Thursday, August 07, 2008

Where Did the Time Go?

Dear Future Celebrities,

Having plumbed the depths of description for The Chop's everyday life and times, I've decided to delve a bit deeper and start looking at the root causes and themes recurrent in The Chop mythology. Here I refer (quite pretentiously) to video games.

Video games were always a huge part of all our lives. But there's a few in particular that I myself played incessantly: for hours, days, months, and in some cases years on end. These select few games got played into the ground, forever imprinting themselves on my (and in most cases our) collective psyche, and will now be discussed in a segment I'm calling "Where Did The Time Go?"

Installment 1: Street Fighter II: The World Warrior

Street Fighter II  changed my life. There is absolutely no denying this fact. I was probably about 10 or 11 when a console got installed into my local foodery, and Street Fighter II entered my life. The Newport, DE 7-11 (which comes up a lot in Chop lore) is a 20 minute walk from my parents house.  This walk, which is easily and often made, became all the more appealing with roll of quarters in my fist and the promise of hand to hand (or in this case hand to button) competitive fighting.  I played a lot of this game.

The appreciation of video games, particularly those that are chronologically and graphically outdated, is something all Chop brothers share.  There's something about when a game, or more accurately a style of game, hits the crest of a wave and reaches a golden moment of perfect form.  For one-on-one fighting games, Street Fighter II was this moment.  I seized this moment (as well as thousands of other moments) to stand in front of this machine and play the shit out of this game.

The premise of the game is simple.  Fighters from around the world fly in private jets to fight each other on Russian factory floors, in the crowded streets of Hong Kong, or in the large private bathrooms of the Japanese aristocracy.  The gameplay is also pretty straightforward: 3 kick options and 3 punch options and really only a small number of combinational moves somehow translated to (seemingly) limitless hours of entertainment.  This was a game where the natural inclination to mash buttons was rewarded in spades, but to chalk up SFII as a "button masher" is not doing it justice.  It was just sophisticated enough to capture the nation's minds and just universal enough to simultaneously set our hearts aflame!  All this led directly me to play the living crap out of this game.

The Stats:

Favorite character:  although I eventually migrated over to using Chun-Li, I gotta go with Blanka on this.  His ferocity and overall yellowness wins out.
Total amount of time squandered/cherished: At least a full week's worth of my life
Readiness to take on a new challenger:  Super-fucking ready (bring it!)  

1 comment:

littlebirdy said...

What about Dr. Mario?