Board 8 > Tsunami's Post-Contest Analysis (should not need a second topic)

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04/22/20 5:56:27 PM

Match 79: Xenoblade Chronicles vs. Overwatch

XBC 20023
OW 7287

This is entirely in line with expectations for Overwatch. I guess the casuals got fooled by it? Or I dunno, maybe not. 38.68% got this right, compared to 38.98% who had XBC reaching this round and losing, but XBC's first-round prediction percentage was about 5 points better than Overwatch's. I feel like Overwatch probably was the favorite, but its low R1 prediction percentage was either people overrating Death Stranding or just there being a high enough percentage of people who finally realize that casualbait games tend to get slaughtered here.

I think the upshot of this is that Kojima needs to bite the bullet and just make movies instead of trying to make these cutscene-heavy video games.

Match 80: Ori and the Blind Forest vs. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

OatBF 10312
FE3H 16994

We all believed prior to this match that FE3H was probably the favorite in Round 3, and after this, not so much so. Holy crap what a disappointment. Or maybe Ori's just that good. I'd be willing to believe that Ori's actually kind of strong. But I still think XBC has the advantage next round, much as I hate it.

Match 81: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt vs. Mass Effect 3

The Witcher 3 21948
Mass Effect 3 6047

Holy shit what just happened

Any semblance of faith that anyone might have still had in the 2015 X-Stats meaning anything at all was obliterated here. Yes, we all knew there was no good way to figure out a proper X-Stat value for ME3 since it faced Undertale in Round 1, but the one they eventually came up with had it still beating ME2. Now, ME2 was in Division 8 and Witcher 3 in Division 7, so their relative X-Stat values should be fairly accurate--that's the SMRPG quarter, so the only SFF match that can gum things up was MGS-MGS3 in the Division 8 finals.

The adjusted X-Stats say that the Witcher 3 only wins that matchup with 53.59%. The raw X-Stats say that Mass Effect 2 wins it with 50.56%. Yes, we all know that ME3 > ME2 was comical to begin with, but this is an absolute brutalization. A lot of people said this was a huge SFF match. It probably was, but we've had SFF matches be close before. This is a beatdown, and taken at face value would arguably make Witcher 3 the favorite to win the whole damn contest. Something very strange was happening here.

Some people were even saying that ME3 was getting caught in Undertale's backlash, either being punished for not stopping the menace before it could be started or for riding Undertale's wake to an undeserved #2 in the raw X-Stats. This was of course ridiculous, and yet, Witcher 3 was only 13th in R1 prediction percentage yet 3rd in R2 percentage, behind only BotW and Skyrim. It's clear the voters had no respect for ME3 at all.

Match 82: Stardew Valley vs. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Stardew 10055
Galaxy 2 17947

"Freaking Mario" may be strong, but his games aren't, at least not since SM64. Still...what is that prediction percentage? Galaxy 2 had over 95% prediction percentage in Round 1, yet it barely cracked 60% here. 35% of people thought that either Stardew Valley or Destiny would stop it? I mean, good for them; shows that maybe they have some taste after all. My bracket's pretty much busted since I was counting on this overrated piece of crap going deep because Nintendo Always Wins. It's pretty much toast next round against Witcher 3, which I continue to underestimate for some reason. Oh, right, maybe because the "common wisdom" is that licensed games are garbage?

Yeah that's right I'm going to pull the licensed game card again. We need an all-media character battle desperately. Or even a limited one. We already force people to put game of origin in their nominations, right? So just make them do first game. Though I suspect that due to the "licensed crap" aspect, most of the beloved Kingdom Hearts Disney characters had other games first.

Match 83: Fallout: New Vegas vs. Dark Souls III

FNV 15107
DS3 12888

The prediction percentage suggests that this was a toss-up in voters' minds. Only 48.31% got this right, down from 91.38% who had New Vegas reaching Round 2. Dark Souls III also had a R1 prediction percentage above 85%, so it's not the other entry's fault.

The match failed to live up to their expectations, settling into a groove where the last 18.5 hours had the percentage between 53.69% and 54.19%, finishing at 53.96%. A good percentage by the loser, but never in doubt.

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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04/22/20 7:03:42 PM

Match 84: Nioh vs. God of War

Nioh 7151
God of War 20845

Without even meaning to, I ended up bringing up a topic of discussion with my Guest Analysis of this match for the Crew: Can Japanese and Western games SFF each other? I honestly don't see why they shouldn't, but apparently people think that they don't overlap that much. I mean, this isn't exactly the best match for it since Nioh's an ARPG and God of War is a straight-up hack-and-slash AAG, but I feel like unless you're loyal to a specific company, you wouldn't be any less likely to be a fan of other games from the same genre just because they were developed on the other side of the Pacific. In a weird way, even those same people realized it in other genres, when they figured that a Mario game would be harder for "the indies" to rally against. A lot of those indies are Western in origin, you know! But for some reason, platformers are apparently the only thing that's allowed to SFF across the ocean.

(Though I have to admit I haven't played that many WRPGs, if any. I've had this copy of Skyrim sitting around for years since I got it second-hand for practically nothing and I've never actually installed it because I wanted to stream my blind playthrough and there have been other things higher on my streaming priority list. I need to play it! Maybe when this contest is over, since Skyrim's obviously going to go really far.)

Match 85: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 5 vs. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

P5 18600
AC4 7575

Well, Persona's definitely in the mainstream now. 73.69% of brackets got this right, and ACIV was the favorite in its R1 match. I guess Assassin's Creed just isn't that well respected any more? I seem to remember that the other Assassin's Creed game in this bracket got slaughtered and everyone knew that it would. Who was that against, again? ...Oh, of course. The Witcher 3. Really looking more and more like a contender for the title with every passing match!

Match 86: Sonic Mania vs. Super Meat Boy

Sonic Mania 16972
Super Meat Boy 9202

So apparently Sonic's worth something again? This was a great showing, and a lot of people saw it coming; while the prediction percentage was under 50%, it's close enough to be a clear plurality. It seems like a lot of the disappointments of the past decade figured it out at the end. Ah, well, at least the Guru Nomination made it to Round 2.

Match 87: Portal 2 vs. Kingdom Hearts III

Portal 2 16322
Kingdom Hearts III 9850

Nothing to talk about here; over half the brackets got this right and the match wasn't even close. RPGFAQs strikes again...

...wait, Portal 2 was the winner? Not Kingdom Hearts III? And people expected this? Fuck, man, I didn't even remotely consider this one, and their respective Round 1 results did nothing to sway me one way or the other. I guess KH3 did have the worse result, even with the slightly better percentage, because its opponent was a lot less recognizable than Portal 2's, but come on. Portal 2 got upset in Round 1 in 2015 (which I called correctly) and Wheatley lost to Crash Bandicoot in Round 1 in 2013 (not so much so). 2015 X-Stats say Portal 2 gets 35.96% on KH1 and 34.04% on KH2. And that makes perfect sense because they're fucking Square Enix RPGs; hell, I think KH1 might technically be pre-merger Squaresoft. Yes, the endless spinoffs dragged the series down, but this is a numbered game. Kingdom Hearts III. This wasn't supposed to be a contest. It just...I keep wanting to say "I didn't even consider this upset possibility", because I can't wrap my head around the fact that Kingdom Hearts III was the upset pick! I honestly wouldn't have been surprised to see Persona 5 > Kingdom Hearts III as our "haw haw casuals" moment, because Persona still doesn't have the name recognition that Kingdom Hearts does. I'm pretty sure "the casuals" don't actually exist anymore, but still. Portal 2 was proven crap, and yet it's pretty much dead even with RDR1 in the 2015 X-Stats so we knew that RDR2 would be even less of a challenge, except actually we didn't know that at all because the idea of Portal 2 not weakening considerably since 2015 was also laughable.

You know what, Portal 2 was in Division 3, aka "the Undertale Division". Yes, it lost to Sonic 2 and Sonic 2 lost to Pokmon, but the exact X-Stat numbers on that would still be fishy because we were already prepping Pokmon to be our savior again, just like in 2013 with Mewtwo. Maybe Portal 1 can give us something "cleaner"? ...Goddamnit Portal 1 was fed to Melee in the first round. We had nothing. Nothing remotely reliable, aside from the characters bombing, and as we all know, Characters =/= Games. And we...oh. Forget "prepping to be our savior". RBYG-StH2 was the same day as UT-SMW! And Undertale's own rallies favor Pokmon there. We really had nothing. Except...

