If you saw EVO this year you'll know that it was the Mexicans and the Koreans who stole the show in a lot of the games on display, and many of them are making the return trip to the USA for Ascension including these two crazy KOF players:
the SSFIV: AE 2012 EVO Champion Infiltration
and one of my favourite players in UMVC3, Mame Spider.
Recent releases, TTT2, P4A and DOA5 will all be at Ascension, I'm looking forward to seeing what the highest level matches of those games look like. If you've seen or taken part in the Giant Bomb P4A Community tournaments you'll know how fun that game is. TTT2 has had a very positive response from the 3D fighting game players and DOA5 was just released so we'll have to see how that goes, if it's half as nuts as the story was in the Giant Bomb Quick Look it should be good to watch at least.
Jeff Gerstmann vs. Max, Max completes Retro Assist Me series
Maximilian is the most prominent member of the Fighting Game Community on Youtube (34 million views) with his fighting game and FPS videos. His Assist Me show is particularity good, check out episode 1 out of 4 of Retro Assist Me. 1/3rd Back to the Future parody, 1/3rd part continuation of the Assist Me story and 1/3rd introduction into the recently released Marvel vs. Capcom Origins.
Both Max and Jeff's first online ranked match in Tekken TAG 2 when it first came out was against each other and was recorded in Max's video of his impressions of TTT2's online.
I tried this game before but I got permanently stuck in one of the story-dungeons when I was under-levelled for a temporarily 1 on 1 boss fight. I recently started a new game, with saves on the world map (turns out I didn't need them), this time completing the game. It's one of my favourite RPGs I've played. It has:
A levelling system that allows customisation within certain limits
Combat which has strategic movement that is more than old-school turn-based RPGs but less than free-roaming RPGs
Putting time into levelling doesn't simply increase your level but isn't too complex to the point of multiple branching skill trees
Some of my most fondly remembered titles of the genre include Persona 4, Dragon Age: Origins and The Legend of Dragoon. All three have their positives and negatives but I can always say that while I enjoyed the gameplay in these, story progression and character development always held my interest more. FFT is the only one which is the opposite. Gearing up characters in certain ways, grinding out job points to buy useful passive skills, doing the math to see whether my dragoon's jump will land on top of an enemy in time etc.
Towards the end I found my class-specific created characters dropping out of my squad for the various storyline characters with their many Holy/Divine/Fell/Templar Knight Job Skills, but all that meant was that I had new characters to grind out Move +2, Critical: Restore HP, Treasure Hunter, Equip Heavy Armour or Counter for, which the aforementioned created characters would be very useful for. When four Monks go out into a battle with a White/Time Mage, equipped with Job Points Boost, you can be guaranteed that you'll be coming away with plenty of JP at the end.
I would be more than happy to play a FFT game on current and/or next generation consoles and I have the perfect PS3 game to be used as a base, Valkyria Chronicles. The real time/turn-based hybrid style of Valkyria Chronicles, combined with what makes FFT one of my favourite RPGs could make for a game that I'd take over some of the recent Final Fantasy games any day.
Evo Championship Series 2012 - The World's Best - Fighting Games vs. eSports?!
It's time for the big one folks! Following last year's EVO 2011 and the Road to EVO 2012 season we are now just one week away from EVO 2012, the world fighting game championships. 2012 has certainly been packed with events this year leading up to EVO and now the best players from around the world will meet in Las Vegas.
Capcom - The Rise of SSFIV and UMvC3 and the Fall of Street Fighter X Tekken
Thanks to the release of SSFIV: Arcade Edition Version. 2012 and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the two games will be a lot more balanced affair this time around. No longer will the top 8 be dominated by Yun, Fei Long and C.Viper and no longer will Level 3 X-Factor Dark Phoenix be the overbearing character she was. Players are in a much better mindset for both games and going into EVO 2012, the winner of both AE 2012 and UMvC3 could be one of any 20 to 40 players.
And then we have the proverbial red-headed step child of fighting games, Street Fighter X Tekken, making its 2 vs 2 debut (448 teams) at EVO 2012.
Gems are practically unusable because of the amount of time needed to set them up each match would double or even triple the time taken to complete the tournament
The DLC on the disc/playable online hacked characters nonsense had left a bad taste in everyone's mouths
Labelled by tournament players as Jab X Timeout, the game simply isn't fun to play or watch at a competitive level
Fighting Games and eSports
There's been a lot of debate about fighting games joining the eSports movement and while Capcom have stated their position is firmly against their games featuring at MLG (following an attempt in the past during the days when an event only had one stream, the fighting games viewers and the Starcraft viewers collided in the stream chat), MLG in turn turned their attention to other games outside of Capcom, those being Mortal Kombat, Soulcalibur V and The King of Fighters XIII.
