Well I guess it’s about time I wrote my big ol’ Street Fighter blog. Everyone else has done it, so I guess I should, too. Keep in mind that I was in a silly mood when I wrote this, and I also don’t take the Street Fighter games as seriously as some others do. So read along and have fun as you see some of the thought processes that go through my head as I play these kinds of games.
I don’t really have any rosy Street Fighter memories to share, as I never really was big into those games. The first time I saw Street Fighter II in an arcade, my first thought was intimidation, mainly because there were six buttons! “But I only have five fingers…” I thought. I was even MORE intimidated when I learned that, in order to pull off the special moves like fireballs, you had to rotate and wiggle the joystick around in all sorts of ways AND press buttons at the same time.
Of course, ALL my friends were playing Street Fighter II at the time, and I gave it a fair chance in the arcades as well. But I kept getting clobbered so quickly, I finally decided that my hard earned quarters were being spent too fast on this machine. I could make my quarters last longer on the Pac-Mania, Marble Madness, and Bonanza Bros. machines in the corner of the arcade, and I’d have a lot more fun with those games, too. Other than maybe renting the SNES version to see what it was like on the home consoles, I never really paid much attention to Street Fighter II after that, other than watching my friends play and enjoy it (which was somewhat entertaining in itself). Really, the only fighting games I’ve owned and played consistently are button mashy fighters like the Soul Calibur series, Smash Bros. series, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, Pocket Fighter, and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo (and that’s not even a fighting game).
Movies and Anime
Street Fighter II has been such a phenomenon that they’ve spawned many movies, both live action and animated. The first live action movie came out when I was in high school when SF2 was super popular in arcades. I never watched it in theaters, but much later on, after college, it was on TV. Of course, I didn’t really pay much attention to it then either, as I was cleaning the house at the time and just had the TV on for background noise. But what I saw was pretty cheesy. I wonder if my two favorite SF characters, Cammy and Dan, were in the first live action movie? Probably not, I don’t think they had been invented yet! I have the DVD that I got from Wal-Mart’s two dollar bin, maybe I should really watch it sometime.
The newest live action movie: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li doesn’t fare any better. It just came out in theaters, and yes I did see it. Why? Well, mainly because I haven’t been out of the house in a few weeks, and I had to get out and do SOMETHING! So I took little brother Jeff and one of his friends with me. We went to the early bird showing so I wouldn’t have to pay full price for tickets. I tell you what, though, I’m not ever offering to pay for movie snacks for two teenage boys ever again! That cost as much as the tickets did!
Anyway, the new movie is pretty dark and depressing, and it didn’t make me want to cheer, “Yeah, go Chun-Li” or anything. Basically, the plot of the movie is this: One day, Chun-Li decides to become a bum. Then she trains under a guy that teachers her how to summon a badly computer generated fireball that looks the same from all angles. Then she goes and fights M. Bison. Bison’s henchmen, Balrog and Vega, look close to their game counterparts, but M. Bison just looks like a slightly scary looking CEO. Oh yeah, and there’s a police detective named Charlie Nash that looks nothing like the game character, and some other non-game folks who pad out the story and make things confusing in the few and far between action scenes. And at the ‘climatic’ end, Chun-Li throws her fireball at M. Bison, which pushes him off the cliff and into the ocean. But by that time, he was beaten up so badly, she could’ve just walked over to him and nudged him a bit. And for a movie about Street Fighters, there wasn’t a lot of fighting going on. Mostly just walking around (kind of like the Push movie). So yeah, pretty awful stuff, don’t go see it. It needed to be about Dan instead.
Street Fighter has also had a lot of anime cartoons about it, too. I’ve seen a couple, but I know there’s more. I rented the very first Street Fighter anime a long time ago, but when I plopped down on the couch to watch it, I guess I got a little too comfy because I fell asleep right away! I woke up at the part where Vega sneaks into Chun-Li’s house when she’s taking a shower and he beats her up. That wasn’t very nice of him. After that happened I fell right back asleep. I guess I was just really tired!