Portal (2015g) VS Kingdom Hearts 2 (2015g)

Portal has a strength of 24.72.
Kingdom Hearts 2 has a strength of 34.22.

Kingdom Hearts 2 wins with 63.88% of the vote!
A win of 16,900 with 60,875 total votes cast.

That one barely moves at all when switched to raw X-Stats; I suspect the fact that it moves at all is just due to rounding errors. Because Melee was perceived to have rallied in Round 2 against Pokmon GSC, and then in every round from Round 4 against Chrono Trigger until its defeat against Undertale. The two matches where it had not been perceived to have rallied were Round 1 against Portal...and Round 3 against Kingdom Hearts II. It's a clean comparison, even if it was through an entrant that had rallied.

Which begs the question: Why? Was Kingdom Hearts III that poorly received? There is no good reason for Portal 2 to have gotten stronger, since there are no other games in the series. Yet somehow, everyone just kind of knew that Portal 2 would win. Against probably the biggest Square RPG of the decade. What site am I even on anymore?

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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04/22/20 7:06:16 PM

TsunamiXXVIII posted...
Was Kingdom Hearts III that poorly received?
Pretty much. KH3 wasn't even in our GotY polls last year, and the reaction here was more laughing at it than being outraged at its absence.

Agent Triple Zero at your service!
This line reserved for the true greatone, the 2020 Guru contest winner.
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04/22/20 7:07:16 PM

If you read my analysis you will know that yeah KH 3 was that dissapointing.

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
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04/22/20 8:01:56 PM

Match 88: Animal Crossing: New Leaf vs. Red Dead Redemption 2

AC:NL 11095
RDR2 15080

So, uh...Animal Crossing is legit, huh?

This was a kind of underwhelming performance by what I presume, based on the prediction percentages for the first two rounds, is the casuals' favorite in Round 3. I mean, maybe it isn't, since the trio of New Leaf, Street Fighter V, and Dying Light really shouldn't have been able to stop it, while Portal 2 had to deal with Tomb Raider in round 1 and Kingdom Hearts III in Round 2. But we're dealing with almost 70% vs. barely over 50%. Unless Portal 2's R3 prediction percentage is over 75% of its R2 prediction percentage, one would have to figure that RDR2 would have the plurality even if Portal 2/Tomb Raider/KH3/Disco Elysium has the overall majority over RDR2/ACNL/SFV/DL.

I'll admit, I screwed this one up in Oracle but not in Guru. I had RDR2 > SFV in Guru, but I was impressed enough by New Leaf's win over SFV that I backed it in Oracle. Apparently SFV is just that bad. See, I told you that always picking against Capcom was a good idea!

Match 89: Dark Souls vs. Rocket League

Dark Souls 18921
Rocket League 5544

Let's just go back to laughing at the guy who said he was going to rally for Rocket League last round. This was a huge fall-off from the previous day's vote totals, and IIRC one of the main Tumblrs that started the whole Undertale fiasco in 2015 was a self-professed Dark Souls fan first and foremost. Why she decided to rally for Undertale instead of Dark Souls is beyond me, but whatever. Point is, Dark Souls is going to be filthy in this contest if it needs to be.

Match 90: Yakuza 0 vs. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Yakuza 0 10462
MGSV 14011

Man Metal Gear has fallen hard. This is a very strong performance by Yakuza 0, showing that it's a game far stronger than its characters, who were nothing short of atrocious in 2018. This would set up a rematch of a somewhat debated 2015 match, except the only debate this time would be just how much more lopsided it would be (the 2015 match wasn't terribly lopsided at all--Dark Souls only won with 55.4%. I'd be surprised if it doesn't exceed that by a full 10%.)

Match 91: Batman: Arkham City vs. BioShock Infinite

B:AC 14637
BSI 9832

Well, my Arkham City > The Last of Us upset loves this result...but my Three Houses > Xenoblade Chronicles not-upset is scared shitless! (No, I still don't know why I picked Arkham City > Last of Us, and it's a moot point because I wouldn't have picked Dark Souls over the Last of Us, either, so I'd have lost the R4 points either way.) Arkham City did better against BioShock Infinite than against Xenoblade 2. Is Xenoblade 2 any good? I might have to check it out. The first one seemed like it was promising from a story aspect but I just couldn't get past the janky battle system. Give me a traditional turn-based RPG any day, but failing that, if you're going to give me an ARPG, give me a goddamn attack button!

So, yeah, turns out BioShock isn't that strong any more. 2013 certainly provided some hints with Big Daddy losing to Lloyd Irving and the Infinite characters not being worth much of anything, but the series' decline was hidden by both games in the bracket (the original and Infinite) being in the SMRPG quarter. BioShock had a close loss to Division 8 champ MGS3, while Infinite had a decent match with Fallout: New Vegas, which in turn broke 41% on RE4. Arkham City is, apparently, still fairly decent, and I expect it to give a good match next round.

Match 92: Diablo III vs. The Last of Us

Diablo III 8989
The Last of Us 15488

The Last of Us winning this match was never in question; faulty as the 2015 X-Stats may be, they suggest it to be slightly stronger than Diablo II. Now, Diablo III was not a terribly well-received game at all, so I'd expect the strength gap between Diablo II and Diablo III to be tremendous. We're only a few matches removed from a "III" losing to a game that its "II" beats handily in those X-Stats. I'm going to drag them out again:

The Last of Us (2015g) VS Diablo 2 (2015g)

The Last of Us has a strength of 27.36.
Diablo 2 has a strength of 27.23.

The Last of Us wins with 50.24% of the vote!
A win of 289 with 60,875 total votes cast.

Portal 2 (2015g) VS Kingdom Hearts 2 (2015g)

Portal 2 has a strength of 23.30.
Kingdom Hearts 2 has a strength of 34.22.

Kingdom Hearts 2 wins with 65.96% of the vote!
A win of 19,426 with 60,875 total votes cast.

Diablo III is worth 36.72% on a game that Diablo II is worth 49.76% on, but KH III is worth 37.64% on a game that KH II is worth 65.96% on. ...How? This isn't even about KH3 losing that match anymore, though I am still baffled by that; the idea of KH3 being worth less on KH2 than Diablo 3 is on Diablo 2 (pre-SFF adjustments) is alien in its own right. I'm sure there will be a lengthy diatribe on this PCA anyway since I think this is the last Blizzard game to leave the contest, and I have to say...Bobby Kotick could walk down Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any supporters. That's really all I can liken it to; Blizzard has its consumers by the balls.

The "Disney just buys Squeenix" idea I proposed last round is looking better and better all the time. Someone has to save them from themselves, and the idea of Square's properties being part of the Disney/Marvel/Star Wars stable is oddly appealing. Though given what happened when they tried to have Kingdom Hearts characters as walkarounds at the theme parks, they might need to work out a few kinks.

Costumed Moogles might be fun, though, assuming that any of the younger fans would even know what a Moogle was.

Edit: Upon reading responses to my previous reviews, I have discovered that, yes, KH3 really was that big a disappointment. Upon doing some research of my own, I discovered that, no worries, "the kiddies" would know what Moogles were. They were in KH3. Part of the problem was that they were the only Final Fantasy characters in KH3, though the inevitable rerelease only a year later is said to have more. Good lord Square Enix really needs to be saved from themselves.

Doesn't change what I said about Blizzard, though. If Square fans were half as blindly loyal as Blizzard fans, KH3 beats Portal 2 easily and actually might be a sexy upset pick against Persona 5. Square releases a game and then makes you pay full price for what amounts to the same game with DLC, and their fans are rightfully pissed. They've been doing this over and over, too, with Kingdom Hear
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04/23/20 4:50:10 AM

Yeah I just heard KH3 was considered a letdown or at the very least hotly contested and I just knew Portal 2 would have enough strength in the tank somehow.

"Nothing I could do!"
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04/26/20 3:39:18 PM

Match 93: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim vs. Journey

Skyrim 19725
Journey 6581

While a near-tripling in Round 2 sounds promising on paper, this was if anything a worrying performance for Skyrim backers. That it would win its division was of course still not remotely in question. And its 88.32% prediction percentage in this match was second only to BotW in Round 2. But The Witcher 3 managed to comfortably get the tripling over a presumably stronger opponent, and one round sooner for Skyrim's potential opponents, Dark Souls also got a tripling, albeit against what one would presume to be an even weaker game than Journey. It didn't quite seem like time to worry about it possibly getting upset by Dark Souls just yet, but it was absolutely looking like Witcher 3 might be the new favorite to reach the finals out of the bottom half of the bracket.

