NEKKI's Shadow Fight 3 is the third release in their Shadow Fight series of fighting games. For what started out as a Facebook flash-based game has now moved on to mobile since the release of Shadow Fight 2. For the most part, you can expect Shadow Fight 3 to have some great graphics and smooth gameplay, but it is entirely ruined by an incredibly greedy upgrade path.

So sure, Shadow Fight 3 looks amazing for a mobile fighting game. The graphics are at the top of their class, which is why I see the draw for this type of release. The thing is, the balancing is constantly fighting against your best efforts to catch up and build a competitive character. Not only are there some extreme difficulty spikes in the single-player mode that will force you to go back and grind many of the chapters you have already beaten, the fact that the matchmaking in the PvP mode teams you up against fighters way out of your class points towards the real intention of this title. Worse yet, the PvP mode is not played in real time against a real person as you are simply fighting against an AI using some other player's built-up character. And it only gets worse from there.

Expect a cap on the in-game currency you can earn in that mock PvP mode. This means you will be forced to grind it out in the unbalanced single-player mode if you want to actually win enough currency to purchase the booster packs that unlock the much-needed equipment necessary to be competitive in PvP. This is of course exacerbated by the fact that anyone willing to buy the gems essential to purchasing these booster packs will have a prominent advantage.

It is notable that the developers say they are currently working on the balancing of the game, but they had also said this before when they acknowledged the progression issues in their earlier game Shadow Fight 2. Currently, it is clear that their balancing is still suffering from many of the same problems in their latest release.

  

So yeah, despite how great Shadow Fight 3 looks it is clear this is just another pay-to-win release on the Play Store complete with loot boxes, an endless grind, unfair matchmaking, balancing meant to constantly push you towards paying, multiple in-game currencies, and of course in-app purchases that range all the way up to $119.99 per item. At best this is a casual time waster. So if you are looking for a deep and fair fighting game, I would say keep on looking as this is definitely not it.

Shadow Fight 3
Shadow Fight 3
Developer: NEKKI
Price: Free+