Some of you reading may know that I’ve been running a fighting game series over on United We Game’s YouTube channel called “Not Zangief.” I started it as a way to revisit a number of games from my past, and, of course, to simply play more fighting games. In recent years, I’ve just not played many as other, non-fighting games have taken center stage. But growing up, however, fighting games were regular fixture in my household. Street Fighter was preferred, but the occasional Mortal Kombat game slipped in there too. When I moved out and, eventually, met my husband, I found a kindred soul, someone who enjoyed fighting games as much if not more than I did. And his preferred platform was also Street Fighter, with the occasional dash of Mortal Kombat.
Over the years we collected a number of different fighting game titles, most of them centering on dragon punches and fatalities. But not all of them did. Plenty of other fighting games came and went. Some of them became favorites – Bloody Roar, Killer Instinct Gold – while others fell by the waist side (Primal Rage, I’m lookin’ at you). Many of the games were inspired, in some way, by the Street Fighter games, particularly when it came to move sets. (That quarter-turn, half-turn muscle memory really sticks!) But these games were unique properties all on their own, even if they took a cue or two from the “old standards.”
In the end, we whittled down our fighting game collection to a handful of heavy favorites, most of them for the PlayStation 2, and a couple for the PlayStation 3. This collection is what inspired me to pick up the mantle, get immersed in fighting games again, and start “Not Zangief.” Long story short, I didn’t get very far into playing before our PlayStation 2 died. /supersadface This left me with something of a dilemma. With the PS2 games out of the picture, I was left with only three games for the PS3: Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Super Street Fighter IV, and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Hmmm…what to do? Create a full series of eight videos using only three games? It seemed that I would have to expand my horizons. (In hindsight, I forgot that we had Injustice for the PS4. It’s difficult for me to record from that system with the way we have things hooked up, so it remains on the sidelines.)
Though we still have several working consoles, as I just mentioned with the PS4, not all of them can easily be managed for game capturing. Taking those out of the equation, that left me with the PS3, the GameCube, and the WiiU. It had been some time since I’d been “shopping” for fighting games, new or old. But I began perusing the online stores, keeping an eye on bargain bins at Wal-Mart, and eyeing games stashes of friends and family to see what I might be able to beg, borrow, or steal. (Ok, not steal. Keeping all things above board, promise!) I had to keep in mind that one of the driving forces behind “Not Zangief” was not only to play more fighting games but also to not play them using Zangief, my favorite, all-time preferred character. However, that drive needed to be balanced with what was available, as well as with what made sense to purchase (if I couldn’t beg or borrow). Sure I could have picked up emulated titles of all the PS2 games we already had, but did I really want to do that? (Getting a new/used PS2 someday isn’t completely out of the question.) Maybe the death of the PS2 was a sign that I needed to move on from the past?
But the past had so many good games! Of all the PS2 fighting games, the one that I miss most of Capcom vs. SNK 2. It’s just such a fantastic game with a great roster. A port of the game made its way to the Gamecube, Capcom vs. SNK 2 EO. Maybe I could have gotten that? As much fun as Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is, I enjoyed the heck out of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (Cable, all the way!). Maybe I should have just downloaded an emulator for that one? And what about Street Fighter Alpha 3? Man, that is a pretty game! It made me so happy to play! Just get an emulator already, right?
Well, not so much. Because part of the joy of playing those games was playing them on the PS2. That elevated them to something special. Maybe I’m just being a stickler for no reason, but I have my ways. Eventually I opted to let go of what was in order to see what could be.
My next “Not Zangief” series is still a couple months off (and it’s only on United We Game’s YouTube channel!), so I’m still in the process of hunting for games. I’ve gotten my hands on a couple new (to me) titles to see if they might make good candidates, done a few test videos, and things are looking promising. I won’t give away any surprises, but there will be a mix of old friends and fresh faces when “Not Zangief” rolls around again in the fall. I know I’m looking forward to it!
Got any fighting game suggestions for me? Can’t promise they’ll make it into a recording, but I’m always looking for something new to play!