Hi, all. Kris here. Just two things of note before we begin. First of all, hi, this is my first blog. I localize things and talk on our streams sometimes. Second of all, we can’t exactly call this a localization blog, since we weren’t involved in the game’s localization. EXAMU took care of things themselves, and we’re just publishing. So, with that out of the way…
Some of you might be gazing longingly at the screenshots and sweet, sweet character videos we’ve been releasing of our new fighter Nitroplus Blasterz and thinking, “How do I get a piece of that action? It looks like a lot of fun, and I’m the world’s biggest Full Metal Daemon: Muramasa fan, but I don’t play fighting games AT ALL!” Well, my oddly-specific friend, sit down and let me tell you a story. A story of a man named Josh…
Back in October when we brought Nitro to the SoCal Regionals fighting game tournament (or just “SCR” for short), one competitor stood above the rest. No, I mean literally. I’m like 6’4” and this man dwarfed me. His name was Josh, and while he was at the tournament to cheer on his buddy playing Marvel, he’d never played a fighting game in his life. When he wandered into the Nitroplus Blasterz area, he started chatting with us about how the game looked cool, but he only really played shooters and the only character he recognized was Saber.
Still, after watching for a while and getting a little bit of encouragement, he finally grabbed a controller (not an arcade stick, mind you, he wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment yet) and decided he’d play a few practice matches with me. He started with the all-rounder Al Azif, since she’s effectively Nitro’s equivalent ofStreet Fighter’s Ryu from a mechanical perspective, but once he switched over to Saber, something changed. All of a sudden, our practice matches weren’t so practice anymore. I found myself needing to put in a little extra work to keep winning, and then, I found myself actually losing. Now, as much as my performance against Jason in our recent stream might suggest otherwise, I’m not bad at fighters. I’ve been playing them for years, so losing against someone who started that DAY felt a little…distressing.
Now, Josh had seen me playing (and losing) against XSEED’s resident Saber-rattler, Kelly, earlier in the day and decided to challenge her. Kelly sat down, promptly destroyed him, and went back to manning the booth. Licking his wounds, Josh started practicing against some of our other players who were training for the next day’s Nitroplus Blasterz tournament we were hosting. An hour or two later, he challenged Kelly again. After a few rounds, his Saber started emerging victorious on a regular basis. Defeated, Kelly decided that it was time for Josh to move on to our secret weapon: Jason.
You need to understand that Jason is a machine without mercy or compassion, and thoroughly trounced Josh until he actually gave up for the day. Josh’s spirit was unbroken, however, and he claimed that he would return to exact his vengeance. As our first day at SCR drew to a close, we wondered if he’d make good on that promise.
The next day, Josh returned, armed with a fiery ambition and two boxes of Red Vines (which he shared with us, cementing our friendship beyond time and space). Not only was he back to play more Nitroplus Blasterz,he even entered the tournament, jotting his name down amongst such intimidating handles as “Hash Slinging Slasher,” “#BEELDEAL,” and “Butt Face Lord.” This young man, who we XSEED staff had helped train, was ready to fight.
After one bye and one decisive victory, Josh found himself facing off against Delta (the second-place winner of our SCR Prelude tournament) in the third round. We watched with bated breath to see how the first round would play out. Much to our joyful surprise, Josh managed to stop Delta at every opportunity with little more than his instincts and Saber’s powerful normal attacks, taking the first round. Said joy was short-lived, however, as Delta turned things around after that and sent Josh down to the losers’ bracket, where he was ultimately eliminated in round four. Delta, on the other hand, went on to win the whole tournament.
Now you might be thinking, “I don’t get it, why are you telling me about some dude who didn’t play fighting games, tried fighting games, then lost? Wouldn’t this story be better if he made some sports movie-style underdog victory and took the whole tournament?” Nah, dawg. You’re missing the point. This story isn’t about winning or losing or talking about how easily accessible Nitroplus Blasterz is for beginners (it’s pretty accessible, for those keeping score). It’s about stepping out of your comfort zone, trying something new, and finding out–hey–it’s actually pretty fun! Josh told us after the tournament that Nitro was going to be the first fighting game he ever buys and that he was going to get good enough to take Jason down. I, for one, hope he follows through.
To me, seeing Josh go from complete newbie to legit contender in two days was not only one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life, but really emblematic of the joy of fighting games. He got started because we gave him a little push, but he kept playing because he had people to play against, a challenge to surmount (Jason. I’m talking about Jason here.), and a strong desire to keep going and learn new tricks. To be honest, as someone who’s both gone through it himself and seen it happen in people like Josh, that’s exactly what I want for anyone who tries to get into fighters. It’s a rush like nothing else.
So, if you have even the slightest amount of interest in Nitroplus Blasterz, I implore you to give it a shot when it launches on February 2nd, even if fighters are a little out of your comfort zone. They’re a little out of most of our office’s comfort zone, too, and hey, we’re publishing it! You never know, it might end up turning you into a fighting game fan like it (hopefully) did Josh.
Oh, and thank you, Josh, wherever you are. Those Red Vines were great.