Friday, March 02, 2007


Great. Now that I've typed that title, I've got the song by Animotion stuck in my head. Who do you want me to be, to make you sleep with me?

Anyway, over on Circvs Maximvs, my online "hangout", my good online pal barsoomcore started a thread where he asked what our obsession was. My response was that I have a few obsessions that I rotate through. Giving it some more thought, I decided that my obsession is actually Japanese two dimensional superhero style martial arts games. 2-D fighters, as they're called. Essentially that means games of the Street Fighter, King of Fighters and Fatal Fury series, or anything sufficiently similar (like, say Capcom vs. SNK). True, I do go through waves where my obsessions with them is at "low tide" but it always... always comes back.

It's a little bit bizarre in a way. That whole little subgenre of games is now essentially defunct. SNK still carries the torch--sorta--with an occasional entry still in the King of Fighters series, but it's questionable if those will even ever make it to U.S. shores anymore. Their latest, which is a year and a half old in Japan, you still can only get for Japanese Playstation 2 (although there's finally a European port coming out now. Fancy that.) Of course, that's also good news in a way--it means I can actually get completely caught up on the whole freakin' genre. In fact, I almost am already, with the exception of a few games that never got decent domestic console ports.

Right now, there are a few games getting Japanese PS2 releases that I really want, which means that to get completely caught up with what I want, I need a PS2, some way to play import games (either because I bought a Japanese PS2, or because I bought Swap Magic or some other conversion tool.) These include the two Fatal Fury Battle Archive collections--one having the entire original Fatal Fury line, the other having the entire Real Bout line, and King of Fighters XI. Holy Moly, but that's an exciting prospect, because once I go there, I'm really pretty much done with collecting, honestly. There's not much left to get. I suppose I could get the Orochi and N.E.S.T.S. and if I really went crazy, I could get the Art of Fighting collections. Closer to home, I could also pick up a few missing installments of some games; the Capcom Classics Collections have pretty much all the versions of Street Fighter II on them in arcade perfect ports, not to mention the original 1987 Street Fighter itself. If I get a PS2 and Swap Magic, I can get the domestic Alpha Anthology for PS2, although I'm not 100% sure that getting that is strictly necessary since I have Alpha 2 for the SNES and Alpha 3 for the PS1. Alpha 3 is already an amazing game in it's own right, and just to have a few frames added back in, I'm not sure that Alpha Anthology adds a whole lot that I'm interested in.

Anyway, I'm just musing on where to go with this, my obsession. I have to admit, it's a little bit of a creepy feeling to know that with a mere $200-300 I can actually complete--COMPLETE my entire collection in terms of games that are worth buying. I've currently got eighteen of these games on various consoles, and with that money I can add a total of twelve new games and update eight games to better versions than I currently have. Granted, do I really care about some of those new games very much--Street Fighter Alpha, for example, when I'll have Alpha 2 Gold and Alpha 3, or Fatal Fury 2 when I have Fatal Fury Special, or Real Bout or Real Bout Special when I'll have Real Bout 2, etc. But I gotta tell you, I'm really geeking out over here about the possibilities.