Monday, September 21, 2009

The World's Greatest Assholes

You know this guy. This guy haunts your dreams.

Street Fighter II is the best fighting game ever made. In fact, I've never played another fighting game that was anywhere near as fun. Mortal Combat was too dark and dreary, and the skill level necessary to pull off the combos was too high. I played Tekken once and it was just boring. Most of the others I've seen were either way too complex for the casual gamer to enjoy, or built in such a way that any clod could pull off devastating moves simply by pushing down on all the buttons simultaneously (I'm looking at you, Marvel vs. Capcom arcade edition).

But Street Fighter Ii? It was fun: no "fatalities", no twenty-button combos. You could have fun games with two average-to-mediocre players just bashing around, you could have a lot of fun with more advanced players as well. The fighters were cartoon characters and the violence was exaggerated - people weren't pulling out other people's hearts. I'm not a fan of real-life bloodsports, so the closer the games get to an "uncanny valley" of bloody fisticuffs, the further from some kind of pseudo-comic book fantasy, the less fun it seems, the more vaguely disturbing.

But this guy, this guy is the thorn on the rose bush of one of the SNES' best titles. To put it bluntly, Guile was an asshole, and anyone who picked Guile was an asshole. Why? Because if you knew how to play Guile, you could effectively put down any other player. All you had to do was sit in the corner and keep doing that backwards sonic kick thing and you were untouchable. Which is really frustrating: you're sitting down to play a nice fun game with some pals, and then the guy next to you picks Guile and the game sort of comes to a standstill. He keeps pushing the same combination over and over again, Guile keeps kicking, and anytime you try to hit him you get hit in return.

Why are you sitting here playing video games? Seriously, it's a good question. If you don't really want to play video games, if all you want to do is play in a disinterested, odious manner that frustrates the people around you, what is the point? You're an asshole, that's who, and Guile is an asshole for facilitating your churlishness.

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