|Match Date||Friday, June 5th, 2009|
|Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 29.05%|
Zelda: Twilight Princess - 24.88%
Metal Gear Solid 4 - 24.73%
Resident Evil 4 - 21.33%
|MGS4 first place (16pts) - 7.53%|
MGS4 second place (8pts) - 10.50%
Brawl second place (16pts) - 10.21%
Brawl first place (8pts) - 9.12%
|Ocarina of Time - 18.03% (6,905)|
Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 19.33% (7,403)
This was not only an exciting match, but it was the most important match of the entire contest. A ton of debate about the 4th game to make the finals ended on this day, obviously because two of the contenders lost.
As lucky as Resident Evil 4 was in getting to this point, its luck ran out despite a very strong last place effort. You know you've got four strong games in a poll when last place breaks 22%. But in terms of actually placing, RE4 never came close. And even though RE4 was in six matches this contest, we have no freaking clue about its fanbase split. Is it quasi-Nintendo? PS2? Independent? We flat-out don't know, which would make it a sick wild card if we ever got another 1v1 games contest. A lot of strong games came out this contest complete enigmas, but RE4 (along with Pokemon RBY) highlight the list.
Twilight Princess didn't need much luck to get to this point, but it too suffered an abrupt exit at the hands of Brawl SFFing it. It is extremely rare to see Zelda suffer even 1 percentage point of SFF, but it happened here. If you remove Brawl from the poll, Twilight Princess scores first or second very easily. As is, this match proved Brawl is the Wii title of choice on this site, and would likely dominate or easily defeat any Nintendo game from the Gamecube or Wii era. Given how powerful Brawl was in this contest paired with how off Melee looked before its SFF loss to Ocarina, I don't even think Brawl vs Melee would be a match. Brawl likely takes it pretty easily, unless the newfound drawl dominance in polls turns on Brawl and favors Melee, but we're getting off the point here.
Brawl, from first match all the way up its loss in the semifinal, proved that it was 100% legit. With the way it brushed aside Galaxy and handled Twilight Princess, there is no argument to be made against Brawl. It's legit and here to stay for quite a long while. At least, it is in the Nintendo pecking order. Brawl ran into a tiny little problem during its Nintendo victory tour, and that problem was Metal Gear Solid 4. Even though Brawl annihilated MGS4 one round prior, the Nintendo splitting in the rematch allowed MGS4 to stick out like a sore thumb and make a real run at upsetting Brawl in this here match.
In fact after Brawl's minor early lead, MGS4 came back and started pouring on the pressure overnight. And this wasn't basic pressure. Brawl and MGS4 were in a footrace, but MGS4 was unhindered and Brawl had RE4 and Twilight Princess wrapped around its ankles. Before Brawl even knew what happened, MGS4 had spent all night building up a lead of 1600 votes, and then spent all morning tag teaming with Twilight Princess to stall any early Brawl comeback attempts. The 1600 vote lead held all the way through the DSV, giving MGS4 a 1450 vote lead going into the ASV. Seemed an easy enough win, but Brawl had one hell of a run left in it.
When the ASV hit, all hell broke loose on MGS4's lead. Brawl came storming back right on cue, and MGS4 just fell off the map for hours on end. Not only was Brawl cutting votes, it was regularly getting updates in the 50-70 range and looked to take the lead by dessert. The pace slowed down considerably once the hard ASV hours passed, but a ton of damage was done with more yet to come. At 7:30 p.m., the lead was all the way down to 400 votes. One hour later, it was below 300. At 10:25, it dipped below 100. Brawl's gains were slowing down as the match progressed, but it was still gaining fast enough to win.
It would however slow down a bit too much near the end and never get quite over the hump. MGS4 took from the deep reservoir of late-night MGS strength to hold off Brawl in the last hour of the poll, securing itself a 105 vote win. Brawl made an unreal effort given the splits in this poll, but it was starting from too far back. 1600 votes is no joke.
With this, all three games with any potential of making the final as the fourth game would duke it out next round. Final Fantasy X, Brawl and MGS4. Brawl and MGS4 gave us a match for the ages in this growing rivalry, but in the end both games were able to advance and neither could have possibly felt bad about their performance after the match. Both games are and will continue to be 100% legit.
Match Trends Edit
Match Prediction Edit
Pre-contest I'd have called you crazy if you didn't think MGS4 would survive past this match- the Wii was drawing huge backlash internetwide and between that and normal same-system LFF there was no way both Brawl and TP could advance. And although I'd take RE4 > MGS4 1v1, RE was going to be losing some of its GC and Wii fanbase to the other Nintendo options, making MGS the clear choice for first place. Now, however, I'm not so sure...
MGS4 wasn't in such a great position last round, as I detailed in that writeup, but regardless of circumstances getting 59%'d by a game you put up 48% on while riding your GotY high is cause for concern. As for the Wii backlash... WHAT Wii backlash? Brawl looked fantastic in pulling down 37% despite strong competition last round while TP's 32% against even stronger opponents was perhaps even more impressive. As for the same company LFF... WHAT LFF? Aside from extreme threeway cases like today or that Mariox3 fiasco, the leach factor has been conspicuous only in its absence this season, especially where huge playrate series like Zelda and Smash Bros are concerned. Also, I don't think the presence of RE does MGS any favors in this one- as we saw last round, there appears to be something of an overlap between these series that could very well limit them both here, at least slightly, and I'm thinking that spells doom for MGS4's chances.
As for the all-Nintendo battle at the top of the poll, I've got to admit that I must be missing something. Why is Brawl such an overwhelming favorite here, again? Sure it beat down Galaxy, but that's looking more and more like a case of Mario not being his usual self post-M64 rather than SSBB being any kind of superhero. And after seeing the way OoT took Melee to the woodshed in this most recent result, its become even more difficult to imagine Brawl plastering TP with Wii SFF as most seem to have predicted. I mean granted TP is no Ocarina, and I do still give Brawl the upper hand in this relationship due to recency and being the #1 "must own" Wii title on the site for the past year, but I still think Zelda puts up a pretty decent fight.
Now I said that pre-Contest I'd have taken RE4 > MGS4 in a 1v1, but after all that we've seen so far this season... I still would! Unfortunately last round kind of spoiled the "surprise" regarding RE running into trouble when other mature action titles like MGS combine with GameCube or Wii games that steal some of its support from those system, and so I'm not seeing any way for this game to stay out of the basement. Even so, its just too well-loved to be fourth place factor'd IMO- ought to manage to avoid the teens, though I doubt it ever seriously contends for third place.
And if all of the above nonsense-talk comes true, we'll be looking at something right around
- Super Smash Bros. Brawl - 28.62%
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - 25.10%
- Metal Gear Solid 4 - 24.92%
- Resident Evil 4 - 21.36%
I... just don't know about that anymore!
Next Day Review Edit
Oh man, this love-hate relationship with Brawl is just too funny. From last place by a mile during the overnight to looking like Ocarina Reborn the entire afternoon... jeez! Finally we get to see a monumental Day Vote comeback this season- too bad MGS had to spoil it with that strong SNV that seems to bail out this series whenever a result is at all questionable. As for my prediction yesterday, I guess it wasn't THAT bad- sure I underestimated MGS4, but at least I was right on the money about TP hanging tough with Brawl and RE4 refusing to fold no matter what competition you put in front of it. Actually this was a heck of a match, wouldn't have expected 4 games this powerful to give us such an entertaining almost-25/25/25/25 result. Hmm, score one for Ed Bellis (we can afford to- it would be his first score of the year)!