Growing up as an Asian Canadian in Toronto, there were a couple fundamental truisms that one had to live by:
All Asian guys drove Hondas
All Asian guys had short spiky haircuts
All Asian guys played
Street Fighter II
Whether it be a crowded mall arcade or a remote convenience store, if
Street Fighter II was there then there would be a long line of Asian guys waiting to getting their digital fights on.
Mercy rounds, "Sides", being Cheap, Guile's "Glitch" throw, The moded Blackbelt edition, there was plenty in the game to learn.
It was a sort of rite of passage, something you would learn like how to use the chopsticks. Whether you were a nerdy math student or the popular jock, everyone played and were brought to the same level once you put those quarters down. If you didn't play, you were looked at weird. At the very least one would have to learn the basics:
DOWN, DOWN-FORWARD, FORWARD, PUNCH
Everyone knew the characters, and there was always one to suit your needs. Whether it was the look, the special moves or their way of thinking, these eight world warriors fought their way into the Asian American subconscious and perhaps provided an outlet for some people's repressed feelings.
As the forefather for the modern day fighting game,
Street Fighter brought the genre into the spotlight and was the king of 2-Dimensional fighting.
When 3-D stepped up in the form of
Virtua Fighter and
Tekken, Street Fighter was still there fighting the good fight.
They pushed 2-D to its limits and just when everyone thought that they would finally make the jump in the third dimension with
Street Fighter 4, they defied convention and are now bringing 2-D fighting into the new millennium.
All the original eight fighters return, plus the popular characters from The New Challengers and The Alpha series. Four new fighters enter the ring, and it remains to be seen if they will have the lasting power of the classic ones or get left in the way side.
They all still look instantly recognizable but now they POP into life because of the new detail and third dimension. And what's great is that they still look hand drawn!
Only time will tell where in the pantheon of
Street Fighter history that this Fourth entry will stand, but it seems the developers have done something right by keeping with what worked and adding on the refined engine to bring in just enough new technique to keep it fresh and deep.
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