Welcome back to the Weekly Wizard, the segment of Miketendo64 brought to you by the old scaramouch behind Wizard Dojo… which is probably in need of a new name, considering it hasn’t been consistently “Weekly” for a while now.
Street Fighter. The name alone invokes so many memories in so many gamers. Though Mortal Kombat was also a popular fighter in the 90s, its fame was largely due to its “controversial violence” (which, in retrospect, is nothing short of ridiculous). Street Fighter, on the other hand, was the one that started the fighting genre, and hooked gamers in through its deep gameplay and iconic characters.
Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Blanka, Dhalsim, Zangief, E. Honda, Guille and M. Bison all became some of the most popular video game characters of all time. And the deep fighting mechanics made it the hottest topic of conversation in the gaming world at the time.
I have an interesting personal history with Street Fighter. Interesting because, although I greatly enjoy the series, I pretty much suck at it, as I do with most fighting games that aren’t called Super Smash Bros. Yet I’ve always been drawn to it. It’s colorful cast of characters, its deep fighting mechanics, its infectious music. It’s a prime example of a game I can claim to be great, while at the same time I have minimal skill with it.
Street Fighter II and its many, many iterations is the most famous entry, but in many ways, Street Fighter III (and its fewer but still multiple versions) is probably more finely-tuned. Street Fighter IV revived the series back in the late 2000s, and we now have a proper Street Fighter V (though, sadly, it doesn’t seem quite as popular as its predecessors). In between II and III, there was even the Street Fighter Alpha sub-series with its own sequels.
Though my skill varies between each game, I wouldn’t consider myself an expert player in any of them. But I guess I’m not much of a competitive gamer, so it’s no major loss. What’s important is that the series’ quality always shines through, and they’re always fun.
There’s something very intriguing about just how intricate the mechanics of Street Fighter are. It more or less created the whole competitive fighter on its own, with it being an almost humorous factoid that many of its standout aspects like combos weren’t even intentional. The series’ depth has consistently drawn me to it and make many return visits to past entries. Again, I’m no expert at playing them, but Street Fighter has kind of become my personal poster boy for the concept of appreciating a game objectively, without one’s personal skill at said game defining their opinion on it.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt its appeal that its characters are so fun and colorful. From the comically evil M. Bison to the fighter with a heart of gold in Zangief, Street Fighter is a game that’s bursting at the seams with personality.
I’m not going to lie, the female characters were always my favorites. Capcom has a way of making their “pretty girl” characters into much more than that, with many of them being the most badass characters in the genre. Chun-Li, Cammy and Rainbow Mika have always been some of my biggest gaming crushes, but they’re also fun characters to play as, and are characters you can tackle any fighter that comes their way. Chun-Li has legs that can kill in more ways than one!
Street Fighter has remained one of gaming’s biggest and most iconic franchises, and boasts a level of influence so high, that you’d probably have to find games with the names “Super Mario” or “Tetris” in the title to find games that had a bigger impact. Street Fighter is a franchise that has continuously provided fun, challenge, and depth through the decades, inspiring a genre and defining competitive gaming even today. And it pulled it all off with a level of personality that is rarely approached.
Without question, Street Fighter is one of gaming’s greatest franchises. Even if I do suck at it…
That’s all for this edition of the Weekly Wizard… which I seriously am considering changing the name. Do you have any fond memories of Street Fighter, or a favorite character in the series? Have any good suggestions for a new name for The Weekly Wizard? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and check out my site WizardDojo.com for more of my thoughts on video games, movies, and sometimes other stuff!