By TestamentUK 9 Comments
Fighting games are not my thing. While I have played some Tekken in the past, some Soul Calibur here and there, I've never really been into the learning of moves and tactics. Instead it's been more about trying to beat friends in local multiplayer while pretending I know what I'm doing. Ultimately playing such game often seemed to come down to a meta-game of sorts, involving disguised button mashing.
The release of Street Fighter IV brought about a renewed interest in the fighting game genre within the gaming community. While for many it was the latest fighting game released for the home consoles, the generation of gamers who grew up in arcades full of 2D fighters saw it as more than that. A generation who are well represented by gaming journalists both on the web and in print.
Due to this, I was always a little suspicious of the coverage given to Street Fighter IV. As with all news stories, reviews and opinions, I interpreted the coverage with my relationship to fighting games (and often that of the journalist) at the forefront of my mind. In general coverage seemed to have a lot of hype behind it due the games strong history. A history I personally have no connection with. So despite the strong reviews and positive buzz surrounding the game, I dismissed it.
That wasn't quite the end of it though. Recently, over the Easter break, some friends back home had started playing Tekken again on the PS2. While I've always had the edge (being the best at disguising my button mashing, and having some knowledge of the move set at least), this time I didn't do as well as I would have liked. This started to make me consider the fighting genre again. Without going into detail this eventually led to me downloading Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD remix (Based on it being the cheapest option, and therefore the least lost if I really didn't like it).
Turns out it didn't really change my stance on the genre. I spent some time in the training mode, tried to learn the special moves, look into some of the strategy involved, but all it did was confirm my suspicion that there was some kind of secret knowledge required, hidden from the general population. So I put it on easy and went into the arcade mode and was awful at it (yeah, easy difficulty - That's what I mean by fighting games not being my thing). Not particularly enjoying the experience, I wasn't too keen on replaying matches over and over either. The end result being a failure to make any real progress.
A few days of frustration went by, and some friends came over. Together we worked through the arcade mode and made much more progress than I would have alone, as I would have given up. I was astounded by how my friends were doing better than me (with a similar level of fighting game experience). About the 6th match into the arcade mode, my friend suggested that I was thinking about it too much. This was, of course, exactly my problem, and returning to pretending to be able to play fighting games worked much better than trying to learn.
While I'm not going to be taking the game online anytime soon (read as: ever), it at least made the game a little more enjoyable. Even if I am still only on the easiest difficulty. Even if fighting games still really aren't my thing, and probably won't ever be. At least now I know for sure, and can filter gaming coverage as before without doubting whether or not I'd given the genre a fair chance. I also realise that considering myself as someone who enjoys gaming a lot doesn’t mean I have to master everything. All that does is take the fun out of playing games.