The Retrospectives – NYCC (Part 1): The Road of Champions – Street Fighter X Tekken

So, unfortunately delays, technical difficulties, and pressing issues have pushed these features back for a couple of weeks, but better late than never, I say.

As you all should know, New York Comic Con was a couple of weeks ago, and The Outer Haven was there in force. While you may have seen, heard, or read of a few of our exploits, best believe you haven’t been debriefed fully.

Until now, hopefully. In this small series of posts I intend to get you all up to speed on the wheelings and dealings that the crew went through through those four days of awesomeness. Let me regale you with the tales you have yet to see, starring yours truly.

These are our stories.

Starting off, I haven’t given you guys my thoughts on Street Fighter X Tekken recently. Best believe, I got some great playtime throughout the days of the event, and it was topped off with one of my personal highlights of the trip on Sunday. This one goes out to the Capcom booth, with a special thank you for the tournaments they ran for us enthusiastic fans.

Every day of the con, starting near the time of its opening, the Capcom booth took signups for epic, 32-man tournaments for their featured fighting games: Street Fighter x Tekken at 11:00 A.M., and Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 at 2:00 P.M. As I couldn’t figure out Phoenix Wright, couldn’t work around Dante’s nerfs, and didn’t play enough to figure Vergil out, I wasn’t confident at all in Marvel. But SFxT, I was all too ready to climb my way to victory. I get to the booth, nice and early, where there’s already a mob brewing in the claustrophobic corridors between booths. Eventually the tournament host comes out, takes the names of the participants down on the back of a poster (first come, first serve), and I’m in there. I get enough time to get a warmup match in, which I was lucky enough to catch on camera, thanks to my trusty tripod setup.

 Ugh, that didn’t turn out too well. To make matters worse, I know for a fact this man is also signed up for the tournament. I didn’t figure that it was going to be a complete walk in the park, but it was an indicator of just how real it could get for me.

Before I have a chance to get my salty runback, or at least test a couple of adjustments I wanted to make after getting blown up like that (literally), it’s time to start the real deal. I take a look at the bracket, and I see that the man that dealt me a crushing defeat is on the other side of it. If I want my grudge match, I’ll have to get it in the Finals. I’m ready to go for it!

On to Round 1. I get onto the center stage, and I’m ready to throw down. I’m focused, so much so that I wasn’t even able to remember my opponent’s name before we start. My camera captures his play, however.

A valiant effort, but I’ve come out on top. Making a quick stop to the restroom, and wishing that bleeding the lizard could save my state in real life like it does in Dead Rising, I make my way back to the Capcom booth in just enough time to get ready for my second match. This time I’m on one of the side setups, and the cramped space in there doesn’t allow for me to get a very clear shot of the match with my camera. My opponent is another person whose name I unfortunately don’t remember, and he tells me of how he beat a girl who didn’t know what she was doing to face me.

He wasn’t very confident, and it showed. Stopping to try out Yoshimitsu a bit, but otherwise making quick work of my 2nd round opponent, I’m speeding on to my 3rd match, feeling hopeful that I’ll go all the way to meet the man who defeated me in the Finals.

But first, I run into my friend. For my 3rd round, I see a familiar face stand across from me. We’ve met at multiple tournaments, and he’s been in the scene for a long time. Interestingly enough, we never exchanged names before that day, but I make sure to take note of the tag ‘Remedy’ before we do battle. I know I’m in for a tough fight, as we both know and respect the fact that we know our way around fighting games.

We fight like two vets unaccustomed to the new game, playing it relatively safe, simple, and smart. Luckily, it seems I know this game a little better than he does, and he wishes me luck as I make my way past him to the semifinals.

Though it seemed to be in it for the long haul, my camera’s battery was fading fast on me. While spectating and recording the semis from the other side of the bracket, I notice that I don’t have enough time on the battery to record the rest of the tournament. So after one match between Bryant, the guy who defeated me before, and Brandon, his tough opponent, I decide to cut my camera off until the Finals.

Only one of us made it to the Finals for that grudge match. Shockingly, it wasn’t Bryant. I breezed through my match in semis, trying a couple different things with Ryu (dash canceling the charged Hadoken) and landing a fully charged meterless Super – something Brandon was amazed I was able to pull of in a real match (I think it was streamed on Capcom Unity. Hopefully I’ll find it someday). But Bryant fell to the safe, relentless pressure of Brandon’s Guile/Abel team. A team I was going to have to fight for the Championship (and a $150 gift certificate to the Capcom store).

Before the tournament started, I was in contact with my friend and fellow Outer Haven comrade, Get Selious (Matthew Paul). He gave me advice via text – “pick Guile”. Halfway through this match, I decided to listen to him. How did it work out?

See for yourself.

Some impressions:

-Meter is going to be vital in this game. I’ve seen matches where you can lose your life in a flash if your opponent has 2 or more bars and you get hit with a combo.

-Most normal specials have no invincibility anymore. Shoryukens come out fast, but can trade or get stuffed easily. You need EX to hit clean.

-The juggling has been toned down from past builds. Before, any normal that hit an aerial opponent led to a juggle. Now there are only certain situations in which that happens.

-Guile is ridiculous. His Sonic Boom is about impossible to punish, and he hits hard.

-Command throws deal an obscene amount of damage.

-Ryu has some great, heavy hitting combos in this game. He’s very well rounded, and doesn’t feel at all toned down like he is in SSFIV: AE. His “tatsu” is slower now, and it’s really hard to punish Sonic Booms, even on a guess.

-I still don’t understand how the Tekken cast works.

All through the week, I’ll be taking you all back to NYCC, to hear our lost stories, never told.

As for impressions on the gem system? That’s a story for another time.

About The Author

Holland Culbreath

Holland Culbreath (Nitro) is The Outer Haven's resident tournament fighting game expert and FG Community member from Philadelphia, PA. Holland is a music aficionado, multi-talented console and PC gamer, technology enthusiast, and avid anime/manga watcher/reader. He is also semi-fluent in Japanese. Favorite franchises include Street Fighter, Metal Gear and Sonic the Hedgehog.