Lucia is a newcomer to the Street Fighter world and she is also relatively fresh in the Final Fight series. Before Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Lucia only appeared in one game: Final Fight 3. CBR is going back to the classic SNES beat-em-up to see how Lucia compares to her only previous appearance. We'll be looking at the Wii Virtual Console version to see how Lucia plays in Final Fight 3 and how the game holds up today.
Lucia's First Appearance
Lucia is playable in Final Fight 3, and she works a lot like her Street Fighter V counterpart, in that she has a lot of kicks, moves fairly quickly and incorporates throws in her strikes. She has a few special moves, all of which either look exactly like or resemble her special moves in Street Fighter V. Her V-Skill in Street Fighter V is her normal attack string in this game. She also has a super move which resembles her Critical Art in Street Fighter V, except it's longer in Final Fight 3.
Something that should be noted is it's actually shocking how much Lucia's playstyle is the same in both games. Despite being a beat-em-up from 1995, Lucia feels like a fighting game character. Playing as her feels freeing in a beat-em-up. There's so much control over her and such a wide variety of attacks. This is almost to a fault, as she's so much like a fighting game character that she isn't that great in this game. Many of her moves are easy to dodge because enemies can walk into the foreground or background and avoid them easily. That's not a problem in a 2D fighting game, since there's only one plane to worry about. That said, going back to Final Fight 3 makes it obvious as to why she was included in Street Fighter V. If anything, it's surprising she wasn't included in a previous game.
Final Fight 3 Holds Up
Lucia is only as good as the game she's in allows her to be and Final Fight 3 plays like a dream. Even by today's standards, this game has a lot of useful mechanics that give players a lot to consider. There's ways to flip over enemies while holding them, special moves both on the ground and in midair, running strings and more. Final Fight 3 feels like it was influenced by fighting games coming out at that time, such as Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. Like those games, the idea of more complicated mechanics and managing a special meter allow for more techniques available. The only game at that time that had mechanics like this is series rival Streets of Rage 3.
Unfortunately, just like Streets of Rage 3, Final Fight 3 lacks memorable enemies and levels. Many of the levels tend seem to be repeating ideas introduced in the first game. Long stretches of fights by a pier, elevators, a boss fight against a traitor police officer, etc. Despite these flaws, the combat still feels great and characters feel more powerful as the game is better balanced, probably because it's primarily a console game. Final Fight might be the more nostalgic title but overall, with both Haggar and Guy being in this game, Final Fight 3 is the better game. There are different versions of the game available for Wii U, Wii and, of course, the Super Nintendo, which are definitely worth picking up for those who want to dig into Lucia's first appearance.