B1 Intermediate 3068 Folder Collection
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Since the early 80s, the Japanese company CAPCOM had been releasing a line of various arcade games.
In 1984, CAPCOM hired a young video game designer named Yoshiki Okamoto
to their Research & Development department alongside Noritaka Funamizu.
Okamoto would go on to oversee the development of CAPCOM games as a
producer and recruit a character designer named Akira Yasuda. One of the games he
oversaw was Street Fighter which was created by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto.
It was released in 1987 and would become the first competitive
fighting game produced by the company. A port of the game was soon released for the
Turbo Grafx CD console under the title Fighting Street in 1988.
In the game, the player would compete in one-on-one matches against a computer-controlled opponent or another player.
The objective of the match was for the player to defeat the opponent within a given
time before the opponent could do the same.
While Street Fighter wasn't the first game of its kind, it introduced many aspects that would become standards in the genre.
Players could block attacks, compete with other players at any given time, and perform special moves.
This was the introduction of the famous fireball attack, hurricane kick, and
dragon punch. Originally, the arcade machines offered the player no kind of
instruction pertaining to how they could execute these special moves. Not only was
this because the designers want this knowledge to be passed down through word
of mouth but these moves also proved to be incredibly devastating when used in
matches. The original arcade cabinets came with a joystick and two pressure
sensitive buttons. The amount of force the player would use to push the button would determine the
level of strength in the attacks. While this was supposed to be the designers'
way of immersing the player into the game, it just led to damaged arcade machines.
So, CAPCOM got rid of this problem by introducing a six button configuration for
the light, medium, and heavy attacks, another standard that would continue in
future fighting games. The game had the player control a Japanese martial artist named
Ryu who competes in an international martial arts tournament.
The second player would control Ken who played the same as Ryu except with a different look
in aesthetics. In single player mode, the player would fight against ten opponents from
five different nations. From Japan, there was Retsu, a former Kempo instructor and
Geki, a claw-wielding ninja.
From the United States, there was Joe,
an underground martial arts champion,
and Mike, a former heavyweight boxer.
From China, there was a Lee, a Chinese martial arts expert, and Gen, an elderly
professional killer. From England, there was Birdie, a tall heavyweight bouncer,
and Eagle, a club-wielding bodyguard. In between these matches, players would
enter short bonus stages that would test the player's strength and timing.
After defeating the initial eight fighters, the player would travel to Thailand and fight against
Adon, a disciple of the Emperor of Muay Thai, and Sagat, the eye-patch wearing Emperor of Muay Thai.
When the game was released on the Turbo Grafx CD, it didn't turn out to be a massive success for CAPCOM.
The port of the arcade game suffered from long load times and poor controls.
Due to the controller's inability to have the six button control scheme,
the strength of the attack was determined by how long the button was held down.
The game was ported to many other game systems at the time such as the Commodore 64,
ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, DOS, and Amiga.
The original arcade version was eventually emulated and featured in a CAPCOM game
compilation for the PC, PSP, PS2, and Xbox. In 1988, Yoshiki
was asked by CAPCOM to make a sequel for Street Fighter as it had generated much success and fans.
For his inspiration, Yoshiki looked at a current arcade hit, Double Dragon II: The Revenge.
His goal was to make a game that looked and played much better.
With CAPCOM wanting a Street Fighter sequel, his game was shown at trade shows under the title Street Fighter '89.
Once the press saw the game and complained that
it was nothing like Street Fighter, the title of the game was changed to Final Fight.
While there is never a direct connection to the Street Fighter universe, there are
many subtle references to the series throughout the game such as one of the main
characters is mentioned to being a former street fighter. The characters were designed by
recently hired Akira Yasuda, who is credited under the name Akiman.
The world of Final Fight is set in the fictional town of Metro City sometime during the 1990s.
Players had the option to choose from three different characters and play
cooperatively with someone else. The roster consisted of the newly-elected mayor and
former wrestler Mike Haggar and two martial artists named Cody and Guy. They face
off against the Mad Gear street gang who have kidnapped the mayor's daughter Jessica and are
threatening to take over the city.
Even without the Street Fighter name, Final Fight was a successful game for CAPCOM
and is heralded as one of the best beat-em-ups of all time. Many of the game's
characters would continue to exist outside of Metro City and appear in future Street Fighter games.
The game's success on the Super Nintendo led to CAPCOM producing two more games exclusively for the system.
The franchise kept a low profile until CAPCOM attempted resurrecting the series in 2005 with Final Fight Streetwise.
The game was a massive flop and the studio behind the game soon shut down after its release.
In 1990, CAPCOM tried making another offshoot of the original
Street Fighter with the NES game Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight.
Instead of a competitive fighting game, the game was more of an action platform game that focused on boss battles.
The game was marketed as a futuristic version of the original arcade game with a sci-fi theme.
However, the story in the Japanese version had very little related to Street Fighter,
though the English localization changed the main character's name from Kevin to Ken and
explained how he became a cyborg who fights aliens after becoming the Street Fighter champion.
When it came to America, the game suffered from a terrible localization and unforgiving difficulty.
Fans of Street Fighter saw the game as just an embarrassment and don't consider it part of the franchise.
While it never reached the popularity of its future installments, the original Street
Fighter was the game that introduced many of the now common fighting game
conventions and laid down the foundation for the franchise that would continue to evolve in later games.
Many of the characters featured in the game would continue to appear in future
games in the franchise. Unfortunately, the two men who created Street Fighter left CAPCOM after
the game's production and were hired by SNK where they would go on to develop many of its fighting game franchises.
The rivalry between SNK and CAPCOM would begin with the release of Street Fighter's now legendary sequel.
Next time in Part 2 of this Street Fighter Retrospective.
The series returns with the most important chapter in its history.
It would become one of the most popular games of its time and result in a number of imitators and rivalries
but eventually come out as the most timeless of all.
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A Street Fighter Retrospective (Part 1) - The Nostalgic Gamer

3068 Folder Collection
阿多賓 published on April 23, 2013
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