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I think I may have a problem.
You see, inside of my being, dare I say, my soul, exists the urge… The urge to pummel others silly.
Digitally, of course.
Was I a violent child? Did I each too much lead paint (or, 'wall candy', as I referred to the tasty treat) at a young age? Am I raging against the so-called 'machine'?
None of the above (though, I'm sure you thought REALLY hard about the lead paint one, didn't you?).
I have started this weekly (and maybe daily, depending on the urges) blog as a stream-of-consciousness article to talk about my ever-growing obsession with the world of fighting games, including an in-depth look at my year and a half long (and continuing still) walk-about in the world of playing a fighting game online.
Consider these posts to be a mix of 'inside baseball' shop talk, existential discussion with myself on why I can't quite playing, and funny things that always happen along the way.
Hopefully, even if a reader of this is not a fan of fighters they can at least appreciate the process and thoughts that come from one that just can't quit a specific game or genre.
World of Warcraft players will understand completely. In fact, our first post starts with WoW. Let us begin.
CHAPTER ONE: "IN THE BEGINNING"
This all started because my life had a hole. I'm not talking about an emotional or spiritual need. God, no. Nothing that silly. My migration to playing Street Fighter online spawned from the lack of World of Warcraft in my playing rotation. I had just graduated from college, moved back home and was spending the weekends traveling forty miles to see my girlfriend (who still was in college). Moving back in with my parents would mean no internet for gaming, as they live in the middle of the woods where only satellite internet will work.
However, my SF urge would be fostered by Rachel, as she was the one that got me looking at and playing fighters again. Early in our relationship, we would sit around and play vs. mode in SF when we wanted to play a game but didn't really have any two-player options. This habitual pick-up-and-play struck a chord with my competitive spirit that had been missing since quitting my hardcore raiding schedule that had filled my every late night in WoW.
"Sorry, no more."
Playing a fighter online was not even on my mind until the announcement and swell of information that came for Super Street Fighter IV. With the addition of characters and modes, this update seemed like a great entry point (not to mention that the game ended up having a lot of players such as myself and Rachel, so there was plenty of equal players of my playing caliber to cut my teeth on).
In a very short period of time I became obsessed with getting better online. My initial competitive misadventures led me to learn the Turkish oil master, Hakan. However, I hit a wall quite quickly (due to the fact that Hakan is one of the more technical characters in the game) and found myself looking for an option that would let me learn more of the game's mechanics, while still getting over that dreaded hump that is fighting against shoto-characters (aka: Ryu, Ken, and anyone else with a dragon punch) online.
Ibuki became my go-to character due to her EX sliding neckbreaker being able to go right under lazily thrown fireballs, her air throw and the ability to hold off and slowly chip damage with her throwing knives. I built up a nice collection of wins, finding myself at 300 wins in ranked mode and a 62% win percentage by the third month the game had been out.
"Ninja girl is not impressed."
The game had taken over my nightly ritual that Wow had been for so many years. In fact, when attempting to play Warcraft months later I found myself completely bored with the game. No longer did the mob-grinding and riding my horse mount (named Louisa May Alcott) around Undercity.
In fact, much like what WoW managed to do, Street Fighter at times causes me to play nothing else because I feel like I am wasting time by playing other games. In fact, I would say that this phenomena is the number one reason why my Pile of Shame is currently so epically large: Every time I buy a game, I play said game for an initial period of time, stop playing for just a day or two to jump back into Street Fighter, and promptly forget about the previous game.
Gaming amnesia. Plain and simple.
Here is a short list of the games that have been affected by my gaming amnesia (and thus were started and not fully completed): Assassin's Creed 2, Half Life 2, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, L.A. Noire, Catherine, Castlevania: Lord of Shadows, Dead Space, Back to the Future, Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Mass Effect 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, Prince of Persia, Darksiders, Deathspank, Red Dead Redemption, Final Fantasy XIII, and Uncharted 2.
Yes, I am ashamed of myself. All of these games are in various states of not finished, though some are closer to being completed than others.
My defense? I just cannot help myself. Every time I start a game, the pangs and urges to play Street Fighter kick in. Why? Guilt. I feel guilty that I am not playing and attempting to get better. So, each purge of the fighter from my system is followed by a large binge on fighting games, playing nothing else for hours on end.
A crack in the wall appeared for a short time when I became jaded with fighters, due to my massive disappointment with the initial release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which has since been forgiven of it's sins. I took a break from the addiction and branched out, playing a wider variety of games.
However… It always comes crawling back. The cycle renews.
Thanks for reading. Check out next time when I talk the ABCs of Street Fighter, and the one thing that absolutely has to be done in order to make any forward progress in your game.