Lining up for an hour and a half is a long wait to pick a fight. But for those in the arcade and gaming industry, the global unveiling of Street Fighter IV, the first new version of the classic fighting game in nearly eight years, was a chance not only to throw a few fireballs down memory lane but also to try out some new moves.
Video game developer Capcom Co Ltd, which has brought out the new version to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the original Street Fighter's debut, says it hopes to draw back old fans of game and hopefully their kids as well.
To that end, Street Fighter IV is most like Street Fighter II, the most popular version of the game that was released in the early 1990s, with the emphasis more on tactics and strategy than difficult gameplay techniques.
Later Street Fighters became complicated and were very expert-focused. This is more accessible but still with plenty in it for experts, said Seth Killian, a Capcom events organizer and former Street Fighter champion.
A new Street Fighter movie is also in the works, rumored to star actress Kristin Kreuk, best known for her role as Lana Lang in the Superman TV series Smallville.
The game, in which characters with their own special moves fight other combatants, has a six button layout that allows players to throw light, medium or hard punches and kicks.
In Street Fighter IV, old favorites dominate the character ranks like martial arts expert Ryu and power-kicking Chun-Li but it also has two new characters -- Abel, a judo player and Crimson Viper, a special agent who uses technology to harness fire and electricity.
In addition to the nostalgic fireballs and flying dragon punches, there are new moves like the focus attack, which gives a character some invulnerability while allowing them to attack with a special move.
It also has a revenge meter so that players that are hit too much can come back with an ultra combo attack.
It's hard to say whether it is going to be a hit product or not but it did bring back a lot of memories, said Koji Hidaka, a games vendor for arcades, after giving the new game a go at the Tokyo arcade expo.
The game, which is still in development, is due to be released to arcades in Japan this summer. Capcom has not yet announced when it will be launched overseas or which home video consoles will have the game.
(Reporting by Edwina Gibbs)