Parappa takes the Mic: Pulling the Curtain

You did it, baby! Congratulations homie, you repeated history! 150k in two weeks! Screw a press conference… press this on your CONSCIENCE! Kick-Punch-Block! Cheers!

I’m not mad. I don’t wanna sound mad, I feel marvelous. After all, I’ve been monitoring what the endgame to all this is. Even still, this is an ongoing saga that is not ending anytime soon. If you’re wondering, “Damn, why is EVO catching all this heat? They’re doing great things and raised money for charity in the process.” Yeah, so did LeBron’s decision and I wasn’t a fan of that either. So grab your munchies & drinks because I’m about to break this down, ladies and germs.

Just like that pointless hour-long special 7 years ago, the 2017 lineup could’ve been said in one minute or on a post or something but NOPE! The spectacle of the show must be preserved. The lineup is a little surprising, but I’m not even looking at that… this cesspool of candidates for the 9th slot has everyone’s attention & mine. The phrase of the month… scratch that, make it of the year is operant conditioning. I can always count on Aphro to expand my vocabulary on these subjects. When you talk about any kind of psychological conditioning, it’s usually an experiment. I’m reporting the obvious... everyone failed. This shit went wrong on so many levels and the blame can be passed around like the collection plate at church. For starters, look at this damn mockery of a fan vote lineup.

Nine games go in, one comes out. Four from last year’s main stage, two with strong followings, two that are niche and one not even released, respectively. Wait, are you serious? ARMS?! ARE YOU F***ING KIDDING ME?! You put a game in the poll before its console is released? No one knows how the logistics are going to work, if the Switch is going to be buggy or if the game is worthy of competition! We don’t know if this game’s getting a Splatoon push. Then again maybe Wizard does, maybe he’s that chummy with Nintendo. It would explain why EVO puts up with the constant headaches with Smash even though the Smash community doesn’t need EVO in the grand scheme of its livelihood. Next, you diss a good indie game in Nidhogg by throwing it in the same pool with mainstay games. Literally, one of the games you had in your indie showcase a few years ago in a fundraiser with the likes of Marvel and Super Turbo? The poor game is painfully out of its league and it didn’t have to be that way.

Speaking of Super Turbo, this crossed line hit home for me. You have the absolute audacity to spit in the face of your foundation with this abomination of a lineup. Retro fighters have made their home in the BYOC area of tournaments with healthy crowds and competition. Occasionally, they see grand stage action. You should know this, you’ve done it before! Why are you putting ST in a race that it’s indifferent towards? Don’t answer that, I'm being sarcastic and I am nowhere near finished.

Onto the legit contenders for the spot that were placebos before anyone realized. Skullgirls has been scorned and has moved on from EVO, which I find sad. Ultimately, the game & the community are in a better place since 2013’s donation drive. The other placeholder, Mortal Kombat XL is another one disrespected by the process. This adds onto the pile of sh*t MK gets for various reasons. Everyone and their mother knew the NRS players were dropping this game as soon as Injustice 2 came out, so MK is on this list as a punchline of how little attention it’ll get in the next few months. Yet another classic franchise undermined. Now we’re in the "fallen from grace" neighborhood, these titles don’t fit the grand scheme of EVO anymore. Be it low entry numbers or too much setup effort or both. Killer Instinct heads you got kicked to the curb; that sucks, but you’ll be alright. It goes to show you that even solid outings over a few years onstage ain’t worth a damn.

Yo Pokkén, I do feel for you. You’re still young, finding an identity as a community with ambiguity on your future from Nintendo. You made a lot of people sweat for a bit, but you been had! Straight up run amok with false hope and then bamboozled with a consolation prize. $10,000 sounds nice, yet it speaks to the really poor execution of it all. How do you inquire about getting some of that money? Is there a cap? How much paperwork do you have to fill out to be considered? This has "more red-tape and hoops to jump through" written all over it. For $10,000, EVO can run their own thing on the side with a player entry cap. It might even cost less and they’ll get just as good, if not better press about it. Again, you have done it before. I don’t give credit for incomplete work, folks; you missed me with that nonsense.

Finally, we come to the hallow victory… Mahvel lives, right? Let me peel back the layers of BS we have here. Along with SF, this franchise is one of the cornerstones of EVO and it was dropped into the cesspool. The swan song for MVC2 became an integral moment in the FGC… and it was almost taken away from UMVC3 with Infinite on the way. A hell of a lot of drama could have been cut out if they had simply announced it as the 9th game and kept it moving. If you think that EVO wanted any other game for that slot, you’re fooling yourself. The whole thing was insulting the intelligence of the FGC. It needlessly gave every other game a false sense of chance and for Marvel, it was an unnecessary obstacle to overcome that left all branches of the FGC at each others’ throats.

