I Am Street Fighter

by Christopher Paul on September 4, 2013

I first played Street Fighter II at a Pizza place not too far from my middle school. I didn’t get the controls and ended up using the character Chun Li a lot since I could get her kick move to work enough to smash buttons and win half the time.

It wasn’t until Street Fighter II Turbo came out that someone taught me the “rules” as I call them. The rules weren’t just the moves but the moves in combination with blocking and counter attacks based on the strength and speed of the moves involved. Eventually, I got very good at it and only lost to the two people who played in tournaments.

It set off a a career of sorts for me. I kept playing 2D stye fighting games and mastered Mortal Kombat II, Killer Instinct, King of Fighters and the other SNK titles, and all of the SF2T variants like EX, Alpha, etc. If the random character selector picked, Kim Kaphwan, Ken, Ryu, or any of the Ryu variants it didn’t matter who I was up against.

I bought my Super Nintendo just to buy Street Fighter II Turbo. It was the only game I owned for a year since I bought the system. And I’d only play it with the Champion Joystick to get a pretty authentic arcade experience at home.

I eventually gave my SNES to a friend who’s unit was stolen from him and moved on to the Dreamcast and the PS2. But I never stopped playing Street Fighter. I even have the Street Fighter games on my iPhone and got my hands on an SNES to play the original 16-bit home version.

It’s hard to describe why it is I like the series so much but it’s stuck with me over the years. While I never got into the animated TV series or the live action movies, the original animated movie is one of my favorites and it always travels with me on my iPad.

I only got ten minutes into this documentary on Street Fighter called I Am Street Fighter before I wrote this. I’m not through the whole thing yet but I agree with everything that’s represented so far. The strategy or “rules,” the backgrounds, music, sound effects, and the character stories all make it special.

If you grew up in this dawn of fighting games and especially if you were a Street Fighter fan.

Oh, and something I learned from watching the documentary: combos were a bug, not a feature of the game.

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