I have been reading everything I can about the upcoming Street Fighter IV. I never got into Street Fighter III in a big way, I was mildly proficient in it. Street Fighter II, however, was the badge of honor for people exactly the right age to have an Ugly Kid Joe T-Shirt. So, I am really looking forward to Street Fighter IV and have been getting itchy to play the original again (original, of course, actually refers to II because no one wants to play Street Fighter I).
For those of us who were better than OK at Street Fighter II there are certain primitive tools that are completely inappropriate for use with the game. In order to really enjoy the game you have to have the proper type of controller. I would begin my quest for an arcade fighting stick for any home console I have (I have all three Playstations, the first Xbox, and the Wii).
First I was able to track down the game with relative ease. I grabbed two different Street Fighter anthologies, one Alpha and one regular, and an overall Capcom Fighting anthology for under $30 total spent. I was encouraged because this was the first store I went to and I got all three. All were PS2 games, so I needed a fighting stick for PS2 or, preferably PS3. I asked the Gamestop employee if they had arcade sticks and he said they did not but I should be able to find them in almost any store selling video games. I set out for the next closest store, Best Buy.
After wandering around Best Buy for 20 minutes (confusingly they keep some console controllers by the PC games in the back) I found someone who would admit to working in the video game section and asked him for arcade stick controllers, like you would use with a fighting game. He had no idea what I was talking about. Finally after a bunch of pantomime a lightbulb went off as he remembered playing a game with one when he was "little". He said they did not have them but he thought that Circuit City had more of that kind of thing.
I could not find any in Circuit City, I also could not find anyone who admitted to working in the video game section. I have no idea what they do when a confused parent comes in wanting to buy "a rewinder for my son's Atari tapes" and mean a Wii (trust me, I have been in Gamestop when this happened). It was off to the slightly better Gamestop at the mall.
I couldn't get anyone's attention at the mall Gamestop, they were all playing Wii. Finally a guy my age, also wandering around, asked me if there was any Guitar Hero with Van Halen's "Right Now" on it (this is how I knew he was my age). He immediately knew what an arcade fighting stick was and pointed me to Toys 'R Us.
My conversation with a Toys 'R Us game expert:
Scene: A Toys 'R Us game section. It is separated from the rest of the store by fortress like security detectors and walls. Ironically, everything in it is locked up in a case. It is inhabited by future airport security workers, obviously serving as training.
Me: Excuse me, I am looking for arcade style controllers for the PS2 or, preferably the PS3.
TSA guy: What do you mean?
Me: You know, a joystick with a bunch of buttons on a board, like you would use to play Street Fighter.
TSA guy: Oh, I never played Street Fighter
Me: Virtual Fighter?
It is important that the TSA guy does not change his facial expression here.
Blank stare from the TSA guy
Me: How about Dead or Alive? It has boobies.
TSA guy: The volleyball game?
Me: Yeah...no. It looks like a joystick with 6 or 8 buttons alongside it. It may also have a picture of a ninja or hot chick on it.
TSA guy: Oh, we have those....over in the Lego section.
Scene: This should all be one shot, the camera should follow the characters to the Lego section. Should be shot in guerrilla "Cloverfield" style.
TSA guy: Yup, here you go.
The TSA guy produces a wall full of these
Fade to black as stabbing SFX from Psycho plays.
This is a sad day my friends. The world is now almost overrun with people who have never quartered up, never sipped on Orange Julius in a Jersey mall waiting to take down the guy who has been cheap shotting everyone with Guile. They haven't had gum stuck to their Converse hightops with GNR written in whiteout on the side. I don't know what they do actually. As near as I can tell they roll around on shoes with wheels in them and call each other "homo" on Halo. You never called someone "homo" while playing Street Fighter II, they could punch you for real. However, I do have hazy memories of people with wheels on their shoes from my early childhood.
Yup, this whole post was just me bitching about not being able to play a 17 year old game without ordering something from the internet. It is also a bad roller disco joke. Now you kids get off my lawn!