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User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#1
I've considered doing PCAs in the past, and late in this contest, I started thinking about doing it this time. (And given Ulti's official "the more the merrier" stance, I probably will go back and analyze previous contests as well. Possibly even some of the ones from before I joined Board 8, but the ones since then are higher priority.)

I'm not as good at this as Ulti, but I'm also less likely to go on a rant, and I'm probably better than some of these other first-timers!

Match 1: Dante vs. Cuphead

Not much to say here. I actually entertained the upset pre-contest because I'm more dialed in to the speedrunning segment of gaming and Cuphead was an indie darling and a recent one at that, but as soon as I learned that Dante had gotten a new game and it was a return to the pre-DmC days, that was enough to get me to reject that idea.

Still, as we'll see in a few divisions, I was hardly the only one to think that an indie darling could actually be worth something!

Match 2: Chloe Price vs. Lightning

Final Fantasy has taken on Pokémon-like fandom trends--the most recent installment is bashed, and everything else grows in stature as a result. The first contest that XV exists, Lightning finally gets a win, and in dominating fashion at that. Chloe Price was considered a near-lock for the bottom of the Raw X-Stats after this, in part because Ganondorf was the favorite to win the division and would be fed to Link, but also because no one believed that Lightning was as strong as she looked in this match. Little did we know that the entire bottom half of the bracket would be trapped behind Link > Zelda!

But back to Lightning looking strong in this match: Life Is Strange is super-niche, while Final Fantasy is, well, Final Fantasy. And while you could vote in only some of the matches if you knew what you were doing, if you voted the conventional way, you had to vote in every match of the day if you wanted to vote in any of them. That vastly favors Nintendo and Square, and to a lesser extent Capcom/Konami/Sega. You know, the five companies with a member of the Noble Nine.

Match 3: Spyro the Dragon vs. Chun-Li

Poor Spyro can't catch a break with these fighting game females, can he?

That was the match that created "TJF", which was discussed quite a bit this contest. Spyro got a bad draw regardless, however, because a lot of characters with similar old-school credentials were able to impress this year. Spyro? Stuck behind a fellow gaming icon. Chun-Li might not be the first female fighter, but she's the first to reach mainstream consciousness. They even make fun of it at one point; she has a line in one of the more recent games where she reminisces about being the only girl on the roster.

As a result, the strength that Crash and Bomberman showed later in this contest came as a surprise. I'll talk about them in good time though.

Match 4: Ganondorf vs. Neku Sakuraba

Geez, Neku, what happened to you? Yes, The World Ends With You has always been niche, but it's still a niche Square RPG. And Ganondorf is strong, but not that strong. This was the match with the highest prediction percentage? Higher than Zero-Primrose? Squall-Hat Kid? X-Isabelle? Sora-Ryo? Heck, even Kirby-Guile probably belongs on that list. I mean, obviously Ganondorf was winning this, but...the only theory I have is that Neku was a proven loser, while those other matches I listed mostly had first-timers as the low seeds (Ryo Hazuki being the exception). Given that I've already admitted to initially having Cuphead before being talked out of it, I guess it makes sense that more people had those upset picks than this one.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.
(edited 8 months ago)

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#2
Yes, if I needed to, I could make these a lot longer. But Ulti is still the gold standard, and besides most of what I'd talk about are stats. Which I still kind of did for Match 4, because honestly the fact that Ganondorf, a 4-seed, had the absolute best Round 1 prediction percentage, was the most interesting thing about that match.

I may get longer with more important matches.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.

User Info: swirIdude

8 months ago#3
Can you add the vote results (percentage and vote totals) for each match? Most of us don't have those memorized for each match and it helps bring context to your analysis.
Advokaiser picked Cloud in Guru and rained on my bracket.
At least I finished 20th overall!

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#4
Match 5: Vivi vs. Yu Narukami

Vivi 19488
Yu 6534

This match was pretty much business as usual. Vivi was coming off that stunning upset of Mario in CBIX, while Yu lost to...who, again? *looks it up* Ah, right, Shadow the Hedgehog. Huh, Kat was the third-place character in that match? I could've sworn she was a 26, not a 25, though that's probably because of how forgettable she was (seriously, she's what, a Vita exclusive? Or was it PSP?). I only remember that she was even in that contest because of "Who Would You Have Sex With?", because she was one of two characters that basically had a free pass to the semifinals because she was the only female in her division, and honestly hers was freer because the other was Marisa and the Touhou characters were being held back by the question of "are they actually underage or is it just ZUN's art style?"

