Sunday, 10 April 2016

Great Moments in Gaming #2 - THAT Evo 2004 Third Strike moment

Street Fighter III's 'Parry' mechanic is one of the most elegant and difficult to fully master techniques in a fighting game. For those unfamiliar, the Parry is essentially the total opposite of the instinctive reaction to push away from an incoming attack to guard. Instead, the player must push towards the danger at exactly the right moment. Get it wrong and you get hit, losing precious vitality and opening yourself up to further damage. Get it right however and you block the damage while also momentarily stunning the opponent for a split second, long enough to respond with a combo of your own.

There's very little that's as satisfying as successfully parrying an opponent's attack then replying by exploiting the resulting opening to combo into a super and administer a KO. As you can imagine however, the Parry is highly risky and incredibly tough to fully master and wield confidently in the heat of battle. Bear in mind that the timing is super-strict and the following feat at the Evo 2004 championships by Daigo Umehara becomes very worthy of being a 'Great Moment in Gaming'

To successfully parry every one of those kicks and then - while under the pressure of the cameras and crowd - respond with a devastating super arts move is something that a lot of us (myself included) would be hard-pressed to do. What makes this moment so special however isn't the fight itself but the reaction of the assembled crowd slowly swelling to a fever pitch before exploding at the match's dramatic climax. Non-gamers might question what so many geeks were getting excited about but for the rest of us, it was pure magic.

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