The side scrolling beat'em up was a staple of the arcades in the '90s but for some reason the genre is barely represented on the Neo Geo. Sengoku 3 was Noise Factory's answer to that problem.
Genre: Beat'em Up Players: 2 Size: 364 MB Released on: MVS, AES
Sengoku 3 is a side-scrolling beat up game developed by Noise Factory and published by SNK. The game is the third and final title of the Sengoku series. It was released in arcades on October 25, 2001. The main illustrations were done by Shiroi Eiji, making it one of his final jobs for SNK before he left the company.
Ahhh cool, nice to see this as GotW! You know what, for all its faults, I actually really love this game. Good graphics, excellent soundtrack (as usual for Noise Factory) and more than anything the gameplay is very addictive. The combo system is quite good fun, I just wish the enemies weren't quite so repetitive, as even by genre standards you feel like you are killing the same person over and over again so badly in Sengoku 3.
It's still not up to the standard of the best Capcom beat 'em ups (one area that Capcom has excelled in compared to SNK), but overall a very good game! I still wonder how SNK and other companies, for all their talents, never made a side scroller on the Neo Geo that was anywhere near as good as Cadillacs vs Dinos, Aliens vs Predator or D&D.
Might have a go at the high score challenge this week...!
While other companies have made stellar beat'em ups the genre seems to belong to Capcom, Konami, and Sega. After those three companies the other two biggest names in 90's arcades were Namco and SNK, neither of which are even remotely known for their beat'em ups. Why SNK never embraced the genre is beyond me. Members of Nazca had made a great one when they still worked at IREM (Ninja Baseball Batman) and they went on to make another classic in The Crystal of Kings after SNK's bankruptcy fiasco. And if SNK couldn't develop a beat'em up in house, why didn't a third party fill the gap? Technos themselves developed games for the NG and they created the genre! But when they brought Double Dragon to the NG what did they do with it? They made it a freaking one on one fighter. *sigh*
I suppose, in the early days SNK did try. But games like Robo Army, Eightman, and the first two Sengoku games clearly failed to even give simplistic earlier beat'em ups like Final Fight and TMNT a run for their money.
Enter Noise Factory. I'm not sure if they approached SNK about reviving Sengoku, or if a higher up at SNK played Gaia Warriors and said, "get me Noise Factory on the phone, now!" All I know is I'm thankful it happened. Sengoku 3 is definitely in my top 10 NeoGeo games. I love beat'em ups (could you tell?) and this one is incredibly deep without sacrificing simplicity. The graphics and music are amazing. The characters are extremely cool. How none of them ended up in NeoGeo Battle Coliseum is beyond me.
It does suffer from the same problem found in most beat'em ups where you're fighting the same enemies over and over again but that's to be expected. Because of the unique combo system you're not constantly doing the same attacks over and over, so even with repeated enemies the game never actually feel repetitive.
In regard to what Kaz said about Sengoku 3 not being quite as good as Capcom's best... I think I might actually have to choose Sengoku 3 over Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, Alien Vs. Predator, or the D&D games. I think it's light years beyond Konami's best (X-Men, Metamorphic Force, Turtles in Time). And Sega? Well... I'm a Sega fanboy and I admit it, so while I'll say it's better than Golden Axe I can't say it's better than the Streets of Rage series. Even if that is partially due to nostalgia.
In other words, Sengoku 3 ranks among the best beat'em ups ever made. It's a shame that the casual crowd mostly overlooked it because it doesn't have Sega, Konami, or Capcom's names on it. There are plenty of great beat'em ups not developed by those three that all tend to suffer from a similar fate. Knights of Valour, Dungeon Magic, Denjin Makai II, and those I mentioned above are never mentioned alongside the beat'em up "greats" like The Simpsons or Final Fight despite the fact that they're all far better games. With a little outside the box thinking, arcade gamers can find a lot of fantastic games that are all too often overlooked. Sengoku 3 is a perfect example of that.
Sengoku 3, being a little too long for my taste, is nonetheless a great, if not the best enrichment for the Beat 'em Up genre on the Neo Geo (which is already quite narrow as you guys said). I played it one year ago and it still remains as a great experience in my personal Gaming history. Noise Factory, also responsible for the absolutely terrific Metal Slug 5 soundtrack, delivered us a action-packed title with many interesting gameplay features such as many Combo and Super Move possibilities, unlockable characters and of course a great soundtrack.
Just as Reelmojo mentioned, this one also reminds me a bit of Noise Factory's Gaia Crusaders (which is still nice imo but inferior to Sengoku 3).
I like the game but as with the above comments its just to long and feels like it belongs to the 90s rather than the 2000s. I like Sengoku 2 as well but my fave NG scroller is Robo Army. Still Sengoku 3 is a fun game which is worth playing if you can somehow get it. I have it on multicart but think I have ever seen it on ebay for MVS about twice and its usually pricey.
This is the worst Sengoku installment of them all IMO. But, before people start getting the cross and nails ready, let me explain myself.
