I’ll never understand why I didn’t end up with a copy of my own, but when I was a kid, I really liked Street Fighter II. My friend, Taylor, had a Street Fighter II arcade machine in his garage and my youth pastor had a copy of Street Fighter II for Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo (I don’t remember which one.) Who knows, maybe I didn’t get it because I was able to play it at other people’s homes. I ended up getting Killer Instinct and Clay Fighters. Killer Instinct was good, but Street Fighter II was king. Even after playing some of the best 3D fighting games, I always felt that Street Fighter II was the best fighting game – period.

In 2008, I heard Capcom was working on a new Street Fighter that was going to be a 2D fighter with 3D graphics and that it was going to be more like Street Fighter II than Street Fighter III. For some reason, I got REALLY excited about this, to the point that I felt like a kid again. I couldn’t wait for this game to come out! I frequented the web to find as much information about it as I could. Then I found out about the Tournament Edition Fightstick and I got even more excited. I had heard it said many times, “Hardcore fighting game enthusiasts use a fightstick, not a regular controller.” I ended up pre-ordering the fightstick at Gamestop and ignored all comments about the $150.00 price tag. I didn’t care what anyone thought – I wanted it!

To take things further, I invited my friends to a Street Fighter tournament at my house. There were 10-12 of us and I placed third. It was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time. I’d never competed in a video game tournament before, though I had been to a few Halo LAN parties. We had two more Street Fighter IV tournaments after that and I got first place in the third and final tournament. We actually stopped the tournament because we were planning to go see a movie (I think it was Terminator: Salvation) and we had the championship round after the movie (it was close to midnight at that point.) It was an experience I’ll never forget.

I just turned 27 two weeks ago, so I’m definitely not a kid anymore, but it was nice that this game made me feel like one. It seems like the older you get, the less excited you get about things. I’m glad that games can still bring out that child-like excitement in me and I hope that it’s not the last time. I still get pretty excited about new games, but not in the same way or to the same level that I did when I was younger. I think Street Fighter IV had an extra advantage because of the nostalgia factor. I wasn't longing for the past, but I did desire to experience something from my past with my current, close friends (who are mostly all gamers, too.)