1UP’s Jenn Frank reports on the launch party for the new PSP exclusive Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection. Held at Sony’s Metreon center in San Fransisco, PSP toting fans weren’t as prevalent as hardcore arcade competition players. She’s rather amazed that arcade fighters have such a devoted following, and talks about the community as if it were some kind of fringe thing.
I’m not exactly new to this scene(see: Chicago), but I’m weirded out that a games journalist could be barely aware of the fighter community. Fighters like Tekken would fall off the face of the earth without the annual, monthly and even weekly events fans organize. I mean, you can’t play against the computer for very long before getting bored, and your non fighting game friends stop playing if you beat them enough times. Thats why these competitive events exist.
You get to like a game and you’ve gotta find people who will play with you, even if they’re not always friends. And the more specific your taste, the harder it is to get a game going. Running with Soul Calibur and Tekken players doesn’t mean they’ll play Virtua Fighter or Street Fighter III. And while DOA, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter have all migrated online in the past few years, the split second timing required for fighters has kept a lot of them off Xbox Live or other services. Who can blame them? Maybe as broadband speeds increase over the years this will change, but for right now, the only way to fight real fighting game fans is at events.