UPDATED: Post edited to adjust some thoughts.
OK, first of all, if you count B3, B4, B5, EVO 2K2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, then 2008 is technically EVO 10, or EVO X. I don’t really count B2 as it came after B3, was only for one game, and sorta just played off the name of the B3 (cause it was in Boston). So whatever, until further notice, I’m calling 2K8, EVO X!
With that out of the way…
I was originally writing this up as a reply to AfroCole’s post, located here. Instead, I decided to make my own post… since I’m sure it will spark a lot of discussion.
I personally recommend leaning the lineup to 6 games, giving each game 1/3 of a day to complete both pools and semis. This not only allows an exceptional amount of time for each game to have 2/3, it gives us additional time for running big events/moneymatches/whatever on the big screen.
MVC2 / 3S / ST HD (regular or remix mode)
SSBB / SC4
TK, VF, GG, DOA
It’s obvious that MVC2 and 3S should be included. They constantly get big numbers, and there are still tournaments throughout the year. The communities are pretty self sufficient, and they turn out in droves for Evolution.
ST HD is a new spin on an old classic. It’s almost guaranteed that the “original” mode of ST HD will not feel/play identically to original ST, so why not take the plunge and go with REMIX mode? The only real drawback is that people that have relied on their unbalanced stuff to net them easy victories may need to reconsider their play. I’m not saying this is an outright fact, but it’s definitely possible if the tweaks dramatically change the overall balance.
For the new games, Smash Brawl is the first obvious choice. Like MVC2 and 3S, the community is very organized and self sufficient. It also brings tons of players out to Evo, and the finals are very exciting (at least this year they were). I personally expect Smash entries to eclipse both MVC2 and 3S (not combined of course). Everyone is going to be playing Smash Brawl… everyone! The biggest concerns are time, and controller issues. Since wireless is a pain when you have so many different machines in the building, I recommend forcing GameCube controllers & “Classic” controllers. They are both wired. The concern is, some players will get used to playing on what comes with the wii (the wiimote) and or with the combo (wiimote+nunchaku) and we are forcing them to get used to another controller. On the flip side, most people use 3rd party controllers for evo anyway, so asking them to use an official Nintendo product shouldn’t be that big of a deal. As for the time problem, Smash would most likely need to be moved to 3 stock. With 2/3 and 3 stock, you still retain the ability to counter stage and counter character, but we lean down the time requirements considerably.
Now, onto Namco. Tekken 6 will be out in Japanese arcades, but not America. The question here is: Will DR still be played in the USA 1 year from now? To a small degree, I’m sure it will be, but will it be enough to hold a world championship for? Hard to say. My suggestion here is to move to SC4. Let’s assume, for argument sake, that SC4 is actually good. It should be out just in time for EVO qualifiers. As far as timing goes, it’s pretty good. We may even be able to get full Namco support and allow Evo to host the SC4 Nationals (or even World Championship). Anyway, just something to consider.
As for the final game. This is where it gets tricky. I wouldn’t mind seeing Remixed Puzzle Fighter at EVO. It’s completely rebalanced, it brings in a lot of different types of players (as well as those of the opposite sex, who have proven to be quite good!), and it’s a refreshing take on what currently have. However, it may simply not be exciting enough. We will have to wait and see.
Other options include TK, VF, GG, DOA, and anything else that may happen to come out and surprise us (SF4?!). It really depends on how each community is doing when it comes time to run EVO qualifiers. Some of these games are talked about below:
So after reading my suggestions, people will immediately say “where’s VF, GG, or CvS2?” and “what about DOA4?” Well, there are many pros and cons to all of these games.
Depending on the VF5 community after the XBL release, we may see an incredible surge of interest and overall talent. That would definitely make VF5 something to consider.
For GG, there are many problems. Will there be a new version out, only available on Japanese systems? If not, will there still be interest in AC a year from now? Is the GG community still running tournaments regularly… or are they letting Evo do all the work? GG is a great game (in my own personal opinion) and many people know how much I fight to keep it each year. Seeing it on my cutting block is probably surprising, but I feel (as well as a few other Evo staff that have helped to enlighten me) realize that the GG community needs to really step up their game over the next 6-8 months to be legitimately considered for Evo again.
CvS2 is a solid game. The level of the top USA players (which is about 4 or 5) is not that far off from the Japanese players that visit. However, there’s nothing bringing new life into the game, thus drawing in new blood, or giving us an exciting finals with something we haven’t seen the previous year. It takes forever to run, especially 2/3, and moving it down to 1 game somewhat makes it a waste to even play. No one likes 1 game… not in CvS2, not in 3S (well, maybe Makoto Mike). Out of all the games, this would be the hardest to legitimately cut, but, as with the other games… perhaps there are some alternatives.
For games like DR, GG, and CvS2, we could run special events (that are still paid). Maybe we use the qualifiers (Evo East/West/North/South) to determine finalists and alternates, and then use our newly aquired free time during Finals Day, to run paid ($$$) finals for those games. Perhaps a Tekken DR 5 on 5 on 5 (USA, JPN, KOREA) match… or EC vs WC vs JPN. Maybe we have a 5 on 5 for USA vs JPN in CvS2 (or even 3S… “the rematch”). GG could run their own qualifiers (or maybe these are also at the Evo quals) and we run their singles finals on the big screen.
Of course, these are all simply suggestions. It’s pretty safe to say that absolutely nothing I’ve written is finalized, except maybe MvC2 and 3S returning for EVO X (2008!)
As for additional events and side tourneys. It’s proven that side tourneys cause problems for our official tournaments, but I don’t think they should be outright banned. Keep in mind that Evolution is the biggest gathering of hardcore fighting game players in the USA. It’s pretty rough to simply say “you may not play side tournaments that we aren’t officially supporting… or else!”
This is another strong argument for a 6 game EVO. Why? With 2 less games, we clear up a lot of time between games (or after games) for people to run their side tourneys. And since the finals day isn’t so jam packed, we have time to run, say, top 4 of the side tourneys on the big screen. So what we do is: respectfully ask for no side tourneys to be run during official evo tournaments, but lean up our schedule overall so that these side tournaments have time to take place without infringing on our schedule. This works out great for everyone.
Many people have spoken out for big matches on the bigscreen (Hsien/Amir, Smooth/Cableguy, Fanatiq/Nelson) but hate that we are so jam packed that games need to be cut to 1-game matches. Think about it… you simply cannot have it all. We have to make cuts somewhere, and by thinning down our lineup, we can make sure each game gets the love it deserves, and we give players more time to participate in other tournaments, without pushing our schedule back.
With problems like this figured out, we can then legitimately start DQ’ing people that are not there on time. We have time to give everyone 15-30 mins pre-tournament to show up and make themselves known. We don’t have to worry about them playing in side tourneys. We also don’t have to worry about as many crossover problems since we won’t be running 4 games per day. If you aren’t there now, it’s your fault. DQ’ed the moment your name is called for the third time. GG.
I’d love to hear some constructive feedback for reasons why games should and shouldn’t be included. Remember, nothing is set in stone, so there’s no point getting worked up about what has been SUGGESTED here. Don’t waste your time insulting other posters or the communities that play each games. Let’s be positive here! Any non-relevant posts will be deleted! Do your best to come up with solid points and we can get the ball rolling much earlier this year.