cool thing about it was the social aspect to SF2. Because
the game was so popular (and there really wasn't anything like
it) it became a big deal to be the best at any given time. There
was always a crowd around the Street Fighter II machine,
and typically there was that one kid who sat there kicking everyone
else's butt. If you could march in there and beat him? Damn, it
was the greatest feeling in the world. More often than not me
and my friends just lost our quarters
but who cared? This
was some crazy fun.
to say that Street Fighter II launched the genre, just
like so many games have launched their individual genres. Capcom
was also pretty tricky with their releases for Street Fighter
II. They released the Championship version, and the Turbo
version, and jeez
there was just a ton of different releases.
But every time they released a new one, we all flocked to play
it. Life was good.
Kombat was released, I first dismissed the game entirely.
First of all, the game looked cheesy to me. I mean, what was up
with these digitized people? Hand drawn characters were the way
to go, right? And blood? In a fighting game? No way! I can't remember
what caused me to give it a shot
but once I started playing
Mortal Kombat, I was hooked. I very quickly learned a fatality
(Scorpion's fatality: block + up, up) and boy
it was one
thing to kick someone's butt in Street Fighter II. You
felt good, you had the admiration of your peers
you won, and got to set his sorry butt on fire? Man
was a whole other world. Especially when it was after a particularly
close battle. I was hooked.
was good at it, too! That was probably what had me sucked in the
most. I wasn't bad at Street Fighter II
I could do
fairly well, but when it came to Mortal Kombat, jeez
was just the man. I would proudly walk into an arcade and slap
my quarters up on the machine, wait my turn, and humiliate whoever
attempted to challenge me. Ooooh, I was good.
thing, is that while I'm decent with more recent fighting games,
I've never been half as good at them as I was with the original
Kombat. Heck, I can honestly say I know every move in that
game. Every single one. But then, that wasn't so difficult. With
Mortal Kombat 2, they started getting a little crazy with
the extra stuff. By Mortal Kombat 3, there was so much
stuff in there, that if you didn't have an Internet connection,
you needed to find someone who did so you could find out some
cool stuff to do. And even then, it wasn't half as simplistic
as the original.
each Mortal Kombat, the popularity grew exponentially.
I never saw any signs that read, "we have Street Fighter
II Turbo Championship Edition Release III!" But there
were plenty of "we have Mortal Kombat 2!"
signs around. Heck, I even remember the "only fourteen
days until Mortal Kombat 2 arrives!" signs. And
heaven help you if you wanted to try the game in that first 24
hours after its release.
play fighting games by the ton
I've got a copy of Virtua
Fighter 3: TB sitting in my Dreamcast right now, with Marvel
vs. Capcom and Soul Calibur just waiting for me to
play 'em. But no matter how good those games may be, nothing can
compare to those early days of Street Fighter II or Mortal
Kombat. That, like so many other games throughout the history
of the industry, was the birth of a genre. Whether it's the release
of Doom, or Street Fighter or Mario 64, whenever
there's a release like that it changes the world. Maybe not in
a real, tangible way, but for those of us who were around to witness
it, those memories will never go away.
Jason "loonyboi" Bergman is funnnn-kay.