I used to love versus fighting games. Growing up me and Street Fighter II were best of pals. It didn’t hurt that I was pretty good at it either. Fast forward to the release of Street Fighter X Tekken last week and I’m apathetic to say the least. Why? Well let me explain.
A decade ago things were different. When a new fighting game hit the streets it was something special. Add to that fighting games were in short supply. It was a niche market with a slow but steady stream of titles. Up until 2008, the fighting game scene was relatively small. Sure you had events like EVO, but there was no mass market appeal.
That all changed with Street Fighter IV…
Suddenly there a resurgence of old and new players. It brought fighting games back into the gaming lexicon. Friends who used to be obsessed with Halo were now playing Street Fighter IV. Not to mention a booming community and tournament scene. It was great…at the time. And like Championship Edition before it Capcom announced a “sequel” Super Street Fighter IV.
“Alright”, I said to myself, “another expansion to Street Fighter series. I can dig that.” So I bought the new version. Then came Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition. “What another one? I just bought the last update a few months ago!” So I bided my time. I figured I’d wait for the inevitable price drop and pick it up cheap. Oh I certainly would find it for cheap, but by that time it was too late.
By then Capcom not only came out with Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, but Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom, and now Street Fighter X Tekken. This was all in a matter of a few years and I haven’t even mentioned the fighting games released outside of Capcom. Now I’m not going to talk about all the fuss about Capcom fleecing the fighting game community by nickel and dimming them (which is true but a completely different subject). No I’m talking about the problem the overflow of fighting games presents.
With each new release comes a new set of rules to learn. Yea the basic principals remain the same, but the learning curve is steep. So you ponied up $60, bought a swanky joystick, and learned all the moves inside and out. You are a fighting machine! That is until another new fighting game comes out. And there is the fundamental problem for me.
New game comes out, new set of moves to learn. Rinse, repeat. And that’s where the cycle wears on me. To be honest I don’t have that much free time to learn a new complex rule set. and why is it when a new fighting game comes out, the fighting game community moves on as well? It seems if you’re not playing the newest fighting game, you’re left in the dust.
So I still like the idea of fighting games. I’ll still play a few rounds of Street Fighter II CE every now and again. I’m just no longer interested in buying the next new fighting game. Ten years ago if you would have told me I’d be more excited about a sci-fi space RPG by Bioware than Capcom’s next fighting game, I would have called you nuts. Speaking of that, it’s about time I got back to some Mass Effect 3. See you all next time!
Brian is the Managing Director here at Substance TV. He is the host of Substance TV, Game Grief, and co-host of Substance TV LIVE. A graphic designer by trade, his other love of 15 years is the bass guitar. Though he shares his love with his family as well. Luckily he has a wife who supports his video game game addiction, and his two amazing children. You can find him on Google + or via his Twitter @fortressfruit.