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Spring 2006 Contest Analysis Crew

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Tatsumaki Senpuu | Posted 7/2/2006 11:29:37 PM | message detail | #151
I'm actually getting the point today, gentlemen.

"Building the future and keeping the past alive are one in the same thing." -- Solid Snake
Master Moltar | Posted 7/2/2006 11:30:10 PM | message detail | #152
Sure, go right ahead.

Just don't hurt me with those giant scissors now.
Moltar Status: Excited, the Contest is here at last!
MMX vs. Suikoden - Bracket: MMX - Vote: MMX (1/1)
XxSoulxX | Posted 7/2/2006 11:30:21 PM | message detail | #153
Pfft. Just you wait until Suikoden's awesome day vote!
--- -
"ertyu is actually a language. For example, 'dum' is ertyunese for 'godly'." - Topaz Kitsune
^5 SOWL IMHO - Explicit Content
UltimaterializerX | Posted 7/2/2006 11:31:16 PM | message detail | #154
We'll see what happens. Regardless, I think the percentages will stabilize fairly quickly.

Winner of the Spring 2004 "Best. Game. Ever." Contest
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4, KH:COM (Sora), Larussa 92 (NYY), FE8, WC3: Frozen Throne
therealmnm | Posted 7/2/2006 11:32:18 PM | message detail | #155
I dunno... it's speeding along at a fairly good pace. I say it might get up to 77-78%.
Nominate Carmen Sandiego for SC2k6
Currently playing: Fable, MGS3:S, GTA:SA, MMAC
UltimaterializerX | Posted 7/3/2006 12:22:39 AM | message detail | #156
I hope my bracket turns out to be as good as my current Crew future-telling skeelz. The percentage is falling already, but only slightly. Me like.

Winner of the Spring 2004 "Best. Game. Ever." Contest
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4, KH:COM (Sora), Larussa 92 (NYY), FE8, WC3: Frozen Throne
BlAcK TuRtLe | Posted 7/3/2006 12:23:21 AM | message detail | #157
71.82% was my oracle for this match. Let's see how well I do.

Like Darth Maul, the bastard child of Michael Flatley and Hellboy. -trancer1
therealmnm | Posted 7/3/2006 12:23:47 AM | message detail | #158
It is going to rise back up in the daytime. Don't deny it. The percentage is going to fall on my side of 75%!
Nominate Carmen Sandiego for SC2k6
Currently playing: Fable, MGS3:S, GTA:SA, MMAC
Adamantno1 | Posted 7/3/2006 9:06:12 AM | message detail | #159
What IS SFF, anyway? System Fanboy Factor?

My nick's Adamant. I have a "no 1" that looks stupid. Would've changed it if I could without losing karma. So it's Adamant, not Adamanto or Adamantno.
jonthomson | Posted 7/3/2006 9:07:51 AM | message detail | #160
What IS SFF, anyway? System Fanboy Factor?

Same Fanbase Factor. Compare the Link/CATS and Link/Ganondorf matches.
Jon Thomson - CATS, Jay Solano, Ridley, Scorpion, Alien Hominid, Duke Nukem, The Prince, Johnny Rocketfingers, two TBA
Zylo the wolf | Posted 7/3/2006 9:13:09 AM | message detail | #161
O_O Suikoden doing better than what all in the crew expected, I thought it would at least get 30%.
1f u c4n r34d th1s u r34lly n33d t0 g37 l41d
FantasyFreak999 | Posted 7/3/2006 10:17:23 AM | message detail | #162
"Run, run, or you'll be well done!"
~Kefka, Final Fantasy 6~
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 11:24:53 AM | message detail | #163
The Legend of Zelda..........89.97% 100163
Civilization...............................10.03% 11169
TOTAL VOTES.....................................111332

98.15% of the brackets predicted this match correctly.

Wow, Day 1 of the Contest and we already have records being shattered. No competitor at GameFAQs has ever gotten more than 100K votes until LoZ did yesterday. That's incredible. Don't count out Final Fantasy yet though.

Today, MMX is easily beating Suikoden, but by a bit less than we thought. Suikoden cut down the percentage overnight, but the day vote is looking to help MMX recover some of that.

Ulti - 1
Moltar - 0
Soul - 0
Leon - 0
HM - 0
Yoblazer - 0
Mnm - 0
HaRRich - 0
Lopen - 0

In the first match of the Contest, Ulti prediction was the closest to LoZ's final percentage, so he gets the point.
Moltar Status: Excited, the Contest is here at last!
MMX vs. Suikoden - Bracket: MMX - Vote: MMX (1/1)
UltimaterializerX | Posted 7/3/2006 2:14:53 PM | message detail | #164
Leon or H looks like they'll take today.

