As you can see by the flavour of images used in previous posts, I have become heavily interested in the fighting game, Guilty Gear. Its kind of like street fighter, but with blades, demons and serial killer doctors with paper bags for heads.
The pace of the game is nice and fast, although this depends on your opponment too but there are a few characters such as Sol and Ky who are easy to start with, so even new comers to the game with a bit of fighting game experience can start unleashing hellish combo's within a few plays.
Anyway, a small competitive circuit exists in Leeds that I was previously unaware of and have been practicing almost every day for the past month. The two character's I've been building myself on are Ky Kiske, the sword wielding Paladin and Chipp Zanuff, the faster than lightning ninja sorta guy. I was just on Chipp initially but his low defence frustrates me some times and I need a bit of a relax, so I switch to Ky for more projectile-based combat.
What I like about the game is that I get a sense of accomplishment from it as I put my money where my mouth is at people's houses and game stores, smashing the poopy out of all comers. Or thats how it goes in my head. But still, there is a competitive spirit in the game that I've not felt in a while.
This relates alot to my recent thoughts about significant gaming experiences; games as emotional, motivational and generally enlightening pieces of art, as culturally significant today as any painting in any gallery and I would wager to many people, more so. I would hope that any work of mine that contributed to the gaming industry only went towards games that I felt were born out of passion and actually meant something, rather than just releasing something for the sake of gathering more money for a film franchise or bashing out a done to death concept with no original spin.
I recommend checking out this link for some detailed explanations of each game in the series and this one for some purdy pictures.