Streets of Rage 3, known in Japan as Bare Knuckle III (ベア・ナックルIII Bea Nakkuru Surī), is a side-scrolling beat ’em up developed and published by Sega in 1994 for the Sega Genesis. It is the third and to-date, final installment of the Streets of Rage series. It was later released for the Japanese version of Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo GameCube and PlayStation 2, and for the Wii Virtual Console in September 2007. The game also appeared in Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
The game features several enhancements over Streets of Rage and Streets of Rage 2 such as a more complex plot, multiple endings, longer levels, increased difficulty, more in-depth scenarios and faster gameplay. Weapons could now only be used for a few times before breaking and could be integrated with unique moves with certain characters, hidden characters were added and a few cutscenes were included to give the story greater depth.
The game is faster-paced than its predecessors. Running and vertical-dodge moves were added (only Skate could run in Streets of Rage 2), and most player attacks deal less damage than in the predecessors. The level timer has been replaced with a “power meter” that, when full, allows players to perform special moves without draining the player’s life bar.
Unlike the first and second game, weapons in Streets of Rage 3 can only be used a fixed number of times. However, additional weapon special attacks could be performed. The game also features return of Streets of Rage team attacks in which two characters work together to perform a powerful attack as in the first game. Blitz moves, performed while players run, were altered so that they can be upgraded in strength over the course of the game. The player would have to earn a set amount of points on one life to upgrade it. Losing a life would put the blitz move down a level, but the upgraded moves could still be performed by pressing X on a 6 button controller, followed by a button sequence.
Traps in stages were brought back from the original game. For example, enemies can once again be thrown into pits or off the side of an elevator. Enemy AI was expanded so more enemies can pick up weapons, block attacks, employ co-operative attacks (usually, a Big Ben-like enemy will throw one of the Garcia enemies at the character to smack them down), and even steal exposed food items to regain health.