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“I’ve never viewed Mortal Kombat as a serious fighter, Super Smash Bros exponentially less so. Injustice still needs balancing and is basically a bloodless bastard son of Mortal Kombat anyway. King of Fighters is fun to watch, but way overdependent on 50-hit super-combos. Tekken is slow and clunky compared to many of its modern peers. Persona 4 Arena couldn’t cram more tired anime clichs in with a crowbar and a tub of butter. I actually adore the total bedlam of Marvel vs Capcom, but even the best commentator can have trouble trying to follow exactly what’s happening. Skullgirls is barely worth mentioning.”

These are my words, taken from a blog post in which I made some controversial comments regarding the 2013 Evo tournament. Although my primary goal was to encourage a new Street Fighter mindset by restricting fireball mechanics, the above segment struck a chord with an unexpectedly huge number of people.

The result was a passionate outcry from within the fighting gaming community. The page’s comment section became a heaving dog-pile as FGC members and fans flooded in to leave their two cents. I’d estimate I spent about 14 consecutive hours reading and replying to those comments while trying to maintain relatively restrained composure.

Now that the tempest has passed, I can reflect on the situation. Part of me wants to explain things I felt were misunderstood and flesh out the skeletal ideas that caused this mess… no. Better to move forward and seek growth. Thus I sincerely apologize for my disrespectful tone. Words meant to sound cheeky yet friendly ended up being aggressively dismissive and rude, and though I regret that, changing what’s happened is impossible.

Something my critics unanimously agreed on was that I’m too ignorant to credibly express an opinion about these games or how they’re played. I’m hardly a fighting game fanatic, but I’ve played them sporadically for over 20 years. I feel I’ve a fairly wide breadth of experience with the genre. However, it’s arguably not that deep compared to the average FGC member.

With this in mind, I intend to purchase, play and review as many of these games as I can in the next few weeks and months. I’ve actually played a few of them already, though none recently. Playing them will feel fairly fresh to me. I don’t own a Nintendo console and don’t plan to, so Smash Bros may be a problem, but the rest will present no issues. I don’t expect to say much that members of the FGC aren’t already aware of, but these articles will be more for my edification than theirs.

To be clear, this isn’t an attempt to placate anyone whom I’ve offended, nor is it a promise to say nice things about these games, but I want to cultivate balance in my actions, which have upset more people than I would have thought possible. I’ll never shy away from expressing what I believe, but I’m aware I must exercise care in upholding an honest standard.

The first game I’m looking at will be Skullgirls, the recipient of probably my laziest comment and thus the most appropriate place to start. Cheers, and here’s to progress.