By kuchoco 1 Comments
The last few days have been spent rotating between quite a few different games. I finally finished Grand Theft Auto IV (so I can quit talking about that), completed Dragonball Z: Burst Limit, and revisited some time with Virtua Fighter 5. All of that was great...until I hit VF5. For some reason, this game isn't clicking with me as it used to and I am having troubles figuring it out More than that, I used to be a fighting game junkie. Considering we are nearing the release of Soul Calibur IV I am having to seriously come to grips with my skills in the fighting genre. Are they gone for good? Looking back at my long love affair with the genre, I hope not.
When I was about 8, I remember playing Street Fighter II Turbo for my Sega Genesis. I played this game until blisters formed on my fingers. And I felt I was fairly good at it too. Blanka was under the control of a young master when the six-button controller was in my hand. "Don't mess with me or Blanka will electrocute your ass to hell!"...that's what I felt like yelling everytime someone wanted to play me at that game. Following, SFII I remember middling through the days of Mortal Kombat (I never was really a fan of that game), Killer Instinct, and some other boring games that popped up every now and then.
It wasn't until the PlayStation that I really got back into fighting games again. There was the Tekken series,Soul Edge, Battle Arena Toshinden, Ehrgeiz, Tobal (I forgot about that game until I looked up Ehrgeiz but I played Tobal ALL THE TIME and was ticked when No. 2 wasn't released in the US), and much, much more. It was to the point where I couldn't even stand the regular PS controller and had to buy the official Namco arcade fighting stick. I wanted to feel like I had the arcade in my home. Whenever I had the time, I would practice with my favorite characters. Soul Edge had me living through the trials and tribulations of the tortured Siegfried. Tekken allowed me to play as the odd, but fun Yoshimitsu. Honestly, I picked whichever Square character I was feeling the best about whenever Ehrgeiz got popped into the PS (which wasn't very often.) I had the moves down for my favorite characters. It was as though I was channeling some weird video game Kung Fu as I effortlessly flowed between combos, throw moves, and blocking the enemy attacks. Yoshimitsu was probably the hardest to master for me since he had such a wide variety of attacks at his disposal. Flying across the screen doing somersaults while attacking my foes was one of the best joys I had in the Tekken series (outside of beating people up as a huge panda!).
The practice that I was putting into these games was certainly paying off. Soul Edge was one of the first games I can remember beating in the arcade on just one quarter. Really, I just sucked (and still do) at most arcade games and couldn't get through them without spending tons of quarters or just lucking out by playing next to someone better than me. However, Siegfried and I were unstoppable on the Soul Edge cabinet. It really is unfortunate a lot of people don't have the chance to do that today as arcades are few and far between, but I guess the online matchmaking of games like VF5 and future games will help to alleviate that somewhat. Anyway, it just felt like a real accomplishment to take my home victories into a neutral field and show some other people the skills I had gained.
Fast-forwarding to now, I think those skills are just plain gone. My PS2 collection never really had a lot of fighting games in the collection. The Gamecube only had Super Smash Brothers which is just a completely different animal. And I can't really think of any fighting games that were even released on the XBOX (there probably were...I just can't think of them.) When SFII was released on Xbox Live Arcade, I thought I would just breeze through that game as I did in the old days of my Genesis playing. That wasn't the case. I think the farthest I ever got was the fourth or fifth level. Is this game harder than I remember? I mean, I just beat DBZ: Burst Limit, but I knew about 2 minutes into that game it wasn't a typical fighting game. Every character has the same basic move set, just a different animation or special attack for the same button combo. VF5, however, is like SFII in that it has separate moves for each character. Again, I am struggling with that game at times.
I guess the solution is just to start practicing again. If I want to show my dominance in the online world of Soul Calibur IV, I am going to have to practice a LOT in order to get my reflexes back in shape. Although I guess that does pose another question: Is is possible to have the same reflexes at my age? I would like to think so. If only there was a way I could personally measure my reflexes as the years go by. I need that to be my SECOND scientific experiment after I finish my first one.
Oh well, I guess for now I'll just have to wait until SCIV comes out before I start jumping to any conclusions. Perhaps my best days are behind me and I am now destined to be defeated by those younger than me as I attempt to play games in the online world. At least I was still able to have my glory in the arcades. :)
As always, thanks for reading and I appreciate your time.