Match 94: Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn vs. Mario Kart 8

FFXIV 10424
MK8 15873

"Freaking Mario" strikes again, in an...upset? No, probably not. 41.16% looks like an awfully low percentage until you look back and remember that Mario Kart 8 was only a 56.02% bracket favorite in Round 1 against Uncharted 4. More likely, FFXIV was a decided underdog, but the debate as to who it would be facing made it so that the favorite could merely take a plurality. It still seems strange, though, that a Mario Kart game would be in R3. It shouldn't, though; Super Mario Kart went pretty much dead even with Super Metroid twice in the 2009 contest, their second match being decided by 56 votes back in the days where 56 votes meant it was probably undecided going into the final update. I don't even know what to say about this. Was it a good performance for FFXIV? A bad one? I feel like it's a good performance for FFXIV. MMOs have never been terribly popular here (probably; the only major one to get any attention is WoW and that's lolBlizzard) and Square seems to be struggling to gain the voters' love.

Match 95: Pokmon HeartGold/SoulSilver vs. Rayman Legends

HGSS 18929
Rayman Legends 7373

Since this was an utterly predictable outcome, I'm going to instead use this space to talk about something interesting about all four matches today (also, this was the final day of four matches at once, which should be noted). There were still more registered than unregistered voters today, yet in all four matches, the loser got more raw votes from the unregistered voters than from the registered. Were we finally being noticed and "anti-voted"? It was hard to say; as Zen's screencapping topic would show, Reddit no longer seemed to have a hold on what would make us angry.

Also I needed to mention that registered voters were still the majority on this day because I completely failed to notice that three days earlier, they weren't. Witcher 3-Mass Effect 3 was the only one of the four matches that day where both games got more than 50% of their raw votes from unregistered voters, while SMG2 was the only one of the four winners to get over 50% of their raw votes from the registered voters. Hopefully I'll remember to move this fact out of this write-up and into one of the write-ups for that day when it comes time to archive these on the wiki.

Match 96: Divinity: Original Sin II vs. Nier: Automata

Divinity 8222
Automata 18075

There were some doubts as to whether Divinity was actually decent or if it was just lucky to draw the hated Hearthstone in Round 1. This performance makes it look like...well, like it wasn't overinflated, at any rate. Yes, it did get a fairly lucky draw, but it got a better percentage than Rayman did against Automata's next opponent, and Rayman at least has name recognition. Then again, Pokmon probably has much better name recognition than Nier, so it all balances out.

And no, the next round won't count as a Nintendo vs. Square match. Nier, and Drakengard before it, are published by Square Enix, but they aren't really made by them; they're made by a company called Platinum Games. Actually, the series seems to have gone through a bunch of developers; the first three games were made by Cavia, Drakengard 3 was made by Access Games, and Nier: Automata was made by the aforementioned Platinum.

Does Breath of the Wild vs. Dragon Quest XI count as Nintendo vs. Square even though it's part of a franchise that began with Enix well before the merger? I feel like technically it does since it's a post-merger game.

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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04/26/20 3:45:02 PM

Reddit doesn't care. Tumblr doesn't care. Any other site doesn't care. We are on our own!

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Nice job Hylian Knight 3, you were better than me in the Guru Contest!
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04/26/20 4:35:19 PM

Match 97: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild vs. Final Fantasy XV

BotW 22397
FFXV 5511

Here, have a list.

There you go. That's your full list of 1v1 contest matches in which a character, series, or game got quadrupled in Round 3 or later. Once in Character Battle 1, once in the Series Contest, and now here. The first two were both Nintendo vs. Nintendo, though, so this stands out even more starkly as a sign of just how far Final Fantasy has fallen. What an absolute embarrassment. Yes, Breath of the Wild was well-received even by Zelda game standards, but how can the juggernaut that Final Fantasy once was have been reduced to this?

Match 98: Monster Hunter: World vs. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of a New Age

MH:W 13043
DQXI 14866

It didn't look like it'd be getting any more palatable for Breath of the Wild's detractors in Round 4, either. This very site, despite being generally quite knowledgeable about video games, frequently mistakes Monster Hunter for a WRPG, which should tell you just how obscure it is since it's actually created by one of the "Big Five" (you know, the five companies with a Noble Niner to their credit), namely Capcom. Dragon Quest was always well behind Final Fantasy in popularity here in the United States, but it's still a well-known and well-respected franchise. Only getting 53.27% on Monster Hunter: World is, quite frankly, absolutely pitiful. It's not like vote totals had dropped, either, though it'd be easy to be apathetic about this day. Seems strange to think that Nintendo's more dominant than they've ever been, but at least on this site, that seems to be the case. The rest of the Japanese contingent, or at least its old guard, are just struggling to stay relevant.

...wait, what?!

68 Dragon Quest XI 5580 64.99%
98 Dragon Quest XI 2120 24.69%

This was the stealth "ha-ha casuals" moment. I almost didn't even bother checking prediction percentage because DQXI's path had seemed so set in stone. Over 40% of brackets had MH:W/Sekiro/BD:FF/Ni No Kuni beating DQXI? And MH:W was above 50% in prediction percentage in Round 2, so that's clearly largely on it. I'd honestly have been less surprised by that low prediction percentage if its R2 prediction percentage had been lower, because Walking Dead seemed like a casualbait pick, but that's as clear as day: more people picked DQXI to lose in R3 than to lose in R1 and R2 combined. Gurus, meanwhile, had an 81.69% prediction percentage on this match. It's good to know we can still embarrass the casuals once in a while, and it helps make this result make more sense; Monster Hunter: World was most likely the favorite. DQXI's R3 prediction percentage was just 38% of its R2 percentage, so flip that around to 62%, multiply by MH:W's R2 prediction percentage, and you get a rough estimate of 33.16%. There's no better way unless Allen were to actually release the pick data for all matches rather than just the percentage correct, so that's all I can do. Project.

Match 99: Mass Effect 2 vs. Horizon Zero Dawn

ME2 14749
HZD 12010

And suddenly, Fortnite's blowout loss looks decent. Last round, I said that based on the 2015 X-Stats, HZD beat Borderlands 2 convincingly enough that it theoretically had a chance against ME2, but I figured I was just illustrating how far Borderlands 2 had fallen (and yes, ME2-BL2 is a "legitimate" comparison because they were both in SMRPG's quarter, which means they can be compared to each other without having to account for Melee's rallying, Undertale's rallying, or OoT SFF-stomping ALttP). I didn't think Horizon Zero Dawn would actually put up this good a fight! This was, of course, good news for Skyrim, because we weren't questioning the idea that BL2 would have fallen and as such, ME2's poor percentage suggests that it, too, has fallen, which would then suggest that Witcher 3's blowout of ME3 isn't as impressive as it first looked. On the other hand, "as impressive as it first looked" would've put Witcher 3 potentially on BotW's level, at least until it broke 80% on a main line Final Fantasy in round 3. So this was far from a done deal.

...Goddamnit Allen you've got some explaining to do. As per usual, since I'm not familiar with a lot of these games, I looked up HZD to see how it managed to do so well. Sure enough, it was not the genre I expected it to be based on its name. It is, in fact, yet another of these ARPG's that are lighting up the bracket, and not a military game like it sounds like it ought to be. Which was fine, until I noticed that that's the game that...wait...never mind, that was an Overwatch character that HZD's main character lost to in R1 in 2018, not a Fortnite character. I thought Allen was getting cutesy again, like when he had Ninja Gaiden take on Halo in the first GotD after Ryu H's upset of Chief the previous winter. But I got my casualbait games confused.

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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04/26/20 5:30:20 PM

MHW is one of the best selling games of this generation. and capcom's best selling title ever by a landslide (the second place which i believe is RE5 doesn't even have half the sales)

definitely not obscure.
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04/26/20 6:12:11 PM

Match 100: Resident Evil 2 vs. Bloodborne

RE2 13421
Bloodborne 13333

What the...

