It is amazing how a few recent gaming announcements have had a unique effect on me.
No, it wasn't the fact that the Xbox 360 HD DVD Drive was price-dropped (again). And, no, surprisingly it was none of the recent leaked info on "Mario Kart" for the Wii. It was actually news about a genre that seems to fade a little more each and every year, as well as the characters within it...
By now most gamers are aware that "Street Fighter IV" has been announced. If you happened to miss yesterday's leaked Famitsu news, a few more original characters have been added to the roster: E. Honda, Dhalsim, and Chun-Li, the last of which was extremely important for me to hear. Why?
Because Chun-Li matters.
You see, my dear Multiplayer friends, I have had an ongoing infatuation with Chun-Li since I first laid my hands on a SNES controller (I was too young to be hanging around at the arcades back in those days). Chun-Li was my first gaming crush, and she has shaped the way I look at and play fighting games ever since the early '90s.
It wasn't so much her appearance, or the fact that she was the only girl in the game, but I was drawn to her because she was far and away the fastest character, and her "lightning kick" move was one of the easiest moves to pull off. After months and months of practice, I became quite good at beating all my friends using "the girl" in the game. Chun-Li was slowly brainwashing my fragile mind with her amazing speed to the point that since the original "Street Fighter II," it has been extremely hard for me to break form when playing a fighting game and fight with a guy -- I almost always gravitate towards the ladies.
Maybe I like the idea of watching a chick beat up a dude. Maybe I think watching them fight is a little easier on the eyes. Maybe it's because a woman, in a street fight (or any fight for that matter) with a guy would generally be perceived as the underdog, and I like seeing underdogs win. Maybe it's a little of each of those -- but, I think, on a whole, the women in fighting games are usually much faster than everyone else. I like a nice, quick fight -- delivering my attacks with a "get-in-and-get-out" mentality, and the ladies are generally the best suited for this. Chun-Li, Katsumi, Samus and Sarah Bryant have all been my go-to ladies in the past.
The only series that has really bucked the trend here, in my opinion, is "Mortal Kombat." The "women" in that game aren't as appealing, since pretty much everyone in the game clocks in at about the same speed, and at the end of the day, "MK" really comes down to your mastery of your character's projectile abilities. You need to know button combinations to make Kitana toss her fan, but all the rest of her moves come from the standard "MK" set. It's not the same with Chun-Li; she's so fast that you can move in, land a quick cacophony of kicks and get away before your opponent knew what hit 'em -- literally.
As Multiplayer's resident chauvinist (as labeled by Multiplayer's resident woman) I think it really says something that I got as giddy as a school girl when I recently found out "Arcana Heart" is going to be ported to the PS2 and released in the States in a few months. "Arcana Heart" could be my dream 2D fighter -- it's all women!!!!! The only thing that makes me a little sad on the inside, is that, alas, Atlus will be releasing the game, and Capcom won't be involved at all -- my beloved Chun-Li won't be making an appearance. What is a boy to do? I hear "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" is coming out soon, maybe I'll have to check that out.