Following two events at MLG in which MK and ScV had over 70 entrants at both, KOFXIII failed to break 40 entrants on both occasions. With the general assumption that KOFXIII will be dropped, many in the eSports camp dismissed KOF for its community not supporting their game. Yet look at the amount of entrants at EVO for the game, eclipsing both MK and ScV combined. Why? A very good article on iPlayWinner argues that for all MLG's prize money and high production value, the one thing they miss is the most important thing that Community events like CEO 2012 and UFGT8 do. They make you think, "You want to be a part of this," through engagement and the sense of community. http://iplaywinner.com/news/2012/6/18/the-salty-runback-community-effort.html
Fighting game player and Evil Genius's own Floe (master of the Floe Face) has had a very popular stream channel http://www.twitch.tv/eg_floe trying to become "The Guy" in the crazy platformer indie game, I Wanna Be The Guy. This Thursday on stream 1, Floe will rage for everyone's entertainment playing I Wanna Be The Guy: Gaiden in the official Evo pre-show.
Indie Game Showcase
In an effort to provide some interesting indie titles to an audience receptive of them, EVO this year will feature 7 indie titles, one of which you may of heard of if you've seen my previous event blogs for UFGT8 and CEO 2012.
“While on the surface EVO is a fighting game tournament for hardcore fans, dig a little deeper and you’ll learn that it’s much more than that. EVO has always pushed traditional gaming outside of the expected, and far past the norm. As an event, it represents how vast & varied gaming can be, and how much crazy fun can be had when it’s all mashed together into a weekend of tournaments & BYOC. A lot of these tenets & goals line up one-to-one with the core of independent game development. With this in mind, I’m extremely excited that EVO has partnered with the other indie game developers to showcase their games in the Indie Gaming Showcase.
Plus… we all can’t wait for the FGC to absolutely tear our games apart!”
Nathan Vella Co-founder & president, CAPY (Super Time Force)
For the first time, EVO will be streamed on Twitch.tv, Spooky and Haunts from Team Spooky and iPlayWinner will be handling the stream duties once again, following their successful showing last year.
Get your Evo 2012 Ticket! This is a one time purchase for the Evo 2012 streams, July 6 - 8, 2012.
Proceeds will go towards the foundation of an annual $10,000 Evo college scholarship for gamers pursuing degrees in gaming and technology. Evo 2012 ticket holders will receive:
EVO 2012 ticket holders will receive:
»720p quality streams
»Access to chat
»The warm fuzzy feeling of helping your fellow gamers fulfill their dreams
All for the price of $12.00.
With UFGT8 and CEO 2012, I could've easily said, "if you watch one fighting game stream this year..." but to be honest, as good as they were (and as much potential they have to be on the same level), they don't currently compare to EVO. EVO is the tournament that all players go to above any others and there's a reason why EVO 2011 broke the 85,000 concurrent (2.2 million unique views) stream viewers (on the ustream stream channel alone) mark.
I hope you can tune in and make this even bigger than last year.
CEO 2012 - Daigo competes, DIVEKICK returns and playing games in a wrestling ring
We are just over 3 weeks away from EVO 2012 (Evo Championship Series on Giant Bomb) in Las Vegas with two Road to EVO tournament season events remaining. This weekend's event is CEO 2012.
Daigo 'The Beast' Umehara, sponsored by Mad Catz, among other championship wins, is the Evo 2009 Street Fighter IV world champion and the Evo 2010 Super Street Fighter IV world champion. It's a safe assumption that his fame on the internet came from the "Daigo Parry" video from Evo 2004.
His last appearance on US soil was EVO 2011 in which he failed to win a third straight SFIV tournament, swapping his tried and tested Ryu for the then (now nerfed from the highest of fighting game tierland, but at the time was) dominant Yun in Arcade Edition. He has since returned to Ryu (with Yun and Akuma in reserve) and will compete at CEO this weekend (as well as playing exhibition matches vs USA rivals) before EVO (July 6th-8th) to avenge his loss to Americans, Koreans and fellow Japanese players alike.
Other awesome stuff this weekend at CEO
The main stage will be a wrestling ring, fucking nuts
Divekick, the game created by the minds that brought you last month's very successful Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8, will have location testing at CEO, one more stepping stone towards the game getting an actual release.
