Games I Own: Street Fighter IV
Posted on 30th Sep 2009 at 14:25 by Mark Mackay with 10 comments
There was a time when console gaming was all I was interested in. When I was a wee tiddler (well, seven years old) I went over a schoolmate’s house. He had a SNES. He had Street Fighter II. That day was just shy of 20 years ago. That day was the first day that I fell in love with a game. I loved the glorified violence and being able to bring my wrath down on my opponent with my own tiny hands.
About ten years later, I found myself in a similar position, absolutely loving Street Fighter 3 Alpha on the Sega Dreamcast. The animations were more violent and more colourful, the action was faster and the game as a whole had been massively improved - but in a way that held true to the arcade roots of the series. New characters kept things fresh without diluting the game.
Being about 17 years old I didn’t think much of the fact that a whole decade had passed and I was sitting there revelling in the game’s fast-paced, colourful brutality just as much as I had ten years prior. The fact didn't escape me the second time around though, when I sat in my living room preparing to kick my flatmate's ass at Street Fighter IV again. Another decade had passed and there I was, sitting down and relishing the Street Fighter experience again.
How many other games are releasing updated versions of the practically the same thing almost a quarter century after the original? Street Fighter IV stands as it's own game obviously, but it's also very much an update to the same old formula. It's still the original Street Fighter at heart, with Capcom sticking to the old the axiom of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it'. That's why, even though Ultra Combos and online multiplayer have been added, it's still the same game I've always loved.
Whenever I play another beat-em-up, it just feels wrong. I quite liked Tekken II, Virtua On, but when I sit there looking at the HP bars, the characters, the special moves it all just feels like a bad copy of Street Fighter. I can’t help but think that they’re trying and failing to imitate Street Fighter. It’s the benchmark of all beat-em-ups. An unbeatable fighting game of epic proportions and perfect balance. The really crazy thing is that almost twenty years since my first taste, I’m more into than I ever have been.