I’m writing this post over a plate a pancakes, so excuse me if my words sound a little syrupy…
I do have to say, though, these pancakes are awesome. When buying pancake mix, I usually cheap out and go with a “complete” version to which you only need to add water. This last time at the grocery store, however, I wasn’t paying close attention, and picked up a mix that requires eggs, oil, and milk. Jeez. Do I look like Martha fucking Stewart? Anywaaaay…I gave the mix a go, and they are pretty much the best pancakes ever.
Do you care about my awesomely awesome pancakes? Probably not. But I forgive you. If you think you make the world’s best pancakes, I’d love to hear about it. Pancakes rock.
But not as much as Street Fighter…II Turbo, that is!
(And how’s that for the world’s shittiest segue?)
Now wait, you say to yourself, I’ve been following your blog, which, in terms of fantastic-ness is comparable to this, and you’ve said you’re an impatient gamer with bad timing. How could you possibly enjoy a fighting game, which is all about patience and timing?? I must therefore conclude that you suck at fighting games.
Well, you are correct, mostly. I do generally suck at fighting games, but I love the hell out of them, most of them, anyway. (e.g. I should be programmed to enjoy Super Smash Brothers, for example, but I just don’t like it, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I loathe the mechanics of using the Wii controllers in a fighting game.)
So, yeah, me and fighting games go back a couple decades to Street Fighter II Turbo, which I played with my brother on our Super Nintendo. We were pretty good players, but he took to game more seriously than I did. He sought to beat the game and master the moves; I sought to, once again, probably procrastinate instead of doing my homework. That’s not to say that I didn’t try to beat the game on my own; I did try on several occasions. But for reasons I’ve already mentioned, I never really made it that far…..okay, except on “easy,” but that doesn’t really count. But it was during this time of trial and error when playing against my sibling that I learned a very valuable lesson:
I was fine with losing as long as I made it really difficult for the other player to win.
From Street Fighter II Turbo, I garnered a horrible fighting technique that combined “memorized” moves and button mashing. Most of the real gamers with whom I’ve played fighting games hate button mashers. I know mashing is a crappy, chicken baby way out; but look, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of all those moves. Plus what might look like button mashing may really be my vain attempt at trying to get off that damn quarter-rotate counterclockwise + hard punch move that I KNOW I CAN DO BUT YOU’RE JUST NOT GIVING ME ANY SPACE!
In any event, I discovered early on that my semi-retarded fighting skills frustrated my counterpart to no end; and he hated it even more when I won with button mashing or, even worse, damn dumb luck.
But I loved it. There was nothing like the thrill of losing while watching the other player blow a gasket in winning. Hence, my valuable lesson, which I carry to this day.
Street Fighter II Turbo had a small roster of characters (larger than the original SF but much smaller than the complements of many of today’s fighting games) and was generally easy to learn. Like many people who started out with SF, and despite my tendency towards button mashing, I prefer its fluid, more intuitive controls over the tap-tap-tap controls of a game like Mortal Kombat. Though yes, timing was (and is still) an issue for me, especially with characters that required charged moves (i.e. holding the joystick or d-pad in one direction of a few seconds, then releasing). I still can’t do Guile’s flash kick to save my life, and I could never time Blanka’s somersaults correctly. And DON’T even get me started on Vega…goddamn jumpy bastard.
So who’s my go-to fighter? You might think Chun-Li since she’s a girl and all, but no. I wish I could be awesome with Chun-Li – she’s lithe, quick, and I always loved her foot stomp (down + b while in the air…or maybe it was down + a?) No, my guy was Zangief. The big, ugly wrestler? Yes sir. Large, strong, sorta clumsy, but with a mean 360 pile driver. Zangief could deal out a ton of damage with just a little work. And isn’t that what we all want out of life? As much as possible while expending as little effort as possible? Or maybe that’s just me…and Zangief. I’ll never win any sort of tournament with him (or any tournament, period) – his lumbering is usually a poor match against all the other smaller, quicker characters. But when I’m particularly tired of loosing, I’ll pull him off of the sidelines and can occasionally eke out a win, or at least give the other player an aneurysm while trying…yay!
On the other end of the spectrum, the character I avoided was Balrog. This, when you think about it, might not make much sense because he and Zangief shared some similar controls. But I always found him hard to manage and rather one-dimensional with move his moves focuses on punches and upper body attacks. He just was never (and still isn’t) all that interesting. I was also never very good with Dhalsim. It irritated me to no end playing with someone who could pull off his Yoga Flame and Teleport moves with ease.
There have been many incarnations of Street Fighter and its characters over the years, but I’ll always remember II Turbo with fondness. I recently learned that Zangief is NOT in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. This makes me sad. You hear that Capcom…S-A-D! Still gonna play it, *sniff*, though it just won’t be the same.
P. S. And now for something completely different, but really quite similar in some respects! While perusing the blogosphere, I can across a post on twistedbee.com via Save Point about a series titled “The Street Fighter.” It’s a very enjoyable dramatic series with funny bits about a father who joins a SF IV tourney after losing his job. Three eps have been released so far, and the next one is due today. So give them, and these sites, some love during your spare minutes between holiday meals! Unless you’re having pancakes, in which case just keep eating.