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The Escapist SF4 Throwdown: Round One

| 10 Mar 2009 14:20

The first round in The Escapist Staff Street Fighter IV Throwdown has been fought! Tom vs. Keane, Logan vs. Funk: Four men enter, and, uh, four men leave ... but two of them are losers.

Keane Ng and Logan Westbrook report on the hard-fought battles:

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Logan:

This is it, the first battle.

I'll be honest with you, I didn't win.

But don't think for a second that I lost. The truth of the matter is I let him win.

Let me explain:

I chose Vega, the claw-wielding ninja, and Funk picked Sakura, the little schoolgirl - an appropriate choice, all things considered.

Our first battle took us to the jungles of South America. He came out of the gate surprisingly fiercely and actually managed to score a hit. He'd obviously been practicing and was popping off little dragon punches and hurricane kicks all over the place. It was all futile, of course: One hit was all he was getting, unless I let him have more ... but I thought he deserved something for all the effort he put in.

"What the heck?" I said to myself, "He can have one round."

So I let him have the round. After that, his excitement was so palpable, it even managed to cross an ocean. His childlike glee was so strong that it managed to transmit itself via the Internet. After that, my heart melted; crushing him would have been like kicking a puppy. The only thing larger than my fighting power - which is over 9000, for the record - is the size of my heart. In that moment, I made my decision: Funk could have this match. Keane and Tom would only decimate him later on, and I couldn't bear to let him leave the competition with nothing.

Our next battle took place on the darkened streets of East Asia. I could have changed characters, swapped Vega out for someone else, but it didn't really matter by that point. I kept one eye on the screen while I did a crossword puzzle (in French), just so that he wouldn't catch on that I was letting him win. I got in a few good licks with the claw, just to keep the charade going, but really, I was just humoring him.

So there you have it, folks. I let Funk beat me - hopefully you aren't too disappointed. Rest assured, the others won't get off so easily!

Funk wins!

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Keane:

You know that thing that The Joker says toward the end of The Dark Knight? "This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?" That's kind of like taking my Sagat (unstoppable force) and pitting it against Endo's Rufus (extremely immovable object).

Except in this case, the unstoppable force won. Rufus, immovable as he is with his oh-so-jiggly gut, wasn't enough to stand against Sagat's Muay Thai.

I do have to give Endo credit, though. I wasn't expecting him to put up much of a fight. I mean, really not after the first match. I started off keeping him at a distance with Tiger Shots, but he just stood there, taking each fireball to the face. So I zoomed in with a series of Tiger Knees and gave him a flurry of low kicks and punches capped off with a standing kick canceled into a Tiger Shot, trapping him in the corner. He'd try to jump out, but there would be a Tiger Knee or massive kick waiting for him in the air or a throw when he hit the ground.

Maybe I subconsciously started going easier on him. I thought the second match would be cake and started trying to do some flashy combos, but before I knew it, we were down to the last round, with two rounds to each of us. He'd landed an Ultra somewhere in there and had hit me with a flurry of Messiah Kicks that, while they didn't lend the impression of someone who knew how to use them, did make me think he was trying really hard. A switch had gone off and Endo had unleashed the beast. It was a sloppy, uncoordinated beast, but it was a powerful one nevertheless.

No more jokes, I told myself. Both of us down to a sliver of health, Endo tried to finish me with an Ultra, which I dodged but was unable to come up with an effective counter. I threw him, paced toward his downed carcass. "He's probably not going to be expecting this," I thought, and unleashed my Ultra. As Endo's Rufus got up off the ground, the first wave of Sagat's kicks hit. Somewhere, in the distance, a star exploded.

Endo's Game Over.

Logan, you're next. Prepare to feel what it's like when the banhammer's in the other person's hand.

Keane wins!

Next Round (Wednesday 11th):

Keane vs. Logan
Tom vs. Funk