Street Fighter Month concludes here on In Third Person! Though Street Fighter has always been perceived as the leader in fighting games, is it still deserving of that title? Thank you for joining me in this battle!
Street Fighter will always hold a special place in the fighting game community. Street Fighter II pioneered the genre. Street Fighter III was the game that kept the hardest-of-hardcore fans engaged during Capcom’s fighting game drought. Street Fighter IV ushered in the modern era of fighting games, laying out the blueprint for how to design a competitive fighting game for modern times.
But has it been deserving of that position in a post-Street Fighter V world? Not to specifically throw shade at that game, but in these last few years, the Street Fighter brand got weaker while others got stronger. On top of that, certain games may have stronger claims to the throne than you may think. Let’s discuss!
Street Fighter Week continues! Putting the spotlight on my favourite Street Fighter player this time: Sakonoko!
Sakonoko may not have the name recognition of such Street Fighter luminaries such Daigo, but he’s still a force to be reckoned with. Considered one of the five gods of Japanese fighting games, has no shortage of high placings in tournaments, including his reign as the first ever Capcom Cup champion.
What makes Sako so great? No offense to Bret “The Hitman” Hart, but Sako is the excellence of execution.
Street Fighter Week continues! Though this story was sort of told in real time over the years, here’s a consolidated story of my rise (and fall) in the world of competitive Street Fighter!
There was a time when I thought the world of competitive Street Fighter didn’t extend beyond the bounds of local arcades. For a long time, I fancied myself as being savvy in Street Fighter II, as I could perform any of the game’s special moves on command and I could beat my friends. I didn’t think there was anything more to learn.
Boy, was I wrong.
Street Fighter Week continues! Ryu might be the most popular character in the franchise, but he’s routinely outclassed as a competitor by similar characters. Is that a problem?
Street Fighter‘s largely-generic karate guy is the most popular and iconic character in the genre. People love his standard-issue toolset and his competitive spirit. However, for being the poster boy for the entire genre, Ryu hasn’t really been a threat in the competitive scene since Super Turbo. Ever since Akuma entered the lore, Capcom has been put in a weird predicament that I don’t think they’ll ever fully solve.
Street Fighter Week begins on In Third Person! We begin with the game that changed everything: Street Fighter II!
The original Street Fighter sucked. Street Fighter II is one of the greatest video games of all-time. The turnaround between the two products is down-right fierce (see what I did there?). What changed between the two titles to make the latter a meteoric success? Let’s run down a list of factors that contributed to the rise of Street Fighter II!
Hip-Hop Week continues on In Third Person! What was your gateway into hip-hop music?
I remember my gateway into the world of hip-hop vividly. Borrowing my friend Faiz’s cassette copy of Homebase by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, I dubbed my own copy and bumped it all the time. Despite “Summertime” being an enduring classic, starting out with Will Smith doesn’t do anything for my street cred.
It got me thinking about other potential gateways into the genre. There’s no shame in where you start or where you end, but when I started to think about it, the “PokeRap” from the original Pokemon animated series immediately came to mind.
Hip-Hop Week continues! Let’s take to the streets where Just Blaze provided a soundtrack to streetball that still bangs today!
NBA Street Vol. 2 is a high watermark for arcade sports games. It found a brilliant balance between accessibility, depth, and swag for days. Though it’s been a while since I played it, one of the things that always stuck with me is its music. Look past the licensed tracks and you’ll find a killer selection of beats by Just Blaze, who was one of the hottest producers at the time, and still one of my faves to this day.
Here’s a pair of tracks that really stand out to me, but you should check out the whole soundtrack when you get a chance!
Hip-Hop Week continues on In Third Person! From Flava Flav to Migos, the hype man is an underrated role in a rapper’s crew. This is the story of how I got to live out my hype man dreams.
Like normal fans of hip-hop music, I’ve had dreams of being a rapper, producer, DJ, and breakdancer. But there’s another occupation in the world of hip-hop that I’ve always wanted to be that weirds people out every time I share this with them.
I’ve always wanted to be a hype man.
I’ve wanted to be the Flava Flav yelling, “********** you and John Wayne!”. Or in 90s terms, I wanted to be Puff Daddy, standing behind the Notorious B.I.G., punctuating his lines with chants of, “Whoo!” or, “Uh huh, yeah.” Or in modern times, I wanted to be one of the guys in Migos screaming, “Skrrt!”. My fascination with this role manifests itself in the car every time I drive. Sometimes, instead of singing or rapping along to a song, I’ll just ad lib over it. Even for songs that don’t make sense, I’ll do it. That scene in Carpool Karaoke where Migos is ad libbing over “Sweet Caroline”? That’s been my life for years, and I apologize to my wife for subjecting her to this every day.
A few years ago, during a night in with friends, I got to share my hype man talents to the world thanks to Def Jam Rapstar.
Hip-Hop Week officially begins on In Third Person! Of course we had to start with the N-O, T-O, R-I, O, U-S!
On August 9th, 1994, Christopher Wallace released “Juicy”, the first single from his forthcoming debut album Ready to Die. The song would peak at #1 on the Billboard charts and is still cited as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all-time.
Though it may not have been the first time video games and hip-hop connected – and it certainly wouldn’t be the last – the Notorious B.I.G. yelled out what would become the most iconic video game reference in hip-hop, and quite possibly all of music.
“Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis/When I was dead broke man, I couldn’t picture this”
– Notorious B.I.G., “Juicy”
What is it about this line that continues to resonate today? Being associated with an all-time great rap song by an all-time great rapper goes a long way, but I think there’s a bit more to it than that.