Still Street Fighting After All These Years

Still Street Fighting After All These Years

"In 1985, the arcades were graced with an unusual space-based shooter called Section-Z. Colorful, boisterous, sci-fi inspired coin-ops were in high demand, and although Section-Z was, to some degree, camouflaged by the incessant white-noise of game development gone mad, it united a cult of followers who still remain disturbingly loyal. Other games would come along very soon afterward and do everything Section-Z did - and do it better - but Capcom, at least, can lean back in its chair and, with hands behind an indifferent head, say, 'We did that first.'"

Spanner looks at the long legacy of Capcom's seminal Jet Pack trilogy.

Still Street Fighting After All These Years

"Selling hundreds of thousands of copies might have been enough to keep a scrappy independent developer running, but for a division of Capcom, they were a stinging disappointment. By contrast, Dead Rising for the Xbox 360 racked up a million sales by the end of 2006. In January of this year, Lost Planet, another Capcom title, racked up 329,000 sales in North America alone . In one month, and one market, Lost Planet beat the entire lifetime sales of one of Clover's titles."

Still Street Fighting After All These Years

"That's the key point: The Resident Evil women are judged on their worth as human beings, and not just as women. Ultimately, there is no One or Other status in Raccoon City; or, if there is, it's between human and zombie, not man and woman. The characters forever race against infection, time or death and in the process must cast away everything that's not absolutely essential to their own survival, including philosophical distinctions between the sexes. After all, it's hard to find time to subjugate and oppress an entire gender when you're both running from a guy with a flaming axe."

Still Street Fighting After All These Years

"Once the dead have risen, all bets are off. Society, necessarily, breaks down, and the Maslow pyramid contracts to a single tier. Facing off against the undead horde, therefore, we find our petty insecurities erased; clothes, cars, who'll win American Idol - all become meaningless. What's left is what will get us through the night, and the day, and the next night ... until the zombies are vanquished. And it's this deconstruction of the pillars of our culture, this sifting through the waste to find what's really important - a gun perhaps, or a propane tank - that makes for such cathartically good storytelling. By fighting zombies, in other words, we're actually fighting ourselves."

Russ Pitts explores the myth of the zombie apocalypse, as represented by Capcom's Dead Rising.

Still Street Fighting After All These Years

"More than many other arcade games, Street Fighter inspired a culture, a code. Among friends, you might taunt and talk trash as you played. Against a stranger, etiquette dictated an attitude of couth - a regal aloofness. To silently duck or overleap your opponent's attacks, to pull back and then, with a light touch on the joystick and decisive stabs at the six buttons, to land three or four telling jabs and kicks - all with a cool, fated composure - that was the tao of Street Fighter. And then, having initiated with musical precision your final, killing combo, to turn from the console, silently, dismissively, feigning to chat idly with a friend while the hapless loser viewed his fighter's humiliation ... Boooo-yah!"

Allen Varney examines Street Fighter's devastating attack on the fighting genre.