Trendsetters week 4: Fighting

From button-mashers to complex combo-clockers, trading blows offers a real mixed bag

The pioneer %26ndash; Street Fighter II: The World Warrior | 1991 | Arcade
In the mid-nineties, you couldn%26rsquo;t go to anyarcade without hearing the familiar thwacks coming from a Street Fighter II arcade machine nestled in the corner. Though visually and conceptually very simple, beneath the surface it was a trove of hidden depths - truly pain inthe backside bosses, simple and alluring special moves (if there is one Japanese word every gamer knows, it%26rsquo;s Hadouken), lightning pace and an introduction to combos great and small. Even now we remember with fondness Guile%26rsquo;s immense re-dizzy combo, and the curses it drew from its victims. There was something in SFII for everyone, so instantly playable it remains timeless.

Raising the bar %26ndash; Tekken 5 | 2005 | PS2
A good balance of flashy moves and more subtle strategy, Tekken 5 recaptured the pick up and play nature of Street Fighter II perfectly. The massively diverse character roster gave plenty of options for those who wanted to fight with a bit of flair, while those with a bent for technical mastery could sink their teeth into the reversals system. But Tekken 5 nails it by making the arcade mode just a small part of a package rammed with everything from a third-person adventure to a ranking challenge, which adds endless replay value. Even the sound, typically the most cringeworthy aspect of any fighting game, was satisfying and authentic, making this the mostwell rounded fighter we%26rsquo;ve seen for some time.

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