First, let me start by saying that the absence of last week’s Weekly Audio Spotlight was partially due to this mission. This debriefing has been delayed to this point due to personal reasons. Sorry about that.
So, last week, yours truly went on a (not s0) top secret infiltration op. As you may remember, on Thursday, 8/18/2011 Capcom hosted one of their exclusive Fight Clubs, to be held in New York City for the second time.
Though my particular base of operations isn’t in New York, but Philadelphia, as Outer Haven’s resident fighting enthusiast, I jumped on the chance to represent Outer Haven at this event.
Oh, who am I kidding, I knew there would be all the upcoming Capcom fighters on display there, especially Street Fighter X Tekken and Icouldn’t wait to get my hands on it again.
This is my story. I’ll try to keep it brief.
It’s the day of the event and I’m anxious to get going. First step – transport to the site. Making my way downtown, I head to the bus depot in Chinatown, choosing the bus service there as my preferred method of travel between Philly and NYC. $20 round trip – not a bad deal at all. I hop on around 11:30 AM and about two hours later I’m hitting the streets of New York.
Big Apple, 3 A.M…. wait, that’s not right. It’s 1:30 P.M., and I’m traversing the maze of trains that constitute New York’s subway system, my destination: Eyebeam Technology Center. Now, the event doesn’t start until 6, so being over 4 hours early I should be able to just stroll up to the front of the line, right? Yeah, right. I arrive on the scene and the place is already swarmed with comers, with the line backing up from the entrance halfway down the block to where construction was taking place, as thick as the sidewalk itself. As I took my spot in the back of the section, I notice the line start to continue across the street, creeping down to the other end of the block.
While we wait, I meet and converse with many other fans of gaming and fighters around me. I pull out my laptop to brush up in Third Strike a bit, play some versus matches in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D edition (that other fans brought, as I don’t own a 3DS), and occupy myself watching the cosplayers show up, and the mob that was the line steadily grow.
Security crashed the spot trying to crack down on line jumpers. One guard starts throwing anyone he catches stepping out or into line near the front (which, by this point,my place in line could be considered the front) all the way to the back of the line. He was quickly and affectionately dubbed ‘Nemesis’ by us in the crowd, and we were quick to be on the lookout for him if we wanted to stop by the food carts that came by, seizing the obvious opportunity.
Lost in the mob, my support member on this mission (Nephrite) was unable to rendezvous with me as he passed through the area. As far as Outer Haven operatives are concerned, it was fated to be a one-man mission.
Anyway, after 4 hours of waiting the party’s finally started. The doors open and after another 10 minutes or so I’m finally in front of the facility. I make it into a dimly lit open room with red brick walls, the people are already mobbing up as I’m making a beeline to the SFxT setup that looked as if it had the least amount of people.
I watch as one of the first people on the setup beats one challenger after another. Of course, the fight clubbers are doing what comes naturally for a fighting game: winner stays, loser goes to the back. Just as I’m anticipating my first challenge of the night and becoming King of the setup for as long as my skills could hold out, the MC announces that both players have to rotate after a game. Profound sadness.
I get on the sticks, background music being supplied by a man known as DJ Caesar. First order of the night, along with continuing my exploration of Ryu, is to try out Hugo. And man, was he fun. His huge stature may make defending a difficult endeavor, but the range on his moves, and the constant threat of his command throw seems to just naturally pressure your opponent and make them wary of getting close. He has chains, just as everyone else, and comboing with him never looks so smooth or felt so simple.
Keeping on my SFxT grind, I find a new set to play on, and this time I’m giving Ibuki a whirl. She feels extremely similar to her SSFIV counterpart, and with how the cross system works it really feels like she was made for the game. Plenty of lengthy combo opportunities, and Ibuki players will feel right at home performing her ground chains and air combos.
From there I take a small break from waiting, and walk the floor a bit. They have small platforms down the middle of the room, being occupied by a group of very sexy cosplayers dressed up as some of your favorite MvC3 ladies. X-23, C. Viper, Phoenix and Felicia were holding it down, posing for pictures and dancing to the music.
Before I go back on SFxT, I forego the Third Strike Online setups (my mission is to play new games, not 12 year old ones) and get a game of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. All I can say is I’m going to need some lab time to learn the new characters and explore the changes in the system, but it does feel better than the “Beta” MvC3 by default. I prefer the old win screen, but whatever.
After that, I procure some of the free Pizza that Capcom was generously offering (more a tomato pie, but ok), I’m back in the line for more SFxT.
Next up, I’m trying out Poison. Her specials seem a bit difficult to grasp the proper usage of, but they look good, she looks good, and her normals are fast with good range. Her damage seems a little low, but paired up with a bruiser like Ryu? Not a problem.
Last, I gave Ryu a break to try out some Tekken fighters. Raven and Yoshimitsu looked amazing in the trailer, so I’m ready to give it a go. Unfortunately, the guy I’m playing against isn’t too keen on letting me get a feel for the characters, so I’ve just gotta improvise. Thankfully, the utility on Yoshimitsu’s jumping Fierce is insane, and I figured out a nice simple bread and butter combo with Raven.
Only 5 matches in, but this is 3 and a half hours later. I blame the no winner stays. At this point, I’m thinking I need to move out to my extraction point in NYC’s Chinatown before I’m left stranded for the night. On leaving, I get a poster as a memento, as all the T-Shirts were gone already to people who decided to leave early.
About an hour later, I’m on the bus back to Philly. Mission Accomplished.