Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Of Obsession and Combo Links

As I mentioned in my last post, I have spent a great deal of time with the newest addition to my game catalogue, Street Fighter IV. To be honest, I have spent way too much time with Street Fighter IV; several nights have resulted in a disappointingly short sleep cycle due to elongated play sessions. All the magic from Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition on my Genesis has come rushing back with a vengeance. Blanka handles almost exactly like he did back in the 1990's, with a few extra moves (and meters) tossed into the mix. All I need now is a controller designed explicitly to accommodate its button scheme.

In an odd twist, I have yet to face another human being on the field of battle. The overwhelming majority of my time has been spent in the game's Trial mode. Before battling other players, I wanted to make sure I had a solid feel on the timing mechanics. As a long-lost fan of the fighting genre flagship, these challenges seem embedded especially for me. I am by no means an expert (the links in Blanka's Hard Trial Five are extremely fragile, and most other characters are still beyond me), but there is something strangely addictive about repeatedly flailing at the same button combinations. This, of course, is a large component of my lack of massively multiplayer experience. I also find myself frequently watching AI matches while having a snack; these breaks can turn into an hour or so of fascination as I watch the computer-controlled fighters have absolutely no answer to Zangief.

I will make my first forays into the world of Xbox Live fighting later this week, provided my Internet connection holds out. I will also be trying Team Fortress 2 soon, after I quizzed the folks at the Escapist about its viability off its primary platform.

Game well this week, and may you always have frame advantage.

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