Round Two in in The Escapist Staff Street Fighter IV Throwdown is complete! Keane Ng vs. Logan Westbrook, Tom Endo vs. John Funk - two men win, two men lose, and there's only one more round left to go.
Keane Ng and Tom Endo report on the battles:
Let me tell you all something about your precious Nilcypher. For all his posturing and banhammer waving, the guy scares easy. In fact, he was running away from me before I even laid a finger on him in the first round.
Round 1. FIGHT! And there he went. Jumping backwards in the air like he believed that if he did it enough he could reverse time to back before he'd ever stepped up to The King (yeah I just gave myself a nickname, what of it). Fortunately for him, I'd decided to use Bison, thinking before the match that he might actually play up Vega's aerial mobility against my Sagat. A crucial part of my Bison game is punishing forward jumps with the Headstomp - since Logan decided he was going to do the exact opposite, for a moment I was stuck wondering what to do.
I started to hit him while he was coming down to the ground with some Scissor Kicks, Bison's boots planting firmly in Vega's face each time. Ever wonder what Bison's shoe size is? Ask Logan. Eventually he got wise (or at least appeared to), as he'd hit me while I was crouching with Vega's claw swipes, and I'd be in such shock that he even managed to touch The King that he'd score a couple more good slashes. That ended quickly enough, and a few throws and a Psycho Crusher ended the first match.
Ready for another round of backwards leapfrog, I dove into Match 2, but Logan threw something of a curveball. He chose Akuma. Bison possessing god-like power and Akuma having some of the lowest stamina in the game, round one went to me easy. Halfway through Round 2, though, I suddenly remembered something Logan had told me. "I like Akuma because his Ultra is easy to pull off." And then it happened. Somehow he managed to land a Raging Demon on me.
I put my face in my palms and shook my head at how blind I could have been and how lucky he was. Next round, I would have him in the palm of my hands. I got his health down until he had full Ultra. Knowing that he'd flip out trying to pull off another Raging Demon, I backed off, ready to pounce. I was right. Logan's Akuma zoomed toward me with all the ignorant glee of a kid on a Slip N Slide. He really thought he was going to land another Demon, wasn't he? What a chump, I thought, as I jumped upward, dodged his attack, landed behind him and tossed him to the ground. Game over.
If I can fake out the banhammer, I can fake the Funk. Break out the confetti. This one's in the bag, people.
Sometimes losing is worth it. It's especially worth it when you have to play against slow-as molasses-on-a-winter's-day John Funk.
Allow me to recap the first round for you. .........Hadoken. Yes, John Funk may be the best dodger in the history of the Street Fighter series. Unfortunately that's all he does and after twenty minutes of this in the first match I was yawning, pulling off insane combos with one hand only to have him dodge away and throw a sissy fireball here and there.
Call it strategic fighting on his part; all I know is that no amount of glory was worth this pain. So did I throw the battle? Yes. There was, however, no way I was going to chase around a school girl past the beginning of the Brett Michaels True Hollywood Story.
In an effort to lose as quickly as possible, I started playing with one hand while I finished making dinner. Somehow, I accidentally took a round from him, which drew out the first match even longer. Finally, we got to the second match. At that point he grew a pair, and even felt brave enough to do a super combo. With his new found confidence, we managed to finish the whole thing in just under 2 hours.
As a side note, I'll list the things I accomplished in 2 hours with one hand: Made chicken stir fry, read an article on hedge funds, emailed my parents, vacuumed the floor, played loco roco on the PSP.
John Funk's fighting style is an abomination. And I, for one, refuse to support him in his efforts to water down an otherwise fine fighting game. That said, Keane and Funk are both wimps of the same feather so they'll probably have a pretty good match.
Final Round (Friday 13th):
Keane vs. Funk
Tom vs. Logan