The Evo 2014 lineup has been announced. There are fewer games than last year, and most notable isn’t what games did get in, but what games didn’t get in. While the new Ultra Street Fighter 4 is a given, along with Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, and the return of King of Fighters XIII is a welcome sight, we’ve lost several others.
First of all, Injustice is returning for a second year. While many complained about the slow pace and dominant Superman keep-away game, there’s been two new characters added to the roster since last year, and a balance patch that nerfs Superman’s keepaway ability has been released. There’s almost unanimous agreement the game is in better shape than it was last year.
Killer Instinct has been making believers out of anyone who touches it, including myself. While it’s essentially a $500 game, it’s breathing some fresh mechanics (that are actually old mechanics?) into fighting games, and its inclusion is a no-brainer.
The third game is a surprise to me, but apparently I’m one of the few: Blazblue Chronophantasma. With a release in the US in March, and the Vita version just confirmed as well, this game has already become an 128 player tournament at the upcoming SoCal Regionals (128 players max, not that they have 128 yet). When did it get popular and why did no one tell me? While there’s some controversy that Kokonoe is broken to bejeezus and back, she’s not banned in any major tournaments yet.
There’s also a seventh game in the mix. Kind of. Evo organizer Joey “MrWizard” Cuellar has made it clear there is room for Super Smash Brothers Melee this year. After 2013’s great reception, it ought to come back, but let us not forget that Nintendo’s legal department stepped in and almost prevented the broadcast of Super Smash Brothers Melee. So far, Evo is in talks with Nintendo about Smash’s role at this year’s Evo.
With these games set for the Evo lineup, one cannot help but think about what’s not on the list. Immediately, what jumps out is the lack of Tekken. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 has seemingly dropped off in popularity, and Tekken Revolution doesn’t support local multiplayer.
Mortal Kombat had a good and unexpected three year run, but last year, it was pretty clear that the audience had grown very tired of it.
Persona 4 Arena isn’t coming back either. This isn’t much of a surprise; the game was rapidly losing popularity right after its release, and now that there is a new version coming out, entitled Persona 4 Arena The Ultimax Ultra Suplex Hold, I don’t think anyone wants to play the original.
Street Fighter x Tekken is also absent. With the game all but gone from smaller local tournaments, we’ve probably seen the last of this game.
Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate didn’t make it. This one actually surprises me; the game seems reasonably popular, and it’s due to get a new character, Marie Rose, in March. With all of this recent activity, I really thought that we’d see this in the lineup.
As far as smaller games go, Divekick and Skullgirls weren’t officially part of last year’s lineup, though they had decently popular side tournaments. Remeber, Evo is a big event, and every fighting game that ever could be will have a side tournament.
What do you think? Any games you think should have made the Evo roster? Leave a comment below.