CEO 2010 was put together from start to finish in only 3 weeks and ended with a turnout of over 350 gamers and spectators(125 entrants for Super Street Fighter 4 alone making it the biggest fighting game turnout in Florida's History) throughout the weekend.
CEO 2011 looks to build on that with over 6 months of preparation to become one of the largest gaming competitions in the Southeast USA. Since the first Tournament under the moniker of CEO, there have been over CEO 10 tournaments in the Orlando area with a consistent turnout of over 70-100 competitors at each one for such popular Games as Super Street Fighter IV and Blazblue.
The end result of CEO 2011 turned into one of the most hype EVO Season tournaments with over 650 competitors Entering Super Street Fighter 4: AE, Marvel Vs Capcom 3, Blazblue Blue, Smash Bros, Tekken 6, Mortal Kombat, Soul Calibur 4 and Arcana Heart 3 bringing in people representing 22 US States and 9 International countries. Max Attendance was a little below 1,000 people tripling CEO 2010's Numbers.
CEO 2012 Has already been Signed for set at the Wyndham Orlando Resort June 15th-17th, 2012 and with over a year to prepare and the community becoming stronger than ever it will be amazing to see how it's 3rd year does and the amount of people it can bring together.
CEO has become the joint effort of one of the strongest gaming communities around and its sole purpose is to bring together friends and foes with a passion for fighting games.
I've been hooked on Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 matches for quite some time now, the tournaments are so fun to watch, but there's just something about SFIV, when you have top players from around the world going up against each other, that makes it special.
Hope you can tune in this weekend, at least during the finals on Sunday night, I can't wait, thanks for reading.
UFGT8, one of my favourite Road to EVO events is all this weekend, featuring the return of the Mystery Game Tournament and the debut of DIVEKICK!
Just look at the trophies they'll be playing for (which are related to a the post-credits ending in The Avengers)!
The main reason why UGFT is so popular is because of the extras you get other than the EVO seeding point tournaments that come with the rest of the events. Last year's Mystery Game Tournament (which is by no means limited to fighting games) was my personal favourite event.
Street Fighter 1, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Pong! The randomness of not having played a fighting game vs making a competitive match out of something like Mario is not only hilarious but just as exciting as any of the main fighting game tournaments (knowledge of the games not necessary!)
This year however, the Mystery Game Tournament has a new rival in DIVEKICK!
I don't even know what this game is capable of, but I'll have a fun time watching.
Where can I watch this?
http://www.leveluplive.tv/ is where you can watch both streams at the same time (and not have the chats up if you don't want those), Stream 1 by Level | Up Series and Stream 2 by FocusFire.
Capcom announced details on the half a million dollars they're giving away in competitive gaming in the form of a 25th Street Fighter anniversary themed tournament series to begin after EVO 2012.
Super Street Fighter IV: AE 2012
Street Fighter X Tekken
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition
Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix
Remaining Evo Championship Series Dates
Ultimate Fighting Game Tournament 8
Montreal Annual Tournament
East Coast Throwdown
CEO 2012 Championships
MidWest Championships 2012
Capcom Tournament Series Dates
New York (Location Pending)
London, England (in conjunction with Eurogamer Expo)
Sao Paulo, Brazil (in conjunction with Brazil Game Show)
Los Angeles, CA
October 31 – November 4
Paris, France (in conjunction with Paris Games Week)
December 8 Finals
San Francisco, CA
Glad to see that they're putting some effort into supporting the competitive scene, though I have my doubts over their ability to run these tournaments. Maybe they'll get most of the people who have been running the Evo tournaments to do it for them. I'm also curious about the games themselves, the only one of those four that is being played and is liked is AE 2012. I don't recall HD Remix or 3rd Strike Online ever featuring at a tournament recently (if at all ever) and everyone hates Jab X TimeOut.
Yeah it's not technically a Street Fighter game but unless Japanese players participate in AE 2012 then the most exciting game to watch at tournaments is UMvC3.
Disclaimer: I'm going with the assumption that we all agree that the actions of Aris on the Team Tekken half of Cross Assault was completely wrong and that if you have an opinion on the matter that you want to discuss you have 2 articles by Patrick and various additional articles by many video game journalism websites in which to do so.
So what I'm trying to do with this blog is give an accurate representation of what the Fighting Game Community is all about. Unintentionally or not, coverage by the video game media (including Giant Bomb) has painted the FGC in a very negative light. In the eyes of the average internet savvy gaming culture person, the FGC is the people that are covered in the media. By that logic, Aris is the FGC, because Giant Bomb, Kotaku, Destructoid, Penny Arcade etc. never write about anything else.
