X-Men vs. Street Fighter Kumite 2022

I did one of these last year: https://www.psychoandy.com/2021/07/x-men-children-of-the-atom-birthday-kumite/

If you’re not gonna go back and read last year’s post, here’s the one-paragraph version: In November 2020, my friend Kayin invited me to join them and some of their friends in playing Super Street Fighter II Turbo on Monday nights. I joined in, and I’ve been playing Super Turbo with those folks pretty much every week since. For peoples’ birthdays, the person celebrating their birthday takes on all challengers in the game of their choosing. Last year I chose Capcom’s X-Men: Children of the Atom, a one-on-one fighting game that’s similar to Street Fighter, but the characters are all from Marvel’s X-Men comics. And I somehow went completely undefeated against 8 opponents, many of whom are generally better fighting game players than I am.

This year, the pressure was on. I figured there was NO WAY I was going to have a repeat performance, especially if I picked X-Men: COTA again. I deliberated for weeks about what game to choose. I seriously considered picking some random game that I wouldn’t even stand a chance in, but eventually decided that X-Men vs. Street Fighter was the game I would have the most fun playing, win or lose.

Promotional poster for the game

X-Men vs. Street Fighter takes the foundation that X-Men: Children of the Atom built, and adds in the Street Fighter characters. Instead of matches being one-on-one affairs, players now build teams of two. Matches are now a single round instead of a best 2-out-of-3 affair. But in order to win a match, both opponents must be KO’ed, meaning you still have to drain two life bars to win.

I have a bit of experience with this particular game. I first read about it in GamePro magazine in 1996, and then played it at a local comic shop. It was released on the Sega Saturn exclusively in Japan the following year, and my brother and I imported it, along with a Pro Action Replay 4MB cart to bypass the region coding built in to the Saturn hardware. Even though I’ve owned the game for years, I haven’t gotten to play it a ton against other actual people, mostly just messing around against the computer.

X-Men vs. Street Fighter was the predecessor to the wildly popular Marvel vs. Capcom games. I figure that I might do decently, but MvC is SO popular, I thought this particular group of people would have gone back to XvSF. I thought I’d probably win SOME of my matches, but definitely not all of them.

Box art for the JP Sega Saturn release

While I had eight challengers last year, this year I had nine. And below is how it went! Player names are bolded, character teams are in (parentheses):

  • Me (Rogue/Gambit) vs. CaliScrub (Ken/Wolverine, Ken/Cyclops): 2-0
  • Me (Cyclops/Akuma) vs. Trumpet (Ryu/Sabretooth): 2-0
  • Me (Cammy/Magneto, Cyclops/Akuma) vs. NoAverageMitch (Ken/Charlie, Ken/Wolverine): 2-1
  • Me (Juggernaut/Ryu) vs. SatchamoBob (Ken/Wolverine, Zangief/Sabretooth): 2-0
  • Me (Juggernaut/Magneto) vs. PeptoDismal (Sabretooth/Magneto): 2-0
  • Me (Cyclops/Akuma) vs. Kayin (Ryu/Magneto, Ryu/Dhalsim) : 2-0
  • Me (Cammy/Juggernaut) vs. CWheezy (Ryu/Ken, Akuma/Ken): 2-0
  • Me (Juggernaut/Magneto) vs. OneWholeCrouton (Chun-Li/Rogue, Storm/Zangief): 2-0
  • Me (Cyclops/Wolverine) vs. Takahiro (Ryu/Ken, Juggernaut/Chun-Li): 2-0

So, uh. Yeah. I went undefeated again. And except for the one match against NoAverageMitch, I would have shot everybody out completely. Not bad, considering I wasn’t actually sure I’d win ANY matches.

Kayin was kind enough to record the event and put it on their YouTube channel, so if you want to watch 45 minutes of me taking on a bunch of other people, you can do so below. It’s not high-level gameplay full of fancy combos or anything. Just a bunch of Street Fighter players messing around with a different game.

Gameplay starts at about 2:20. I’m always player 2. Kayin’s mic is accidentally turned off for half the event due to some streaming settings that I don’t understand. Whatever.

If we keep these birthday traditions going, I 100% do not expect to be able to go undefeated again next year…

But we’ll see!

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