Friday, November 10

Game: Street Fighter Alpha Anthology (PS2) Click for more info

This disc contains the three Alpha (or Zero as I knew them) brands of Street Fighter games (I'm not counting Gem Fighters). The ports are pretty good, although not quite as complete as the PS1 versions my friends and I pumped so many hours in back in the day. SFZ3 was my favourite version of the ten or so SF games and I'm glad that I finally have access to a version again. A few minutes in and I was back to creating 17 hit combos with Ken, but then my hands started to hurt; yet another indication that I'm losing (if not have lost) my gaming prowess as I get older.

If there was one thing I was good at when I was young, it was Street Fighter. Yes, every guy my age thinks they were good at this game, but in terms of win/loss ratio I really was the best person at the game I knew of (I obviously didn't know that many people back then).

During our regular SF sessions 20+ game streaks were the norm for me, and once I had even reached the dizzying heights of over 120 in a row without loss. I could even play (and win) using one hand and my nose. But I didn't do that too often since people tended to stop playing when I did. I was that guy who resorted to using Zangief just to provide some kind of challenge.

My understanding of the game went past what I saw on the screen - moves were hard wired like reflex arcs, I played "within" animation frames and I had a sixth sense which enabled me to know a few seconds in advance what my opponent was going to do, just like a good Chess player does in their game. I'll say it again: If there was one thing I was good at when I was young, it was Street Fighter.

All this kinda explains why I spent a tenner plus change on what is essentially a collection of 8-11 year old games. I don't even own a PS2 (I have this one on loan) and don't really have anyone to play with now, so purchasing this was even more of a waste.

Well in theory anyway. This game was clearly bought for sentimental reasons, as a tribute to my past or even to provide some kind of closure. I've played for around half an hour today, but if I'm honest I've had my fix and probably won't ever play it again. But the thing is that even if that turns out the be the case, the game itself serves as a postcard from my youth just sitting there on my shelf.