|Round||Division 128 Semi Final|
|Match Date||Sunday, May 30th, 2004|
|Melee - 48.03%|
18 for - 38 against
|Melee - 14.18%|
Thanks to this poll...
...the general consensus was that SSBM was overseeded and would go down to FFX in this round with ease. Some people even used that poll to justify picking Vice City to take down SSBM. But like I've been saying all along, I maintained my faith in SSBM to at least to well in this match. It hadn't done well enough to this point to guarantee it a win by any means, but it wasn't going to get doubled up like poll 776 would suggest. One, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Vice City are very strong games -- arguably two of the three biggest hits on the Playstation 2 -- and there was little indication that SSBM couldn't do well against FFX. If it took down two smash hits for the Playstation 2, why couldn't it take down the third. After all, Vice City is a little stronger than MGS2, while FFX is a little stronger than Vice City. When the Playstation 2's fanbase is isolated and spaced out, it can be beaten by the group Nintendo effort that SSBM provides in polls.
Secondly, SSBM has aged better than most games I've ever seen. Good multiplayer games are not easy to come by, yet SSBM has slowly become an underground multiplayer phenom, complete with tournaments offering cash prizes that are split 60-30-10 among first through third place. The money that SSBM players make isn't nearly enough to set SSBM in the same league as Starcraft or Madden 2004, but it's enough to say that SSBM has aged well. Final Fantasy X simply cannot claim this, despite how good a game it is. It didn't take long for the game to begin being bashed to hell. Its performances in the first two rounds would also suggest that FFX was not guaranteed a win in this matchup, despite what poll 776 would say.
And once the poll started, it was pretty clear that this matchup was going to be a grudge match. SSBM jumped out to a huge early lead, but FFX managed to come back within the next few hours. Once the morning vote hit, the two games literally split the vote nearly even for hours. Finally, the afternoon vote kicked in. It favored SSBM, which allowed the Gamecube mascot to build a lead of 2000 before the Square evening vote began kicking in. And while the Square vote kicked in somewhat nicely, every mini-charge that FFX put on was countered by SSBM. In the end, Final Fantasy X was only able to cut off 300 votes from SSBM's peak lead despite the evening Square vote. Apparently, Final Fantasy X's struggles in the first two rounds were a foreshadowing.
And who would have thought? Starcraft vs SSBM in the divisional finals, with Starcraft coming in as the favorite.