Match 6: Victor Sullivan vs. Aya Brea

Sully 10529
Aya 15510

Sully was one of the Guru noms, right? I know Aqua was one, but I forget who the other was. Aqua got a 2, so if Sully is the other, the difference in their seeding should've made this completely obvious. Instead, the Gurus only picked Aya at an 11-5 rate. Which is still far better than the casuals, who outright favored Sully, but still. Not a great showing. Kind of understandable since Aya hasn't been relevant for over a decade, but still, we've seen her impress in these contests before. This shouldn't have been that surprising.

Match 7: Tidus vs. Donkey Kong

Tidus 11216
DK 14826

While the casuals were being caught off-guard by Aya > Victor, the Gurus were being burned by DK > Tidus. I got this right, because I never trust Tidus in a close match. I honestly forgot that Tidus came out on the winning end of his close match with Shadow in 2004, and as such, that said match was in round 1 in 2004 rather than being sandwiched between Shadow > Wario and Mario > Shadow in 2003.

But yeah, this was a matchup of two legendary chokers; I said before the match that they'd somehow find a way to both finish below 50%. So no, I'm not pretending that I was confident in my DK > Tidus pick. I felt that DK's rep was based more on older results, while Tidus has been declining every contest, but neither character would surprise me by losing. I just guessed right. Apparently, the casuals agreed with me.

Match 8: Leon Kennedy vs. Dragonborn

Leon 17881
Dragonborn 8156

Leon got the doubling here, so it wasn't immediately evident that he was in trouble next round. Dragonborn had made round 2 in 2013, albeit against weak competition, and his game had done very well in 2015. Skyrim is a game that I expect to be a lot stronger than its main character, though, partly because Dragonborn is customizable. Honestly, Shepard being at least somewhat strong is a tribute to just how well-written Mass Effect is.

Match 9: Zero vs. Primrose

Zero 21676
Primrose 7543

Primrose is from Octopath Traveler, right? I'd never even heard of that game until this contest. It's fairly new though so I'm not surprised. I didn't expect much and that's what we got. The advantage to not being the primary PCA-writer is that I can get away with occasionally writing something this short for a meaningless early match like this.

At least this time the feminine name actually turned out to be a female. I think there was one character that I hadn't heard of that I expected to be female and they weren't.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.
(edited 8 months ago)

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#5
swirIdude posted...
Can you add the vote results (percentage and vote totals) for each match? Most of us don't have those memorized for each match and it helps bring context to your analysis.

I considered it, but they'll be present in the wiki anyway and half the time I don't even bother looking up the exact numbers myself. Only when they're relevant.

I'm probably just rushing through some of these early ones, I'll admit. I'll edit them in to my matches 5-9 post, but there's not enough room in the match 1-4 post; I was bumping right up against the character limit.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#6
Match 10: Zidane vs. Knuckles the Echidna

Zidane 12622
Knuckles 16597

Oh, wow, seeing the vote totals really does add context! Today's vote total is quite a bit higher than the previous day's, which suggests that Monika really was rallied; it just didn't make a difference. Ironically given that she was up against a Nintendo character, it was Square that got screwed over by this. Zidane wasn't winning this regardless, but it was thought to be a debatable match and it wasn't even close.

Knuckles got a better percentage against Zidane than he did in 2010 against Cecil Harvey Never Wins. Did Team Sonic boost, or is this just the seeming blanket deboost for any Square character whose game wasn't released between 1994 and 1997? Because seriously, FFVI/CT/FFVII were the only things that didn't look awful.

Match 11: Noctis Lucis Caelum vs. Master Hand

Noctis 12406
Master Hand 16817

Oh well never mind. I remember this match being a close one, but it clearly wasn't! Maybe I was thinking of the prediction percentage. 50.55% of brackets had this correct, the only Round 1 match to be within 51-49. (There was a Round 1 Legends match that had an even smaller spread in the Second Chance brackets, but all in good time.)

This was Master Hand's first appearance in an "open" Character Contest, even considering how huge the field was in 2013, but he appeared in 2005's Villains Contest and upset a Final Fantasy character in Round 1 then, too. Though the prediction percentages say this technically wasn't an upset!

