First, hats off to Ultra David and James Chen for being the best commentators in the fighting game scene. If you’re not watching the Tuesday Newsday show every Tuesday night on Twitch, then you’re missing out on a duo that rivals the Stuff You Should Know podcasters, but with more focus on fighting games and a lot more cursing; earmuff the kids when David is going off on a rant.
Also, the new tech discovery is not a game breaker. I would hope I wouldn’t need remind you, dear reader, that these pitiful comics are in jest.
Let the post begin!
I’m a lover of fighting games. The fighting game genre is the most important genre. Growing up, playing smash bros 64 and melee with my friends wasn’t just a pastime, it was a dialogue; we spoke to each other with our play. We had the masochist: the player whose instincts acted like a dowsing rod for shitty characters, but could win with intuition tempered with loyalty. We had the scoundrel: the player that was always on the forefront of using tech that was in the stack of “should we ban this?” gameplay. The list could go on and on, but I’m willing to bet you have enough primary knowledge with your own crew to fill in the rest.
Melee is one of the most stubborn fighting games out there; it just won’t die. I wish I could say I stayed in the competitive scene, but distance has always been the bane of that game and the big name nearby, darkrain, went south. That, coupled with how disheartening brawl was, left a vacuum. I know project M is white hot right now, but my training buddies have all moved on and I don’t have any interest modding a broken game to resemble an existing game that I also own. None of my friends are either.
So, I’m the only one left still playing fighting games. Melee’s stubbornness must have rubbed off onto me because I refuse to stop playing fighting games even if they aren’t the fighting game I want to play.
I think every gamer, maybe even everyone, is at least aware of Street Fighter. I’m not sure how it fits into the minds of most, but for me it’s been my fighting game fix since 2010. After watching the the first EVO featuring SF4 (vanilla) ending in a duel between the same opponents captured in, the now legendary, evo moment #37, I put down the pad and picked up the keyboard to play Street Fighter 4 on the PC. You heard me right, I started playing SF4 with a keyboard, which proved difficult because my favorite character was Zangief and doing a 720 with the arrow keys was quite the complex maneuver for my bratwurst like digits.
It has pleased me greatly that Capcom, unlike *cough* *cough* Nintendo, kept updating their game, supporting their fanbase, and had an ever growing and very active community. I wish my old smash buddies could have developed a similar passion for Street Fighter that we all had for melee. But the barrier of entry is thick and steep; there’s a whole new controller scheme to master, the roster consists of characters that didn’t star in every game from your youth, in-depth research to find out all the techniques that are going on without a visual cue, and so on. Even within the street fighter community there is dissension. With the upcoming Ultra release some players are already pitching tent in the camps of “yay” or “nay”.
Maybe not every game character (e.g. adding two shotos), discovery of a weird mechanic (e.g. proximity option selects), or real life player (e.g. E.G. Justin Wong) pleases everybody, but a fighting game’s job isn’t to be perfect for everybody; a fighting game’s job is to give people a set of rules, moves, and characters to allow every player to express themselves the way they want. Some will lose, maybe every time, but they’ll be damned if they didn’t say what they wanted to say before going down.