Monday, August 1, 2011
When I watched Evo2k11 this weekend and when SG's Kun Xian was eliminated from MVC3, David spent a few moments talking about Singapore and our current impact to them. That kinda took me back years when everyone was still dreaming about what we have today, including myself.
When I first entered the arcade in 2005 (I think), it was in a sorry state. Most arcades around SG at that time were dying, dead or barely surviving. People were shunned by arcades being run by gangsters and not a nice place to hang out, especially for youngsters like me. Still I remained; we remained. Playing fighting games in the arcade gives a feeling I am unable to experience with other games. Sure, I had attended LAN parties playing Red Alert 2 with friends, trying my hand at competitive Warcraft 3 when it first released but none gave the exhilaration fighting games gave me. Maybe it's because fighting games are more personal; unlike RTS where I pity my ARMY vs your ARMY, it's just my CHARACTER vs your CHARACTER. The layer separating the players are thin compared to other games and this probably generates a lot of excitement, but that's another topic for another day.
Back then, before my National Service, we were a really small community. CVS2 had around 10 players I can list at the top of my head. Regulars can probably be counted with a hand. Guilty Gear wasn't well received; players from that community have to wait for months for Slash to arrive and even longer for Accent Core. When I first joined the arcade scene with CVS2, it was beginning to die. Before NS, it almost withered out. Now it is officially a dead game.
I had always dreamed of the arcade scene making it big one day. I bet I'm not the only one. ArcadeScrubs was formed to attempt its revival. I can tell plans were big even though I am not directly involved. The 1 night Revival Tournament was really the best tournament I have ever attended even though I lost early. There was hype, there was hope, but it was not to be. Everything after that just went downhill. Versus, a seasonal league, was created and failed after a couple of months. Everything just went silent and arcade never rose. At that point, I just decided to start focusing on other stuff, even though I still frequent the arcade just to be around friends who share the same common fire and hunger to kill. I think it was around this time CVS2 really died. Most of the old players started moving on with their life and rarely returned to the scene.
My possibly only real contribution to the scene before entering National Service was just a small idea to come up with a fun wiki of all the players. That, like most plans back then, never took off due to many technical reasons. I intended to take it down, but the articles were so fun and creative that I just left it there in case the future generation somehow managed to stumble upon it (which they somehow did ^^). After that, I have decided to move on. Striving to become a top player stopped becoming important to me, and I started looking into other games that interest me. I stopped practising as often, which was indirectly a good thing for my mum cus she always complains about the sound in the night.
Despite all that, I could never truly give up fighting games. I have tried several attempts and it never succeeded. I still find myself occasionally picking up the stick to play, watching replays and practising some moves (though rarely nowadays), even doing old CVS2 combos on my PS2 when I have the spare time.
So I guess everything changed between the time I was in National Service to the time before I entered Digipen. Blazblue and SSF4 appeared bringing the newer generations into the scene. Colosseum was formed directly opposite Virtual Land with the direction to create a better scene for the players and create competition. Round1.sg was also formed during that time period. In my opinion, that was the start of everything. There were obviously complications, but thankfully that all worked out to give what we have today, and what we dreamt of having yesteryear.
Serious props to all that happened and all the players who made everything possible. This is a new generation for SG's fighting game scene and I can't wait for what is to come in the future. And mad props to Xian representing SG in more ways than one.
Btw, MVC3 is the best game in the world.