Winner of the Spring 2004 "Best. Game. Ever." Contest
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4, KH:COM (Sora), Larussa 92 (NYY), FE8, WC3: Frozen Throne
jonthomson | Posted 7/3/2006 3:35:18 PM | message detail | #165
Entire crew picks Pokemon, am i rite?
Jon Thomson - CATS, Jay Solano, Ridley, Scorpion, Alien Hominid, Duke Nukem, The Prince, Johnny Rocketfingers, two TBA
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:32:12 PM | message detail | #166
Hyrule Division: Round 1 - Match 3 – (3)Pokemon vs. (6)Star Ocean

Moltar’s Analysis

Pokemon, Pokemon, with the Pokey and the Mon, yeah, we all know what it is. Most of us took part of the Pokemon craze. It’s still going too, with Diamond and Pearl coming out soon.

Star Ocean
Star Ocean, while not as popular as…Final Fantasy, isn’t as obscure as most other RPGs in this Contest. Latest release = Star Ocean 3


So, when the bracket was released, this was one of those matches that no one really talked about at first, until it was brought up that Xenogears beat Pokemon G/S/C with 58% back in 2004. A few brave souls then began to believe Star Ocean would win this match. I mean, it is more popular than Xenogears…right? That’s the big question in this match.

Most people are thinking, “its pokemon lolz, its the uber popularzz!11” but that still doesn’t change the fact it lost to Xenogears. Now, I have Pokemon winning this match. It’s definitely the safe route, as Pokemon…well…IS very popular. Yeah, it has it’s share of haters, but still. I think it’s performance against Xenogears was a fluke. I had Pokemon back in my bracket in 2004, and I really couldn’t believe that it lost that match. The reasoning back then was because Pokemon garnered a bunch of anti-votes, but times have changed.

Another problem is that it could have been the G/S/C series, because more casuals are prone to prefer the original R/B/Y series. Since the Pokemon series is now united in this match, it’s likely to do better. Also, Pokemon was behind possible FF7/Xenogears SFF, which made Xenogears look very weak (weaker than we already thought). I mean, Xenogears was #32 on the Top 100 list, which is pretty good, and shows it does have its share of fans. It beat out Pokemon G/S/C by a bit, but R/B/Y ranked above it.

Conclusion: If Pokemon and Xenogears were underrated in 2004 because of FF7, then Pokemon should take this match. However, if Star Ocean winds up having some semblance of strength on GameFAQs, then we have an upset on our hands. I’m banking on the former though.

Moltar’s Bracket Says: Pokemon will win.

Moltar’s Prediction is: Pokemon: 53% - Star Ocean: 47%

Ulti’s Analysis

This will be the first match of the contest that is in any question, though it's disappointing that a one-point first round match is the only question we really have in the Hyrule Division.

Pokemon is the favorite to win, but the issue is whether or not Star Ocean can cover the imaginary gap between itself and Pokemon via Pokemon anti-votes and Star Ocean's own innate strength... whatever that is.

It's a reasonable question, but then one has to wonder what Star Ocean's innate strength is. A good comparison to make is with Tales of Symphonia (TOS and SO3 always gets lumped together by fans of SO3 for whatever reason), a game that has seen three of its characters make contest fields. One of these characters has actually won a match. Star Ocean has gotten no characters into the field. Neither game made the Spring 2004 Contest, though Star Ocean 2 not getting in might say a lot about the series' cult status.

Another interesting note is the Xenogears vs GSC match from 2004. Xenogears was obviously SFFd by FF7, so GSC is very underrated as a result. The Recent Top 100 list somewhat confirms both things.

Personally, I doubt Star Ocean has enough of a fanbase to win, even with anti-votes factored in. It's also worth postulating that only Pikachu has suffered from anti-votes in contests, but that's a different animal entirely until we see other Pokemon in contests.

Prediction: Pokemon with 53.33%
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:33:13 PM | message detail | #167
Soul’s Analysis

This one is up in the air for some reason? A few people are saying that Star Ocean could beat Pokemon because Xenogears beat G/S. Well, if you're looking for upset picks, I believe you should look somewhere else. This match will definitely go to Pokemon. Where's my proof? Common sense, really. What do you think is more well known? What do you think is more popular? What do you think is more anticipated?