It wouldn't be a contest without at least one completely batshit match--the more controversial, the better. In this contest, matches had been starting at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific. When 8 PM rolled around to close out the previous day and put a merciful end to Breath of the Wild's beating of Final Fantasy XV, we got...nothing. Nothing at all. The match didn't start. And didn't start. And didn't start. Finally, a little bit over two hours past the scheduled start time, Allen and crew noticed the issue and fixed it. At 10:11 PM, Bloodborne jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but by the freeze, RE2 had bled the percentage quite a bit, and it would take the lead on the second update. It would stumble a few times during the first hour, but closed out the delayed hour one with a massive win, over half of what its lead already was, to wind up at 152 votes ahead after an hour. It would get that lead to 231 in just another 20 minutes, and by half past midnight, it was up by over 300 and continuing to be the one that would spike a big update every so often. Its lead would peak at 390 at 2:25 AM, but it was still 372 at 4:10, at which point the roof began to fall in. Over the next hour, Bloodborne cut double digits on ten of the twelve updates, with one of the remaining two also being a single-digit cut and the last being only a single-digit win for RE2. The following hour wasn't any better, and it ended with the match being tied at 8 hours in. The momentum would continue, as it took Bloodborne just 40 minutes to build a 179-vote lead of its own, but then support tailed off; that was as high as that lead went. RE2 retook the lead at 5 minutes to 11, by a single vote, then pushed the lead to 21 on the next update, but Bloodborne forced a stop after that, then took most of it back and was back in the lead by 11:20. This didn't last long, with RE2 retaking the lead at 11:30, then seeing the second tie of the match on the 11:50 update.

RE2 didn't allow Bloodborne to turn that tie into a lead change, however, winning the next update and pushing its lead out to 55 at 12:25 PM. Bloodborne would halve that lead over the next 45 minutes, but RE2 laughed it off and spiked a 25-vote win at 1:25 to push its lead back to 60. They'd trade some big swings after that, but it was never enough to get Bloodborne into the lead. Until it was; at 5 after 5, with just under 3 hours left in the match (because, yes, Allen had already told us that the delayed start wouldn't affect the end time), Bloodborne retook the lead, by just 4 votes. The next update would be another stall before RE2 retook the lead. This lead would last an hour; at 6:15 PM, the percentages sat at 50-50, but the votes showed a 2-vote lead for Bloodborne. Half an hour passed, and the lead was up to 30; another half hour, and it was down to just 3. The next update went decidedly in Bloodborne's favor, however, expanding the lead to 24, and it would tack on two more on the next one before RE2 turned it around, winning the next two updates by 16 and...10. With just 25 minutes left in the match it was once again tied. But there was no let up from Resident Evil 2; it won all five of those remaining updates, four of them by double digits, to win by 88 votes. Outside rallies? Well, yes, probably, but the other reason why the shortened match time was such an issue was that for the first time this contest, and just the fourth time since we started having the registered user bonus, the loser of the raw votes won. Bloodborne had a 568-vote advantage with unregistered users but a 325-vote disadvantage with the registered, and while the math still doesn't come out right (28 RE2 votes and 34 Bloodborne votes were not properly doubled, which again tells me that the "registered votes" column is being done automatically and that Allen is manually adjusting to make sure only accounts that were created in the proper time frame get the benefit of doubled votes), it's enough to flip the match. And no, raw votes weren't higher from unregistered voters than registered, either. If there were rallies, the rallied voters were, at the very least, GameFAQs members.

Match 101: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate vs. Marvel's Spiderman

SSBU 16611
Spidey 9504

After the madness of RE2-Bloodborne, Division 3's pair of obvious outcomes were somewhat of a breather. Both of these matches had over 50% prediction rates, and the fact that they were as low as they were was, quite frankly, pure anti-favoritism at work; just six Gurus out of 142 picked wither one of these games to lose, and none picked both. There was a case to be made that Odyssey had once again outperformed Ultimate, but Shovel Knight, mainstream as it may be, is still an indie game, and Spider-Man is, well, easily one of the three most mainstream superheroes out there. Yes, the recent proliferation of superhero movies and TV shows has brought a number of other heroes into the limelight, but let's be honest, Spidey still probably only trails Batman and Superman for recognizability. Also, as a PS4 exclusive, it's a good candidate for antivoting the Nintendo dominance--and at this point, Nintendo still was perceived as absolutely dominating this bracket, even when it was really just a handful of games (these two plus BotW) and the other Nintendo games still in it largely had soft paths thus far. So it's tough to say which game had the better outing.

This was absolutely a good showing by Spider-Man, though. Allow characters originating from other media into CBXI, Allen!

Match 102: Shovel Knight vs. Super Mario Odyssey

Shovel Knight 7104
Odyssey 19021

After the madness of RE2-Bloodborne, Division 3's pair of obvious outcomes were somewhat of a breather. Both of these matches had over 50% prediction rates, and the fact that they were as low as they were was, quite frankly, pure anti-favoritism at work; just six Gurus out of 142 picked wither one of these games to lose, and none picked both. There was a case to be made that Odyssey had once again outperformed Ultimate, but Shovel Knight, mainstream as it may be, is still an indie game, and Spider-Man is, well, easily one of the three most mainstream superheroes out there.

And make no mistake: Shovel Knight is mainstream. ZenOfThunder has been keeping a topic screencapping various posts, be they on this board, our associated Discord, or on Reddit (or anywhere else people might talk about the contest, but there haven't been that many of those), and Shovel Knight was a name that came up in replies to rally topics involving completely different games. It's got a hell of a lot of respect.

All in all, though, it was tough to tell which game would have the advantage next round, which was really the
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04/26/20 6:48:01 PM

Match 103: Grand Theft Auto V vs. Persona 4 Golden

GTAV 13414
P4G 14000

If we needed any more proof that "Reddit" is not a single unified entity, this was it. While rally topics for the other match on this day, and just about every other day, were calling us "weebs" for advancing P4G over GTAV, the Persona fanbase was trying to "buttdevastate" us by advancing it. And looking at the numbers...the Persona fanbase had it right! While Golden didn't reprise its feat of having more unregistered voters than registered, it was again really close between the two, while GTAV had a lot more support among registered voters than unregistered and actually took the registered voting block by 129 votes--not nearly enough to overcome the massive advantage P4G enjoyed with the unregistered voters. Just over 14% of brackets got this right, the second straight round in which more than half the brackets that had advanced it this far had picked against it. If this trend kept up, a P4G win in Round 4 would probably be among the least predicted matches of all time.

Oh, and if you're looking for a long blow-by-blow of this match, don't bother. Persona 4 Golden's lead was 386 by quarter past 10--just a few votes shy of the max lead in RE2-Bloodborne, at the time of day that match was having its freeze. GTAV would spike a huge update win not long after that--in fact, it was the largest swing of any update, including those early ones that are typically larger due to the higher vote totals--but P4G controlled this match from start to finish. While it didn't challenge the record that it had set the previous round (max lead of 458), it again made the top ten of that list, with its maximum lead at 616. Two consecutive wins in which it never trailed, and the largest lead it had in either match was 616. But would it be able to clutch out another win?

Also, this was considered an upset with Board 8 as well, no matter how you slice it. 52.11% picked GTAV to win this match to just 32.39% for P4G (although it should be noted that if you take it as "winner of Match 77" vs. "winner of Match 78", this was considered a debated match, 54.23% for the former; GTAV was just a far easier pick to reach this point), and the Oracles favored GTAV 30-21.

Match 104: Xenoblade Chronicles vs. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

XBC 16374
FE3H 11082

At 16.7%, the prediction percentage on this match wasn't much better than the previous one, but surprisingly enough for a 1 in 6, it's harder to conclusively call this an upset. Yes, it was less than half its prediction percentage last round, and yes, FE3H had a better R2 prediction percentage to begin with. Xenoblade was barely picked to advance to this round by half the voters that picked it in Round 1 at all, so it had a pretty low percentage going in here. Unlike the last match, however, everyone on Board 8 knew going in that their brackets were screwed--Three Heroes had 73.24% of Guru brackets, a far better percentage than GTA V had, but those same 51 Oracles that had ruled 30-21 in favor of GTA V were 45-6 in favor of Xenoblade in this match. The "Nintendo domination" was just a myth. And yes, I know Xenoblade is considered pseudo-Nintendo in its own right. Doesn't matter. Fire Emblem is seemingly Nintendo's biggest rising star right now, but this match showed just how steep a climb it has to make.

