The history of Street Fighter (a retrospective)
A new series where we look back at beloved game franchises.
It’s a magical moment that gamers experience when we stumble upon a game that will change our lives forever. That game for me was Street Fighter, so with the excitement building for the release of street fighter 5 I thought I would reminisce on all the good times of dragon punching and hadouken’s that this fighting game franchise has given me. Put your feet up grab a hot beverage of choice and let me take you through the wonder that is Street Fighter.
It all began in 1987 with the release of the original Street Fighter. This first iteration of the franchise had you play as the stoneface wonder that is Ryu, tackling 10 fighters to become the ultimate Street Fighter, a second player could challenge you as Ryu’s rival, the floppy blond haired indevidual we know as Ken. I never had the opportunity to play this game in the arcades, but rumours of the difficult cramp incucing special moves had always ignited my interest in the game.
My first interaction with Street Fighter was the sequel. Playing Street Fighter II Champion Edition on the mega drive getting beat by my older brother spamming Blanka’s electricity will always be a turning point in my gaming life. The inclusion of 8 playable characters including my spirit animal, E.Honda and the dreaded boss battles introduced an ability to replay and an added challenge that had me hooked on the game from 1993 to 1995/96 then came the Alpha series.
The development of Street fighter is most evident when we look at the alpha series. Improved animation, the inclusion of 28 playable characters and super moves changed the look of fighting games forever, you haven’t experienced true fighting game enjoyment untill you perform a Raging Demon for the win. The inclusion of different ‘ism’s’ and the focus on special moves and combo variations started the (Blanka) ball rolling for the inclusion of competitive gaming.
Next on the list is a game series that is considered by many to be the best fighting game ever made and particularly close to my heart, that is the street fighter 3rd strike franchise. Only having a few characters from the old games was a bold choice but it gave a fresh look on different styles and moves that would keep both the Street Fighter noobs and hardened fan satisfied. The inclusion of a parry function, allowed the player to prevent themselves from sustaining damage by pre-empting incoming attacks and blocking them. This would become an important tactical change that transformed the gameplay and pace of the battles. This was the first game that really had me grinding to get better, mainly because the next boss, Gill, was a gargantuan douche canoe! don’t believe me? Then watch my new challenger series where I tackle street fighter 3rd strike for the enjoyment of you lovely people. This game also gave us the iconic moment in fighting game history, Evo moment 37 (google it!)
The latest iteration of the Street Fighter series is Street Fighter 4 released in 2008, the last patch named ultra had the largest roster, boasting 44 playable characters from the archives of street fighter history with the addition of a few new characters, challenges and a well loved online system is a great way of showing the development of street fighter through the years. The introduction of a new mechanic really changed the way gamers played, the inclusion of focus attacks that replaced the parry system could absorb a single hit, crumple the opponent and extend combos. The advancement of the super meter with an ultra meter gave another aspect of the comeback ability that is favoured by all hype loving indeviduals.
Finally I am super exicted for the next in the series to come out. Street Fighter V is due to be released March of 2015 but the lovely guys at Capcom have been kind enough to tease us with character reveals and time in the Beta which you can watch on our youtube channel. We have been told that there are 16 playable characters in the game and we have already seen 12. Some old school favorites, Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Cammy, M.Bison and Vega, characters we haven’t seen for a while, Birdie, Karin, R.Mika and Nash (formerly Charlie) and some new blood, Necali and Rashid.
Here are some more reveals from videos and beta access for you lovely readers.
SF5 vs. SF4
There are various systems and mechanics from SF4 that we wont see in the next game. Here are a few of my observations from what I’ve seen so far.
No more Ultra meter
This has been replaced by a system called a V-gauge. The V-gauge can be used in different ways and is utilised differently for each character. Built up in a similar way to the old ultra meter gauge, that being through taking damage, but also builds through successful blocking.
There are three parts to the V-gauge that we can take a look at. These are V-skill, V-reversal and V-trigger.
V-skill is a unique move that is used by pushing mp(medium punch) and mk (medium kick) simultaneously. These moves can be a parry, evasion technique or attack that can help out when being pressured.
V-reversal as it sounds is a reversal similar to the alpha counter in previous Street Fighter games, these are done by pushing forward and all three punches or kicks. This is another useful system to give yourself space from a super aggressive opponent.
V-trigger is a system that gives the character boosted abilities for a limited period of time, be it higher damage output or quicker evasion. These can only be activated when the V-gauge is full and is activated by pushing hp (heavy punch) and hk (heavy kick) simultaneously.
Stun and chip
One big change is a visible stun gauge. This is very useful to help you strategise when to attack and when to defend, also helps with some mind games.
Another new aspect of game play is the fact that you can’t be chip K.O’ed. This means that come backs from hard matches are more possible.
This is the new name for the super that we see in SF4, a move that fully uses up the second gauge that releases a cinematic heavy hitting attack. A warning to those play defensively, although you cannot be chipped by regular means, you can be chipped by a critical art.
That should do for a brief history of the exciting world of Street Fighter. No wonder it is such a well loved and important franchise.
Keep your eyes out on twich because I may be doing some Street Fighter 4 and eventually 5 which you guys can jump on and play me!
Until then, thanks for reading and keep your eyes peeled for new content from NoobGrind!