Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior (ART OF FIGHTING: Ryūko no Ken Gaiden, in Japanese: ART OF FIGHTING 龍虎の拳 外伝) was the first game in the series (and the first SNK fighting game period) to use motion capture for its animation. It features a new cast of characters with the exception of Ryo and Robert. Yuri Sakazaki is seen in the game, but only as a side character in Ryo and Robert’s story mode.
The story switched focus from the Sakazaki family to Robert Garcia. Robert disappears to search for an old childhood friend, Freia Lawrence, and he tracks her to GlassHill, Mexico. Freia is wanted by the game’s main antagonist, Wyler, to complete a powerful elixir that was created by his and Freia’s fathers. The drug affects users in a similar manner as the potion in The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.
One of the game’s characters, Kasumi Todoh, became a part of The King of Fighters cast. This game is the only one in the series to have a CD Drama Arranged Soundtrack
Art of Fighting 3: The Path of the Warrior was re-released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in North America on 21 March 2013.
The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the Neo Geo AES version a 5 out of 10. They lambasted the game for its poor balance, with their biggest complaint being the new Ultra-Cool Attacks, since they are easy to execute, cannot be blocked, and deal a massive amount of damage. They further criticized that the game lacks originality and innovation, failing to distinguish itself from the deluge of 2D fighting games coming out at the time. A reviewer for Next Generation saw no problem with the game’s balance but concurred that it is “too similar to every other 2D fighting game on the market.” He gave the Neo Geo AES version three out of five stars