Thursday, December 16, 2004

Pop goes the Street Fighter II competition

Last night's Joystick Junkies Christmas party was a joyous affair and, I'm pleased to say, devoid of the unholy pain in the ass that is networking.

I'm not saying it didn't go on - it damn well did - I'm just saying I didn't feel the need to take part, and instead concentrated on consuming alchohol. Whenever the first three drinks are free I'm bound to suffer a hangover of at least +7.

Overheard an interesting conversation while in the toilet though - talk of mags going under, two from the US and a couple here in good 'ol Blighty. Not really networking though - unless you count earwigging while relieving yourself of bodily fluid.

No, I don't either. And another thing - I refuse to give money to bog attendants, even really happy sociable ones. I'll even not wash my hands to avoid them.

Er . . . oh shit.

Chris was in great form. That's Chris Birch, founder of Joystick Junkies for all you media daahling newbies. Being a masked party as it were, he was oblidged to wear one. Not many people did - and those that did didn't make much of an effort either. The 'best mask' competition embarrassed me somewhat. I thought about coming in my Master Chief helmet. Glad I didn't. Would have shown everyone up.

Pop - the West End nightclub that seems to have become home to the pissed electronic entertainment gliterati of London - is a curious place. There is ample space for dancing, which many did, but it has a somewhat cheap plastic feel. When there is nowhere to sit, it's easy to feel isolated from the main throng, and the VIP area is dug in like an alabama tit. No roving reporter is gonna get a story from those hallowed walls.

Chris always brings in retro arcade flat tables to his parties - from Digital Tables. MAME and a few joysticks = wicked night out. Although there was less of a presence this month than the party in October.

Street Fighter II was of course the most popular among attendees. Now I consider myself something of an expert at the game, on account of winning my school championship back in the mid-90s, but playing upside down is a challenge for the best Japanese Zangief players, let alone my crude Western Guile button bashing.

Hold down, up and kick, oh shit, invert everything god damn it, invert!!!

Two guys button bashed on Street Fighter II so hard, they managed to exit to windows and lock themselves out of the game. Yes, that's right, they were locked in Windows. Windows XP as well. Much amusement trying to negotiate Mr Gates user friendly interface with a joystick and six buttons.

Never mind. Had a decent stab at Golden Axe with a mate as well, which was boring as hell. People still harbour love for these games, warped by a perverted sense of warm nostalgia. Somehow, they are better than what we have now. Bollocks.

Remember all those cartoons you used to love when you were a kid? Don't watch them again, they're shit; it'll ruin any memory you have of a fantastic childhood. It's the same for games.

Except Street Fighter II of course.

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