4 days away from Halloween, and the gamers at Planet Zero are going to see if they can scare Marcus “Nytemare Raven” Ramirez out of the top spot in the rankings. Last week, Raven won the 2nd tournament of the new Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition weekly series. Combined with his runner-up showing in the 1st tournament, and Raven is already off to a fast start towards repeating as series champ. Will week 1 winner Ben Song, or last season’s #2 Kris “OneThreeFour” Hoffman be able to stop his momentum? Will players be able to hone their skills this week in preparation for next weekend’s Blood Bath & Beyond 3?
12 players entered tonight’s tournament, action starts with Gladiator vs Ben. Ben opts to go with Dudley, making it a straight up boxing match against Gladiator’s Balrog. After splitting the first 2 rounds, Ben would pull off the victory. Assan Chop faces Evil Buho next, El Fuerte vs Honda. Once again, it would go to the final round, each player dominating a round. In the end Assan nearly made a big comeback, but the victory would goto Buho. Dim Sum(Cody) faced Nytemare Raven(Blanka) in a rematch from last week’s Grand Finals. Raven dominated the match in straight rounds.
Ben and Shannon King(Ryu) followed. Ben would solidly take both rounds. Ren(Vega) starts his tournament against Unorez(T.Hawk). After taking the first round, Unorez would fall to Ren’s one button Roundhouse attack. Tofu Soup(Fei-Long) meets up against Evil Buho who switched to Hakan for this match. Buho managed to take the first round, but Fei-Long is too strong and Tofu wins the last 2 rounds. Noobster(Ken) vs Raven is now up, Noobster failed to capitalize on a blocked Ultra 1, and ended up losing in straight rounds. Now it was Ben vs Ren, and it was a slugfest. Ben would find the range in the 3rd and take the match. Tofu Soup and Nytemare Raven were next. It did not bode well for Tofu as Raven finished him off in 2.
Back in the losers bracket, Gladiator looks to right the ship against Noobster. Noobster switched to Sakura and managed to pull off the upset in 3 rounds. Unorez meets Assan Chop, leading to Unorez going back to Vega. The move pays off as Unorez holds on to win in 3. Shannon and Dim Sum are next, after nearly losing in straight rounds, Dim Sum lands a nice gimmick Ultra setup to steal round 2, then throws his way to victory in the 3rd. Noobster and Buho battle. This time Noobster goes with Makoto and wins in 2. Unorez and Dim Sum face off, with Dim Sum able to pull out Cody’s knife and shank his way to victory. Noobster’s merry go round lands on Ken vs Ren who surprisingly switches to Chun-Li. This time it was Ren would hold on and win in 3. Tofu Soup vs Dim Sum in an epic battle of Asian Cuisine. The result was a tasty win for Dim Sum. Now Dim Sum faced Reject teammate Ren. The contest was close and went down to the very last pixel as Ren made a stunning comeback attempt, but whiffed an EX coast to coast dive which allowed Dim Sum to sneak away with the win!
Winners Final, Nytemare Raven picks Blanka and Ben picks M. Bison. Round 1, both players trade EX charges and throws. Ben with the lead, but Raven quickly evens it up with a slide and combo. Blocked Blanka ball is punished by Scissor kicks for the win. Round 2, Ben with the lead early, but Raven gets a throw and combo. Slide, and cross up hop shenanigans. Both players knocking each other silly, but Raven lands a cross over combo to even it up. Round 3, Ben with a big lead, but Raven traps him in the corner. Ben gets out, but a whiffed scissor kick is punished by a full Ultra 1 and Nytemare Raven is in the Grand Finals.
Dim Sum vs Ben for a shot at Raven in the Grand Finals. Ben goes with Akuma vs Dim Sum’s Cody. Ben goes on the offensive from the get go and Dim Sum can’t adjust, Perfect for Ben! Round 2, Dim Sum is already in huge trouble, but finally lands a hit. Still stuck in the corner, Ben continues to pressure, and eventually cracks Dim Sum for the lop sided victory.
Grand Finals, Raven sticks with Blanka and Ben goes with Akuma. Round 1, Raven is unafraid and goes right after Ben. But Ben’s Akuma is no slouch either and evens it up with well placed fireballs and spacing. Raven eats a fireball to lose the round. Round 2, Ben with the early tech traps and throws. Big combo by Ben. Raven with a crossup ball and throw. Taunt by Raven baits a fireball which he slides under, but its not enough as Ben takes it to the final game! Raven switches to Vega. Round 1, both players cautious at the start, Ben punishes a slide for the first hit, lands a fireball. Raven with a throw. Small combo by Ben, EX flip kick by Raven is good, throws on both sides, and a hail mary EX demon flip palm connects for the win! Round 2, Raven off to the hot start, but Ben comes right back. Raven anticipates with his Ultra correctly, but Ben with the crossover Lvl 1 Demon and ticks away to win! Ben wins for the 2nd time this season over Nytemare Raven!
If you enjoyed this article, then please subscribe to my Arcade Games column. Check out my Video Game Babes and Action Figures columns as well. Texas Showdown Championships, the largest fighting game tournament in Texas, returns on April 6-8, 2012 to the Woodlands Waterway Marriott during Anime Matsuri. Follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and my Blog for more news about anime, gaming, and other events in Houston.