Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hobby Highlight Archives (July 2017)

Fighting Games

video game cases

Despite being called a salty noob by so many internet naysayers me, and fighting games have a long history. A very long history. A history spanning over thirty years. It was journey through time that included my early gamer days, and my latter gaming journalist days. Though my path has fairly much been set since then my origins leading up to today were more of a chance encounter. It wasn't until my 13th birthday that I really got into fighting games, and I really had to fight for that opportunity on a religious scale due to my parents' stance on violence. It was a late entry point no doubt, but an entry point at the perfect time. That time being at a point when the genre was really beginning to expand.

My first memorable fighting game experience is debatable, but it was between Fatal Fury on the Sega Genesis, and Street Fighter II Championship Ed. on the same console. Either that or the bowling alley arcade cabinet of the first Samurai Showdown. My memory is kind of fuzzy when it comes to recalling that particular timeline of events. Since that start though I've personally collected, and played through a wide variety of console, and arcade related fighting games. Games that included the more popular titles, and even the more obscure ones. This extended experience even included department store quarter sessions against knowledgeable players on the various arcade cabinets as well. Speaking of which, I once got beat at Street Fighter II Turbo on an arcade cabinet by a seasoned Japanese Chun-li player. An older, but young lady gamer who didn't mind challenging me, and giving me a few pointers at my young age. That in itself was an experience that heightened my interest in fighting games even further.

The origin of fighting games, for what it's worth, dates back to the 8Bit era with the first notable fighting games being that of "Kung-fu", and the original "Street Fighter" by Capcom. Both games of which I missed as a late adopter. Once Street Fighter II came into being though the genre seemed to peak, and that along with the controversial hype surrounding the first Mortal Kombat made fighting games a gamers' most wanted item. From those early entries spawned various types of other fighting games ranging from the comical, to the violent, and even to the anime inspired. New mechanics were constantly introduced changing up the base gameplay that fighters such as Fatal Fury, and Street Fighter had initially established. Newly introduced motion inputs, combos, mechanics, modes, and even forms of online play were added in to enhance the experience of the fighting games beyond their more traditional means.

While some companies nailed it others struggled to become the next big thing. To this day fighting game giants like Capcom, SNK, Bandai Namco, Netherrealm Studios, and even the more recent studios that are Arc System Works & Aksys Games are trying their best to stay on top of the market, and innovate with the genre for the sake of keeping connected with those who made them big to begin with. Each company coming to the metaphorical table with their own slightly to increasingly different take on what the founders of old set into place. Innovation might not always click with the gamer, but the fact that there is still innovation within the genre makes it's place in future gaming history possible, if nothing else.

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