Street fight like you mean it

I took a break from trying to convince myself to love Fallout 3 last weekend long enough to head down to San Jose and play Street Fighter IV for the first time. It was…pretty good!

…well, the game was pretty good, at any rate. I was awful. I’ve never been any good at fighting games -– I never owned any as a kid, only occasionally tried SF2 in the arcades — so this development wasn’t too much of a surprise. The best I could manage was firing off a Hadouken 9 times out of 10, which I must say is quite the personal accomplishment.

[[image: ar_110608_sf4_01.jpg:Wrasslin’:center:0]]
The graphics, though, impressed me. Like many people, I’ve been down on the game’s art style; I think the characters all look too beefy for Street Fighter, as if the guys from Gears of War decided to take their armor off and brawl. Having played it, though, I now have a much higher opinion. The strange thing, though, is that this is easily the most extreme case of “you need to play it to appreciate it” I have ever encountered. Pictures and videos won’t do it justice; you need to get your hands on the sweaty joystick to actually like it. I’ve thought about this over the past few days, but I still can’t put my finger on why that is, exactly. I suppose it’s something to do with the subtle animations on each characters, which look (or “feel”) much more impressive when they’re the result of your input. They felt incredibly alive when I was in control. In fact, when I watched someone else at the cabinet, my opinion began to fall again; but as soon as I was in control, I thought it was totally great. I can’t seem to wrap my head around it.

Luckily (?), I was roped into promising to picking up the game when it comes to consoles and dedicating myself to learning how to at least be competent, so I guess I’ll have more time to contemplate this phenomenon when I revisit the game sometime next year. Since I missed out on the SFII hysteria back in the day, I’ll enjoy participating this time around. Dan’s a top tier character, right?

14 thoughts on “Street fight like you mean it

  1. NAVGTR never ceases to astound me. You can almost get a sense of the shape of this poor man’s gaming history through his comments — an odd, dysfunctional, backward journey into the medium.

    But yeah, the facial expressions are emblematic of why SFIV works where the likes of SFEX didn’t: Capcom has used the tech to create characters as expressive and interesting as they were in SFIII, if not more.

  2. The facial expressions definitely had me from Day 1. It’s really awesome to see guys wincing in pain, even if they’re your own.

  3. Oh man… Sodom is a robot freak? Navigator never fails to astound me with its ignorance. I think the icing on the cake is the author of that video treating the events of the craptastic movie as canon. No, douchebag, Charlie and Blanka aren’t the same character. If you’d spent enough time with your head out of your ass to play Street Fighter Alpha 3, you’d know this.

  4. Screen shots do this game a disservice. The facial expressions in that image up there of El Fuerte and Ken look kind of goofy.
    But in videos, everything looks fantastic.

  5. “The facial expressions in that image up there of El Fuerte and Ken look kind of goofy.” Especially when you consider where Ken’s head is. ProTip: Try not to think about it.

  6. For those talking about the Gaming through the Clinton Years: I’m pretty sure he’s joking. No one cares about canon.

    Except by those who hate the movie. Right?

    Besides, aren’t they made YEARS after their original release?

  7. “For those talking about the Gaming through the Clinton Years: I’m pretty sure he’s joking. No one cares about canon.”

    You’d like to think that, but then we have the entire rest of their archive suggesting otherwise. I really think they’re just that clueless.

  8. My arcade had a 25 cent per play thing going on today, so I ended up playing in between rounds of Arcana Heart 2. Good to see that playing Sagat is still TIGER TIGER TIGER TIGER TIGER TIGER UPPERCUT.

  9. Philadelphia, University Pinball. Really, the only thing that would make me happier about the place is if they got rid of the Mortal Kombat 3 machine and replaced it with Guilty Gear, but at least I can play GG at home, heh.

  10. Sean speaks the truth. The difficulty on some of those games is set really low though. It took me a single quarter to beat Arcana Hearts 2 with the bunny-bot girl.

    As Street Fighter IV is indeed awesome, but I liked it best when I fought someone. The online option and the new characters will make the console version an amazing experience.

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