|Match Date||Thursday, April 8th, 2004|
|Pong - 61.98%|
75 for - 4 against
|Pong - 71.71%|
This match was a perfect example of when not to listen to board hype. If you had Pong in your bracket and thought it would win because few people have ever heard of River City Ransom, a winner is you. In the hours leading up to the match, River City Ransom fans and bracketmakers swore up and down that RCR was a huge favorite and that Pong was too old to do any damage in this match. When the match picture was brought up and we all saw this dinky little yellow thing named Pong, the cries to give RCR some respect got louder.
This all wound up being followed up by one of the biggest letdowns of the contest. Pong nearly managed 70% of the vote against River City Ransom. Pong fever took over the board that day too, in the form of multiple links pointing people toward playing Pong. Normal Pong, Mini Pong, Newgrounds Pong, 3D Pong, Giant Pong... you name it, you had a link for it in this match. Throughout the day, the normal board argument of the better game not winning broke out, which leads me to ask a question. How many people remembered that this is nothing more than a popularity contest? I'm a firm believer that the best games didn't always win, and I even had to go against some of my favorites in my bracket, but it doesn't exactly matter who wins. Does your favorite losing in a poll affect your life in any way at all (unless you're a Starcraft fan)? No. And I'm not trolling the SC fanbase, by the way. More on what I meant later.
As for River City Ransom, it was a huge dud in this contest. Billed to be the game out to finally gain some respect for itself, it let the second video game ever made beat it all over the poll. But hey, at least it made our GameFAQs Top 50 for a little while. And to this day, it is still on the Top 10 NES lists for Message Board activity and FAQ hits. The fanbase is definitely there, it just didn't show up in today's match. Come to think of it, some guy at EB tried selling me a rerelease of RCR the other day. I laughed at him and bought Link to the Past.
Stats and Analysis Edit
The 7-10 matchup was between Pong and River City Ransom, name value vs cult classic. If you've found this page, you know what Pong is. It was the first game to gain massive appeal in the United States, and helped start the gaming boom before the crash of Atari. You may not know what River City Ransom is. The NES game has a hardcore fanbase, as evidenced by its 10 seed, but it didn't break into the mainstream like Mario and Zelda games did.
The thing about cult classics is that they're called cult for a reason. No matter how loyal the fans of a cult classic are, they can not clone themselves. It was this problem that lead to River City Ransom's downfall, as Pong got the solid win, arcade machine picture and all. Pong may not be very notable in the world of gaming today, but it is universally known, and that was all it needed to get a win here.