Match 12: Monika vs. Wario

Monika 10360
Wario 18869

I haven't gotten around to playing DDLC yet. I kind of got spoiled to the big twists thanks to this contest, at least regarding Monika, but I still think I'm blind enough to include it in the revival of my Blind VNs Playthrough topic...just as soon as I finish PLvAA. And Zero Time Dilemma, because back when I initially did the VN series in 2013, I ended up getting my sister into the Zero Escape series as well and now she's pestering me to getting around to the third game. And probably also Spirit of Justice.

...Maybe I won't actually bother reviving the topic at all. I tend to write things up in advance in Word, and the formatting doesn't always translate well to GameFAQs posts. Anyway, DDLC is available on Steam, so I'll probably just stream my playthrough of that on Twitch. I forget how long I have to keep the Guru winner in my signature, but I'll put my Twitch handle in my signature when I'm clear.

Oh, right, the match! I'm convinced that this board doesn't actually dislike rallies; they dislike rallies that they don't control. Had Monika gone on a rampage, there'd definitely be salt, but I don't think it'd be anything like 2013 or 2015.

Match 13: Yoshi vs. Shantae

Yoshi 21617
Shantae 7490

So I'm going to have to disagree with Ulti here and say that this was a decent performance by Shantae. Let's look at the facts: Shantae's debut game was released in June 2002 for the Game Boy Color--roughly a year after the GBA was already out. And for 8 years, that was her only game. Her next game was originally for the Nintendo DSi. It got a non-Nintendo release the next year on iOS of all things, but the series didn't get released on a Playstation or XBox system until 2015 when both the second and third games got ported to PS4.

A pseudo-Nintendo platformer character breaking 25% on a solid midcarder from the Mario series? Sounds good to me. Banjo couldn't break 25% on one of Nintendo's non-platformer characters in 2010, and he already firmly had his hand in the Microsoft cookie jar. Granted Pikachu is overall stronger than Yoshi, as we'd see in two rounds, but nevertheless, this is a respectable performance under the circumstances.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#7
Match 14: Velvet Crowe vs. James Sunderland

Velvet 17773
James 11346

I initially had James in my bracket because he's the older character and Tales never wins in Character Battles except one other time. Then I remembered that this was likely a fodder match, and the higher seed was the one with the boobs. This line of thinking would let me down once in this contest, but this wasn't it.

Match 15: Pikachu vs. Scorpion

Pikachu 19337
Scorpion 9782

My first reaction when I saw the percentages on the matches in progress were "why is Pikachu not winning by as much as Yoshi and Kratos?" Then I remembered that unlike those two, Pikachu had a worthwhile opponent.

Scorpion had about as good a contest as he could've hoped for. He avoided the doubling against Pikachu, who proved to be very strong indeed, and with no shortage of dark horse runs in this contest, his 2002 Elite Eight run kept him in the conversation long after he'd departed.

Match 16: Kratos vs. John Marston

Kratos 21310
Marston 7811

I can't keep track of all these men with full names. Seeing just how close they are in the bracket, however, I really have to call Ulti out on including Marston on his list of characters that he thought would easily beat Shantae despite what the X-Stats said. I guess this is an SFF match as well? These percentages are very similar, so even if Kratos SFFs Marston just as much as Yoshi SFFs Shantae, you're still left needing a lot of rSFF in Yoshi-Pikachu to explain this one away. Also, I may not know a thing about Red Dead Redemption, but if it's the same genre as God of War, well, if it's a fodder match, I'd invoke genre hierarchy to give Shantae the advantage even before TJF.

Remember, this is GameFAQs. M-rated games aren't popular here at all.

Match 17: Sora vs. Ryo Hazuki

Sora 20542
Ryo 9195

Is there any bigger contest underachiever than Sora? Let's ignore Rivalry Rumble, because it doesn't count. Without looking, name the last time that Sora didn't have the absolute highest seed possible. A 2-seed in 2013, because the 1-seeds were prereserved for the Noble Nine, or a 1-seed otherwise.

Remember, there were no seeds in the fourway contests.

It was 2005. He was indeed a 2 in 2013, and a 1 in 2006, 2010, and 2018.

Now remember that all nine Noble Niners were in the main field in 2010, and there were indeed 4 Noble Niners in the male half of the 2006 bracket.

