Nostalgia vs Reality
I feel like I grew up at exactly the right time to be a fan of fighting games. For the most part these were what consumed my High School game playing years, well apart from a healthy dose of pen and paper role-playing and miniatures. I remember when the local Circle K got in the original Street Fighter back in middle school, my friend and I were completely enamored with it. Sure we had played fighting games before, but there was just something different about this one. Then when Street Fighter II started showing up in Arcades during early 1991… it was quite literally all we could talk about. Electronic Gaming Monthly had become our bible, and when it released full move sheets for each character, my friend Wade and I practically memorized them. We were set on course for a wild ride over the next several years, as a new game would come along and dethrone the previous king. I spent so much money in the arcades playing Street Fighter II derivatives, Art of Fighting, Fatal Fury, Samurai Showdown, Mortal Kombat 1 and 2…. and finally culminating for me at least with Killer Instinct. I went off to college…. got poor… so I missed a whole generation of the early Tekken games, finally re-entering the fighting game world with Soul Edge in the basement of the university center. I stayed engaged for most of the original Playstation and for the first bit of the Playstation 2… and then thanks to my addiction to MMOs… checked out of the scene once more.
From that point onwards I have tried to poke my head in, every now and then… even purchasing the original release of Street Fighter IV on my fairly new Xbox 360. There is still very much a will in me to play these games… but I have had to realize that I am not nearly as good as my nostalgia believes me to be. Generally speaking I get my ass kicked and get it kicked extremely hard when I try and play anyone with much skill. I also have completely killed any of those key callouses that we used to need to keep from getting a nasty case of “raw thumb”. There is something about Street Fighter V however that has reinvigorated my desire to try and learn to play Fighting games once more. At almost 40… I simply don’t have the reflexes to ever really be “great”, not that I ever was in the first place. I could dominate an arcade cabinet for a few hours on a single quarter during my prime, but that part of me is just no longer around. Gone is most of that competitive spirit, and instead I just want to have some fun playing a fighting game. So much has been added to the genre since I last played, that it feels like I will be simply starting from scratch again. We will have to see how long the drive stays with me, but as of right now I have every intent of sitting at home tonight and trying to remember how to play a Street Fighter game. I ended up picking it up on PS4, so my PSN id is Belghast as is my Capcom fighter tag, though I don’t expect to play against anyone for a long while. I wish I had ordered that Hori Fight Commander in preparation of this…. because I am not sure if I can get used to hitting shoulder buttons for heavy attacks.
In other news… I have now finished the bulk of the quests in Grahtwood and am moving forward to Greenshade. There are I am certain a few points of interest that I did not take care of while I was in Grahtwood, but a lot of them are simply going to wait for another level… and a fresh infusion of gear. So many of the world bosses that I encountered were actually two separate boss mobs that interacted with each other. I can absolutely whittle down one world boss, by simply out surviving it and self healing…. but when it comes to two at the same time my damage output is lacking. So my hope is that when I hit Veteran 4 and can craft a whole new set of gear… that I will be able to return and kick their ass. Right now I am largely wearing a crafted set of Veteran 1 gear… and at this point it is starting to feel a bit dated. In other news I got this installed once again on my upstairs gaming rig, so my hope is to maybe start streaming some of my evening shenanigans. I am not sure what it is about playing Elder Scrolls Online, but it very much feels like returning home. Its like the world waited there quietly for me to return, and has thus far welcomed me back with open arms. If you ever played this game in the past… you might take the bit to patch up your client and give it a shot. I know a few people recently have restarted after not enjoying the beta testing at all… and are enjoying themselves. The game certainly feels more polished now than it was at launch.