How the GameFAQs Character Battle Should Have Went: Part V

I’ve been posting this series a day (or two) after the rounds in the GameFAQs tournament are finished.  For example, the semi-finals ended yesterday.  So, today, I’m covering my version of the semi-finals.  The tournament finishes up today, so the last of this series should be posted tomorrow.

Anyway, who were the contestants in the semi-finals for the GameFAQs tournament?  Link, Mario, Samus, Crono, Cloud, Snake, Sephiroth and Kirby.  Looking back through the tournament, it’s a shame to see some characters eliminated while ones that are second-tier (at best) managed to advance this far.  The more I think about it, the more I like my version.

Rules have not changed.  Four characters battle it out.  Two characters move on.  Which two characters advance is determined by my criteria, which mixes popularity, prestiege and longevity.  One can not win with the battle with just one of those assets, a good character needs a healthy mix of them all.

And just for notes, characters highlighted in blue managed to make it this far and advance to the finals of the GameFAQs tournament.

Semi-Final I
Link vs. Mario vs. Samus Aran vs. Pikachu


Samus is the definite weak link here and is, thusly, eliminated.  Samus lacks the mainstream appeal of any of the other three and her decade-long hiatus (Super Smash Bros. cameo excluded) hurts her.  Her elimination is easy but choosing between the other three is difficult.  Without a question, Mario moves on.  If video games had a mascot, Mario would be it.  I remember reading somewhere back in the early-90’s, Mario was more popular than Mickey Mouse among children.  Not only is Mario popular, but his games have been hits.  The only disappointing Mario game that isn’t a spin-off (like Mario Party, Mario Kart, etc.) is Super Mario Sunshine.  That means, he’s been in games for over twenty years and is still kicking ass.

In a contest between Link and Pikachu, the nod goes to Link.  I believe Pikachu is more popular but once the Pokemon fad died down at the turn of the century, where did the electric rodent scamper off too?  Even if the Pokemon games were still selling, Pikachu is now just another face in a crowd of 400+ creatures.  Link, on the other hand, has been a consistent draw for gamers.  Zelda, after twenty years, still sells well…and part of that credit goes to Link.

Semi-Final II
Donkey Kong vs. Solid Snake vs. Master Chief vs. Sonic the Hedgehog


Eliminations were much harder to decide here because each character deserves a trip to the finals.  Ultimately, Donkey Kong was eliminated because he’s become more of a Mario lackey since Microsoft acquired Rare (a premiere Nintendo developer).  Donkey Kong used to star in platformers, but once Rare left a few years ago, he’s starred in some Jungle Beat games.  Not exactly stellar.  Sonic was also eliminated because he’s fallen so far from superstardom.  In the early-90’s, he was up there with Mario in popularity.  Then the Sega Saturn failed and while he rebounded on the Dreamcast with some good games (Sonic Adventure 1 and 2), he hasn’t been the same since Sega stopped producing consoles.  He’s still popular but his prestiege has taken a hit.

On the other hand, Snake and the Chief advance.  Both are popular characters and have the prestiege needed to be a finalist.  Snake’s been around a long time too, but his star power never really emerged until Metal Gear Solid hit the PlayStation back in 1998.  Since then, while his games have been rather infamous (thanks to overly-long cutscenes and insane plots), people pay to play them.  Master Chief made Halo and the Xbox a force to be reckoned with in the last-gen console wars.

The finals of the tournament wrap up today (go vote for Snake!), so this series will be concluded tomorrow…unless there’s another poll with the final two.

Why is that people who can’t take advice always insist on giving it?

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