The mere fact that I am writing this post just means so much to me. It’s been announced months ago, but I just feel like sharing.
Let’s get one thing straight here — I generally suck at fighting games. Unless we’re playing Dead or Alive 4 or WWE SmackDown vs. RAW, chances are my ass will be handed to me. But if there’s one genre of video games that I am endeared to, if there’s one genre that despite the simple premise has influenced much of my creative brain, it is the fighting game genre.
It all started on the Sega Genesis.
It’s no surprise I love the Power Rangers. Understatement of the year. But one of the things that I attribute to the franchise was how it later allowed me to grow as a fanboy/nerd for all things — filmmaking, acting, science fiction, fantasy, television production, even video games. The Sega Genesis was the second game console in my household, after our NES broke (I never owned a Super Nintendo). One of the first games my parents bought for my sister and I was the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers game for the console. It made perfect sense, since this was the early 90’s and the Rangers were the shit.
My sister played it a lot but eventually grew out of it. I never did.
Up until the second grade (1999) I still played with my Genesis for this very game. Even when I was 7 or 8 years old, I thought I was being cool for playing retro consoles and nostalgic video games. And mind you, this was around the start of the popularity of emulators, and an 8-year-old really had no business being on the internet, at least at the time. I didn’t join any online communities until 2002, but I digress.
Even at a young age, I dared to be different, nostalgic, and retro. I still bought Red Ranger toys even when the cool thing was to rock Pikachu on your lunchbox. I didn’t really care, I liked what I liked and I didn’t let the trends bother me. Liking fighting games was one of these trends.
Fighting games, at least in my social circles, never really caught on. When Microsoft unleashed the Xbox in 2001 and all the kids on the playground were talking about it, I was the only one clamoring for Dead or Alive 3. Everyone else? Halo, or Dark Summit.
I loved the genre of fighting games. I knew from the start the Power Rangers game was different than the other games my sister and I had bought. I discerned genres from a surprisingly early age because of this. Sonic the Hedgehog as well as Sonic and Knuckles were platformers. Combat Cars was a racer with, obviously, combat elements. Batman Forever was an objective-based platformer. I dabbled with most genres (except for RPGs) from my time playing on my Sega Genesis, but none captivated me more than the fighting genre. True, Power Rangers is the absolute last game that anyone should grow up playing a definitive fighting game. And you’re absolutely right. Thankfully, it wasn’t the only one.
The first console that was truly mine and not my sister’s hand-me-down was a Sony PlayStation, which my older brother got for me as a gift. He bought me Tomba! which was fun and colorful, but I spent so, so, so much more time playing the Tekken 3 demo on the demo disc.
It was only a demo, but I didn’t care. I loved the concept of two people duking it out. That’s what I loved about Power Rangers and Tekken 3. No bullshit. Two people. Each side of the screen. The ultimate test of skill. Prepare to strike. Engage.
Around the early winter of 2000, my dad bought me a Sega Dreamcast. What games did I get for it? Dead or Alive 2, Crazy Taxi, Tony Hawk’s ProSkater 1 and 2, NHL 2k1, Shenmue… and Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
I spent that summer on that console. The Sega Dreamcast was, to me, all I ever wanted. The graphics were more than I could have ever dreamed. The VMU was one of the most bad ass things ever. If I could have the VMU beeps as my ringtone now for my iPhone, I would. I truly loved the Dreamcast, and I loved the games for it. One of them in particular was, of course, Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
Unfortunately, I was a cowardly, young gamer and was afraid of defeat. I wasted my time in the practice room activating the special combos just to see the pretty colors instead of polishing my skills to defeat Abyss. But whenever I hear that song, I begin to reminisce. Although I won’t go into personal detail, the memories of playing that game are very, very precious.
Which leads me to now. I took you through a ride of my own memory lane to paint a picture of just how much Marvel vs. Capcom 3 means to me. I was a grade-schooler that wanted to grow up quickly. I watched my sister watch MTV and all the things teenagers were doing, and I wanted to do that. I dressed like them. I acted like them. And, most of all, I played the games that they were playing.
Now, almost a decade later, I am a legitimate adult. I am a freshman in college. I have a dream of what I want to be. And here I am, still talking about video games and Power Rangers. Funny how life turns out.
Anyway, I’m truly excited for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to hit shelves next year. I bought a Hori Arcade Stick in excitement, and I’ll be dusting it off when the game is out. I predict to get my ass handed to me, but I think we should all be prepared for that. Unless you’re Umehara Daigo or Justin Wong, you’re going to get your ass kicked. HARD.
But no matter. Join me as we drool at the utter amazing amazingness of this wonderful masterpiece. Is it 2011 yet?
Also, if you haven’t already, you need to check out Deadpool’s special. Capcom may have the better roster, but they don’t have that Canadian merc with a mouth.