Street Fighter, my one true love
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I've always considered myself a one-woman man, and you hardly ever gave me a reason to doubt you. We met unexpectedly, and I must admit, you knocked my socks off. No one could do what you did at the time, which made you so marvelous, it was surreal. It's you Street Fighter. It's always been you.
I still remember the first day we met, we were just kids, and my cousin asked us to play a game. I lost, really bad, but it didn't matter, because you kept encouraging me to do better. You called me "The World Warrior," a really cool name, and I was honored. Sadly, I wouldn't see you again until we were older, barely in our teens.
It was in an arcade, around 95' and you looked amazing. You had this colorful style, full of zest and popular to boot, which is why I couldn't walk up to you. All the older kids were around, and they wouldn't let me, the geek, get near. So I watched you grow from afar, took notes, and gradually became the guy you always thought I would become.
Our paths wouldn't cross though until 98' with Alpha 3 when you were at the height of your anime craze. Unlike before, I now had you all to myself on the Playstation, and it was heaven. You showed me real speed, power, and skill. X-Ism for strength, A-ism for nostalgia, and V-ism for when I was feeling extra creative. We went on World Tours together, unlocked hidden modes, and my Ken became the fastest in the neighborhood.
We had a turbulent relationship afterward when you decided you had outgrown anime. I was devastated. How? Why? We stopped talking in your EX and EX Plus Alpha days and eventually drifted apart. I still heard stories about you now and then, but it was over between us. Over until the fateful day, a friend showed me a video that would bring all that love rushing back. Daigo "The Beast" Umehara vs. Justin "JWong" Wong at EVO 2004. Ken parrying a 17-hit combo into a Shippuu Jinrai Kyaku. It was majestic, and my love for you was back. It was our Third Strike, but who cared? Your animation was fluid, new characters everywhere, and most impressive of all was your parry system. Needless to say, we had another long and fruitful affair.
Eventually, distance got in the way as things in Uni were getting tough. I stopped having free time, so you left me once more to regal the FGC with Street Fighter IV. I would occasionally visit, but things weren't like before anymore. I finished school and replaced it with work, having even less time for you.
I started seeing others, Tekken here, Dead or Alive there, anyone that would help me forget you, until you returned, bigger and better than before with Sony backing you. Street Fighter V had arrived. Of course, I was wary, our relationship has always been rocky, and it was the same now. Missing modes like arcade, bad net code, but we weathered the storm, until your dry spell in 2019. Honestly, I almost gave up all hope, but then you revealed Season 5, and you delivered V-Skill 2 alongside Gill. Even promised Seth. You made me a believer again, and if there's one thing I've learned, it's that you will always find a way into my heart.
So I'm renewing our vows, I'm going to put in the work and make you a priority. Next year is our year, and the sky's the limit. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make it into Capcom Cup. There’s no underestimating the power of love.