded less impressive.
- gameplay. For the length of the entire game, all you had to do was run -> jump kick (works on the final boss too!). You only had to watch out for like three guys that had some uncounterable moves (Big Ben rolling, Signal sliding, Break doing a grand upper), the dozer scene, and that you don't accidentally fall into pits (it was a great twist that the wind blew you into them even if you tried jumping away). In fact you had very little incentive to do anything else, other than the sheer variety. Even special moves were weak and boring. Throwing people onto pits made the action more colorful, but that was limited to one level. And some of the gimmicks were more annoying than functional (all of stage 4).
The lack of variety was also a problem. You just had to go through the gimmick-of-the-current-stage while fighting hordes of weak punks, and then do a boss fight. SOR2 had no gimmicks, but a much bigger variety on enemies, most of whom required separate tactics. I'm thinking of the mid-boss dudes, like the kickboxers, ninjas, fat guys, Electras, etc. BK3 gave every enemy the very weak "punk" status, there was nothing special about either of them. You had galsias and donovans, those two dudes who could grab you, the two females, the two ninjas, fatguys, g-men, signals, robots... and all of them came in hordes, none of them were "unique". The gunman were about the only unique enemies you faced, and even they were as weak as normal punks. Victy and Bruce were the only real mid-bosses in the entire game, outside the two or three galsias who inexplicably moved twice as fast as normal punks.
The entire game was just too unimpressive. If you played SOR2 to death and wanted new content, sure, BK3 was awesome at first sight with the increased speeds, interactive levels, and tons of new attacks, including cooperative bodyslams. Then someone pointed it out that the game looked crap compared to SOR2, sounded crap compared to SOR2, and it didn't have a playable wrestler dude twice the size of normal punks with a NORMAL ATTACK that sounds like it snapped someones spine in two, and takes over 2/3rds of one lifebar IN ONE HIT. Nor did it have any enemies who did that either.
You just didn't "feel the power" in BK3 as you did in SOR2.
And do note that the only version of the game I played, up until internet and emulators, was the original japanese version in a bootleg cart with region lockout removed. On a PAL machine, so SOR2 was slow as molasses, but was still more impressive.