What is the FGC?
Yes, the scene is rowdy and uses colorful language. A lot. But that’s just the hard candy shell. It does not define us. Ask any long-time player about their favorite memories and almost no one will tell you about the time a caster yelled some obscenity, or the time someone popped off in another guys’ face. People will tell you about their first event, or maybe a particularly memorable grand finals, or the fun times hanging out with friends after the event, or the fantastic trip to a new place where they met new people and became friends. That is what defines us.
No drama. No popoffs. Just a few thousand or so players from all walks of life who share the same passion. You don’t have to hear what people are saying or understand the intricacies for Street Fighter IV to appreciate what makes this scene special. And this isn’t an Evo thing. This magic happens every week on a smaller scale all over the world.
What the FGC does when it isn't involved in controversies with video game media.
Please watch this video, this is the FGC, this is heartfelt and should be shown to as many people as possible. Keep an eye out for the comments from Twitch,tv's own Ben 'Fishstix' Goldhaber.
Final Round is the biggest FGC tournament event on the East Coast, Final Round XV (15 years!) is happening this weekend. The Cross Assault grand final will be held here today (Saturday March 3rd) at 10PM PST. As a Road to Evo event, Evo Championship seeding points will be given. Watch it!
Spooky (of Team Spooky) hasn't been home for 3 weeks, he streamed Winter Brawl, the second Road to Evo event, then he streamed Team Street Fighter and commentated all week for Cross Assault and now he's streaming Final Round XV. And now MLG is hoping he will produce their Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters XIII and Soulcalibur V tournaments at the MLG Winter Championships. He is the hardest working man in the FGC and a prime example of the hard work and passion in the FGC.
After everything that's happened, why is the FGC now hesitant to speak with the video game media?
Patrick at least understands that the FGC sees itself presented very poorly in the media. If Patrick and other members of the video game media don't meet the FGC half-way, then nothing will be accomplished. What do I mean by this? I mean that if Giant Bomb wants to cover the bad, then they have to cover the good too. Now Patrick would tell you that Giant Bomb has covered the FGC, when they ran the story about Noah Solis just after Evo 2011 last year - http://www.giantbomb.com/news/meet-noah-solis-the-8-year-old-fighting-game-wunderkind/3600/
But Noah is no more representative of the FGC than Aris is. The article about Noah is not a FGC article, it's a Noah article, the Aris article is not a FGC article, it's an Aris article. If you want to cover the FGC, then you have to cover what makes the scene what it is, as Tom Cannon put it, what defines the FGC. That is the way sites will build bridges with the FGC.
Thanks for reading. As a fan of the FGC and GB member I hope to see better relations between the two in the future.
Big thanks to Patrick for checking out Final Round today.
What do the females of competitive gaming have to say for themselves
The issue of sexism in competitive gaming has come to the forefront recently, but it's been a problem for many years. David and James speak with four guests, Monique Mendoza, Kara Leung, Sherry Nhan, and Tricia Sugita, about what it's like to be a woman in a competitive gaming community, how women in gaming are treated, and what can be done to provide a better atmosphere for women gamers.
Sorry for the lack of editing, I just transferred it here directly from Twitch because my download and upload speeds would have made a file like this take forever.
To the Fighting Game Community's amazement, Mortal Kombat was announced to return at EVO 2012 and now MLG now has MK9 too!
Mortal Kombat's sales and Warner Bros. on-board has made it a powerhouse with or without a tournament scene that up until now has been on it's last legs
Capcom it seems are still being stubborn over letting any of their titles grace MLG, SSFIV: 2012 or UMvC3
Many of the Fighting Game Community of which Capcom games is the overwhelming majority will be divided between disappointment and relief. It's no secret that the FGC have been worried about MLG not representing their games or its community with respect at its events (previous attempts at including fighting games in eSports events have gone pretty badly). Others however have welcomed the idea of bigger audiences and cash prizes.
Mortal Kombat itself won't be the exact same game that debuted at EVO 2011 last July. Back then the DLC characters were banned for releasing too soon (or not at all) before EVO 2011, meaning players couldn't train up their match-ups and knowledge. So Rain, Skarlet, Kenshi and Freddie will all be making appearances. Kratos will still be banned at EVO 2012 as he hasn't appeared on 360 (not that anyone was expecting him to) and I imagine if MLG are planning on doing this properly they'll ban him too.
