Round 1: Fight! Street Fighter IV Launch

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The opening to the Street Fighter IV launch event!

Round 1…Fight!

After 20 years of Street Fighter, CAPCOM has delivered once again! With the newest installment of the Street Fighter series due out the 17th, CAPCOM decided to throw a little celebration. The The Geffen Contemporary wing of the Museum of Contemporary Art was transformed into one large Street Fighter party to celebrate the soon to be released Street Fighter IV and 20 years of fist in your face combos!

The line seemed to go on for-ev-er. Stretching down the length of the building and doubling back on the other side of the sidewalk, fans and game enthusiasts made sure that this was one high turnout event. But once the clock hit 8 the wait was more than worth it. The entire hall was decked out in Street Fighter banners, murals, projections and and a large stage in the middle of the floor! And of course what dominated the majority of the floor? Game consoles! All of which had Street Fighter IV on it!

I really only got one chance to get a hold of a controller at the event, but I can tell you this: the game lives up to its reputation.

The environments look good, the graphics look good on both a 360 and a PS3, but of course the dominating feature of this game would have to be the special moves and combos! Not that I was able to pull any off…lets just say that I got my arse kicked by the guy I was playing. To be honest that was my first time playing, but trust me when I say there were seasoned veterans everywhere. And for those experts, there was the the Street Fighter Fight Club where two players would go head to head. The rules were simple: you lose you give up your controller. You win: you keep playing. And for those who racked up a 15 straight winning streak they would receive an exclusive Chun-Li statue!

And that statue wasn’t the only freebie out on the floor either! T-shirts, tote bags, custom hats, comics, posters and drawings of your favorite Street Fighter characters! There was even a free laser etching available to each person there! So if you wanted an image of Ryu on the back of your phone, you got it! I even saw a few people have something etched in their DS! Oh, and did I mention that people could win or earn a free copy of the game before it’s out? Trust me, this was the one thing everyone would scramble to the stage for. The crowd would go wild with cheering as raffle ticket numbers were called, a game was offered to those who could yell the loudest and other stunts. Towards the end of the night games were just tossed out to the crowd in a free for all. So quite a few people were able to walk away with the game before it even hits the shelves.

Now you know that the big attraction here was the game itself, but I can say that there was SO much more than just that! First

off the game’s producers Yoshinori Ono and David Crislip were willing to come to the event and talk to the crowd about the game, and later Yoshinori was willing to sign posters and take pictures with the fans! Plus also there were apperances by the cast of the new Street Fighter movie, perfomrances by DJ QBert and the winners of season two of America’s Best Dance Crew-Supreme Soul, a screening of the new Street Fighter Anime and a performance by the hip-hop group the Knux. Think that’s enough? In addtion to all of this there was a room filled with figurines, t-shirts, Street Fighter accessories for you console, the game and the guide and the walls were covered in panels from the new comic coming out!

And who says that conventions like these can’t benefit society? CAPCOM had four or five artists design classic Street Fighter arcade consoles which were being auctioned off online for charity! The consoles were pretty cool, such as the one that has smoke billowing out of a japanese kanji character.

Overall, the event was as much face punching, ultra combos and focus attacks to get even the Street Fighter newbies excited. Trust me, I was one of those jumping around wanting a copy of the game! The atmosphere was great with the gamers swarming the place and just enjoying the game! CAPCOM definitely knows how to throw one hell of a Street Fighter party!

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