So guess what's out next month come the 17th? No, it's not the one year anniversary of the screening of "11th Hour" that the University of Notre Dame had. (Even though it is.) It's the day Street Fighter IV comes out. It's a day I've been waiting to arrive for quite a while now, and with it being just a mere few weeks away I thought I'd give a brief history of my history with Street Fighter. (If I could blast the Street Fighter II theme in it's full old school glory as soon as you finished reading that last line I totally would. But I can't...so just hum along to it in your head.)
So where to begin this lovely tale of intrigue and self discovery? I'd say the year was around 1994. I was still a wee lad back then, loving the wonders that came out of my Sega Genesis. Regardless of what I played, I was enamored by the games that this piece of machinery would allow me to spend my hours on. Sonic 2, Jewel Master, Chakan, Gunstar Heroes, whatever the fuck it was, I would love it to pieces. I enjoyed every single moment I spent playing my Genesis. It was a much simpler time back then. This brings us back to the year 1994. Christmas 1994 to be exact.
Every year that had passed since I first had gotten my Sega Genesis, I would get at the very least four games for Christmas. Usually they were the standard fare "Oh, he'll love this. He likes Cheetos doesn't he?", or the "Oh I think he'll like this! It's got skeletons and a man wearing a skirt!" which led to me owning a copy of Chester Cheetah Too Cool to Fool and Shining Force. Now before you get all up in arms about my Shining Force comment, I'll have you know I love Shining Force and respect it greatly as a turn based strategy game. It's just, well, you know when you're younger all you want to do on a game console is bash the shit out of things and collect rings? Yeah, exactly.
Anyway, Christmas 1994 was a special year. It was the year I got Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, along with a strategy guide and six button Genesis controller. It's pretty safe to say I played the living shit out of Street Fighter II when I was a kid. As time went on I started to explore more of the game. I figured out how characters worked, why the game wouldn't pause when I pushed start on a normal three button controller, why Ryu would now kick instead of punch, and how damned useful that six button controller really was in the bigger scheme of things. I was slowly, but surely wrapping my seven year old mind around this game, and goddamn did I love it.
As time went on though, my mind started to move on to bigger and better things, namely the Nintendo 64. I eventually made the switch from my poor old Genesis to the wave of the future, the N64. After this happened I didn't touch my genesis, or Street Fighter II for a few years. It seemed like there was this whole new world of gaming possibilities that hadn't be tapped by the realm of 2d gaming. So of course why would I want to play old Genesis games when I could do so much more now? Oh, how juvenile and naive my thoughts were at the time. Not only was I wrong in thinking, I had pretty much abandoned my childhood in gaming.
Eventually, however, I did end up stumbling into the dusty old box that my Genesis had been sitting in for the past few years. I thought "hell, it might be kinda fun to play some of my old games". And so I dusted my Genesis off and had another go at my old school games. The sudden rush of nostalgia was overwhelming in a "I'm drowning in a pool full of sharks" sort of way. (Not that it was bad, it was just intense.) Needless to say I stumbled across Street Fighter II once more, and it was beautiful. (This time in an E.T. ending sort of way.) My love for the game had been rekindled, and from that point on my Genesis sat right beside my N64.
Once more, time passed and I grew older, and with this my eyes were opened to the world of competitive gaming. Much more specifically, competitive Street Fighter. By this time I had discovered the world of Street Fighter Alpha 3. It was a brand new game (to me at least) with a whole slew of new characters and a new art style, yet it handled like an upgrade of Street Fighter II should. The vast majority of my favorite characters moves were still intact, exactly as I remembered them from way back when. While I never entered any of the tournaments, I did grow much more fascinated by this game. Watching two competitors beat the snot out of each other with their own unique strategies was amazing.
A couple of years later I managed to get my hands on Street Fighter III: Third Strike. The vast majority of the cast from SF II and Alpha 3 were gone, in their places a roster consisting of mainly new characters. While the idea of taking out a bunch of old school favorites never made much sense to me, I still played the game with friends on a regular basis and had a pretty great time doing so. Which reminds me, Street Fighter III: Third Strike gave us one of the greatest tournament comeback videos ever.
Fast forward a few more years and we reach the point that I'm at now. I love the Street Fighter series, having fond memories of most of their important incarnations throughout the majority of my life. The recent release of Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix has me eagerly anticipating the release of Street Fighter IV. Sadly, though, I still have yet to enter in a Street Fighter tournament of any kind. However, Community Vibes IV is
coming up next month and I'm pretty positive they have some sort of SF IV tournament going on. I can't wait.
Oh yeah, before I forget.
Zangief is terrifying:
This is how I feel about Akuma:
and here's the world's biggest Vega fan:
The End read