There's also been a change of demographic on this site. What was once known as RPGFAQs is now known as NintendoFAQs. You really think a huge series like Pokemon will get defeated by an almost obscure series like Star Ocean? Don't make me laugh. Not trusting my common sense has bit me in the ass already, and I'm not about to let that happen to me again.

My Prediction: Pokemon wins with 64.57% of the vote.

Leon’s Analysis

At first glance, this match appears to have upset potential written ALL over it. Pokemon hate has been a serious factor in previous contests. In SC2K2, Pikachu struggled to beat PaRappa the friggin’ Rapper before getting quadrupled by Cloud. In SC2K3, he didn’t even get past the first round, only managing around 32% on Fox McCloud. In the 2004 Best Game Ever Contest, Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal was beaten with ease by Xenogears, a relatively obscure RPG.

In steps Star Ocean, a relatively obscure RPG series. Right away, the correlation between this match and that Xenogears vs. Pokemon G/S/C match in 2004 should be obvious. Pokemon is far from unbeatable, that’s for sure. However, from the looks of things, the hate does not appear to be as extreme as it has been in years past. Plus, Xenogears only had to beat ONE (or three, whatever) game. Star Ocean has to tackle the entire series. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Red/Blue/Yellow is the most popular set in the series, so that’s one advantage for Pokemon.

Now the question becomes…How does Star Ocean compare to Xenogears? It’s hard to say. I’ll be honest. I’ve never played one of its games, so I don’t know that much about it on a personal level. I know that it IS an RPG, which is the most popular genre on this site, and it is property of Square-Enix, which could help. We don’t have a single example of how it has performed in any contest. It will essentially be relying solely on Star Ocean 3, as the rest of the series hasn’t been nearly as popular. However, it DOES have Pokemon anti-votes (one of the few times when anti-votes DO matter) to its benefit, but how significant will that be? In reality, that is what will make or break this match. In terms of any other factor that you can possibly look at to analyze this match, Pokemon has the advantage in just about all of them. In the end, I don’t think it’s quite enough to give Star Ocean the victory, but it could certainly swing the other way. This is a perfect trap match, one that really gives you a headache trying to figure it out. Either way, this should be one of the better matches of the contest and close throughout.

Leonhart’s Prediction: Pokemon with 53.64%
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:34:49 PM | message detail | #168
Yoblazer’s Analysis

The third contest match is the first one that's actually been the focus of debate. Hmm... maybe if we didn't have ONE GUY WHO DOES THIS FOR EVERY SINGLE CONTEST, we could devote more time to other, better matches. Ah well, I guess it's contest tradition by now.

It's clear that the aura of invincibility surrounding other Nintendo franchises decided not to envelop itself around Pokemon. The series has never been particularly popular on GameFAQs, especially when compared to its juggernaut-like status around the world. It's likely the most SFF-able Nintendo series, and we've never really seen the Nintendo faithful rally for it (kind of like Donkey Kong in game form). These are not good signs for a series that wants to do well in a contest setting, but just how strong does Pokemon need to be to fend off something like Star Ocean? Let's take a look at the competition...

Star Ocean is an RPG series now published by Square Enix. It's... hold the presses... a Squeenix RPG? Why is this match even being discussed? Unfortunately, only two of Star Ocean's four games have been released in the US. It's a two-game series, joining the likes of Super Smash Bros., Halo, and Kingdom Hearts (well, technically not KH, but come on). The difference here is that those aforementioned series have at least one very strong game. A humble analogy, if I may: we have three one-gallon containers filled with alcohol. They are labeled Halo, Kingdom Hearts, and Smash Bros., respectively. We take one spoonful from each container and dump it in a fourth empty container. We fill the rest of that container with water. That's Star Ocean. It's diluted. It's weak. It's not giving anyone a buzz. No one cares about its first game and its second game isn't big enough to stand up to much.

Of course, there is one central piece of evidence that Star Ocean supporters have relied upon, and that is Xenogears' 58-42 win over Pokemon Gold/Silver/Crystal in the Games Contest. Here we have another small-time RPG with unspectacular sales beating a very well-known Pokemon game. If it happened once, why couldn't it happen again? For one, I very much doubt Star Ocean: Till the End of Time is more popular than Xenogears. Xenogears was always talked about. It, like Suikoden, has a very devoted group of fans, and that group is larger. I've never seen such support for Star Ocean. In a direct match, I'd take Xenogears without hesitation. Secondly, it's hard to argue the fact that the voter pool has been favoring Nintendo more since SpC2K4, as two Summer Contests and the Villains Contest have clearly shown. This may not help Pokemon significantly, but it sure won't hurt. The final point, and the one that will help Pokemon most, is its status as a series. As the Fall Top 100 has shown us, Pokemon Red/Blue is clearly the series's most popular game (coming in at an impressive #28, as opposed to Pokemon Gold's #59). There's no doubt that this game, along with the dozens of other Pokemon titles stuffed into one Pokeball-sized contest entrant, will make for a stronger competitor than its Spring Contest counterpart.