He wasn't the only one in this match with a long-awaited "3", but Shenmue has always been cult and this is not how a 1-seed should perform.

Match 18: Neptune vs. Pokémon Trainer Red

Neptune 7341
Red 22403

I was thrilled that Neptune's nomination rally got her all the way to an 8-seed. Nippon Ichi is reliably great for quirky RPGs. (Play Phantom Brave.) But this was an absolute nightmare of a draw. Ah, well, that's what happens with these niche characters. You get them in and they stink it up. Like in 2013 when I got three Touhou characters into the bracket. Biggest embarrassment ever; Marisa couldn't even challenge a Generic Two-Name Guy while stuffing votes. I wasn't involved with the stuffing, but I was heavily involved with the nomination rally so I'll wear that fiasco as a badge of shame.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#8
Match 19: Crash Bandicoot vs. Cecil Harvey

Crash 16115
Cecil 13629

Cecil Harvey Never Wins became the new meme here, because he's frequently had winnable matches and he's just never managed to pull it off. But it's not quite like Gordon Freeman where he's losing to obvious fodder; the only truly questionable one, except maybe this one, was losing to Wrex in 2013 (when we still weren't sure if he'd win, but it was Pit that we thought he'd lose to). FFIV as a whole is 0 for Character Battles, but I don't think Cecil represents its best chance to break that trend. Even in obvious losses (e.g. his debut in 2005, against Kirby, though Kirby was still flying under the radar then), he underperforms. Rydia's two matches have been obvious losses and she's performed well in them. Her first contest was 2008 and she was in the same fourpack as Auron, but despite being SFF'd, she still came in third place, beating out a character who'd made Round 3 the previous year against legitimate competition. Well, against Ocelot and Kefka, at any rate.

Kefka actually advanced to that Round 2 match in second place behind Marcus Fenix. He lost to Marcus twice in 2007, and the very next year Marcus can't even beat Rydia with Auron in the poll. That's either the biggest single-year dropoff, the biggest LOLKefka, or Rydia has potential. Probably a combination of all three.

Female characters were boosting all over the place this year. Imagine what Rydia could do with an After Years pic. She probably wouldn't even sacrifice recognizability, and she'd have a tough TJF to take out.

Of course, given how most of our nomination rallies this year fared in bracket placement, if we tried getting her a Returners Nomination Rally we'd probably see (6)Tifa Lockhart vs (11)Rydia. Still, I think it's worth a shot.

Also the casuals didn't find this all that debatable. Over 73% got it right. The Gurus didn't even break 40% correct on this. LOL us.

Match 20: Big Boss vs. Ridley

Big Boss 16855
Ridley 12890

AKA the match where I started panicking re: Guru. Big Boss is very pic-dependent, since he can look a lot like Solid Snake sometimes, but not other times. I thought this year's pics were pretty good; you wouldn't mistake him for his son, but he still looked more like he did in his prime than as an old man. Ridley doesn't have any proper wins, either (though unlike Cecil, he at least got to ride Samus to some wins in Rivalry Rumble), but this is far from the first good showing he's had. He beat out Spyro for third place in a fourway, and he broke 40% in a threeway, which would usually be good for a win but the third character was one of the absolute weakest characters in the field. With Smash on his side, it feels like it's just a question of when he'll get his first win without Samus's help, not if. He just needs a better seed.

Match 21: Alucard vs. Princess Peach

Alucard 16635
Peach 12649

This was a fairly modest win for Alucard, far from the performance that would mark him as a favorite to win this division. Are we supposed to think Peach is strong now? Peach is the casual choice, one who gets more votes from recognizability than from popularity. Which would make her a decent candidate for the fodder line. I think she'd beat our current pick for that honor, though. But this isn't a good performance for Alucard and it makes this whole division look bad.

Is now a bad time to bring up that I had Big Boss > Crono in Match 130? Because I did. Not that this match should necessarily have made many of us panic, because Peach had as many Gurus taking her to win this division as Alucard did.
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.

User Info: ZenOfThunder

8 months ago#9
drooling while eating
Advokaiser is my rock

User Info: TsunamiXXVIII

8 months ago#10
I don't know what the purge rate is so safety bump
Wait, I really left BKSheikah in my sig all the way until Advokaiser dethroned him as reigning Guru champion? I need to come here more often.
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