04 April 2011

The Arcade Experience...[]

So on Saturday I posted about my experiences playing Tekken 4 at an arcade. Specifically, it was a Dave & Buster's, where the only fighting game (apart from one of those machines with 20 or so arcade classics including Street Fighter II Championship Edition) was Tekken 4.

For those who don't know, my main character in the Tekken series (and the Soul Calibur series) is Yoshimitsu. I don't play him because I love to win. Since Tekken 4, he has been consistently low-mid or mid-low tier (and accurately so, even if you don't believe in tiers). He's always fun to play, though, even if I almost never win.

There are several arguments for my saying that his low point of effectiveness was Tekken 4. First, he wasn't Jin. Enough said there. Second, many of his moves became much less safe/less damaging from the previous installment, Tekken Tag Tournament. He did gain several new moves, most notably the new moves from Indian Sit Stance, but their effectiveness goes down drastically if an opponent has seen them at all. Even the tactic of going into Indian Sit during the pre-fight and quickly teleporting as "Fight!" is called will only work once or twice. Also, he isn't Jin Kazama (or Steve Fox, although that's more an issue in Tekken 5).

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that each time I faced an opponent at that arcade machine with Yoshimitsu, I came out victorious. Two reasons: (1) they mostly picked either Steve Fox or Hwoarang (alias How Wrong), two characters with the speed combo-ability to destroy Yoshimitsu quite easily, and (2) it was an arcade machine, and I haven't played Tekken with an arcade stick in quite some time (hence my eagerness to order one and get back into practice).

I must, however, temper my self-congratulation with the knowledge that all of my opponents were, by their own admission, "not serious Tekken players." It was obvious that none of them had played in quite some time. Therefore, I can't truly claim some great achievement in this.

A small achievement, however, will suffice.

In any case, my experience gave me cause to consider the arcade fighter scene in my hometown, or, rather, the lack thereof. I have a number of friends with whom I will occasionally engage in some console play, but apart from that I must rely on online matches through PSN. The only arcade in my area that comes to mind with a significant number of fighting games has nothing newer than SvC Chaos or Soul Calibur II (although it boasts two Marvel vs. Capcom 2 machines), and I almost never, as many times as I visit the mall where it's located, see either a great number of patrons at that arcade or any players on its fighting games.

It's truly sad, especially because I know there are places in this world, and even in this country, where the arcade fighting scene is still alive and well. The problem is that no arcades will invest in the latest games, and so no player bases can form, thus making it seem unprofitable for any arcade to invest in the latest fighting games. It's the story that transcends history and the world, a tale of souls and...

...never mind. []

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