It should of course be noted that Persona 4 finished ahead of XBC in 2015 straight-up. If you use GTA V's strength as a barometer, the results are even more stark. GTA V outright breaks 60% on Awakening in 2015, and the general consensus after this match was that contrary to our expectations, Three Houses wasn't any stronger than Awakening. If that's the case, Golden's got this in the bag. I'd be a lot happier about this if my bracket wasn't already shot from mistakes elsewhere, because that's one surprise run that I actually called correctly!

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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05/01/20 5:07:52 PM

I don't even remember when the hiatus is over...

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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05/05/20 7:16:55 PM

Hey almost time for us to write new things.

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Nice job Hylian Knight 3, you were better than me in the Guru Contest!
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05/06/20 2:39:16 PM

Self-reminder to add in 2004 Link vs. Yoshi to the list in the BotW write-up when I archive it.

Match 105: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt vs. Super Mario Galaxy 2

Witcher 3 16312
SMG2 10606

Well, what do you know. "It's Freaking Mario" still has some juice after all. After the godstomping that Witcher 3 put up in Round 2, it looked like it was a near lock to make the Finals, but it's clear that Mass Effect 3 was just horribly overrated. Which, granted, was inevitable given that it was Undertale's R1 opponent, but...okay, let's just try to figure this out. Let's assume that Octopath > Undertale wasn't anti-votes due to what Undertale did in 2015, and it's just that weak. I think I kind of like that better, not because I want it to be weak, but because I'd like to think that it'd be treated more like L-Block than Draven. I know I for one am far madder about Draven in 2013 than Undertale in 2015. Undertale's cool; the whole deconstruction of "random encounters are there to level grind on" is pretty awesome. But if you consider Undertale just that weak, it's certainly possible that Mass Effect 3 slaughtering it before the rallies came really wasn't that impressive, especially when you consider that Undertale's natural strength probably would've been even lower in 2015 because of how new it was. Yes, games tend to get weaker as they age, but Undertale's an indie game, which means it relies on word of mouth to get noticed and build a fanbase. For a lot of us, the 2015 contest was our first exposure to Undertale.

Anyway, this was the match that killed my Guru bracket, because hype backlash. I absolutely loathe SMG2, but it seemed to be fairly well-regarded here, at least in comparison with SMG1 and SMS. So it not being as hated as I'd like it to be tricked my brain into thinking it was really well-loved. Also, this is OldFAQs, so a Wii game seemed like a safe bet, the way an N64 game won the first GotD.

Match 106: Fallout: New Vegas vs. God of War

F:NV 12043
GoW 14879

Wait, was this an actual Round 3 match that happened? I honestly barely remember this, and the idea of one of these games making Round 4 on GameFAQs seems strange to me. Still, I'm not really surprised that God of War won, because it's entirely in line with the apparent shift in the site's tastes.

Match 107: Persona 5 vs. Sonic Mania

Persona 5 17040
Sonic Mania 8059

Ah, now this is more like the Sonic we know and love. Horribly outmatched against anything with an ounce of strength. Mania is a return to the series' roots and was actually quite well-received by the fanbase that stuck with the series, but the damage has already been done; I'm pretty sure Sonic is an anti-vote magnet now. Which is not to take anything away from the legitimacy of Persona 5's wins; anti-votes alone don't cause doublings unless you were fairly close to able to do that anyway. But yeah, it's hard to have much faith in Sonic for anything anymore. Even the casuals knew it; Persona 5's 63.69% prediction percentage was fourth among the sixteen winners in Round 3. Its 95.07% prediction percentage with Gurus was, uh...tied for fifth. With Skyrim.

I'm happy about this. I haven't played Persona 5, because I so rarely buy new games these days (and have enough of a backlog that I won't run out of new stuff to play any time soon), but I love the Shin Megami Tensei series as a whole and the Persona sub-series sounds like it'd be even further up my alley.

Match 108: Portal 2 vs. Red Dead Redemption 2

Portal 2 13422
RDR 2 11677

If you ever wonder why the leaderboard always seems to be dominated by Gurus, here's why. Portal 2 wasn't the overwhelming groupthink favorite that a lot of games were (fully half the matches in R3 had the favorite holding over 90% of Guru Brackets), but it was still the clear favorite, with 50% on the dot. Remember, that's as the culmination of an eightpack; 50% is still a pretty good figure. With the casuals, on the other hand, this was an upset. Just 23.57% of brackets got this right, coming off a 50.55% R2 prediction percentage, and the fact that the former figure is less than half the latter is generally the most telling sign that it's an upset. The next factor is to consider what the opponent's prediction percentage was, to see if the true "favorite" had in fact lost earlier. No dice; RDR2 had a 69.82% prediction percentage in R2 (then again, look at the fourpack it was in). That really doesn't leave much room at all for anything else to have been the favorite. So, score one for the Gurus (but not for me because I had KH3 in my bracket and RDR2 in the Oracle. Seriously, where is Portal 2 getting all this strength from all of a sudden?)

Match 109: Dark Souls vs. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Dark Souls 15439
MGSV 8954

Dark Souls's prediction percentage of 56.17% feels awfully low here, considering this is a rematch of a match it won fairly comfortably in 2015 and MGSV was the favorite to make it this far. Still, I suppose it can't be helped; it was only at 72.23% to win in R2, and MGSV was lower than that.

Still, the Oracle predictions are very telling as to what our expectations of these games' trajectories have been. In 2015, Dark Souls beat Metal Gear Solid V with 55.4% of the vote in a match where Oracles were fairly split on who'd even win, favoring Dark Souls a mere 45-42. In 2020, the lowest prediction anyone made for Dark Souls was 57.24%, and that person avoided last place because three people picked Dark Souls to break 70%. It's clear that Dark Souls was where it was at. But who would win the Dark Souls-Skyrim and Dark Souls/Skyrim-Witcher 3 matches? Only time would tell (oh, and I guess there was probably still some support for The Last of Us > Dark Souls, but it was waning quickly.)

Match 110: Batman: Arkham City vs. The Last of Us

B:AC 10919
TLoU 13475

Obligatory "Allen allow licensed characters into CBXI."

After Arkham City seemingly laid an egg against XBC2 in Round 1, it would've been tough to figure it being able to perform this well here, but then it went out and got a better percentage on BioShock: Infinite than it did on XBC2 and everyone realized that XBC is just kind of legit. The Last of Us had a fairly easy path to this point, so this was not even a lock, but for the most part B8 had this pretty well pegged; the Oracle scores were fairly tightly packed together and they were all pretty good. I guess maybe TLoU never really gained traction on GameFAQs? From what I hear it's a masterpiece. Then again, the whole "video games as art" thing never really took off here. That's
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05/06/20 4:16:54 PM

Match 111: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim vs. Mario Kart 8

Skyrim 16562
MK8 10635

Hey, remember back in Round 1 where someone suggested that voters would only view "Mario Kart 8" as being the Wii U game instead of including the Switch's "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe" and that as such, it might not even get past Uncharted 4? I really hope that one got archived in Zen's topic. I don't think it did. That's some quality wrongness right there. I mean, ignoring the fact that this site has always been pro-Nintendo and as such, a Wii U exclusive vs. a PS4 exclusive probably favors the former...voters aren't stupid. I guess maybe the fact that there were remakes in the bracket might have colored that person's judgment? I guess it's a fair point. There had long been arguments that "Mega Man" represented all iterations of Mega Man, not just Mega Man Classic, until X was finally allowed in as a separate entrant. I can even understand the logic that CJayC used for excluding X; it's a slippery slope, since technically most Links are different entities. Just at the time of the first Character Battle, you already had Zelda/Zelda II Link, ALttP/LA/Oracle Link, and OoT/MM Link, and by Character Battle II, they'd already been joined by WW/PH Link and Four Swords Link.

And Mario Kart is surprisingly strong here. We'd seen it before with Super Mario Kart going toe to toe with Super Metroid twice in 2009, and that was SFF. This performance feels kind of bad for Skyrim, but it honestly isn't really.

At 69.25%, Skyrim's R3 prediction percentage was second only to Breath of the Wild's...84.65%. Which means the percentage that picked against it was 30.75% to 15.35%, a little more than twice as many. Yikes! BotW was looking to be one of the most predictable winners ever.

