August 9th, 2011
Written By: Mike Zaimont
EVO is all a blur… was I even at my panel? Because I’m pretty sure I was still asleep.
Even though it keeps happening, it never feels less weird to be asked to sign things.
I watched everyone play Parasoul on Friday, and changed her based on what I saw for Saturday. We tried changing the way her umbrella’s exploding tears worked: before they had to be set off manually, but now they explode after a short period of time. So far the changes seems to have been good and made the tears more useful. We’ve changed a bunch of thing based on everyone’s feedback since then, too, and also added her 3rd super.
The Skullgirls side-tournament was really neat, and it was great to see everyone enjoying the game. Glad everyone had a good time, but I will say that the first thing I did when I got home was nerf Filia’s Jumping Hard Punch.
That’s all I’ve got. It was a great tournament, and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone at EVO 2012!
The first tournament I ever attended was at the legendary Southern Hills Golfland. I was too scared to enter, but I wanted to experience this storied arcade firsthand. And it didn’t disappoint; it was packed, or so I thought at the time. And that SHGL tournament was big by the standards of the time, certainly, but the fighting game community has come so far since then. As we shuffled quietly through the doors of the Rio’s immense convention center early on Friday morning, I was completely unprepared for EVO. Even in the mostly empty room before the doors opened, the whole place was full of energy. Then people started flooding in, and the rest of the weekend is a bit of a blur.
By now, I’ve gotten to show off Skullgirls to a diverse crowd, and I’ve gotten pretty good at explaining how the game works to players of all levels of experience. Teaching people to play at a tournament is a unique experience however, because I basically only get to do it once. When the first player of the day sits down, I quickly explain the basics and a few gotchas that aren’t readily apparent, and that’s pretty much it. When the second player sits down, the first player explains everything to him, and they’re off and running. This continues throughout the day, as each new person is taught to play by the previous one. While this pattern makes me feel pretty much useless, it highlights how supportive of one another the fighting game community is. Sure, the scene is full of rivalries and smack talk, but the ability to sit down in front of a joystick and immediately become friends with the person sitting next to you is the greatest thing about EVO.
I felt a little bittersweet going in to our Skullgirls tournament, to be honest. I was really excited to see the game in competitive action, but it was going to break my heart to give away one of our Arcade-in-a-Box custom joysticks. The event was amazing to watch, though. No one had very much time to study the game, obviously, but the tournament was full of great matches. As the brackets advanced, it was the players who had good fundamentals and those who spent the most time with the game moving on. While it’s not surprising that experience and skill made the difference, it was a good sign that we’re on the right path. I was particularly happy to see a wide variety of team sizes be successful. I was a little disappointed to see Parasoul fare so poorly, however, but she’s a tough character to use and changed significantly from day to day. I can’t wait to see what players do with her once she’s stabilized and they have a little more time with her.
From the Skullgirls table, we had a great view of the main stage, which was a nice bonus. All throughout the show, we were able to watch some great matches from the other tournaments, including 8-year old Noah tear it up, and Justin Wong’s incredible Akuma comeback. Sunday’s Top 8 brackets were universally incredible, as well. I was especially impressed with the AE matches. The play was brilliant, there was a ton of drama, and many of the contenders showed a lot of personality on the big stage. I know I’m definitely a Poongko and Kindevu fan for life after watching their antics between matches.
Before I close out, I want to give thanks to the excellent event staff at EVO and everyone that came out to play Skullgirls with us. You all made my first EVO a wonderful experience, and I can’t wait to see everyone again next year.
This year was also my first EVO, and I was really excited to get to go and rep Skullgirls. Not long ago I got to demo the game at Anime Expo, but EVO was an entirely different experience. It was nice getting to answer in-depth gameplay questions from the attendees, since most of the audience at EVO was experienced in fighting games.
Their experience also showed in the side tournament, where players were developing and applying some really interesting strategies, despite having never played the game. I saw some very lame Peacocks, some vicious Filia rushdown action, and more Cerebella throw supers than I care to count. EVO attendees were also the first to try out Parasoul, which I hope they enjoyed. I know the event was really helpful for the team; we received some great feedback from the community, and and it’s always helpful to see what aspects of the game people are liking and what aspects need to be adjusted. Taking Skullgirls to events like EVO has proven to be invaluable in making the game the best it can possibly be.
Thankfully, my first EVO wasn’t all work and no play. I got to play plenty of casuals, try out the other upcoming games that were on display, and watch a ton of awesome matches. The highlight of the weekend for me had to be Super Street Fighter 4 top 8. Oddly enough I’m a much bigger Marvel vs Capcom 3 fan than I am SSF4, but Street Fighter brought the hype in a big way this year. I think the thing that set SSF4 top 8 above MvC3 was the international element: having players come from all over the world to compete makes the whole thing a lot more intense. It was definitely cool seeing America hold it down so well in Marvel, but seeing players like Daigo, Poongko, and Fuudo representing their home nations is awesome. My favorite match of the tournament was probably Latif vs Tokido, with honorable mention to Viscant vs PR Balrog in Marvel 3.
On the whole it was an amazing weekend, and I can’t wait to make it back next year.