Ah.. arcades. It’s hard to replicate the feeling and excitement of playing a light gun shooter or Metal Slug with a friend while hearing “I wanna take you for a riiiide” being played in the background and moments later being filtered out by a Konami original and footsteps from the nearest Dance Dance Revolution machine. Transforming a 5 dollar bill into a pocket-full of quarters before choosing what machine to play first was a level of happiness that is hard to replicate today. Street Fighter II on the SNES and the release of other home versions of arcades games abolished having to spend money everytime you wanted to play a game. Playing with your friends at home is fun, and SFII Hyper on the Xbox Live Arcade can be fun online, but they will never surpass the quarter-eating now, pizza-eating later, nostalgic feeling of a video-game arcade.

This year, we are witnessing a rise in the fighting genre. Street Fighter IV started out the year with an amazing comeback, deep fighting system, and beautiful visuals managing to look like an entirely new game yet still retain the feeling of a 2D fighter. However, one thing that stopped me from purchasing Street Fighter IV was the controls. I never got into home versions of 2D fighters because they didn’t feel right. Granted, I still played from time to time with my friends but it still felt like playing DDR with a control pad. I never got into playing alone, learning different techniques, and whatnot.

But in the end, temptation led me to purchase SSF2T HD Remix last November and Street Fighter IV in May. I bought Blazblue last June. It’s now early July. Marvel vs Capcom 2 and The King of Fighters XIII will be out at the end of the month. Tekken 6 will be out on October. I had no choice but to purchase what I should have purchased for the PS2 a long time ago. I finally bought an arcade fighting stick.

The Hori EX2 is the cheapest Xbox 360 fighting stick on the market but it gets the job done. I never had any more fun playing fighters at the comfort of my home! It’s everything I should have had before. The 6 button layout doesn’t bother me when compared to an 8 button layout, nor does the square gate when compared to an octave gate.

One downside was online shopping, which was quite the learning experience for me. After purchasing a Hori stick at eBay, I found a cheaper deal elsewhere and requested a refund on my order. I waited about a week until I realized they refunded my money into my Paypal account rather than my back account a day later. Oops. I also bought some DVDR-DL’s but I typed in the wrong home address. Double oops (I was off by one number and I was exhausted.. ok?!). Watching Kino-no-Tabi (Kino’s Journey) helped me get through those online shopping woes…

And that was mid-July. Blogged in November. heh…

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