Match 112: Pokmon HeartGold/SoulSilver vs. Nier: Automata

HGSS 14109
N:A 13091

Nier actually managed a slight win with the unregistered voters, but it wasn't enough to even come close as HG/SS managed to win by over 1000 votes. The most interesting thing about the match was that said lead didn't break 1000 until the literal final update. It entered that update with a lead of 999, though, which is fun. Certainly a lot more fun than 1018.

It really does amaze me that HGSS was able to get a 3-seed while the rest of the series was shut out of the bracket entirely. I''m not complaining about the first half, because HG/SS was amazing, but the Pokmon fanbase couldn't manage to get a 14-16 seed for the Gen 5 games? Were B/W and B2/W2 splitting nominations or something?

Gen 5 really did end up as the forgotten generation. I feel like this is at least in part because of Gen 6 being the first generation to have a unified worldwide release, which meant that outside of Japan, Gen 5 had a really short lifespan--2011 for Black and White, 2013 for X and Y. Wait a minute...

Pokmon Black/White release date outside Japan: March 4(EU)/6(NA)/10(AU), 2011
Pokmon X/Y release date: October 12, 2013

Span of 947-953 days.

Pokmon Red/Blue release dates:
NA: 9/28/98
AU: 10/23/98
EU: 10/5/99

Pokmon Gold/Silver release dates:
JP: 11/21/99
AU: 10/13/00
NA: 10/15/00
EU: 4/6/01

The Japanese release date for Gold/Silver is irrelevant, but I included it because lol at R/B being out in Europe for less than two months when G/S came out in Japan. But dang! Gen 1's lifespan outside of Japan is even shorter than Gen 5's. 748 days in NA, and a mere 549 in Europe. Wait, wait, there's more.

Pokmon Ruby/Sapphire:
NA: 3/19/03
AU: 4/3/03
EU: 7/25/03

885 days in NA, the longest of the three, and 840 in Europe. Gen II's shorter, too, though it at least gets a pass because in North America and Australia, it was the most recent generation for three "Holiday Seasons", whereas 1 and 5 both only held that status for two. Though I guess that does explain one thing--Generation IV was the longest generation in every region, even Japan. Wait, scratch that...Gen IV was only the longest Generation in Japan. Everywhere else, Gen III beats it out. Which means the real surprise isn't that there aren't any Gen 5 games in this bracket, it's that ORAS didn't get in as well.

Match 113: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild vs. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

TLoZ:BotW 17702
DQXI:EoaEA 7508

Return of the colons! So the 2018 contest had a hiatus after Round 4 to set up the Second Chance Brackets, perfectly timed to allow for Thanksgiving break. This contest had a hiatus after Round 3 for no particularly good reason. It killed momentum, and it shows in those vote totals; barely over 25000 votes after, um...wait, that's actually higher than the Division 6 and 7 semfinals were? Huh, I guess it just looks bad because Division 8's semis scored so highly. Well, it was also a rather precipitous drop-off from BotW's R3 match against Final Fantasy XV, and that benefited DQXI immensely. One round after putting up 80.25% on FFXV, BotW was held to just 70.22% against DQXI. A Dragon Quest game outperforming a Final Fantasy game by that much? It's very strange, and I have to stop and try to figure out how it happened.

The obvious answer, of course, is anti-votes. The Legend of Zelda dominates every contest unless a rallied entrant stops it, and even Draven was barely able to pull it off. The deeper into the contest you get, the more it'll get anti-voted for being too strong. But Final Fantasy is about the only series that can't benefit from this phenomenon, because the only times Zelda has lost without a rally being involved--2003's character battle, 2004's Games Contest, and technically the Villain contest but Sephiroth was expected to win that one, to the tune of the highest prediction percentage for a champion ever--it was to Final Fantasy, or more specifically Final Fantasy VII. Combine that with FFVII being the game that put GameFAQs on the map, courtesy of the late Kao Megura, and for the longest time there was a perception that "Final Fantasy Always Wins", even though in reality it's only managed a few sparse wins over The Legend of Zelda. (It might also help that we do Character Battles far more frequently than Games Contests and each numbered Final Fantasy game is a separate continuity while the Legend of Zelda has the same few characters in every game, even if technically the Link and Zelda are usually different individuals with the same name each time, so Final Fantasy characters dominate(d) the brackets even though they rarely win out in the end. Wait, hold on, let me do some math...yeah, Final Fantasy VII alone has put more characters into Character Battles than the entire Legend
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05/06/20 5:52:59 PM

Match 114: Mass Effect 2 vs. Resident Evil 2

ME2 13236
RE2 11992

Our second GotY vs. GotY match of the contest pitted the 2010 and 2019 winners against each other, and while normally you'd just say "OldFAQs" and pick the 2010 game without a second thought, the 2019 game was a remake of a 1998 game, and as we all know, when in doubt, pick the closest thing you can to 1998. That meme started in the Years Contest itself, but it probably held true for the most part in 2015 as well, aside from Undertale matches. It certainly explains away a lot of the strange "upsets", although back then we were just calling it "Year of the SNES". This match was briefly on the list of 25 closest wire-to-wire matches where the loser never led...for a few minutes, until I noticed that HGSS-Nier had been closer and hadn't been put up there yet. Which is better than the few hours I expected it to be there, since a match in progress at the time was looking like it could outright break the record! But we'll talk about that when we get there. Back to this match, where it was plainly evident that nostalgia is the route to success for these old companies. Capcom's learned that here; RE2Make was a huge hit and they've already followed it up with RE3Make here in 2020. I'd say that we can expect an RE4Make by 2022, but they literally just ported the original RE4 to Switch in 2019. Then again, the Switch is notably absent from the list of consoles that RE2Make and RE3Make are on, so I guess maybe Nintendo's still being looked at as the "little brother" the way it was in the "WiiS2/PS360" era. So yeah, RE4Make for the PS5 and Xbox Series X, coming to stores in 2022. Book it. Square seems to be learning that lesson as well with FF7R. Sega kind of is as well with Mania, but they're so far gone that nobody seems to even care. Nintendo, of course, keeps doing their own thing, but a lot of their recent output has been aimed at trying to recapture what people loved about their earlier games rather than continuing to innovate--just look at the two Zelda games in the bracket, or even FE:A. And Konami...doesn't really care, because their profile is so far diversified beyond just video games. Apparently they did try to produce a Metal Gear Solid movie back in the mid-00s, and it completely fell through by 2010...but there was a new version put into the works at Columbia Pictures (owned by Sony) as early as 2012, and as of the end of 2019, a draft of the film is complete. And it's got Hideo Kojima on board! Which brings me to the question, who the hell owns this franchise? Konami did put out Metal Gear Survive in 2018, after Kojima was no longer with them, but apparently they can still go around Konami for the film? Well, at any rate, I've long felt that with MGSV wrapping up the Big Boss arc, going as far as to end with the lead-up to the Outer Heaven mission, that Metal Gear Solid 6 should just outright be a remake of the original Metal Gear. Honestly that's something that Konami could do even without Kojima; it wouldn't be the first time (non-canon NES port, anyone?)

But of course, nostalgia couldn't measure up to Mass Effect 2, still an incredibly strong game and likely one that's only bolstered by the later entries in the series being disappointments. This was a 52-48 match pretty much the whole way through, which makes it especially ridiculous that it even came close to being on a "closest wire-to-wire matches" list. Maybe if I have some spare time I'll archive binge the poll updater and craft a wire-to-wire list that's based on percentage rather than raw totals; the lowered totals make the current lists drastically favor the most recent contests.

Doesn't make the possibility of a new record any less exciting, though!

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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05/06/20 8:58:12 PM

Match 115: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate vs. Super Mario Odyssey

Ultimate 14975
Odyssey 11796

This was a very hyped match, and it only grew in hype when Odyssey outperformed Ultimate just about every step of the way leading up to the match. The common belief, however, was that the Nintendo hierarchy would assert itself when it mattered, and that's exactly what happened. Back in 2009, Brawl > Galaxy was considered an upset. We're smarter than that now. This was just a nice cozy 56-44 win that we could all put aside while we watched the fireworks going on in Division 4 at the same time.

Match 116: Persona 4 Golden vs. Xenoblade Chronicles

P4G 13334
XBC 13445

So where do we start?

