As you know, Salim was our Road to Evo winner and went to Las Vegas to compete at the grand tournament. However he crashed out at 13th. What happened? The following report is translated by Delphine from Maxmode.net so if you can read French, nip over there. After the (in some parts quite scathing) report we have a selection of videos, thanks to the Answer, which will be broadcast with commentary via the ON show 17 later today.
Salim was the first Frenchman to test the console version of KOF XIII.
1. Qualification phases beginning in July at the Japan Expo:
An organization not very professional: we were asked to come on Saturday at 14h, but eventually we learnt that the tournament will only take place Sunday.
So I came Saturday for nothing, since there was the last chance that day. I returned on Sunday to qualify for the finals against Frionel.
From there, I was supposed to be qualified for Evo, which takes place three weeks later. I provided all documents for travel, I asked regularly about my ticket, but three days before the EVO, still no ticket. The day before, I finally have my ticket at 10pm to be at the airport the next day at 6am!
The aircraft took off at 8am. 19 hours flight and two stops later, here I am in Las Vegas!
I arrived at the airport and I take a cab straight to the hotel. Once there, I realised that no accommodation had been provided or that at least I would have to sleep on the floor: the room was full of players and apparently there was not enough space for everyone! I decided then to book a room of my own. During the rest of the stay, I shared the room with Starnab and ColaStar.
I went to take a peek at where EVO would take place, the Goldstar Hotel. I then went to bed to try to lessen the jetlag effects.
The following day, I went straight back to the event space where I met with other KOF players: Giby, Mr. KOF, The Answer, Kane…
When I arrived, The Answer told me I had to fight him in a console version of KOF XIII!
3. The console version of KOF XIII
All weekend long we had access to the Xbox 360 beta version of KOF XIII.
Visually speaking, the game was magnificent. As soon as I had a stick in my hand, I had to play The Answer. I tried Billy Kane which looked good. But he has no common features with the previous Billy Kanes. His back quarter punch is much better anti-air, besides it only works with his stick. The low A goes much less far, his forward A is weaker than before. On the other hand, I think they slightly dropped the ball on his appearance (animation).
It seemed that the loading time was long – note that installing the game on a hard drive and the few months left to optimise the game should help reduce the loading time. On a positive note, the “restart” option – which permits to replay with the same characters – is very well thought out. You can either play your characters in the same order or only change the order.
Saiki seemed really strong; his Neomax where he transforms into Saiki boss version is quite splendid. He has balls which permit to really get in the adversary’s way. He has nothing to do with Ash, obviously, except for a few animations.
Anyway, I lost my challenge 0-3 against The Answer.
4. The American KOF community
I really was welcomed with open arms by the players at the event, I received plenty of support from people I didn’t even know.
I was even surprised that so many players knew who I was! In a nutshell, great atmosphere.
The KOF tournament gathered 54 participants among which half were occasional players.
There were loads of Mexicans and they were among the strongest. We were left with about 15 American players with a good level.
5. The KOF XIII tournament at EVO
So we were 54 players for two machines. It was a direct tournament with double elimination.
Therefore, you could wait up to several hours between rounds. Also, you couldn’t plug your stick on both machines. You had to flip a coin to play with a half decent stick.
I passed the first two rounds without problems, then, I had to play Romance. He played Ash, Elizabeth and Kula. He literally killed me with 2-0 and sent me to the loser category!
In the loser category, I played El Rosa who beat me as well!
I only regret having gone there alone. It is clear that we all are more efficient in a team. And as I am used to play on an arcade machine, having a stick on my lap was really disturbing. Nevertheless, my disappointment was lessened by the fact that I lost against two excellent players and that the winner’s level was so far unmatchable.
I realised that, at the moment, it is really hard to reach a good level in Europe: a lack of players, a lack of characters played… Soon, we’re running in circles and limits are quickly reached. All I hope now is that the console version offers enough material to attract a maximum of people and help the online and offline sessions multiply!
And there ends his report. Now here are the videos featuring Salim, Mr KOF, No17, Laban and The Answer. If you would rather watch these with Gunsmith screaming in the background, wait for the next ON show, coming up later today!
Salim vs ???
Real Kim vs No17
Kane317 vs Laban
Mr KOF vs The Answer