Look, fighting games hold a unique conundrum: They are some of the most difficult games to learn, but they also probably were the first to properly embody the spirit of competition on video games. But it takes a lot of work, which put some people off, since its such a daunting task. Gotta pick a game, a character, learn the game, the character, the specific terms, the match ups, the frame data, learning and applying the fighting game lingo: setups, mix ups, okizemes, fifty-fifty, resets, footsies, etc.
To reach a level when you're confident with your skill takes at least a couple hundred hours, easily. And lemme tell you a secret about fighting games: The people who play them, never think they've reached a point where they can't improve anymore. It sure pays off when you achieve one goal you set for yourself while practicing for hundreds and hundreds of training sessions. Anyway, I could write volumes about the exhilarating feeling you get when you surpass yourself, but I guess this video sums it up pretty well.
My experience with fighting games started with Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo, but I didn't care for fighting games then. It happened a few years later with Tekken 3 where I surpassed myself for the first time, beating a guy who teached me the fundamentals. Since then I never looked back and been playing fighting games ever since. Mostly Tekken, but I've messed around with Bloody Roar (where's the reboot?), Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Marvel VS Capcom, Capcom VS SNK, The King of Fighters to name a few.
Now I'm 23 years old and not much free time on my hands, so for as much as I want to get back into Street Fighter, I simply can't. It's hard enough to have time for a 40 hour game, let alone to sink 100+ hours in learning a fighting game. Maybe I could play it casually and have some fun, but with the online multiplayer nature that is trending in all modern games, it won't be fun to get wrecked online. A losing streak can and probably will get to you and shake your confidence. And with so many alternatives of games to play every month... I'm surprised with the constant growth of the community, specially at big tournaments like EVO or CEO! Anyways, I digressed.
I've played every Tekken game to date, have about 1500 hours across all its games so it's easy and very accessible to me. But sometimes I get burned out with it, so I play some Injustice instead. Despite not being nearly as good at it, I'm always improving. I can hold my own for the most part. But even then, sometimes I get burned with it, too. So when I think of some new fighting game, immediately Guilty Gear XRD comes to mind. I like the art style, the graphics, the gameplay, the soundtrack and its references to rock culture is an amazing plus. But Guilty Gear Xrd is one of the most, if not the most complex fighting game out there at the moment. Even with good tutorials, it falls in that category where it would take too much of my time before I could hold my own against someone online.
After that on the top of my head comes the Mortal Kombat franchise and since MKX is somewhat of a natural progression from Injustice, I'm heavily inclined to get it when I finally jump to a current gen console. Having played most of the games I'm pretty up to speed on the lore, with some characters and how they and the game's mechanics work. So it sounds a little less frustrating in terms of time invested/enjoyment achieved. The other side of the coin: I, for one, am one with the opinion that if you try to play them all, you enter a "jack of all trades, master of none" situation, so I only play Tekken and the Netherrealm Studio games at the moment. But if that's your thing, go for it. There's a lot of reasons to get into it. It really doesn't matter if you're into 2D, 3D, brawlers, complex or simple fighting games, there's something for everybody. I assure you.
What watching EVO last night and my recent discussions surrounding Smash Bros reminded me is that: Not every fighting game is for you and that's okay. It's all about the community. It's kind of awesome to me as one of the most competitive game genres have such a welcoming communit. It just wants to grow, after all it takes at least two to tango. And I'll do my part to help making it happen from now on, respecting other fighting games too, for starters.
Also, shout out to KillerXinok for representing our beautiful country, and making into MKX's Top128 for EVO2016!