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Re(2):Street Fighter - your eternal favorite
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At first I was going to make some half-assed response like "SF3:3s because it's pretty and stuff" but then I really thought about what made the largest impression and kind of surprised myself with the results. I remember when I was a freshman in middle school habitually riding my bike to the Circle K to play the original SF1... even though the controls were terrible and the game seemed too hard for me. It wasn't the first time I'd played a fighting game (I'd already had my fill of fisticuffs playing stuff like Karate Champ, Yie Ar Kung Fu and Punch-Out) but there was something about the game that just kept me coming back. Whenever I rode home the loud tinny music would still be playing in my head as I wondered what was beyond Birdie, whose cheap headbutt always ruined my streak. The first time I figured out how to throw a fireball and blew 50% off Retsu's lifebar it was like I'd discovered a map to the holy grail. Then I found a couple more moves and even though my impression of the motions was unnecessarily complicated (my version of the fireball was a double 360 motion) I could do them with enough consistency to approach Thailand, the final stage, but couldn't quite defeat Adon since he would hop over my fireballs with that flippy kick. I was close, though, and resolved to beat it next time. Then the game was gone. Circle K replaced it with Double Dragon before I could get to the end. Good thing I loved Double Dragon or I would have been even more disappointed, but I missed the idea of special moves being more than pressing two buttons and the mystery of who I would fight next that SF1 gave me. Several years later, I was visiting a hotel at Disneyworld called Port Orleans. In 1990s Orlando the area around Disney was awesome for finding new arcade games, so I'd pop in to see what was new every few weeks. This particular time I spotted what appeared to be SF... then on closer inspection, I saw that it was actually the goddamn SEQUEL. I had no idea the series was popular enough to warrant a sequel back then, but there it was. I popped in some money and I was immediately blown away. Not only was the cast more diverse but I could choose any one of them! But for old time's sake I picked Ryu. There was something I wanted to try. My first match started and I went for the old fireball trick, but I must have screwed up because what I got instead was a dragon punch, which knocked Chun Li right out of the air. I knew I had done this once in SF1 but it was like the rarest of rare moves to me back then, and I had just done it straight off the bat. The controls were addicting and smooth, the graphics were beautiful, and minutes turned to hours until I realized I'd been hogging the machine for most of the day and needed to go home. So SF1 started my addiction to fighting games, and SF2 brought it to a fever pitch. No other SF game has ever affected me nearly as much as those two.
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