There is one thing that this game CLEARLY trumps the other two on : gameplay. The combo system works great and the controls are not as choppy as the previous two games.
Now, as for why I hardly even play this game.: this game is bland as prime time TV. The colors are dull as all hell, it hurts my eyes. This game in spirit is nothing like the other two games. Those two games were dark as hell; demons, alternate dimensions strange sound effects and music. The colors in the originals -- although limited-- were at least all dark in hue and the stages had a dark, evil motif in design. Sengoku 3 just seems like the colors are bright, and in some animations/stages; ugly, bland, life-less and faded colors. The game just seems generic in every way. Gone is all the extremely strange/haunting music, strange enemies, strange environments,, random teleportation to parallel words. I know people like the Noise Factory sound track, but it really isn’t like either of the original’s soundtracks, it’s just so... plain. The enemies are so goddamned boring and repetitive as fuck, even for a beat 'em up. The protagonist are really boring, generic anime fodder to me too. Call the gay “Broke Back Mountain” cowboy in Sengoku 1 and 2 “lame” all you want, but at least he was different and original.
I suppose the fact that I am a big fan of Sengoku 1 and 2 really makes me biased here. Everybody seems to piss all over the first two movies, mainly because the graphics and gameplay. But there really are more elements to games, and in their other areas, the first two Sengoku games really shine if you can isolate and appreciate them. The originality of them, both in music and presentation, is nothing short of awesome.
Sengoku 3 just doesn’t appeal to me at all, in the long run.
Edited by LIFE_IN_2D on 28. September 2011 23:48
shot in the eye
shot in the brain
shot in the ass...
It's ok I guess. The conbo system is fun & all but I don't like how limited the grapples are and that the enemies have so much health.
The biggest thing that annoys me is how lame the enemy cast is. The first two games had ton of surreal and insane foes that really gave the series its character. Here, you fight green-skinned dudes, green-skinned dudes in a eye-searing yellow suit, old men and Bleach rejects. Yawn.
Sengoku 3, the only thing I hate about it is the amount of health normal characters have. I prefer the flow to be like Final Fight.
I asked smkdan to do a quick hack which makes you 3x stronger/ enemies 3x weaker.
The flow was very good and made the game enjoyable to play. Since it was a quick hack it affected the bosses as well. But I think if the hack was properly done it would make the game flow SO much better.
I think I still have the file so if anyone wants to try it I will post it.
Not quite what I had hoped for in from this series' third installment, but Noise Factory's Sengoku title is a very good scrolling fighter in it's own right.
What I feel must be said before going any further is that, as a sequel, Sengoku 3 resoundingly fails.
Other than weapon-toting characters and undead foes, there are no other common elements shared with the cult-beloved first two Sengoku entries. Gone are the spectral plane shifts, otherworldly music (fusing ancient and modern instruments), haunting chants, character transformation, weapon power-ups, diverse cast of enemies, epic atmosphere... *sigh*... All these omissions are a goddamn shame, IMO. These elements gave the series it's identity and a moody atmosphere uniquely it's own.
Sengoku 3 is an entirely different beast with its own strengths and flaws and will be judged as such.
It's easily the Neo's deepest scrolling fighter in terms of gameplay- something that saves it from utter mediocrity as far as I'm concerned. Versatile strikes and combos, multiplied by a large initial character selection (further added upon as the game progresses) does help distract from the absurdly small roster of rather lame-looking foes. Repetitive enemy types is one of my bigger gripes with this game. At least they're animated well. This brings me to the playable characters and bosses which showcase vastly superior artistic design (thank god) and are animated brilliantly!
Backgrounds are a very mixed bag of bright, colorful tones and minimally realized structure. This is often undermined by shamefully lazy and repetitive textures. The Brazil stage is a prime offender in this respect with awful, blotchy terrain and "foliage" that's an embarrassment to the Neo Geo's powerful hardware which is capable of much, much more.
Fortunately, sound and music are strong points in S3. Voices and effects are solid and get the job done, albeit in strictly average fashion. While not as exotic, expansive or varied as in Sengoku 1 & 2, the pulsing, groove and beat-heavy soundtrack of 3 is excellent! A well-paced and catchy offering of techno, peppered with traditional Japanese instrumental touches interwoven to varying degrees of presence throughout. Great stuff.
If you know what to expect (and what NOT to) from this late-entry addition, if only in name, to the Sengoku series then you'll likely enjoy one of the Neo's very best scrolling fighters. For a big fan of the first two Sengoku games such as myself, it's disappointing the third strays so far from all that was established by its predecessors. I'll always hold 2 in higher regard and call it a close contest between 1 & 3.
A definite must-play for any fan of the genre. Very, very good and best enjoyed on its own merits rather than as a sequel. Sengoku 3 could well have benefitted from being christened with a different name altogether. It'd be truer to its nature.
Edited by Chiba3010 on 18. July 2012 03:42
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