Oh, I almost forgot about Windjammers… probably because IT’S NOT A FIGHTER! If you really like the game, Wiz, run an exhibition like you did with Divekick. I’ve been a part of fundraising/charitable operations outside of the FGC; there’s way more logical ways to go about it than gauging a value on each fighting game. Make some T-shirts; donate a percentage of each entry fee, put up set per capita goals for a lump donation. I’m sure there’s way more options than I just listed, but if you REALLY wanted to leave the 9th spot in the hands of the community, you put it to a ratio of 1 donation to 1 vote. You can donate $1 or $100,000, I don’t care… it counts as 1 vote towards the game of your choice. Perhaps you lose sizable amounts, but you’re likely to trade off with quantity votes. Plus, people making bare minimum are inclined to think “You know what, it’s for a good cause. I’ll throw in $5, maybe $10 more.” The underdogs start to see a legitimate chance to make it… if you insist on having a d*ck measuring contest filled with credit card fraud & mudslinging.

Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and these FGC sheep might let this rock a third time. The people who thought they were actually helping a cause either didn’t know any better or went along a glaringly flawed system under protest. Everyone that slandered another game/community, ducked out of their donation or acted like this was your game’s last life line fed into this charade and deserves every troll coming their way. I’ve seen enough nonsensical sh*t posting to last me a lifetime just in the past two months. I have got to say, f*ck all of you and the high horses you rode in on. Like I said before, games like SG, KI, MKX have foregone EVO to sustain themselves. Say, however, your game doesn’t make it to the main stage… get together and run a side tournament. Players come from overseas & across the land to EVO, just play your game! If I ran a tiny ass tournament in a shack in my backyard with the top 16 players in the world, called it Parappa’s Dojo, streamed it, what difference is there from a regular major? Say I entered this Dojo and placed 4th out of the 16 best players in the world; it’s a quality outing. The venue, views, amount of participants don’t cheapen the results… it's the same for EVO side tournaments.

With that said, I can’t help but feel that anyone that thinks the main stage is needed for the lifespan of their game is delusional… especially UMVC3. Marvel heads believed their shit was dead, contested the non-existent notion and still run with it till this day #MahvelLives. You mean to tell me that UMVC3 won’t take over the BYOC & bring the house down if Pokkén had won? Maybe it’s just the region I’m in that has this mindset. Think of it like this… if an indie game like SG that had everything working against it managed to come up with almost 1 million dollars from its community to help its future & got where it is today; any other established franchise can do the same. In fact, it should do better because of seniority. Marvel, I expect way better because you're capable. I’ll give credit where’s it due, though; it took until the aftermath of this whole disaster, but the select few that are hip to it have started the Curleh Circuit. Good for them, it’s about damn time.

None of this diminishes the lack of respect that Wizard has for the community that puts money in his pocket. It’s pretty obvious that my heart is in the FGC, so why should I give respect to this Mickey Mouse operation that’s transpired? It’s not about the community love and, honestly, it wasn’t advertised as such, so we’re kidding ourselves if we thought otherwise. EVO is a brand built by the players & its location. If EVO didn’t have the allure of Las Vegas, it flat out does not have the same luster. Should I bow down because it’s our crown jewel tournament? It might be our Super Bowl, but there’s other majors scattered across the globe; the monopoly hasn’t set in just yet. This is all business, baby; a Vince McMahon to the wishes of the dopes that think the final form of the FGC is something along the lines of professional wrestling. Don’t let these McMahons tells us how it has to be or change what makes us us in the name of progress for their own needs.

I have no problem voicing what the people that have been or will be stepped on feel because it also happens to be my voice. I feel slighted along with them, but I’m the one penning this article, not my friends, family or my team... I am. I’m just another brick in the FGC wall that’s come loose and landed on someone’s toe. Fast forward years from now when the headlines & the history books read “EVO raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity”; this is gonna be the buried bookmark reminder of how they had a hand in tearing this community apart while they are placed upon a pedestal. This is the same kind of ignorance that made SF5 Game of the Year. Sure, no problem, I'll be the lightning rod.

I’m not telling you to boycott or rise up an army of angry gamers. I just seen these types of things happen too often in my lifetime and it gets sickening. Just be aware of who you praise, erect a statue of, what or who you give your hard earned cash or passion to. Is Evol Wizard public enemy #1? Far from it, his MO is more obvious that’s all. How do we avoid or change this for the future? Start with your mindset & explore what options we have as a community; ‘leaders’ need followers, boys & girls. Anyway, somebody catch my mic. I provided enough entertainment for today, I’m outta here.

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