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LONG BLOG

Street Fighter and Me -or- How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Spam Hadoken

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Ahh, the blank canvas. Scourge of all writers. Killer of students. The greatest form of torture to someone working on a deadline. This is what I've been dealing with for the past however-long. For those of you who follow this blog, you've probably noticed a lack of letters, words, paragraphs, and entries in this here blog. I'm not here to apologize (really, I'm not required to update this, but I prefer to), but rather explain how this came to be. I'll end up in a video game related tangent, don't you worry.

As I hope is clear, I do try to put a decent amount of effort into whatever I upload to this site, as I don't like to come across as misinformed, ignorant to what I'm talking about, or just downright stupid, even if all of these things are true at various times. So, when I start enjoying a lot of things that don't directly involve video games (like reconnecting with old friends I haven't seen in years, or finally buying an amp for my guitar), some stuff falls behind the wayside.

But enough about me, let's talk about what video games I am playing.

Actually, to be accurate, it's fair to say I am monogamous in my video gaming, currently. I have found a home with a large joystick in my lap shooting balls of fire at not-quite-racist-but-totally-stereotypical "world warriors". Yes, I'm talking about Super Street Fighter 4.


This is the kind of mentality a lot of my friends had, albeit in a more friendly manner. And yes, I did beat that guy. He could have very easily beaten what I was doing.

Once I entered the realm of the internet, I discovered just how good people had been getting at these games over the years. Things like "Evo moment #37" way back in 2004 (the fact that I can say "way back in 2004" without being sarcastic makes me pretty sad, by the way) appealed to me in the greatest of great senses. Sure, I wouldn't be able to do that in a million years, but it's moreso an example of me realizing how much potential there was that I had never even seen.

At that point, the floodgates of information poured open for me. I discovered David Sirlin's infamous "playing to win" series and wondered how on earth people could disagree with that stuff, found shoryuken.com and picked out whatever info I thought was interesting, and sought out high quality videos of other people playing video games (and really, that's a point of no return).

Of course, this was all six years ago. I had no fighting game that I enjoyed. I tried to enjoy Guilty Gear XX #Reload on my Xbox, but it never really "clicked" for me. I wasn't really enjoying it, and even though I could go online with it, I never really found a community to play with. Randoms are only so exciting (especially since I was losing pretty handily at that one).

After that, I played Dead or Alive 4 for a bit, and I had a good group of friends I rolled with on that game, but we were all basically playing it because it was our only option on the Xbox 360. That XBLA version of Hyper Fighting was depressing.

Then Street Fighter 4 happened.

Yeah, this game (and its sequel/expansion/"thing that should've been DLC/a patch"/whatever you're willing to call it) certainly has its flaws (a bit too defensive/slow for my tastes, really unwelcoming for new players, links will ruin your brain), but it was finally a game I clicked with. When it first came out, I was in the middle of a crunch at work, so it kind of fell by the wayside, but it was never out of my mind. Once I heard about Super Street Fighter 4, all hell kind of broke loose in my mind. To make matters worse/better, PAX East was like a nail in the coffin.

At PAX East, once I discovered the large amount of people playing SF4, that was it. As luck may have had it, I was already in the process of buying a Mad Catz Tournament Edition stick from a friend of mine also attending the expo (and they are as good as everyone says, really), but that didn't even matter once I sat down in freeplay. If that weekend hadn't been one of the busiest weekends of my life, I probably would've spent the majority of it playing Street Fighter, and I would've lost a lot. I've been bit by the bug, and now there's no turning back.

Not to mention, I have a good group of people to play with even at home now! Yes, online has its share of issues, and playing with lag is always unfortunate (though that is a topic for another time), but this random site called destructoid.com seems to have a decent core of Street Fighter players that are enjoyable playing, and have skill levels ranging from "I can beat them without trying" (Nishant I love you) to "What the hell did they just throw at me?", and everywhere in between. If you spend some time in Destructoid's IRC channel, you'll find a match eventually. Go in with the right attitude, and you'll also learn a lot.

So, thanks guys. You've probably added at least a month to my unemployment. I hope you're happy.

(And just for you regular readers: Bioshock, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Bioware, Lost, Mad Men Shenmue 2's ending sucked.)
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About Alakaiserone of us since 1:32 PM on 03.15.2010

The name's Tom. I used to work as an industry guy, and am currently on the hunt for my next paying gig. In the meantime, I'm working on a bunch of different projects that don't help me pay my bills. I write a lot. I'm a musician, although certainly not of the professional variety. I like trying new things and meeting new people. I'm still somewhat new around Destructoid, so sorry in advance if I don't know something I probably should.

About my blog:

I update daily (not really, but I like to pretend). Generally, my updates get pretty long-winded, but hopefully not to the point where they're unreadable. I'll wax poetic about whatever's on my mind, like current events in my life, things that are happening in the video games I like, or whatever happens to pop in my head that day. With a few exceptions, I write my entries the same day I publish them, so they're pretty fresh content-wise. It also might help explain the occasional typos. I do my best to avoid any errors, though.

About my work:

I worked at Harmonix Music Systems as a tester on a year's worth of DLC, The Beatles: Rock Band, Lego Rock Band, and Rock Band Network. Feel free to ask me questions about it, but remember: I'm still under NDA. Also, if you know of a job opening, please tell me about it. I'm flexible.

About my contact info:

Want to collaborate with me on something, big or small, related to the site or not? I'd love to. I like working on any project that I'm even remotely capable of working on, and would love to help you in whatever way I can. Feel free to PM me here, or otherwise send me an email at alakaiser(at)gmail(period)com. Even if you don't want to work with me on something, I'd love to just chat. I'm a pretty friendly guy!

What happened to that thing you did? You know, that one thing?:

I wrote an article that ended up getting promoted to the front page of the site, which is pretty damn cool. It removes it from my cblog archive, though, so I'm throwing a link in this here sidebar for the sake of an archive (and in case I lose the link myself).

The Great Escape: One Foot in Reality