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SFIV Tournament: Main Stage Event

Online gameplay details, movie revelations, and an appearance by Sakura.

 

In between the preliminary and final rounds of the Street Fighter IV tournament, Capcom held a stage event where it offered new details on both the home versions of Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. It also brought out a very special guest.

SFIV producer Yoshinori Ono began with an introduction to characters who are new to the home version. He mentioned Cammy's popularity amongst overseas players, and noted that the reason for putting Gen and Rose in was to offer players more technical characters.

Ono is pictured to the left.

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Ono then moved on to an introduction to SFIV's online play. I'm not sure if this is the only way to play the game online, but Ono spoke about the game's "Arcade Machi Uke" option. When you turn this on, players from throughout the world will be able to challenge you as you play arcade mode. The game searches for opponents in the background as you play against the CPU, and when it finds someone, you see the familiar "A Challenger Has Entered the Ring!" phrase.

Ono noted that this mode is just like being challenged in the arcades. I imagine that this should be particularly true for Japanese arcades, where each player has his own cabinet and you can't see your opponent.

A slide brought out by Ono made three points about this mode:

  • 1. It eliminates the time spent doing nothing as you wait for matching
  • 2. When your fight ends, you can return to the arcade mode CPU fight
  • 3. The game offers create match, quick match, and custom match search options. I'm not sure what these are specifically.

You toggle the Arcade Machi Uke option in the options menu. There seem to be multiple settings for this, although Ono didn't share specifics.

Ono then moved on to Street Fighter-related products. First up, a collaboration with two restaurants, Benitora Gyoza Bo and Wan Zhu Ji. To commemorate SFIV's release, these two nationwide chains will offer a special menu themed around the game.

The first set of items will be available on 2/12, simultaneous with the game's release. Included are four items: a Chun Li stir fried chicken dish, a Dhalsim "tan-tan-men" noodle dish, a Rufus "nimono" simmered meat dish, and a Sakura "stamina-don" chicken and potato rice bowl. Prices range from 880 yen and 1,380 yen,

While the first batch will cease to be available on the 28th, another set of 8 items will become available in March.

Those who place an order with either of the two shops for these dishes will get one of 30 QR cards, which can be used to download an original ring tone voice. A total of 30 cards will be on offer, some of them rare.

Next up was a trailer for Street Fighter The Legend of Chun-Li. I haven't been keeping up with the movie, so I'm not sure if there was anything new here (although this version of the trailer was in Japanese).

Following the trailer Kristin Kreuk delivered an English language video message. "Street Fighter has a great story line," she said. Mmm-hmm. She closed with: "This year is the 20th anniversary for Street Fighter. Please enjoy both the new game and the movie."

Capcom promised some new news for the movie, and I think this is it. Ono announced that following the film, viewers will be treated to an original short story animation starring Sakura. He didn't get into specifics, although a slide shown at the event said that the short would be limited to theaters.

Kristin Kreuk delivers her video message.
The stuff about the Sakura short is in the lower-left. The stuff above that is just the Japanese voice staff, which was announced last week.

The movie business out of the way, it was back to the game side of things. Ono commented on SFIV's theme-song tie-up with pop group Exile, joking that some on 2 channel had speculated that the group would be making an appearance at today's event.

That didn't happen, but the Exile song did make its debut as part of a lengthy animated trailer. This trailer was done in the same animation style of that first teaser trailer for SFIV -- you know the one that looks like someone threw buckets of paints across the cells. While the Exile theme song started off the trailer, the vocals went away midway through and the music became decidedly more Street Fighterish as most of the characters were shown in a few combat sequences.

Capcom was supposed to have debuted the SFIV intro at this event, and while I'm not sure if Ono specifically referred to the footage as the intro, this was probably it. The trailer would make for a fantastic intro. In fact, I imagine myself watching it over and over again.

I don't have an pics of the trailer, as photography was a no-no. Just picture that early teaser trailer extended to many minutes and showing off the entire cast, and you'll have the idea.

Next came a transition to the event's secret special guest. Ono spoke about two commercials that Capcom has prepared for the game, one featuring fully in-game visuals, and the other mixing in live action footage of Hikari Takada, whom you'll recall as the 12-year-old who's serving as the image character model for Sakura.

Following an airing of the Sakura commercial, the secret guest was revealed to be Takada herself! She took the stage for a mock stage fight in which she faced off against three thugs.

I was unprepared for the fight (my flash wasn't connected) so I didn't get any quality pics. You'll have to take my word for it -- Takada really can move.

Takada, Ono, and the MC spoke for a bit. I didn't quite catch what they had to say, but here are some neat pics of Ono posing with Takada.

As is often the case whenever celebrities are brought out at video game events, it seems that a good portion of the press was there specifically for Takada, so when she left the stage, they went away.

I stuck around, though, and heard Ono mention something about Capcom offering some form of free download content as a bonus for those who pick up SFIV.

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