My girlfriend and I went down to Austin this past weekend for a charity event and we decided to stop by a local arcade for a spin. Best idea ever! This Arcade is what cabinet gaming is all about. You enter into a small lobby which has your typical driving and shooting cabinets, with the bonus of their very own UFO crane machine, but it is to your left that you find the true gem that this arcade is. Two rows of sit down, Japanese style cabinets await you. Each containing some of the hottest games from the east, including the biggest reason to stop in, Street Fighter 4.
That's right! I have finally played it and was in love after the first hadouken. The graphics are astounding, game play nostalgic, and fighting system is a welcome edition after the variations seen in the Alphas' and Third Strike. In 4, they use a new "parry" system called a focus attack, which lets you counter one hit when in focus stance (hold mp+ mk). The longer you hold the focus stance before you are hit, the harder the counterattack, which can stun your opponent, leaving room for you to finish them off with a super or ultra combo. You can also use the focus stance to stop mid-combo to save you combo meter and then you can dash in or out of focus. Did you get all that? Well, just think how confused your opponents will be after you can pull all this off. In any case, it was a treat and not the only new game I got to play. Besides the Cave shmups (my girlfriend and I played a little Death Smiles), I also tried some blazblu, capcom vs tatsunoko, and revisited arcana hearts 2. All very good and all exactly what I am missing. There were more games there, but not enough time and we had a future engagement. Please, if you're ever in Austin, make a stop at this location and drop a couple of dollars. Wouldn't want to see something like this fade away. Also stop by their website for details on upcoming tournaments, who knows, with SF 4 coming out in 2 days, I might be training for the next one. Here is the website.