Monday, November 5, 2012

Ah, how I missed the balls

I am going to do something that I have not done in a long time: talk about Street Fighter in positive terms.

My last encounter with AE saw my old Madcatz SE wrapped around a post in my basement. Honestly, it was not a big loss. Even the I had replaced the buttons it was still severely worn. There was a dead zone, down back if you must know, that was so huge it made playing command characters almost impossible. At least that was the excuse that I used. I was without a stick for a few months until I pulled together the money for my Qanba. It is was worth every penny and was the only thing that made playing Persona 4 Arena even close to possible.

The anime affair didn't last very long but I have since fallen back in love with Tekken. I have not given up on that, not yet, but the call of AE was strong. I am comfortable with it in a way that I have never reached with any other fighting game. This does not mean that I am any good, but it means that there aren't many surprises left. I know what my character can do. I know most of what all the other characters can do because I watch most of the streamed majors and have fought them all many, many times. Again, I am in no way professing ability, only familiarity.

On Friday night I re-installed AE. Out of an abundance of caution I went into into training mode to make sure that I remember how to cancel crouching medium into a forward roll. It was a good thing, too, because I didn't. Charge times in Persona 4 Arena were shorter than in AE. My timing had be re-calibrated and it took longer than I thought. Once my hands remembered that Blanka is not Mitsuru things quickly improved. My links were right where I left them: shoddy. I should have spent more time on them but I wanted to actually play.

Expectations were managed. Heavy objects, with the exception of the stick were out of arms reach. Here's the surprise: I won. I won the first several in a row. Then I lost a few. Then I ran into a high ranked T. Hawk player. A true test: the T. Hawk - Blanka match up is 7-3 in Blanka's favor. It is similar to the Zangief match up (hit once, run away, punish when you can) with the following exception: Hawk has a very difficult time punishing blocked balls. I played it just right: lame. So lame. It was a huge confidence booster.

Yesterday I came across on Rufus who did not know how to space his dive kicks. Free anti-airs for me. I could literally hear him cursing my name because he didn't know what to do. It was wonderful.

I hope this lasts. It is good to be back.

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