+ We've yet to see its strongest stuff
+ Lots of games
+ Voter shift toward Nintendo could help it out
- Terrible contest history
- One of the only series where anti-voting can play a factor
- Its second round match (should it win here) will be so sad

Star Ocean
+ Square Enix RPG
+ Its second game drew decent hype and recognition
- All hopes lie on the shoulders of one game
- That game ain't even strong, buddy

My prediction: Pokemon def. Star Ocean (55-45)
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:35:50 PM | message detail | #169
Mnm’s Analysis

Battle Music: Pokefloats (SSBM)

Here we go! The first “debated” match-up of the contest, even though it was a fairly easy decision for me. Since I’m already aware of a 2000 word analysis for this match, I’ll get to the point. Pokemon is known to have a lot of hate on this site, but I don’t think that is really true. It’s just Pikachu and Nintendo making a cash cow of the brand that gets the hate. The games have plenty of fans on this site. People look at the Xenogears/Pokemon G/S/C matchup as a sign of weakness for Pokemon, but there are a few things I’d like to point out about that matchup:

1. That was Pokemon G/S/C represented in that contest. Not the series as a whole. Some people might argue that fans of one game are probably fans of them all. But that’s not necessarily true. Pokemon R/B/Y is undoubtedly the most popular branch of the series, as it serves as the roots and featured the most popular Pokemon. Given the age demographic of the site, and Pokemon’s reputation of a “kiddie” franchise, there are probably plenty of people on this site who have only played R/B/Y (myself included) and outgrew the series. Remember, G/S/C came out about 2-3 years after R/B/Y. The sales numbers for the games in America are 17.42 million for R/B/Y (11.44 for R/B), and 11.73 G/S/C (9.14 for G/S). And those numbers don’t even tell the whole story, as a good number of those G/S/C sales are going to be kids new to gaming, as is evident by the age demographic of the series. Trust me. I worked at Toys R Us. There were tons of kiddies picking up a GBC along with G/S/C. R/B/Y is much more popular than G/S/C and would have done better against Xenogears.

2. Speaking of Xenogears, people seem to forget that it was in an SFF match with FFVII. People see that it got a solid 19.97% and assumed that it probably didn’t get SFF’d at all. Look closer. Xenogears and FFVII were simultaneous Square projects on the PSX. With most of Square’s resources going to FFVII, Xenogears was delayed. Parasite Eve was the next big Square hit for the PSX. Parasite Eve came with a Xenogears demo. Xenogears was released later that year. Given FFVII’s immense popularity then, most people who bought Xenogears were undoubtedly people who bought or at least played FFVII. They pretty much share the exact same fanbase. As for Xenogears’ sales numbers, those are a bit skewed since Xenogears wasn’t mass-produced. It became a commodity on the used market, and the demand for the game became so great that Square re-released it as a greatest hit 3 years later. Xenogears didn’t beat Pokemon because of Pokemon’s weakness. It was due to Xenogears’ strength. Xenogears and Pokemon G/S/C are most likely underrated in the SpC2k4 stats.

3. People also seem to be forgetting about the influx of Nintendo fans on this site since 2k4. The DS has been a big part of that. Even though there hasn’t been a big Pokemon release on the DS yet, the fans are still there. With “The Boost” already having been in effect, Pokemon would probably be a bit stronger than it was in 2k4. Plus add the fact that Pokemon hate has slowly been dwindling in the industry, and Pokemon has a great chance to win this match.
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:36:39 PM | message detail | #170
On the other side, we have Star Ocean, which is a pretty decent series in popularity, but not on the level of any of the Square RPGs. The series was pretty obscure before Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, which is the most popular game in the series, and probably the most popular non-Square/non-Dragon Quest/non-Xenosaga RPG on the PS2. Yes, I know it is under the Square-Enix brand, but come on, we all know that Star Ocean is an Enix game. Square-Enix did a good job of marketing the game, but it’s not like people are adopting it as a Square game. Looking at how Till the End of Time fared in polls, I would say it’s about as popular as Tales of Symphonia on this site. Decent popularity, but I don’t think it’s enough to beat the Pokemon series as a whole.

