The SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show is not all about, well, just that…anime and manga. It’s also about celebrating some of Japan’s most beloved gaming franchises, with Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. and Street Fighter all having a presence at the convention this year, and all of which were played in tournaments on the day.
The Street Fighter IV competition was played over the course of two hours and featured many expert players. The rules were simple: single elimination with a ‘best out of three’ format in place, except for the semi-finals and finals, which would become ‘best out of 5’ match-ups. Characters could be changed between rounds with no real restrictions to speak of. Being one of the most successful and popular fighting franchises of all time, there were dozens of players arriving to sign-up and enter the tournament. Many even brought their own fighting sticks. There were many blow-outs and fewer technical battles, truth be told, but a couple players stood out amongst the pack.
The champion of the day, Tony, had been consistently demolishing his opponents with boss character Seth. But once he got to the finals, it was neck and neck against Vega, whose acrobatic cross-screen combos were stifling his adversaries and doing major damage. It was 2-2, and Tony decided to make a risky move and exit to the character select screen to swap to Balrog – an understatement to say that he is not the most utilised character amongst the large roster. But, the Mike Tyson-inspired boxer took it out and Tony walked away with a prize pack, courtesy of Mindscape, which included – as the pièce de résistance – a PS3 copy of Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk.
Vega, Sammy and Ryu seemed like favourite choices amongst the entrants, but in that barn-burner of a final, an unlikely challenger ended up winning the crown. On a side note…man, Seth’s combos do low damage!! What a pathetic final boss! Anyway, you can also check out our coverage of the Pokemon Black & White tournament!