Artist Ashley Browning has put together an interesting Bauhaus inspired piece. It is a minimalist representations of the 8 original, playable street fighter characters and a T-shirt version is on it’s way.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Streetfighter 2, the game that changed the way we thought about games forever. Nowadays, with an XBox or PlayStation in every home, kids have lost out on the special joy that comes from mastering a coin-op game. The amount of money swallowed by Streetfighter 2 coin-op machines in the 80’s probably dwarfed the GDP of a few African countries in the 90’s.
Probably due to the cost implications, one did not just play Streetfighter 2, one studied it. You lived the back stories. Back then, before the Internet, carefully photocopied magazine notes occasionally made the rounds as every secret and special move was kept track of and shared by friends and fans alike.
In stark contrast to this, Ashley Browning’s minimalist designs break the original characters down to their bare bones, or colours in this case. In a game which required different tactics and controls for each of the 8 characters and revealed a rich back story when completed, Streetfighter 2 added a new level of complexity to gaming. Where games like Mario Bros were addictive, Streetfighter 2 was engrossing. To be successful, tactics and a deep knowledge of each character’s strengths and weaknesses were necessary. Blanka’s speed is more than the match for Zangief’s strength but performed poorly against Ken and Ryu’s fireballs and uppercuts. Playing with E Honda gave you an initial advantage but his lack of attacking versatility soon shown through. Finishing the game with the behemoth called Zangief was the high water mark, because despite his strength, speed is king in Streetfighter and only the best of the best can match likes of Vega and Chun-li’s speed. Knowing when to be cagey and when to be cocky was key.
These artistic renditions in stark contrast reveal just how iconic the characters became. All 8 original characters are portrayed: Ken, Ryu, Zangief, Blanka, Guile, Chun-li, Dhalsim and E Honda. Each character is portrayed simply as a vertical line, height to scale, made up of the original character colours. For the true fan, naming each of the characters from the picture will be child’s play. Getting the many memories of your mis-spent youth out of your head may be a bit harder. The design will be available as a T-shirt soon! Until then get out your emulator or create your own iPad arcade and repeat after me “Sh?ry?-ken”.