|Match Date||Sunday, April 11th, 2004|
|Super Mario RPG - 53.10%|
53 for - 30 against
|Super Mario RPG - 47.83%|
This match had quite the board hype going for it in the days leading up to the match, and for good reason. It was the hardest match to call in the first round of Division 16. It was also the first match in which less than half of the bracketmakers managed to get the winner correct. It makes perfect sense, because few polls could have been split down the middle more than this one.
On one end, there is Super Mario RPG, one of the more fun RPGs out there, and labeled with the fact that it is Square, Nintendo, an RPG, and in a poll on gamefaqs. All of these things mixed together seemed like the perfect combination for a win, but not so fast. Mario RPG, while one of the most fun games I've ever played, is one of those games that can be referred to as a cult classic. Big when it first came out, but only a small fanbase remains vehemently dedicated to it nowadays. As a side note, I happen to have just entered Moleville a few minutes ago. Everything that Mario RPG needed to win the match was there, but the game itself was no where near strong enough to allow people to lock it in for a win. Especially not when you consider what it was up against.
If anyone has looked at this board since this match, you are now a scholar in the art of Street Fighter. You know that it is the fighting game that revolutionized the genre, as well as the first fighting game that featured combos. For its day, the graphics were amazing, the characters stood out from one another, and the gameplay was so fun and addictive that Street Fighter 2 was to arcades during its prime what Dance Dance Revolution is to arcades in present day. Arcades literally stayed open with the revenue brought in by Street Fighter 2 back in the day, and the amount of fans that are still loyal to and play the game on a regular basis are a testament to how good the game truly is.
But all this aside, the games had nothing to do with one another. You either sided with one or the other, and each game had great reasons why it should win. After all of the pre-match discussion was done and over with, the match finally started. Mario RPG jumped out to an early 62-38 split, but it didn't take long for Street Fighter 2 to claw its way back into the match. Throughout the first 5 hours of the poll, Street Fighter 2 managed to not only climb back into the match, but it took a lead of around 120. But we soon learned that Mario RPG was not released in many foreign countries, specifically Europe, and this is why Street Fighter 2 was able to do what it was doing early on. Fighting games are quite big in Europe, for Square doesn't like them for some reason.
At any rate, the American fanbase, as well as the gamefaqs bias toward Square RPGs, begun to kick in the with morning vote. Mario RPG not only came back from being down by that small amount, but it soon blew Street Fighter 2 out of the water. It wound up being one of only three matches I missed in the entire contest, but that isn't the half of what went wrong in this match. Once Street Fighter 2 lost, it began the single longest chain of whining ever seen from any fanbase on the board. Most of the 'How in the hell did ______ lose?' topics end after a few days. But not Street Fighter 2's fanbase, oh no. The topics are still going on, even now that the contest is over. Granted it's just a fad by this point, but some people are actually serious about them. If anything, Street Fighter 2 has quite the loyal fanbase behind it.
But the topics make enough sense. Street Fighter 2 is seriously that good. Without it, fighting games would still exist, and they would all suck. But don't let this sound like I'm upset that Mario RPG won or anything. It's one of my favorite games, and one that I was planning on getting with my prize until Tanya brought her SNES collection home from her parent's place one day. It's a fun little Square-Nintendo RPG that I would recommend to literally anyone, save the random fan of the Street Fighter franchise that might smash it with a hammer ~_^
All in all, it was a good match. Two even games went at it, and only one could win. Sucks, but 63 of the games in this contest were destined to go home unhappy. As for the overall effect of the match, it wasn't as big as some would make it seem. Neither of these two games had any chance in hell of taking down Chrono Trigger, so in the end, it meant one measly little point. Big deal. The true fun of this contest is everything that surrounds it, not just the brackets.
Stats and Analysis Edit
Look up the word ‘incredulous’ in the dictionary and you’ll find a screenshot of the board during and after this match. Even today, the phrase WTF SF2 LOST?!? is synonymous with post-match whining, rivaled in intensity only by a lesser match from the Series contest, Super Smash Bros. vs Dragon Quest and Fallout 3 vs Deus Ex 2010 (and possibly the 2007 contest with “joke characters”).
In retrospect the intensity of the board’s whining overplayed the match – it was only a one-point affair, and though it had a tossup winner, it wasn’t anything to get bent out of shape about – the winner still got mauled by Chrono Trigger. Still, the hilarity of the board’s reaction makes this one for the record books.