Down Right Fierce is just a “look inside competitive gaming”, but the best part is that it conveys what drew so many players to Street Fighter IV and what its competitive scene was all about.
Several documentaries have tried to articulate what makes fighting games so compelling to players from all over the world. Needless to say, most of those films have failed because they either focus on explaining convoluted mechanics that only a portion of the audience can grasp or they are too broad. As the subtitle of Down Right Fierce suggests, this is just a “look inside competitive gaming”, but the best part is that it conveys what drew so many players to Street Fighter IV and what its competitive scene was all about.
So as I mentioned above, Down Right Fierce focuses on some players, organizers and members of the fighting game community and explains what makes competitive gaming so entertaining to both players and viewers and that concept’s so universal, that it’ll appeal to people who might not be into fighting games, but into competitive games in general. If you’ve ever watched a video game tournament and liked the scene, there’s something for you here even if you’re not into Street Fighter IV. Even if those people handle specific vocabulary that most people outside of the FGC couldn’t understand, the interviews have a casual tone and they provide examples so that those who have never played the game can understand what they are talking about.
Down Right Fierce doesn’t waste any time with complex concepts or weirdly named mechanics that wouldn’t make sense to newcomers. Instead, this 24-minute documentary smartly focuses on what really matters: the people who play those games professionally and what it takes to play at that level. That said, the film has too much footage taken from the games and that screen time could have been used to more interviews.
While there are some interviews with well-known players, the majority of the time we hear about some less-known ones. We hear about their process of preparation, hard work, training and their heartbreak losses. If you do a quick online search, you can find dozens of videos about the players who make a living out of playing games professionally or their big names. But this short film focuses on a couple of unknown players and that’s incredibly entertaining to watch because it shows that the FGC accepts everyone regardless of where they come from (though there are still some unfortunate exceptions) . The beauty of Street Fighter and other fighting games also lies in its competitive aspect, meeting like-minded players and about having fun playing games. And who can’t relate to that?