The good old days. Coin operated machines in the arcades. I spent many a dollar around on the coin ops, and loved every minute of it. One of the major games that sucked me in, Street Fighter 2 Championship Edition. It was everywhere, and everyone of my friends had their specific character, and could pull off most every single move. Whether you were passing the time out in front of Wal-mart playing this, or at the pizza parlor surrounded by all kinds of people, seeing who was the best, the game itself had a certain draw to it, that could not be explained.
From here, we’ve watched Capcom take the Street Fighter franchise and rearrange it so while it was Street Fighter, it became to complex, too complicated and bloated, and lost all semblence of what made Street Fighter well… Street Fighter.
I never really got into any of the Alpha series, nor did I get into Street Fighter 3, it just seemed off to me. I was an old school cut teeth on SF2, so these others just did not seem to feel right. We watched Capcom take and squander away the game itself, and even the Marvel vs Capcom seemed to not satisfy the itch. All throughout this time, arcades were closed and waning in popularity. Street Fighter for me became shelved in my mind and relegated to the point of it is a happy memory, but nothing will ever come close to reminding me of the fun I had.
Now comes Street Fighter IV. My wife got this game for me over the past week, I’ve bee following it for a while, and was honestly willing to risk it. I’m not going to be going into the details about the features, story lines or any of that, all of that information is readily available, from people who are much better word smiths than I.
What this game was to me though, was a trip back down the lane. All characters from Street Fighter 2 CE? Check! Ok T. time to brush those neural clusters off from then. Lets load up Ryu, take him out for a spin, never was that great with Ryu, but he’s a classic standby. Remember, don’t look at the instructions, or online manuals, or command lists, just go. What I found out my brain still had the moves remembered on ol’ Ryu. Within the second match, I was already doing my Shouryuken’s and Hadoken’s as if I never had left. I felt as if 10 years of my life had been ignored, and I was that same little kid, trying my hardest to beat the game again, with only one quarter because that’s all I had in my pocket.
Each character made their appearance that I could remember, all intact. I start finally delving into the new areas of the franchise, the parts that usually fry a circuit when it comes to fighting games. They actually are rather simple, and fit right in with the old style, without even thinking twice. SFIV has become the perfect sequel. The old school players, such as myself can pick it up, and still be fairly successful without the new content, but there is a breath of fresh air and new styles to learn from and master.
I know there are a lot of people out there that have much of the same memories that I have had regarding Street Fighter 2 in particular, and just can’t stand the other Street Fighter games out there. Ladies and Gents, it is time to fire up your memories, and give the newest one in the franchise a try. It transported me back to that time of so long ago, when I fell in love with Street Fighter, and that is probably the best compliment anyone could give of it.