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Thursday, March 3, 2011

HADOUKEN! Happy 20 Years, Street Fighter II!


Yes, apparently it is. It's March 2011, and the game came out on March 1991... and now that Capcom-Unity was nice enough to point that out, I have to post down a tribute to celebrate this classic's birthday!

Ok, let me get my bearings and let that thought sink in. It's been two decades... TWO DECADES since this sucker hit arcades, and it literally changed my perception of video games entirely as soon as I laid my hands on it. I not only want to post just to commemorate 20 strong years of Hadoukens, Shoryukens, and Sonic Booms, but I also want to reminisce about how I came to love the experience and thrill of playing fighting games because of this masterpiece... and how it defined me as a gamer altogether until this very day.

Street Fighter II Arcade Intro

Yes... as unfathomable as it seems the first time this game came out, nobody would have expected a fighting game suckerlike this  to be such a popular hit. Arcades were booming at late 80's and early 90's yes, but fighting games didn't have as much influence as beat 'em up or shooting games. The first Street Fighter game Capcom made actually didn't make a good impression, and it had clunky controls and awkward sounds and motions to boot. Fortunately, it lay over the fundamentals and set into motion events that would create the very fighting game we know and love as an old school classic today - Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Capcom learned from their mistakes and presented a sequel that was not only leaps and bounds better than its predecessor,  but it actually became an addicting game for players to come back and challenge each other into.

SF II Ryu vs Guile SNES Version

No longer were you confused and mashing buttons to produce a special move, you actually had to think, memorize, and study the opponents moves. It was basic one-on-one combat where one has to beat the other's lifebar to empty before the timer reaches zero, and they'd have to win a given set of rounds to achieve victory. Also introduced in the sequel was a variety of characters from different countries and backgrounds, each with their own set of skills and moves players had to familiarize themselves with. Truly, it was a game of "best of the best", and you'd have to prove yourselves in the simulated video game arena to come out on top and become the champion among all others.

Without a doubt, Street Fighter has influenced the gaming genre in more ways than one. Capcom's seminal fighting game success spawned numerous updates, sequels, and spin-offs that continue to run rampant to this day, and even dedicated fans the world round converge once ever so often to engage in friendly sparring sessions or tournaments to find out just who is the strongest one there is. It has built up a reputation that continues to garner fandom and spread like wildfire through the various mediums and outlets that franchise has spawned outside of gaming, and there's not one face on this planet who's not familiar with the iconic characters from the game like Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, or Guile! Heck, Street Fighter II also inspired several other competing brands to strike out and make fighting games of their own, and that's how we got other classic fighters like the Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, and Tekken series! Truly, the day I sat down and got introduced to this game through the SNES port at my cousin's place was a day to remember, and now I sit here, writing this brief recollection of the game's influence and history as I march forward and play the new generation of fighters, the latest of which being Marvel Vs Capcom 3: Fate Of Two Worlds. Truly, Street Fighter II was a godsend, and I can't begin to imagine gaming without this priceless gem of a game.

Thank you Capcom, and Happy Birthday Street Fighter II! HADOUKEN!!!

*Originally posted by Timzster in The Crusader's Realm

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