||[May. 3rd, 2007|02:11 pm]
Games as Art
One thing that I have always loved about video games is the ‘other dimension’ that they have established, where there is constant point systems for everything you break, able to function even after being shot repeatedly in any climate, total disregard for civilian bystanders, the very concept of “extra lives”|
But Fighting games have always been my forte, and there is a very specific element of fighting games from Street Fighter up to Dead OR Alive 4 that remains very solid, an unspoken rule in the ‘video game world’ previously mentioned. and it’s seen when you approach the character select screen, and you pit a skinny, busty chested high school girl with only a vague background in martial arts, against a 7 foot Russian biker with spikes on his leather vest, and steel tipped boots, and the two figures square off head to head, each is given an equal chance to win. What connects these characters involved in whatever world wide fighting tournament happens to be going on (Tekken, DOA, Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, Soul Caliber,)
Is that the willingness to take on such a fight that gives said character his or her edge needed to win, which brings in obscure characters from different backgrounds and motivations. Familiar fighting game archetypes begin to surface in each games cast of characters.
* The military commando,
* The stoic martial artist on his own path
* The painfully large and slow Russian
* The girl next door with unshakable confidence.
* the evil bitch, brimming with cleavage and greed.
* The wise old man.
It seems like now, fighting games are consciously recreating these characters with only minor alterations to personality and fashion, if any. Often the same exact characters resurface in other fighting games with no difference at all ( Yoshimitsu, Gen, Guy,)
one of the reasons ‘Super Smash Brothers Melee’ works on a profound level for me, is that it totally abandons reasons and characterization and commits itself entirely to the function of the game play, no reason is ever once offered for why these characters are fighting, do we really need one?
The game makes itself ambiguous in this way and more personal, It’s not Ken VS Ryu, it’s you VS the person holding the other controller, Smash brothers brings the game TO you, and button mashing wont save your ass anymore. SSBM for me is revenge on Mortal Kombat, and I will never be satisfied enough with that games death.
DEATH TO MORTAL KOMBAT.
(below: Jigglypuff, Ganondorf.)