FROM COUCH HERO TO RANKED ZERO

With Ultra Street Fighter IV announced for the PS4, I wanted to check and compete with the online community of Ultra Street Fighter IV on the PS3, which was harder than I expected...

A bit of information about me and my history with Street Fighter might be needed here; As I was growing up I spent most of my time playing Street Fighter II on the SEGA. I got the game when I was 5 years old and played SFII until I was 14 years old. We didnít get a new console or in fact even any new games. By the time I got the SEGA there werenít much games left, which is what happens when you get a console at the end of its cycle. The games I did get where SFII, Mortal Kombat 1,2 & 3 and a few games I didnít even want to play, like Cliffhanger for example. So I spent my first 9 years of gaming on the same console with the same games, which resulted in a passion for Street Fighter that is unmatched by any other game.


As mentioned before, I played SFII for almost 9 years straight. I played against my brother, my father ,my uncles, my school friends, every kid in de neighborhood and almost my entire family. I found out that next to having a passion for the game I was also skilled in playing it. I would rarely lose a match, which evolved into couch tournaments in which I almost never lost. I felt like a king. I would come home from school and start up my SEGA and play SFII for hours and hours straight and no one could beat me.

Fast forward to February 20, 2009. SFIV is released in Europe. At this time Iím 19 years old ,work in a gameshop and own a PS3 and XBOX 360. I pre-ordered the game for like ages ago and canít wait till I get my hands on it because this is the first time I will play any other Street Fighter game than SFII. I got home that day, shouted at my father and my brother to come and play with me and beat them both so utterlyÖ it was almost gruesome. I needed new challengers so I called my uncle, nephews some local street kids and a few school friends. We held our first SFIV couch tournament and as the story goes I slaughtered every last one of them.

We didnít have an internet connection at the time so online matches werenít an option, a friend of mine who did have an internet connection pointed out some local tournaments in the area. I decided to go to one of these tournaments and for the first time ever I felt like there were more people like me; people with a passion for SF who had some real skills. I didnít win that tournament, I came out third and was proud of myself ! It was a tremendous experience because of the skills I witnessed and the love I felt from all the other players; a love for the game I had been in love with since I was 5 years old. I became a regular at local tournaments and even won a few.


Another fast forward to 2015. Now I have almost every console and game I like at my disposal. Street Fighter isnít a big part of my life (or at least not a daily routine) anymore. There are a lot of other games I like and even more Iím still anxious to play. With the announcement of USFIV and SFV on PS4 , it was like a spark lit that fire inside of me that has slumbered for the last few years. I bought a copy of USFIV on my PS3 and dove in head first. The first thing I played was the arcade mode, followed by Online Matches. Arcade mode wasnít a problem! Iíve played SFIV before and was used to the flow of the game. I started on the medium difficulty setting and went straight through to the hardest setting. This didnít feel like a challenge at all, I needed a bigger challenge! At this point Iím afraid I will end up like Akuma. So I went Online and let me tell you, that might have been the worst decision I ever made. I got beat up in every single ranked match I played. Where were my skills? Were they gone? Were they never there? What was wrong with me? So I kept playing and playing, training in Arcade mode and test in Ranked. At the time of writing this, Iíve played my 100th Ranked match and won 9 of them, thatís like close to 10%. I feel like a complete noob at this point and canít wait to step my game up.

The biggest issues I have with ranked matches are:

- Being matched with a player ranked 2nd on the leaderboard while my rank is not even ON the leaderboard, which results in a true beating of a lifetime.

- Getting matches which disconnect just at the moment Iím winning. Is this due to a bad internet connection or does the challenger disconnect when losing? This is something I cannot confirm.

- Finding a match is gruesome, it takes a lot of time to find a valid match, with a good internet connection and a player willing to play. And even then, some of them will just kick you out of the lobby.


I still have a really good time playing USFIV , Iíve played a few good ranked matches in which the outcome was decided by a minimum difference in life bars. I havenít received any messages saying somebody did something to my mother or calling me a complete noob, so Iíve got that going for me, which is nice. Iíll keep on playing USFIV on PS3 until its release on PS4 somewhere in the coming months.

10/10 Would Hadou-a-ken

Kevin "Methodone89" van Dongen