In Round 2, Persona 4 Golden led Red Dead Redemption from wire to wire, but never managed to establish a terribly large lead; at 458, it was a new record for smallest max lead by a wire-to-wire winner, breaking the record set by Ike > Proto Man in 2013--which, it should be noted, was a 12-hour match. It then followed that up by taking a second space in that category's top 10 with a wire-to-wire win over GTA V with a maximum lead of 616.

But Xenoblade's no stranger to wire-to-wire dogfights, either. While it was broken three times during the Legends'/Losers' Bracket segment of the 2018 contest, Xenoblade's loss to DKC2 in 2015 was at one point the record holder for closest wire-to-wire 24 hour match, with the largest lead being 290 votes by Xenoblade. So there was definitely a good chance that we'd see something exciting, especially since there wouldn't be much bracket voting to get in the way; P4G's R3 prediction percentage was 14.01% and XBC's was 16.7%.

Xenoblade jumped out to the quick lead, going up by 100 in just half an hour and requiring less than two hours to push it above 200, but it took a while for it to increase much beyond that, falling into a pattern of ebbs and flows. By early morning, it had gotten into the mid, the low-to-mid-300s...well, anyway, at the halfway point of the match, the lead was at 342, which would turn out to be its peak. That right there was good for a tie for #10 on the closest wire-to-wire matches list (1v1s only). And it looked like it was probably going to get that record for a wire-to-wire winner without any trouble, because P4G wasn't really doing much more than stalling things out; XBC's lead crested above 300 for an update at 10 minutes past noon, and it was 274 at 3 PM, five hours from the end of the match.

25 minutes later, it was down to 222, and it kept dropping. Xenoblade recovered somewhat, and had the lead at 232 with two hours to go...but one hour later, it was down to 99. The comeback was real; there was a pinned rally topic, and P4G was going to pull off another ridiculous win. didn't happen that way. XBC won the next update, then lost a couple, then won three in a row. The last hour was just a giant stall, and it was Xenoblade with the big final update to push its lead back up over 100. The record was secure. But I can't help thinking that there was another record this match should've been chasing instead...

P4G 4484 4445 8929 13334
XBC 4585 4336 8921 13445

Are you kidding me?! Yeah, this match was fun and all, we were expecting a lit final hour based on the penultimate-hour comeback...but without the registered user bonus, this becomes a legitimate final-update F5-er. 8 votes. 8 measly votes, which would've been just one away from the 1v1 record. Even with the registered voter bonus (which flipped the match, mind you), it still squeaked into the overall top 25 with its final margin of 111, comfortably landing in the 1v1 Top 25 at #13. And that wasn't the only list where this match was #13 among 1v1s and #25 among all matches. Xenoblade' prediction percentage of 6.29% landed it at those exact same spots on the list of biggest surprises of all time.

Normally this would be the point where I'd say "6.29% is less than half of 16.7%, so this was an upset", but I don't think it's necessarily applicable here. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that P4G's prediction percentage was below 5.27%, which would be the equivalent percentage of 14.01%. These games were both considered underdogs all the way back in Round 2, though XBC's prediction percentage was at least close to half of its R1 prediction percentage, and they were both considered underdogs again in Round 3. So, yeah, of course most people who picked Xenoblade to reach this match thought it would lose; most of them likely had it facing GTAV or RDR. I mean, I do expect that "top half winner" was a favorite over "bottom half winner" to take Division 4. Just looking at those prediction percentages, it wouldn't surprise me to think that Red Dead Redemption had the second-highest prediction percentage to win this match in spite of the game it's trailing being its would-be R3 opponent.

It's just a shame that this would likely be the only entry on the "most surprising results" list for the entire contest. XBC itself was done for next round, of course, leaving only the second semifinal as a match that would likely have that much debate--and even then, the fact that the apparent favorite to win it isn't the one that's going to get its prediction percentage depressed by a debatable quarterfinal match, even that should be able to get the requisite 10% prediction percentage to avoid the lists.

Oh, yeah, I guess that's a thing to note. With this match, the cutoff to make the 1v1-only list fell below 10%, with Auron's division title from 2018 (9.97% prediction percentage) falling to #25. Can't lol at the casuals on this one, though; only 9.86% of Gurus got this right. That percentage would've been even lower if P4G had won (which was my selection, for the record), though even if the Guru favorite had won, it'd only be 44.37%. And that favorite was...Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Which I guess is still a possibility for who the casuals' favorite was, but I'd still bet theirs was GTAV.

Also known as Cyberchao X.
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05/10/20 5:24:20 PM


Also known as Cyberchao X.
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05/15/20 2:55:08 PM

Well,Ulti should be making the pages soon,if he hasn't already, so I'd better keep this well and bumped.

Also known as Cyberchao X.
Now let us all sing the praises of azuarc, Guru champion.
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05/21/20 7:15:45 PM

Oh, right, keep this up

Also known as Cyberchao X.
Now let us all sing the praises of azuarc, Guru champion.
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05/22/20 6:11:16 PM

Match 117: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt vs. God of War

Witcher 3 17096
God of War 9418

Well this was a fairly predictable blowout. Over 50% of all brackets had The Witcher 3 here, with Gurus in particular calling it at nearly an 80% clip and almost two thirds of the Gurus that missed it having instead picked The Witcher 3's opponent from the previous round.

...Correction. Predictable result, yes; predictable blowout, maybe not so much. There's no exact data on the Second Chance brackets, which were something vaguely resembling the Oracle except you could only pick whole percentages and there was no option to pick a winner with 50% (which meant that a truly perfect score was impossible because such a pick would've been required to get the maximum 50 points from Xenoblade-P4G), but looking at the Oracle...Witcher 3 was the unanimous choice to win, but 51 out of 53 Gurus went under on the percentage, 44 of them by at least 5% and all of them by enough that the two that went over had the top two predictions. I guess it just seemed obvious to me because I was the highest pick and thusly the second-place finisher in that match. All in all, the Oracle Consensus was 6.30% lower than Witcher 3's actual score. Wait, hold on...

Match #33 - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt vs Assassin's Creed Odyssey
Consensus: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 76.65%
Result: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 84.07%

Match #81 - Mass Effect 3 vs The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Consensus: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 69.09%
Result: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 78.40%

Match #105 - Super Mario Galaxy 2 vs The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Consensus: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 61.29%
Result: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt 60.60%

...Okay, so there was at least one match where Witcher 3 was fairly close to expectation, actually coming up a tad short. Ironically, it's the one where there were the most people picking it to lose outright. But that's still the third time in four rounds where The Witcher 3 vastly outperformed expectations. At this point, it was more or less taken for granted that the Guru Contest would be decided by Dark Souls vs. Skyrim; Witcher 3 making it to the finals and losing was more or less set in stone.

Match 118: Persona 5 vs. Portal 2

Persona 5 15239
Portal 2 11276

This, on the other hand, was predictable no matter how you sliced it. Almost as well predicted by Gurus as the previous match, with Oracle percentages bunched up right around the actual outcome (50 out of 53 Gurus were within 5%, most of them dramatically so), casual prediction percentage...29.22%? Ah, well, it's a Round 4 match, so a high prediction percentage would be odd. Even Skyrim and Witcher 3 barely cracked 50%...Huh. Nope, P5's prediction percentage last round was 63.69%, so this constitutes an upset for the casuals. See, I knew they'd screw this one up! And Portal 2's prediction percentage last round was 23.57%, coming off a 50.55% prediction percentage the round before, so...the true casual favorite in this match was Red Dead Redemption 2? It did have one of the highest R1 prediction percentages, and an R2 prediction percentage nearing 70 entering the match against Portal 2 and its prediction percentage barely above 50. ...Although it'd have to retain a fairly good percentage each round to still have the plurality; P5 and RDR2 had similar R2 prediction percentages but then P5 barely lost anything from R2 to R3. 73.69% to 63.69%. LOL Sonic Mania, almost no one had it (or Super Meat Boy, since it seems like Mania wasn't favored by much) beating Persona 5.

