CCI: Street Fighter Mania

"Street Fighter X Tekken," the long-rumored crossover game between the legendary fighting series, was announced at the Street Fighter Mania panel at Comic-Con International on July 23. The producers of the two game series went head-to-head against each other in an early playable version of the game, giving fans a sneak peak how the game will play. This was just one of many announcements regarding the "Street Fighter" series made at the panel.

Yoshinori Ono, producer of the "Street Fighter" series, showed up wearing a bathrobe, supposedly because he had overslept and had raced over from the hotel for the panel. Ono was extremely animated, playing to the crowd, getting them revved up for the onslaught of news.

"How many of you are following my Twitter feed?" he asked through a translator. "Of the people who didn't raise their hands, are they not real 'Street Fighter' fans?"

Ono said he felt a real kinship with the fans at Comic-Con -- as it was, he explained, a panel at the San Diego show that helped convince his bosses to make "Street Fighter IV" and thus save his job -- a kinship that showed with all the "Street Fighter" cosplayers in the audience.

Early on, while the panel was dealing with technical difficulties, Ono asked the audience what they wanted to see. When someone yelled out, "Darkstalkers!" Ono said there were no plans for the series, but had the audience hold up dollar bills that he took a picture of to show his bosses how willing Americans would be to pay for a new "Darkstalker" series.

When the PowerPoint issues were resolved, Ono launched into a long list of "Street Fighter"-related news: In conjunction with the recent downloadable tournament mode for "Street Fighter IV," Capcom will be launching a series of online tournaments, the Capcom Cup, where players will be able to win unique, only-one-in-existence player titles to show their "Street Fighter" dominance. The tournaments have already started in Japan and will start appearing in other countries shortly.

Next, Ono said one of the biggest questions he gets on his Twitter account is "When is 'Street Fighter IV' going to be updated with new costumes?" With that, a PowerPoint slide revealed many new costumes for a variety of characters, either variations of older costumes or outfits that they would wear "in everyday life."

Ono followed up on news released at E3, showing for the first time screenshots from "Street Fighter IV" for the Nintendo 3DS. Although the images did not show off any 3D effects, the screen shots looked remarkably similar to the console versions of the game. "It will replicate the same feel as the systems, but with new features to get you playing out of the house," Ono said. "In the near future we'll be making specific announcements."

Ono added that there would be some news about secret characters hidden in the arcade version of "Street Fighter IV," which is currently in testing in Tokyo. After fans started shouting out character names, Ono said he couldn't reveal the names until the Tokyo Game Show, but that if anyone was recording the panel, "Slow it down and analyze the tape, the name is in there somewhere."

Next, Ono announced the return of "Street Fighter III" with "Street Fighter III Third Strike Online Edition." "During our production on 'Street Fighter IV,' we heard from a lot of fans who wanted to see 'III' back again," he said. "Because you guys saved my job, basically, the least I can do is bring 'Street Fighter III' back to you. So now that I have announced that we are producing it, the company can't stop us, so we can take our time getting it out!"

Ono added that since the development time is so far out on the game, players with suggestions should visit the Capcom-Unity website to make themselves heard.

Ono then said he would be revealing the future of "Street Fighter IV," but before he could, Katsuhiro Harada, the producer of the Namco-Bandai fighting series "Tekken," burst into the room clad in a black outfit with the sleeves ripped off, talking trash about the "Street Fighter" series through the aid of a translator. "We were just listening to you chat and chat and chat, but you didn't really do anything after 'Strike III' came out, it was 10 years before Street Fighter IV!" he said to a chorus of boos from the audience.

"Today is a good day to see who is stronger," said Ono, before playing the trailer to the game. It was very reminiscent of the art style from the early "Street Fighter IV" trailers. In the clip, Ryu was meditating in a dojo when Dan's thrown into the room, badly beaten. Following him was a shadow-clad Kazuya from the "Tekken' series. The trailer ended with Megaman chasing a Pac-Man ghost off the screen, but then getting chased in the opposite direction by Pac-Man himself.

When the lights were turned back on, Ono was now dressed as Ryu. After a little more trash talk, the two producers officially announced "Street Fighter X Tekken," with the X pronounced as "cross." They dropped some of the faux-rivalry and explained how both men knew and respected each other as fighting game designers and when "Street Fighter IV and "Tekken 6" launched around the same time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to do a crossover game.

"So since 600 of you gave all the trouble to come out there today, we're going to show you something really special," Ono said. Did you notice the PS3 sitting here? We have another Blu-ray. I'm sure a lot of you are wondering how far along we are in this game, do you want to know?" Ono added that his bosses didn't know he had this disk. Ono and Harada then began playing each other in "Street Fighter X Tekken," with Ono using Ryu and Harada using Kazuya. The game was very reminiscent of the action and graphical style seen in "Street Fighter IV," with the normally 3D "Tekken" character constrained to a two-dimensional axis. They battled back and forth for a bit before Ono tagged in a helper character, Chun-Li, who unleashed a Lightning Kick on Kazuya, setting him up for Ryu's Shin Hadouken super fireball.

Harada then countered with a helper character of his own, Nina, who hammered on Ryu before holding him from behind, setting the street fighter up for a spinning electrified uppercut from Kazuya.

As if that wasn't enough, Ono had one more announcement. "Did you guys see on the Internet the meme going around of Lady Gaga in 'Street Fighter?'" he asked. "We had the artist make Yoshi vs. Katsu art and are making it available online!"

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