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Game: Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike
Date: August 2002
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Players: Tokido, Justin Wong
Source: Evolution 2002 DVD

3s is an interesting game. Originally released mid 1999, after 2 fairly lukewarm prior entries in the Street Fighter 3 series, saying it was not initially well loved by the American audience would be an understatement. Even when I picked up a Dreamcast and a copy of the game in 2001 or so, the consensus on English speaking forums was that everyone hated the game. Personally, I really enjoyed it. It’s challenging in different ways that the Street Fighter 2 that I was used to, and has some interesting characters (although certainly there is a high proportion of freaks).

The general dislike for the game at that time can be seen in the 3 featured games for Evolution 2002: Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, Marvel vs Capcom 2, and Capcom vs SNK 2. No 3s in that lineup. However, as a side event, we were treated to a 5 on 5 exhibition match between 5 of the best competitors that the US could conjure up, and whoever from Japan had come along. The results were fairly unsurprising, the Americans got smashed. But to me, there was one match that particularly stood out from the rest. A match which opened my eyes as to what was possible with this game. Showed me the potential of a character that is now one of my favourite characters in Street Fighter.

Showed me Urien. Showed me the Aegis Reflector.

Chun Li was already obviously one of the best chars in the game, Justin had been using her to pretty good success in the US events he had entered with her. Amazing normals and one of the best supers in the game. She’s an absolute powerhouse.

Tokido made her look like a rag doll.

As far as I’m aware, this was the first time people in the west were really exposed to Urien’s unblockables. Certainly this setup was known as “The Tokido Setup” for a long time after this video. I know I had never seen it before, and most of the talk from the forums was of amazement. You can hear the reaction for yourself in the video.

Highlights:

0:04 – What the game is all about, really: meter building.
0:40 – It begins.
2:04 – A predictive EX Aegis which leads into tackles. Many tackles. And an unblockable. Oh, and death.

Short but sweet. I can’t imagine a better result from an exhibition match: showing an entire crowd something they’d never seen before, and knocking their socks off. Thanks, Tokido.

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