Before I could even begin to play SF4, I have to acquire a controller, right? Logical. So I figured I’d go down to Best Buy, grab a PC game bundle and go home. Not that simple. No local Best Buy has Fightpads or sticks, much less the bundle. So I have to break my personal rule of never buying from Gamestop. I call around to six or seven locations, and only one has a Fightpad, and it’s a used one at that. No matter, I go down there, purchase the pad, and then I go to work. A bit later I get around to examining the pad, which I didn’t have time to do earlier as I was on my way to my job. Problem. The USB port is missing.
So I call the Gamestop I purchased it at, and spoke to the guy who sold it to me. Initially he said I’d have to take it back, since they didn’t have any others. I replied that I needed the pad, and I didn’t care if he had to pull a port off another used pad and give it to me. He hemmed and hawed at this, so I added that maybe he should call around to other stores, see who has a spare port and instruct them to hold it for me. He hesitated at this as well, so I just said that I’d call him back later. A fews hours later, I call back and he says that he did find the port and that he would hold it for me. Great, that’s one problem gone. After picking up the port, I head to Best Buy, and hey, they have the game with the pack-in anime DVD. I picked it up as well, glad to have the bonus DVD. My excitement about the DVD quickly soured however when I realized the travesty of its translation. But I’ll go into that later.
Anyway, after some tinkering I get the game installed and the controller drivers downloaded. Now I can play SF4 for the first time. I go into training mode, and pick Ryu.
I suck. I’m amazed at how bad my execution is. The pad makes performing the moves slightly less difficult, but my execution is bollocks.
I sit in practice mode for a while, trying to get used to performing combos and links. Some of the stuff was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I had a hard time executing his cr.lk, cr,lp, cr.hp into tatsu. This is considered one of his basic bread and butter combos (BnB). I wasn’t having much success with f+hp, d+hp into special, either. Daigo’s execution is truly beastly to pull links like that off on command. After about 30 minutes of practice, I went online for the very first time. I played about an 45 minutes, and managed to lose most of my first several matches. I’d get a round win every so often, but I didn’t really win much at all. I did get a session in with someone called obliterage, and we played about 7 matches, 4 of which I won. I was pretty stoked about it, and I sent him a gg mesage along with a friend request afterwards. I played arcade mode solo afterwards, working on unlocking characters. So I’ve got Sakura, Fei Long, Cammy, Gen, and Rose.
I’m going to try and unlock Gouken tonight, as he’s who I intend to play as a secondary character, after Ryu. Although that may change when I get an arcade stick, so that I can start learning to use Gen, who has incredibly technical execution demands that pretty much require a stick. The Fightpad is nice, definitely better than a vanilla controller, but it has a slight mushy feeling that makes some precision movements feel somewhat floaty. Still, it’ll tide me over until I get a stick.
All in all, I’m very excited to be getting back into fighting games, even if it’s only on the PC. Still, it’s been years since I’ve seriously played, and I’m looking forward to working my way up the ranks. If you see me online, send me an invite, I’m going by Hiryu ZeroTwo.