Fighting games are the epitome of the description “easy to learn, difficult to master”. Well, at least I believe that. However if you’re lucky, you can get away with button mashing. I won’t judge you if you do. I did that all the time while playing Tekken 2 thru Tag Tournament along with Marvel Super Heroes and Marvel vs Capcom 2.There was also Super Smash Bros, which was loads of fun in both the casual and competitive scene, despite being overlooked by the fighting game community(FGC). Even though I learned finally how to play Street Fighter and the Marvel/Capcom fighting games (thanks to MAME emulators), I still yearned to get better. It’s when I began to follow the Fighting Game scene, using ‘The Excellent Adventures of Gootecks and Mike Ross’ video series as a starting point.
“Excellent Adventures” is a show featuring two well known figures of the fighting game community: Ryan “Gootecks Gutierrez”, FGC video producer and skilled SFIII:3rd Strike player, and the people’s champion, Mike “Mike Ross” Ross, Street Fighter IV extraordinaire. Both are founding of team Cross Counter, a Capcom-based fighting game team who also produce videos as well, Excellent Adventures being one of them. Excellent Adventures comprises of videos of Gootecks and Mike Ross playing Street Fighter IV online against random opponents with live commentary (typically quite humorous). Both being pro, you would think that it would be boring, since you would imagine them just endlessly beating everyone they play. But on the contrary, Street Fighter IV is a completely different ball park online, which is a large reason why I find Excellent Adventures entertaining. When watching, you are witness to two pros adapting and changing strategies on the fly when playing online against an unknown opponent. Sometimes, the opponent is using a cheap trick, while others are legitimately more skilled than Gootecks and Mike. Every episodes always have a different outcome, varying from streaks of victories to chasing down an opponent that left the duo ‘salty’ (FGC term for bitter). And of course, the pair have great, at least seemingly platonic chemistry, always joking around and motivating each other.
Cross Counter also produce a bunch of other shows as well. Cross Counter Live is a weekly show (currently on hiatus) where the two discuss current happenings in the fighting game community, such as upcoming tournaments and games, while also featuring special guests who are prominent in the FGC, like Combofiend and Justin Wong. There are also other Adventures series as well, similar to Excellent Adventures, but featuring other games, like Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken.
Check out more of their videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/crosscountertv
Of course, the only real way of becoming better at fighting games is practice, whether it’s training mode, playing online or against friends on the same couch. But if you hit a wall, it’s never a bad idea to hop on the internet as trying to pick up some new strategies and combos. As for myself, I’m a bit rusty, due to lack of practice. But I’m also down for a match of SSFIV:AE 2012. Just don’t be a jerk when you wreck my E. Honda.