As I type this up, I have the Livestream for the Final Day of EVO 2011 pulled up. Right now, BlazBlue is the name of the game, and it doesn’t seem too hype, not only for me but for the attendees as well.
However, my interest was mostly in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition anyway, and I watched a ton of that on Friday, as well as a little Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
This won’t be a traditional recap, as I haven’t watched every match of every event, but this is a good opportunity to discuss the last three days of the EVO 2011 tournament.
The one thing that jumps out at me a lot is the fact that Justin Wong got knocked out of AE and is not present in the Top 8. This is the first year of Street Fighter IV that I think this is the case, and while the community views him as a villain of sorts, it is still surprising because his level of skill is still very high, much higher than I can hope to achieve at least. As I predicted, however, he got eliminated by a Fei Long player. Fei Long is just too strong in this edition in the game, and combined with the speed he has always had, Mr. One Inch Punch finally has a fighting chance in a tournament like this.
It’s a refreshing change, but we will see what happens when the announced balance patch for Arcade Edition is released. Of course, DR Ray, the one who knocked Justin out, got knocked out himself by Flash Metroid’s Zangief. FM happens to be one of my favorite players, thanks to his awesome Crimson Viper play.
I must give special mention to Poongko and the Seth he’s played this year. Not only is he in the Top 8 and a strong competitor, but he’s also just straight stylin’. One of his earlier matches showed him absolutely dominate with Seth with a 53 hit combo. Once that combo was finished, he cleanly ended the match. Any player who has that level of execution will always have my respect.
Another thing I have to mention is Yun’s strong presence in the tournament, no doubt because he is very much Top Tier in Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. Like I said before, though, there is a balance patch coming as announced by Ono, and one specific thing he mentioned is that Yun and Yang will be nerfed. Hopefully, other changes made will be just as necessary.
Getting to see the early looks at Soul Calibur 5 and Tekken Tag 2 is a great addition to normal tournament events. While I’m only watching these particular titles a little bit (personally I think they should be working more on Tekken x Street Fighter) it’s still always good to get an early taste of the future of fighting games. I must admit that SC5 looks gorgeous, but I’m more hoping that they fixed what was wrong with Soul Calibur 4. On the other hand, Street Fighter 3: Third Strike Online Edition looks fantastic. The smoothed sprites look great, and the gameplay hasn’t been touched, which is something I’m so happy about. I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
Mortal Kombat’s presence at EVO proves that MK has tournament standing. The competition and its finals showed surprising hype and was very entertaining. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it as a staple for the next few years at EVO. It surprised me a lot that the players used a bunch of fatalities, considering that most of the time they are frowned upon in tournaments as they take up a bit of time. However, the players had fun and were good sports about it for MK’s first big presence in EVO history.
Also, nut punches.
It’s hard to comment on the final matches for each game… except for when Poongko perfected Daigo; that shit was AWESOME. In fact, there were a TON of surprised in the SF4 AE Top 8. Just go find them on YouTube, trust me. Everyone played well because they proved themselves and proved that they should be there. They were all fantastic matches and you should watch them for great example in execution, combos and great reads. We can only hope to see the same stuff next year.