The collectors’ edition of Street Fighter 4 came with a new anime movie about the backstory behind the game. Which is kind of weird to have such an extended story when the gameplay just boils down to: “Once upon a time, a bunch of weirdos got together and decided to fight each other. The end.” The thing that annoyed me most about the new anime was that whenever a character was going to talk, they just zoomed up close to their face and panned up so you couldn’t see the mouth, then they’d start talking so they wouldn’t have to animate the mouth! For an animated movie, it sure wasn’t very animated! One of the reasons why anime annoys me sometimes. Oh well, at least it had a few good ‘MST3K’ moments. Not even Joel and the ‘bots could save the Chun-Li movie.
Street Fighter IV
Now you may be asking, “Cary, if you’re not into Street Fighter games, then why did you get Street Fighter IV?” Well, I didn’t just get it for myself. Little brother Jeff and his friends come by after school nearly every day to play games on my big TV. Sometimes I wish they would scatter days and go to other friends’ houses, but at least I know they’re safe here. Anyway, they enjoyed playing other fighting games like Soul Calibur 4 and Super Smash Bros. Brawl so much that I figured they would really enjoy this one, too. Yeah, I know, I spoil them sometimes. But my plan backfired on me, because while Jeff likes SF4 a little bit, his friends hate it. They say it’s too hard. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.
A lot of people have asked me if I’m going to review SFIV, but I really don’t feel right about reviewing it since I’m not very good at all and haven’t really experienced everything there is to offer here. But I will give out my opinions on a few things. The graphics and animations are fantastic. I love the mix of realistic and cartoony-ness, and it fits the Street Fighter theme well. I also think the Challenge Mode is clever, because it helps you learn all the moves of the characters. I think the Challenge Mode could have been improved, though. Let us watch videos of the moves, and maybe a picture of the control pad that shows you the TIMING of the moves as well. I think that would really help out newcomers.
I hate saying that Street Fighter IV is too hard, because EVERY fighting game is too hard for me. But the general consensus on the Internet is that it is pretty challenging, and I think that’s the biggest problem I have with the game. Some of the players who are picking up Street Fighter IV may have been in diapers when the original came out, and Capcom didn’t seem to realize this. Not everyone who plays the game is going to be an expert at it, so it would’ve been nice if Capcom made the game more welcome to newcomers and expert players. It would be nice if game companies could find that happy medium. Capcom tends to lean towards the hardcore expert spaz player with games that are way too hard like Mega Man 9 and SF4. Nintendo, on the other hand, has a tendency to dumb down their licenses for the casual player (don’t worry, Nintendo, I still love you). One of the reasons why I like the game company Namco so much is they seem to be able to make fighting games that both causal and hardcore gamers can enjoy. Like the Soul Calibur series. A newbie can just hit buttons and do cool moves (that’s what I do), but an expert player can perfect special moves and timing to beat even the worst button mashers. That’s why I feel the Soul Calibur games have surpassed Street Fighter as a better fighting game. But hey, I’m no expert, so what do I know?
All I can say is that if you’re a big Street Fighter fan, you should at LEAST give Street Fighter IV a try. You may like it, you may not. But it deserves a try at least.
Let’s Play Together!
Of course, one of Street Fighter IV’s biggest assets is online play. It is pretty fun if you’re good at it! But even though I’m not good, I’m still willing to play against anyone who wants to. I have the 360 version. Of course, you’ll probably be ashamed to play against me once you see how awful I am! I’ve only won two matches, ever, and that was with a friend from GamerDad, and I bet he probably just let me win out of pity. I did finally get an icon out of it. It’s a little chick that looks like the critter from New Zealand Story, and he has a red headband on. My title is “Full of Beans.” So if you’re tired of losing, come on and play against me for a few easy wins. Don’t worry, I won’t whine about it, I’ll just laugh and keep on playing!
If you would like to read more about the characters of Street Fighter IV, click here. I split up my blog because it was becoming too long winded!