The social dynamic in the information age almost dictates that people are less socially adept and available. Why go to the movies when you can access hundreds of movies on Netflix from the comfort of your own home? Why get together with friends when you can just text them, email them or connect with them on Facebook?
The novelty of the movie theatre experience will probably never die out, and there are many people that can still appreciate game arcades, even if they are outdated. In a way, these were things that used to bring people together. The irony is that it’s also easier to feel alone in a crowded room.
People used to get together to do things, even if it was just LAN parties or a Schwarzenegger-thon. It still happens, but most people have access to all of their entertainment needs from the convenience and comfort of their own home.
Having said that, adult life brings a new perspective and new responsibilities with it too. Though recharging and having fun should be part of every person’s life, turning 30 brings a whole new sense of urgency in figuring out how to make an impact on the world and leave a personal legacy. You may not share that viewpoint; it just depends on how much you value life.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to get too somber. Let’s get to the heart of the matter.
Even in this modern age, you might still find yourself looking over the shoulder of another who is playing a game. Maybe, like me, you don’t really play a lot of games. Or maybe you just like to watch (if you know what I mean). Whatever the case, you catch someone in the act (oops). That’s what A Gamer’s Diary is all about.
Street Fighter Alpha
I grew up in Japan. However, I left at a bit of an awkward time, in early 1997. The Sony PlayStation was starting to gain in popularity, and polygons and 3D games were beginning to capture the attention of the youth.
When I came back to Canada, it was as if I had gone back in time. I already knew who was going to be winning the latest console war, because I saw what the PlayStation would offer gamers everywhere.
Anyway, Street Fighter II is one of my all-time favorite games from childhood, but the series became a little harder to follow after I saw so many different incarnations. Remember? There was the Champion Edition, and Hyper Fighting and so on and so forth.
Fast story long, I realize now that Street Fighter Alpha was kind of a missing piece in my education. I’ve known about it, but I never really played it. For example, I was looking at newer releases in the Street Fighter series going, “who the heck is Akuma?” Apparently he was a hidden character in Turbo. Go figure. I played that game to death and never unlocked him.
Still, there were other new characters that I did not recognize either. Observing my roommate play Street Fighter Alpha has finally given me a bit of context for later releases.
I really like how this game looks. By today’s standards it’s nothing special, but for someone who has observed how games have evolved from the Commodore 64 onward, I can appreciate incremental improvements. Alpha does look decidedly better than II.
Sound & Music
Here, too, I noticed quite a bit of improvement. Each character’s theme sounded better than earlier versions of the game, and likewise their voices were updated. This is good news considering how it sounded like most of the voices in Street Fighter II were articulated by two or three different people at most.
Naturally, I can’t really speak to the gameplay that much. I was watching someone play it. My roommate did mention that some of the moves were a little challenging on the PlayStation controller though.
Alpha definitely seems a little more complicated than earlier Street Fighter games, thanks to the addition special moves. It seems like each character’s repertoire of attack moves had increased as well.
I’m pretty sure I would have a lot of fun with this game if I had the chance to give it a go. I would probably feel like I was a little more up-to-date with the Street Fighter universe after playing it as well.