When it comes to Street Fighter, my play style is blatantly pushing the button. Or specifically, it’s that of panic attacks, of the hope of at least getting a little upper hand against other fighters behind the electric glow of arcade machines. These days of Street Fighting were spent during my teenage years, my handful of dwindling quarters quickly wasted on the smoky, dark atmosphere of the local arcade. Admittedly, despite my love of fighting games, I’ve never been good at Street Fighter, and in the years since have sat contentedly on the sidelines, watching better players battle it out on arcade screens and at international tournaments like Evo and the Street Fighter League.
However, the problem with fighting games like Street Fighter is their sky-high entry barrier. Imagine playing an RPG where the central missions are locked behind the ability to pull off an incredible stunt – one that relies on your reflexes, your knowledge of human physiology and your ability to tense up in seconds. to respond to situations. Playing and enjoying Street Fighter will require you to dissect concepts like hitboxes and reversals, in addition to learning the different movesets of your chosen fighter, and discover the best way to clear your opponents health bar. That’s why one of the problems facing the fighting game community is the constant lack of new players – and the lack of fully fleshed out single-player campaigns in games like Street Fighter 5 and Tekken 7 at launch seem like these. trend only to worsen.
At the same time, fighting games are incredibly easy to love, and you can start watching the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 that’s happening now. The Street Fighter 5 tournament is a display of pure self-expression and skill, with fighters from around the world competing for the championship title. While the pandemic has somewhat dampened the dynamism of the fighting games circuit – part of the appeal is seeing the reaction of a roaring crowd change, along with the thrill of the game – you can still watch all the events taking place on Twitch or YouTube. Watch fighters exchange punches and jabs in exciting battles, greet each other with volleys of fireballs hurled at each other, corner each other in positions that would be too hard for most to slip away as the tension of each match rattles so far up that your body inevitably rises to get a better look. Watch closely as they link together successful combos and perform aerial maneuvers in quick succession. Marvel as struggling fighters make a triumphant return in the last few seconds of their matches, dominating their foes until they are knocked out by sheer frustration and exhaustion. All of this acrobatics are beyond our comprehension, but anyone can appreciate the artistry behind an aptly executed shoryuken, right on the cusp of victory.
Fighting games are ideally made for the competitive player, with these games packed with tutorials and practice sessions for players to hone their skills. It’s even been said that on a superficial level Street Fighter can be difficult to enjoy – that the only way to enjoy the game is through grueling practice rounds against a training dummy. But it’s almost impossible to avoid the call of the game after seeing such a spectacular rise of professional fighters. You turn on the game and try to replicate the moves you’ve seen on screen, engaging in a violent tango with other players in hopes of testing your new-found skills. Personally, it’s all I can do while I wait with bated breath for the grand finale.
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