I love me some fighting games, competition gets me going, it gets my heart racing, my blood pumping, my anxiety ripping, and my fingers-uh-twitching.
I’ve loved Fighting games all of my life, but for quite a while my love dwindled for a bit. Were the games too complex? Too easy? Just not interesting? Maybe, but a savior has come to revitalize the fighting game genre…
Enter Street Fighter 6!
Ouch… I’m sorry, I’m getting way too ahead of myself, totally another post, several of them as a matter of fact. Now, let’s bring it back to when my love started. Come with me on this memory-filled voyage.
My earliest memory of a fighting game was on our Atari 2600. The game was called, Boxing. In it, two players would come at each other and pound the orange button to get headshots. Playing it today brings back those flashback memories. To this day, Boxing still holds up!
I was there watching the fighting game genre evolve from nothing to a boom in popularity. I was there for the versus mode in Double Dragon 1 for the Nintendo 8-bit system and I was there for Karate Champ. Street Fighter came in, Mortal Kombat came out. Mortal Kombat changed me forever and to this day I still buy it on release day. More on that later as I’m still reveling in my past, rose-tinted glasses in tow. ABACABB. Please don’t be a DULLARD when inputting this code!
I could write an Animaniacs-style song about fighting games, Weapon Lord through its hat into the ring, a local arcade opened up near us which brought us the violent Time Killers, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and Killer Instinct just to name a few. Games that tried to evolve the genre but failed, Eternal Champions but then it came back being better than ever and its fatalities actually trumped Mortal Kombat’s tenfold. It blew our young minds away.
My boy Filipe and I walked FIVE miles to buy Virtua Fighter Remix for the Sega Saturn at a cost of $2.99 and then we walked FIVE miles back. We were dedicated to the cause. We had patience, and we ate grasshoppers for breakfast. The brick-and-mortar was FuncoLand, now called Gamestop. That’s right, we have ourselves some gamer cred.
We were so infatuated with Mortal Kombat 2 that we would create soap operas within the game. One person would pick a character and talk as if the playable character was actually talking, while player two did the same. “I’ll get you Reptile, but first I got to beat Scorpion again!” Then in match two, Reptile would enter the story. We would make up these storylines on the fly and it was fun as hell (Pun?).
We had our group, our clique of friends who enjoyed fighting games. We’d host several tournaments and hours and hours would fly by in my small bedroom or my danky, insect-ridden basement complete with a gross black spider that I swear had a red mark on its back. We’d start at sunrise and finish at sunset. The local Knapp Video (a movie/game rental store) would bust out some video games from time to time and we would sit there playing in the middle of the place. Achievement Unlocked: Memories Formed.
Time flew by, and here I am more than thirty years later remembering some of the best times of my childhood.
To this day fighting games hold a special place in my heart and I love trying them out to see their different mechanics come into play. Each game was a treat to unwrap, bit by bit, a true present for the fighter in me.
Thank You for coming along on this nostalgia trip. In the coming weeks I’ll go in-depth on some of the lightly touched stories, and topics, I’ve mentioned. See You soon.