Should You Play Street Fighter?

Last night I was watching CEO 2016. It’s a yearly tournament for fighting games hosted in Orlando Florida.

The event is very unique in that they hold Top 8 for all the games there inside a boxing ring.

Anyway, the final Top 8 was for Street Fighter V, the game that replaced Ultra Street Fighter IV this year.

Personally, I think Street Fighter is a swell game. It’s got a huge cast of characters, frame-tight combos, and a very simple and easy to follow interface.

Since I started watching bits and pieces of Street Fighter, even back at EVO 2014, I always wanted to try it to experience what it was like.

Luckily, the Steam Summer Sale is currently going on. A large part of the platform’s most popular games are on sale for ridiculously low prices.

Both Ultra Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter V were on sale. The former for $7.50, and the latter for $40.

Since I wasn’t yet sold on spending $40 for a game I’ll play for an unknown amount of time, I went for 4.

After an hour of downloading and installing, I got to watch the opening cinematic. Hype!

This was my first time playing a traditional fighting game since playing Street Fighter II for my college Humanities class.

I booted up into practice mode with the character I was most familiar with, Ryu, to get a feel for the controls. I ended up going with this keyboard setup (fighting games are meant to be played with a joystick and 8-button setup, like at an Arcade):

  • Up: Space
  • Down: S
  • Left: A
  • Right: D
  • Punches: Num Pad 4, 5, and 6
  • Kicks: Num Pad 1, 2, and 3
  • Grab: Num Pad 0
  • Triple Punch: Num Pad +
  • Triple Kick: Num Pad Enter
  • Focus: Num Pad 9
  • Taunt: Num Pad 8

This keyboard setup has a layout similar to a traditional arcade cabinet, with movement on the left and attacks on the right.

After I got accustomed to the moves, I played some arcade mode and then some challenge trials (where you can practice moves), and even a bit of online multiplayer via Steam.

My experience? Street Fighter is difficult.

I couldn’t complete Arcade on the EASIER difficulty (Seth is a monster… or I just suck), so I had to lower it to EASIEST. Then I was able to finally “beat the game”.

After beating Arcade I thought I could wreck some kids in Ranked. I got bopped. Barely could get a few hits off. This guy played Seth too… c’mon!

Finally, challenge trials. At first, the trials just want you to use a certain move. Then they make you chain two moves together, and they keep adding moves, so on and so forth.

I will say that I will definitely be playing this mode a lot more, since it’s challenging and it will up my combo game a lot. Well, once I pass the one I’m stuck on.

Trial 14 requires you to do the following combo:

  1. Aerial heavy kick (space key-> 3 key)
  2. Standing heavy punch (6 key)
  3. Shoryuken (Forward -> Quarter Circle Forward -> Punch)
  4. EX Focus Cancel (Focus -> Dash)
  5. Metsu Hadoken (Double Quarter Circle -> Triple Punch)

That leads to the following stroke of keys:

space -> 3 -> 6 -> d -> s -> d -> 6 -> 9 (hold) -> d -> d -> 9 (release)    -> s -> d -> s -> d -> +

I had so much trouble I looked it up on Google. Some guy rated it as a difficulty a 4/10!

And I still can’t get it right, after over an hour of trying. Maybe it’s easier with a joystick.

Anyway, what did I learn from my first 7 hours of gameplay?

It’s easy to start playing.

The game provides a bunch of fun, easy training modes that let a complete beginner learn the ropes. There’s even an in-game manual with information on many of the mechanics.

And if you buy it before the 4th of July, you’ll get a big discount on Steam!

The game is complex.

So many moves, so many combos, so many strategies. And it all requires precise timing.

It’s fun.

I had a blast playing all the game modes, and I’m sure it’ll be even better if some of my friends start playing.

Comparing it to Smash Bros Melee, they are completely different games. The only way you can truly experience the striking differences is by giving it a try, though.

So to answer my question, yes, you should play some Street Fighter!