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The game is more fast-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 Street 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 SOR1 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.
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