It’s A Knock-Out – Pure Belter! Reactions

Get ready! Super Street Fighter IV is here!

What is the perfect environment to play a new fighting game in? With the death of the arcades of old, it’s difficult to emulate that special feeling of spectating matches around a glowing CRT, coins in hand, ready to take on the current hot-seat champ. It turns out that when you put fifty fighting-game fanatics into the basement of ESC Games in Glasgow – venue of Ready-Up’s Pure Belter! preview event of Super Street Fighter IV earlier this month – you get damn close.

Equipped with more than 10 Xbox 360 units, a dozen or so HD screens and a number of professional-grade Hori arcade sticks, it was the ideal arena to throw down some epic Super matches. In fact, before I even arrived each station was packed with eager gamers duking it out. Everyone was polite, friendly and just generally a good sport, making the event fun for everybody involved. I even managed to sneak in a couple of matches myself, despite being on event duties!

Street Fighter fans felt right at home with this classy artwork
Street Fighter fans felt right at home with this classy artwork

While attendees were free to play matches until they passed out, the real highlights of the day were two tournaments offering some fantastic prizes, including Hori Real Arcade Pro sticks for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. To give everyone a fair chance, each tournament was limited to Super-exclusive characters; that way, those who have had a year of Street Fighter IV practice wouldn’t stomp on everyone else.

Over the course of the day, two tournament stars came to light: Scott McCaig, with his aggressive use of the sadistic new fighter Juri; and Mamba, with his diverse use of the kunai-wielding, Third-Strike favourite Ibuki. The two forces clashed in the first tournament, with Scott claiming a narrow victory, but Mamba got his own back when he was crowned champion in the second. It was decided that there was only way to settle things – a final face-off between joke character Dan and Dan!

So many sticks!
So many sticks!

To say that the match was intense would be an understatement. Both players performed admirably – especially considering Dan’s, er, “unique” play-style – but Scott McCaig emerged victorious, earning an invaluable Street Fighter Legends comic signed by artist Omar Dogan! Once the shock had worn off a bit, I took some time to sit down and discuss the victory with Scott.

Now that you’ve had some time to play Super Street Fighter IV, what are your general impressions?

It’s a must buy, definitely. If you like fighting games, you’ll love this. The improvements over vanilla Street Fighter IV are immediately noticeable. I simply crave more; it’s as important to me as oxygen, really.

You really came out fighting in any case, winning the first tournament with Juri. How did the final match feel?

The Ibuki player, Mamba, was amazing. I was really impressed at how he played. He had a really strong mix-up of moves. I was surprised I was able to pull it off. The play style in Super is much more aggressive than before!

Scott McCaig and Mamba prepare for their final match.
Scott McCaig and Mamba prepare for their final match

Definitely! Mamba went on to win the second tournament, becoming your rival for the final prize. How did you feel when you were told the champion match-up would be Dan versus Dan?

Pretty uncertain at first. The match was great fun, though. It was basically a contest to out-taunt one-another! If I had to play against Mamba with his Ibuki again, I think he would have owned me. Dan is a lot better than before; he plays a lot more like Ryu now, with decent cancelling of attacks into his shoryuken.

Congratulations on your victory. How does it feel to be the overall champion of the Ready-Up “Pure Belter!” Street Fighter event?

Amazing. It’s not sunk in yet. I came here and I didn’t think I was going to win coming in. I mean, there were the new characters and we didn’t have a lot of time to get used to them. I was surprised at how professional some of the players were.

What do you think about the prizes?

Just awesome. I’ll definitely be keeping the comic. And I’m thinking of modding the Hori stick with some Juri artwork!

Scott McCaig receives a Hori arcade stick and shakes hands with Leo Tan.
Scott McCaig receives a Hori arcade stick and shakes hands with Leo Tan

Well done Scott! The conclusion of the tournaments didn’t mean the end of the prizes, though. Attendees still had the chance to win some brilliant Super-themed t-shirts, courtesy of Level Up wear. To win them, they’d have to best a truly-obscure gaming quiz prepared by Ready-Up editors Dan and Kirsten. Not for a lack of trying, Team Walter failed to bag anything, mainly due to my utter lack of Kingdom Hearts knowledge. Boo!

In Ready-Up event tradition, we wound-down the evening with some slightly-drunk SingStar karaoke. In a bit of a personal tradition, I offered attendees mediocre pizza, which was refused by all. Meanwhile, the Super match-ups continued long into the night… and although I can’t be certain, I reckon it was the beginning of many friendly rivalries.

A good time had by all!
A good time had by all!

We’d like to thank the tireless effort of all who made this event such a success, including the staff of Ready-Up and ESC, Leo Tan at Capcom and of course, everyone who attended. For more on Super Street Fighter IV, check out our review, or our previous interview with Leo.







One response to “It’s A Knock-Out – Pure Belter! Reactions”

  1. Wonderdog avatar

    Twas a fun day!

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