JOYSTICK: Fighting games bring a new level of challenges to gamers

Published 5:00 pm Saturday, February 5, 2011

Capcom’s Marvel vs. Capcom 3

I’m scared of fighting games nowadays.

Growing up, I was the king of fighters. I had played Street Fighter since I was 5 and I’ve owned a Super NES copy of Super Street Fighter II since I was 7. Needless to say, I schooled all my friends when it came time to pick up a controller.

Fast forward 15 years, and now I’m on the shallow end of the talent pool. Ever since Capcom created super combos, I’ve been out of the loop, especially since I hadn’t kept up with new and improved fighting games.

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My doom came when somebody got the bright idea to put fighting games online. I knew I was washed up after my first time with Street Fighter 4’s online mode: I’m pretty sure the other guy taunted me more than he actually hit me.

I felt like an over-the-hill athlete, like I had no business trying to get back into fighting games. I have no clue about things like cancels or EX moves, and the button combinations for most of the super and ultra combos all seem foreign to me. I feel old now, way too old to keep up.

And yet the fighting game genre is steadily rising in popularity again, thanks to concepts like online play and a lot of social media.

YouTube videos show players how to perform wicked awesome combos and fight freaks have dissected the frame rate of each punch, kick and projectile blast in any given game. It’s a whole lot more technical than I remember it, and it scares me.

It’s only going to continue, however. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 comes out in less than two weeks with a ton of fighters and, assuredly, online multiplayer.

Games like BlazBlue, Guilty Gear and King of Fighters XIII are on the horizon and now that Capcom’s done with MvC 3, there’s the Street Fighter/Tekken crossover games coming soon.

I’ll soon be forced to adapt to all the madness, or else I’ll have to hang up the joystick.