There's something I look for in every game I consider buying, and that is a solid and colourful (though not always in the literal sense) cast of characters. The amateur artist in me declares that for a game to look good, it need some cool-looking character design, I've hunted down at least 3 games solely based on that (Megaman Legends, Street Fighter Alpha 3, Wind Waker).
But there is one genre that seems to consistently have the most colourful and diverse of all casts. There is one genre that revels in it's stylish and over-the-top action.
As you've probably guessed, I am talking about the Fighting Game. The only thing is... I suck at fighting games. I realise there's no surprise there, considering the title had the words "I suck at" and "Fighter" in the title, but fighting games aren't just something I play at my friend's house or buy and then trade-in, I actually consider myself to be somewhat a fan of the genre, I would go as far as to say that I love the genre. Alas, the love goes unrequited, it's a one-sided, abusive relationship.
I could go on about how inept I am against Seth using Ken or how Cody can never seem to beat Charlie or how cool-yet-impractical Chipp Zanuff is, but I'm going to talk about just one fighter. Marvel versus Capcom 2.
I never got to play the original MvC2 on PS2 or Dreamcast, and when it was released for XBLA and PSN earlier this year, I wondered why. Ever since I was about seven, I've been a massive fan of the Marvel, and a few years ago I became a massive fan of Capcom. I bought the game through the PSN store a few days after it's release and couldn't wait to play my dream game, featuring every character I love ever. I hastily formed a team of my childhood heroes, Gambit, Psylocke and Megaman, and after a few hours (and easy-mode beatings) later, it dawned on me that I sucked at the game. I ran to the internet, looking at guides, tips, learning the basics of making teams, air combos and wavedashing. I was determined for this to be the game to return my love in full. I spent hours ( for which, read: minutes) in the training arena mastering my "Point", "Battery" and "Assist".
I was ready for Arcade mode again. The game kicked my ass even worse this time. I left it alone for a while. some days later, I spoke casually in IRC with resident fighting nut deBLOO
. I explained my plight and that I couldn't combo worth shit. I was told that Light Kick, Light Punch, Heavy Kick, Heavy Punch (the only combo I had managed to master) was actually a decent one. With this newfound confidence I fromed a new team and set to work. Stage 5 still managed to kick my ass. On Easy mode. I just can't seem to get anywhere with this game. Maybe it's because I can't stand the way the "good" characters look, for example, Storm is wearing her awful early 90's costume and Iron Man doesn't look all that much like Iron Man. Once again, my desire for cool character design has got the better of me.
If I was any normal kind of gamer, I'd have sold all my fighting games by now. But I can't do it. They're just so fucking cool!
This abusive realtionship doesn't show any sign of stopping soon, one look at the infamous Bang Shishigami of BlazBlue and I'm already saving up my pennies for the European release. But who knows? Maybe I'll actually be good this game?