Mad Catz Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show was possibly the single highest concentration of Fighting Game personalities gathered into one room with the exception of EVO. I personally made sure all the fire exits were working lest a freak accident wipe out all the community talent in one fell swoop and leave posterity with nothing to play but Candy Crush.
The plenary FGC council included Katsuhiro Harada (back from a brief hiatus) and Michael Murray from TEKKEN Project, the entire Arc System Works team debuting the latest build of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma, Tomoaki Ayano and Yoshinori Ono from Capcom, and the lovely couple Chocoblanka and Momochi to name a few of the attendees.
The event was divided into two rooms, one for food and libations, and the other for gaming. We wouldn’t want all that chicken karaage grease to sully the V.S. Silent Hit FightSticks now, would we? After we filled our belly with ravioli and Kirin, we took our seats at ringside. So what happens when you unlock every cell in a maximum security prison and allow carnage to ensue? We performed this social experiment at the Mad Catz Unveiled event during Tokyo Game Show to see which killer would emerge from the pandemonium.
MCZ Mago vs. RZR Fuudo – 1-5: Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the strongest Fei-Long of them all? Two Topanga warriors squared off against one another in a character mirror match to answer this riddle. Mago, famous for his scientific breakdown of each character, went into the training room lab to concoct a deadly potion for his adversary. Most of the 50/50 set plays and unblockable setups for Fei-Long were either first discovered or revealed by him. During most of the match, he gambled on heavy use of the focus attack and consequently lost a lot of grey-life to Fuudo. On the other end, Fuudo used standing far HP as a powerful counter poke and made sure to use maximum damage combos to punish all of Mago’s misses. Both players were on point with their “knock, knock, who’s there?” option selecting with standing jab into rekkas, but ultimately it was Fuudo who busted through the door.
MCZ WW Ryan Hart vs. Bonchan – 4-5: By far the closest match of the entire night, this mirror match came down to the final round, final match, with the victor decided in the final seconds. Ryan has traveled around the world challenging top Sagats including Mago, Super Santarouman, Rariken, Sanford Kelly, but has yet to cross Bonchan off that list, until Mad Catz Unveiled. While many count sheep in hopes of falling asleep, fighting gamers count tigers to stay up at night with a jolt of adrenaline. Tiger shot after tiger shot fired off into the night sky until one player charged up the Ultra Meter gauge for Tiger Cannon. Bonchan missed many of his Ultra opportunities with input errors, and instead he flew up sky high with Ex-Tiger uppercut. Ryan was able to convert on many of these errors with heavy punishes and displayed his own quick reflexes as well. The ending to this Western shootout was determined by an errantly placed tiger knee from Ryan, giving Bonchan just enough space to clutch out the victory with a fully charged combo into Ultra. With such a close result, it remains difficult to say who the best Sagat in the universe truly is.
MCZ Kayane vs. Kamichan – 1-3: Kamichan is notorious for his beautiful evasive maneuvers to establish mid/long distance game where the character Hilde and her spear truly shine. Fully aware of the destructive combo machine of Kayane’s Viola who can convert a clean hit into a 50% orb combo, Kamichan waited outside the optimal range and whiff punished Kayane’s attacks. Kayane fared much better after the stage switch to the narrower Chainless Disaster, where she could use juggle combos to ring out her opponent like a proper sumo wrestler. Hilde displayed splendid lateral movement and clutched out the 3rd match with a delicious overhead. Guard impacts were exchanged in the final rmatch and Kamichan was able to convert on 2 of his “sukakaku” (whiff punish) super moves to win in a hotly contested match. With the next Soul Calibur game announced as a single player game, we shall surely miss the competitive aspect and great battles the franchise has blessed us with.
MCZ DM Xian vs. Kazunoko – 5-3: The reigning EVO champion stood in defiance against the champion of evil, Kazunoko, in hopes of recovering from a staggering 0-10 loss at the previous Mad Catz Unveiled event at PAX Prime. Surely Kazunoko must have researched match footage from that event as he employed a very different game plan this time around. Famed for his aggressive style, he took a more cautious approach, running away whenever he built a significant life lead against the champ. To combat this turtle-style play, Xian had to create opportunities with his catlike reflexes and beautiful mind reads on several occasions, hitting cleanly on desperation Ultra moves as team name implies. To counter Kazunoko’s abuse of medium punch into elbow, Xian employed an extremely difficult reversal hands into FADC combo to punish upon blocking the Yun’s elbow. To counter Kazunoko’s incessant dive kicking, the champ used immaculate spacing to punish the landing recovery. In one brilliant move, Xian put out his crane stance crouching light kick like a landmine so that Yun would land on the foot, fly into the air, and get juggled by Gen’s Ultra. The champion played artistically, notching Tokyo off the list for his victory lap around the world.
MCZ Tokido vs. EG Justin Wong – 5-2: #2 in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012 versus #2 in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at this year’s EVO. Justin needed a giant umbrella to withstand the hailstorm of air fireballs from Tokido. While watching him deftly navigate around air fireballs in Street Fighter, we were reminded of the bullet hell of Marvel’s Morridoom showering the screen with projectiles. Despite taking a 2-1 lead going into the 4th match, Justin’s Rufus found great difficulty in approaching Tokido’s Akuma who used standing light punch and heavy punch as anti dive-kick technology. Despite his steely resolve, Justin could not hold back the runaway train once Tokido found his rhythm and employed various frame traps against the slower Rufus. The genius from Tokyo University used Ultra Combo 2 to ward off any threat of pursuit after teleports and played the role of the aggressor for most of the match.