Tweets and emails are already going around between some of the FGC personalities and MLG big wigs to get this done right, including Team Spooky's "aaaAAAaaa eeeesports" Arturo Sanchez. Whether other Capcom players who tried out MK9 last year will return is up in the air. Even after the EVO 2012 announcement Justin Wong said he wouldn't be entering, will he now?
Keep in mind that this is for MLG's Winter Season, how well they run it and how popular it turns out to be will be factors in whether it stays on or not.
The EVO Championship Series continues to get bigger and better every year. It would be quite the understatement to say that 2011 was no exception. 1.1 million total unique views of an event that capped at 82,000 viewers (50,000 more than 2010). The Fighting Game Community is quickly rising and blowing up the Internet.
8 year old Noah beating people left and right at Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Guaranteed to be a future EVO champion, Noah is on a level other 8 year olds could never reach.
I love the quote at the end by Seth Killian.
A pity it had to end but we'll see him again. Later on in the day Noah was given the "Rising Star" award, which I assume was invented on the spot just for him.
Aris commentates with, falls in love with, proposes to and then watches Kayo Police win at Tekken 6
Not many people may have seen this as it was on stream 2 which was doing the pools and semi-finals of BlazBlue, Tekken 6 and Mortal Kombat. But everyone who did agreed it was hillarious. You've got the English - Japanese barrier up front and then you've got the transgender dynamic. Childish people in the stream at the time aside, it was a perfect EVO moment. I certainly couldn't tell until it was pointed out to me. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Trish has manlier hands than Kayo Police does, speaking of which, once you see you can never unsee.
My personal favourites were the MK9 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 Grand Finals, but the Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition matches leading up to the Grand final were amazing as the USA and Korea went up against Japan, including Daigo. I also enjoyed Tekken 6 despite the amount of Bob and after seeing BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II here for the first time I'd like to see it again.
Perfect Legend has been part of the MK scene from the beginning and has played Kung Lao from the beginning, never changing even after Kung Lao was nerfed. He took a back seat to Justin Wong's Kung Lao in the PDP MK9 Nationals (in which all players had to use PDP sticks) but at EVO were pads are perfectly legal Perfect Legeng won. His opponent RE0 was also a meber of the MK community and there was a fundraiser just to get him to EVO. Money well spent!
I was heavily emotinally invested in this match, under no circumstances did I want a Phoenix player to win. It isn't Phoenix herself that causes the problems, but the combination of her Dark Phoenix form and Level 3 X-Factor. Thank goodness it has been toned down for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
When PR Rog did what he did with Tron Bonne, wow. That's what EVO is all about. There was so much going into this with Justin Wong being beaten by PR Rog minutes before. And before that even we had friends Justin and Noel Brown havingto face each other. Noel even resorted to Phoenix and had a look of shame on his face when he won the first round using her.
I don't know if this will ever happen again, but as of Sunday, it's possible. Fuudo, Latif, Poongko and Daigo made a very memorable finals for SSFIV: AE. and with a level playing field post-patch, next year's EVO is wide open.
Make sure to check all of the finals matches online, they are out there.
Tom Cannon, Tony Cannon, Joey Cuellar and Seth Killian ran an amazing event this year. The new pool system and stream schedule they used worked perfectly, I hope it's used again next year. I don't know who was keeping the evo2k Twitter account running but they did a good job too.
Spooky and Haunts did as good of a job streaming EVO this year as I was expecting them to, was perfect. Team Spooky was who everyone wanted to get the Streaming job for this EVO and it was well worth it. Two groups who may not get too much praise who should are FinestKO and Offcast who ran Stream 2 on Friday and Saturday.
A FLURRY OF PUNCHES! hahaha, no Adam Sessler wasn't commentating this year, he stayed far away from EVO 2k11, leaving only people who know what they're talking about to commentate. Seth Killian, James Chen, UltraDavid, Ryan Hunter, Aris, Skisonic, Keits, MarkMan, the Tekken community manager, the two dudes who commentated the BlazBlue finals and everyone who pitched in during the pools, consider yourselves saluted.
Giant Bomb Fighting Game Sub-Community!
16,000+ views and 1,150+ posts spanning across 58 pages is the current total for the Official EVO 2k11 Stream / Discussion thread. Not too shabby at all. It makes the 2k10 thread from last year look bare in comparison. The explosions in the Giant Bomb chatroom gave any Whiskey Media livestream a run for it's money. Well done to all. See you all next year!