Redundantly Flawless Victory
I was flipping through some old comic books recently when I saw this. They weren’t that old. They definitely weren’t old enough for this to make any sort of sense for me. I didn’t look at the date on the issue, but I remember when this game came out because I bought it almost immediately and let it sit in oblivion for a year before I even opened it. It was the spring of 2011.
Anyway. Before I continue, I’d like to make clear the fact that there are levels to this anomaly. Multiple levels. I don’t think that I’d be talking about it if it only had one level. I wouldn’t even get out of bed for one level. Actually, that last bit’s occasionally a bit of a problem for me, but I’ll leave that for now.
First of all, the print industry’s not exactly in an outrageous state of growth right now. Even mainstream publications need to put effort into moving forward, but niche products really seem to be struggling, and this thing fits quite comfortably into the latter category. One would assume that these guides would have to be doing particularly well to continue at this point.
But I really don’t see how that can possibly be assumed.
The offerings of this project seem to be directed towards the people who played these games in the early Nineties. These were the days before the internet could be used for everything. These were the days when people lined up and payed to play these games in arcades. Secrets couldn’t be learned by a quick trip to the web. They couldn’t even be reliably gleaned through hours of consecutive practice, for one’s time at the machine was limited by the amount of change in one’s pockets and the impatience of the rest of the people in line. Special moves, strategies, and things of that sort could be passed by word of mouth, but such information was hardly infallible.
But these are not those times.
Alright. Fine. Obviously, there are certain minute points that could theoretically lean in the thing’s favour. Perhaps some people don’t want to spend a lot of time on practice. Understandable. That can be replaced fairly effectively by five minutes on the internet.
I’d even accept the fact that there are some people for whom the internet isn’t the most natural of things. They might not know the resources the web has on offer or the ease with which they can be accessed. However, I would doubt that many of these people fit in the demographics towards which these games are marketed. They’re surely not plentiful enough to finance the continued success of these guides.
But this madness goes even deeper than that.
All of the secrets this advertisement promises? All of the special moves and finishing rituals? All of that is clearly and readily available within the game. Every single thing. The entire list of special attacks for the character you’re currently playing can be accessed directly from the pause menu. That was the first thing my friend and I did in our first match when I finally opened the game in the summer of 2012. It took 40 seconds.
And it comes in hardcover? How can it possibly come in hardcover?
I really just don't know