Incidentally, had Persona 5 made it all the way to the finals, we would've had our first two-time Guru tiebreaker over another past Guru champion. The last point of divergence between the brackets of Rivals Contest Guru winner SuperNiceDog and CBVIII Guru winner Dr Football was the Division 4 final, where Football had the Cookie pick of Three Houses (already eliminated one round earlier) and SND had Xenoblade. Once Xenoblade won, they were guaranteed to finish with identical scores, and would have beaten out everyone else if Persona 5 were to win two more matches. Dr Football appeared to still have the better tiebreaker, though, which is maybe ironic since SND's win came in a gimmicky contest so easy to predict that the Battle Challenge required an Oracle component hastily tacked onto its finale to break all the ties. (Relatively speaking, of course; even that year didn't have a single perfect Guru, though SND wasn't the only one with but a single wrong pick on a 1-point match.) They weren't even the only past champions still alive at this point--Skyrim defeating Witcher 3 in the semifinals (yes, Witcher 3 specifically; a win over P5 would've given it to someone else) would have given the win to Villains Contest winner yoblazer as long as the overall champion wasn't Smash Ultimate. Guru Contests, it seems, are much like the World Series of Poker Main Event--it's really hard to win it twice, but you tend to see the same names making deep runs. But on the other hand, it's still possible to fluke into a deep run, like when I was still alive with a mere 5 matches left in 2013. I'm still mad as hell that it wasn't two matches left--I already knew that my bracket was doomed by then because Vivi's nonsensical upset of Mario meant that a literal second Pokmon character had won Division 8, but come on, we'd seen Mega Man underperform 1v1 against Zero in 2004 and get LFFed into a loss against Weighted Companion Cube in 2008. The Guru stats even back this up; Charizard was heavily favored there. Huh, maybe that wasn't a fluke? My bracket was good enough to still be alive at that point if the cookie pick came through. How'd I manage to put together a bracket that strong, given my usual track record?

Also known as Cyberchao X.
Now let us all sing the praises of azuarc, Guru champion.
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05/22/20 6:28:33 PM

TsunamiXXVIII posted...
Well,Ulti should be making the pages soon,if he hasn't already, so I'd better keep this well and bumped.

Azuarc called it. He told you so. He is vindicated.
I never lie, but I never tell the truth:
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05/22/20 8:12:39 PM

Match 119: Dark Souls vs. The Last of Us

Dark Souls 14919
Last of Us 10669

Time and again, we've seen that hype often trumps an actual release when it comes to strength on this site. We saw it in 2008, when Brawl disappointed so many Melee fans and led to all of the characters that had seemingly boosted in 2007 due to being in trailers falling back to earth, and we saw it in 2010 when Golden Sun pulled an upset in the first GotD on the release date of its disappointing sequel, Dark Dawn. (Though while I certainly had issues with the harsh difficulty spike after a certain spoilery event and the inability to return to areas earlier in the game to pick up anything you might have missed, my biggest gripe is that whereas Lost Age ended with a vague sequel hook that took seven years to deliver, Dark Dawn ended on a clear To Be Continued and we haven't gotten anything in over a decade.) Technically, we even saw it back in the very first Character Battle, given how poorly regarded Super Mario Sunshine is. So when the long-awaited The Last of Us 2 got a bunch of scenes and gameplay footage leaked not long before this match, it should've been fuel for a major upset, right?

Wrong, because what was leaked depicted the game to be absolutely execrable, with the internet exploding and the general consensus being outrage at the creators themselves, considering it to be contemptuous to their fans. Uh...yeah, you keep posting your clickbaity titles, guys. I say "depicted" because not long after this match, it was confirmed that what the hackers (yes, this was the work of hackers, not anyone affiliated with Naughty Dog) leaked was in fact fully outdated. That's not how gameplay will actually work in the finished version, and the scenes...well, what type of real gamer wants plot spoilers, anyway? That takes half the fun out of it! So in the end, it all added up to the fans getting massively trolled, and the general consensus was that this would've made this number unreliable, and that TLoU was destined to underperform here. Which, uh...kind of means this should've been a pretty close match? With these types of vote totals, it would only take a couple thousand votes swinging the other direction to outright flip this match, even less if those were registered voters. (Remember, swinging the votes means subtracting them from one side and adding them to the other. So the entire 4250-vote lead would in fact be turned by a mere 1063 registered users that voted for Dark Souls having instead voted for The Last of Us. Though given how low the total number of voters is, that actually is a large figure.)

Still, in a match that seemed prime for Dark Souls to overperform, it only got 58.30%. Oracle consensus: 56.64%. An overperformance, yes, but not a huge one. Seeing as how Dark Souls had fewer brackets taking it to the semifinals than either of its two potential quarterfinal opponents, this was definitely considered a discouraging result for Dark Souls fans...which made it an encouraging result for just about every Guru, even the eliminated ones, with the exceptions of Seginustemple, Xeybozn, and Agent_M, each of whom had a route to victory contingent on Dark Souls winning the next round. Xeybozn and Agent_M both needed Smash Ultimate to win it all, with Xeybozn specifically requiring Witcher 3 > Dark Souls in the semifinal while Agent_M would win it if Dark Souls either lost to Persona 5 in the seminal or made the finals and lost to Ultimate directly; while Seginustemple was the lone Guru to take Dark Souls to win it all--but had enough mistakes elsewhere that the most likely path for this, defeating Witcher 3 in the semifinal and Breath of the Wild in the final, would not be enough. If Dark Souls made the final and lost to anything other than Smash Ultimate, or if it won it all specifically by defeating Witcher 3 and Breath of the Wild, the Guru Champion would be a troll account that had entered both the Guru and their official bracket under the name COVlD-19. That's a lowercase L, mind you, not an uppercase i, but the intent is clear. Most people were calling this "the darkest timeline", and so the prospect of Dark Souls > Witcher 3 was not something we were looking forward to.

Match 120: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim vs. Pokmon HeartGold/SoulSilver

Skyrim 15311
HGSS 10284

And with this, all three of the remakes of older games were eliminated shy of the Elite Eight--but all three had only just been eliminated this round. Given this board's penchant for things that are old, is it any wonder that they all made the Sweet 16? (I mean, sure, a bunch of other games in the bracket had updated remakes, but their originals were also in this decade--like Mario Kart 8 (Ultra) and Xenoblade Chronicles--or was XBC a straight-up port? I don't even know.) But that said, all were worthy candidates. The original GSC pulled 45% on Melee before Melee started rallying to make it a 60-40 match; Persona 4 did better on Twilight Princess in 2015 than it did in its third-round exit to RE4 in 2010, and Resident Evil 2 straight-up won the GotY polls for 2019. Speaking of which, if you count these remakes as being ways of "cheating" and getting older games into this contest, then Pokmon GSC is the only game to have been in all five Games Contests. (It's one of 11 games that had been in all three BGEs and the first GotD; obviously there are far more that have been in all three BGEs.) Skyrim's performance here was solid, nearly breaking 60% and outperforming Dark Souls against what was presumed, in the wake of the disastrous TLoU2 leaks, to be a stronger game. But it was still a remake and therefore something that "didn't belong in this contest", and a handheld game to boot, so there would be doubters.

But let's be real here--saying GSC and HGSS are the same game is like saying that Ultimate is just Smash 4 with an expanded roster. Same goes for FRLG and ORAS to the games they're remakes of, though maybe not so much for any future remakes because honestly, the changes in each generation past the fourth have largely been minor rebalancing issues and weird gimmicks. I'm not saying I dislike the changes, though I'll admit I'm none too happy with LGPE and SwSh "GO-ifying" the series, but stuff like Triple Battles, Mega Evolutions, Z-Moves, and Gigantamax is not the same as Gen 2 splitting the Special stat into Special Attack and Special Defense and introducing held items, Gen 3 introducing Abilities, or Gen 4 making it so that each individual move was designated either Physical or Special instead of it being determined by the move's type. Those were all very big changes, and as long as they don't try to use a Dragon-type move on a Pokmon that used t
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05/22/20 8:31:44 PM

I didn't know that a Gen 2 Pokemon game has been in all contests. Technically at least.

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Azuarc the best Guru of the 2020 Contest! Nice job man!
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05/23/20 2:57:14 AM

It would be better to say "a Johto Pokemon game", as HGSS are not part of Gen 2.

Don't insult best girl Neopolitan. Especially you, ArcSys.
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05/23/20 11:31:59 AM

Eh you are more correct it seems.

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Azuarc the best Guru of the 2020 Contest! Nice job man!
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05/28/20 4:17:39 PM

A few more remain eh?

So why we exist? What happens when we stop existing?
Azuarc the best Guru of the 2020 Contest! Nice job man!
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