Back in the 16 bit era, I was quite fond of Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2. I wasn’t any good at them, mind. Nearly 20 years on, I’m still no good at fighting games. Yet, every now and then I get caught up in the hype – usually of watching really good players having at it – and spontaneously buy one, promising myself I’ll put in the time to master it and eventually RULE THE LEADERBOARDS.
The last fighting game I enjoyed was Dead or Alive 4. That’s mainly because it’s pretty easy to string moves together and occasionally beat someone online who has probably never played it before. Mostly, it resulted in me losing tragically to an unknown opponent and me subsequently vowing never to play a fighting game again.
I recently bought the reboot of Mortal Kombat, and that was quite fun for a time. I played through and finished the single player campaign, and – with a false sense of ability – decided to take it online. I played around 30 matches. I won 2. That game was traded in promptly, and bitterly.
During a bored spell, I succumbed to buying Tekken 6 from the XBL marketplace (a frequent sin, I really should remove my card details so it’s not so easy). I played through it, and finished it, even though I didn’t enjoy a second of it.
I’m writing this as I’m fighting off the urge to buy Soul Calibur 4. A game I owned once before, and seem to remember enjoying, but it was traded in for reasons forgotten. I know in my heart that I won’t have the patience to learn the moves. I know that when I get beaten ten times in a row online, I’ll never play it again. But the urge remains. Why?
I swear it’s because there are no side-scrolling beat ‘em ups any more. Streets of Rage 2 is one of my all-time favourite games, and even though I don’t have the willpower to play through it until the end any more, it will always have a special place in my heart for all those summer holidays I spent with my best friend, playing it over and over again.
Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry are the closest things there are to this, and even though I actually enjoy those games, I’m crap at them too. I was literally in tears of anguish trying to defeat the end boss of Ninja Gaiden 2. I never did finish it. I still look at it occasionally, gathering dust on my shelf. It cries out to me “but I was fun! You’ll never finish me, but you can play me up until the end boss that you can’t beat.”
I do long for those short, violent bouts sometimes. However, writing this has quelled my urges for the time being. Until Dead or Alive 5, which I will master and eventually RULE THE LEADERBOARDS…