Starting today, the Canada Cup 2011 fighting game tournament takes place in Calgary, Alberta. For you Calgary-based In Third Person readers who will be attending this event, or out-of-towners traveling in for this, I hope you have a blast. For us stream monsters, you can watch the stream for free here, or for $8.99, watch the stream ad-free in HD.
What makes this particular major fighting game tournament stand out from the rest is the inclusion of an international 5-on-5 team tournament, featuring 8 teams filled with top players from around the world. Credit where credit is due, it was my girlfriend Steff who first told me about the 5-on-5. With that tidbit of info, I would shortly forget it, find out about it again in the news, then tell Steff about the 5-on-5 as if she didn’t already tell me this. Whoops. In spite of my blunder, Steff is genuinely interested in watching the 5-on-5 tournament with me, which is super cool.
Last year, my girlfriend Steff and I had a blast at Fan Expo. It was the first convention we ever went to, and we told ourselves very early on that we have to do this all over again next year. If you’re interested in reading up on our exploits last year, check out the posts below:
With the 2011 edition of the show approaching in a matter of weeks, we already have our tickets and are getting pumped for the ensuing awesomeness.
The biggest fighting game tournament in the world is only a week away. As a hardcore fighting game fan and stream monster, I can’t wait to sit in front of the computer all weekend to watch the scene’s best go at it all weekend long. If you’ve never watched a fighting game stream before, but have any interest in it, EVO 2011 is definitely the place to start.
If you do start here, you should know that this EVO tournament is actually the last tournament in the 2011 EVO season. A lot of drama has taken place between the start of the season and now. Unless you want to sit through hundreds of hours of tournament footage or read through much more comprehensive and better written recaps on the EVO tournament season, I can give you a primer on a few of the story lines surrounding EVO’s biggest games.
Historically, fighting games have done a poor job of providing a good single-player experience and a horrible job at telling a story. Even 20 years after the release of Street Fighter II, the majority of fighting games simply boil down to fighting opponent after opponent, until you’ve beaten everyone in your path and receive your character’s ending. This does not make for an interesting one-player experience, or add any context to why you’re fighting opponent after opponent. To be fair, the BlazBlue series has tried to expand its single-player experience with a story mode, but that game’s story is so poorly written and presented that only the hardest of hardcore anime fans would find any redeeming value in it.
With that said, Mortal Kombat’s story mode is a breath of fresh air. It’s presented in a way that makes perfect sense to the mythology of the series and to the player in control. What makes it so great? And what could have been done better?
When you think about Mortal Kombat as a series, you think about blood and fatalities. Do you think about it’s rich and deep fighting game engines? Probably not. Mortal Kombat has traditionally, been a fighting game series built primarily on style over substance. For Midway/Warner Brothers, this lead to consistently good sales throughout the series history among more casual fighting game fans, but the hardcore have pretty much shunned it. Case in point: Super Street Fighter II Turbo is still being played at major fighting game tournaments this year, while the entire Mortal Kombat scene has virtually never had any sort of tournament scene to speak of.
I loved Mortal Kombat I-III, but having grown into a hardcore fighting game player these last few years has really coloured my perspective on those games in hindsight. I can still have a ton of fun playing the Street Fighter II series games of the same era, but those early Mortal Kombat games just don’t have the depth of gameplay to hold my attention nowadays. With that said, Ed Boon, the creator of Mortal Kombat, said this new one was aiming to cater to the hardcore crowd. I’ve only spent a few hours with it playing the story mode, tutorial and some versus matches with my coworkers, so it wouldn’t be fair for me to pass final judgment about the game now. But what I can tell you about are my experiences with the game so far, is that from a gameplay systems perspective, this is probably the deepest Mortal Kombat ever.
I know the year is just a few days old, but it’s not too early to think about the upcoming games of 2011. I’ve read through a number of different lists of most anticipated games of 2011 and this year is looking like another great year from beginning to end. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Mass Effect 3 and a lot of the Nintendo 3DS stuff, just to name a few things off the top of my head.
Do you do the New Year Resolution thing? Is this the day when you tell yourself that you’re going to stop smoking, exercise or address some form of personal fault? The reason that I ask is that I generally shy away from making any New Year Resolutions. I’m of the mindset that if you really wanted to change something about yourself, you wouldn’t need something as arbitrary as a new calendar to make it happen. If you’ve made New Year Resolutions work in the past, then ignore my hate and continue doing what you do.
Out of curiosity, would you happen to have a New Year Resolution for 2011? Maybe one related to gaming? I do.