Bracket: Pokemon
Vote: Pokemon
Prediction: Pokemon with 55.46%

HaRRich’s Analysis

Predicted winner: Pokemon
Top 100 List comparison:
---Pokemon R/B/Y - #28, Pokemon G/S/C - #59
---SO - N/A (had no games on the drop-down list)
Best Game Ever x-stat comparison:
---Pokemon G/S/C - 16.79% (was behind FF7/Xenogears)
---SO - N/A (no rep)

Finally, our first good match...well, hopefully good -- I'm thinking it should be close and deceptively unpredictable, anyway. We've never seen SO in contest-action, though it's done okay in some GotY polls and "Which game release do you most anticipate in March?"-type polls. However, I'm of the opinion that Xenogears, which beat Pokemon G/S/C with 57.95%, would beat the entire SO series; while Heroic Mario has convinced me SO isn't cult, per say, I still don't figure it can match Xenogears's popularity here, no matter the sales-difference between them. I also think Pokemon R/B/Y should be noticably stronger than Pokemon G/S/C, then that the Pokemon series should be even stronger than that. Pokemon has reached more systems and made more games as well, which can't hurt. Last, as little notes, Pokemon hate has appeared to die down a bit since Spring 2004 (when we last saw a Pokemon-related contest entry) and we saw some Nintendo characters boost a lot last year or at least generally be impressive...neither should be difference-makers, but neither can hurt its cause either. SO can pull the upset, but I think it's simply going to walk away with a moral victory.

Pokemon wins with 53.12%

Lopen’s Analysis

At first glance, this one seems like a no brainer. It's the Nintendo hit Pokemon… the same game that sold 5 bajillion copies, against some series which sold something like 0.1 bajillion copies? (It doesn't matter what a bajillion is, it's all about the ratio!) Basically what I mean to say is, Pokemon has the huge exposure advantage in this match. But is that enough? Back in 2004 it wasn't, when Pokemon GSC went down to the likes of Xenogears. 2003 and 2002? Poor lil Pikachu struggled to beat Pafreakingrappa and got his ass kicked a couple of times in his other matches!

So from its past appearances, it's safe to say the site hates Pokemon enough to give it the loss against all but the fodderyist of fodder? Well you know what? I don't think so. It's obvious that the voters did at one time, but I sense that the Pokemon hate has gone down now that we aren't being force-fed yellow rat at every opportunity. Let's face it, the series became popular for a reason, and I think that the people are starting to realize that once again. Evidence? Well, aside from observations over the boards (boards != site… yeah yeah… shut up!) and in life, you can also notice that Pokemon Red (I personally preferred Blue, but I digress) grabbed a pretty respectable #28 in the top 100 list from last year.
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:37:44 PM | message detail | #171
Yes, it's true, you can't anti-vote in the top 100 list, and it may not be a hugely reliable gauge of strength, but I still think it looks good for Pokemon. I really doubt all of the Pokemon anti-voters were always anti-Pokemon crusaders. Surely, some of them played it, enjoyed it, and then got sick of the overexposure. I've seen it happen. But now those crusaders, they're turning around and saying… "man, Pokemon isn't so bad! I liked Pokemon for the Gameboy back in the day!", and so they vote for Pokemon when they wouldn't have a while back.

And the thing is, it's just Star Ocean Pokemon has to beat. We don't need a Pokemon Pride Parade, here. Star Ocean isn't quite "cult", but it's pretty bloody close as far as GameFAQs popularity is concerned. It's not much more of a threat than Xenogears, if at all.

And even if you aren't convinced and you don't think the hate hasn't gone down one bit, think about this: It's also possible (probable, I'd say!) that Pokemon RBY are significantly more popular than Pokemon GSC and Pikachu, which would help Pokemon. Hardly an unreasonable assumption, is it?

Lopen's Prediction: Pokemon with 56.08%

HM’s Analysis

Ah, yes, Pokemon v. Star Ocean is one that I have argued over since the bracket was released. For some reason, everyone seems to shrug off Star Ocean as if it didn’t stand a chance of winning, but I think it’s going to end up shocking a lot of people once the match results come in. Not only is Star Ocean going to put up a great fight, but it’s going to win--you heard it here, folks!

Initially, I actually had Pokemon winning the match in my bracket, but I was just going through quickly to make all my initial decisions. When I saw who Pokemon was up against, I hesitated for a moment, but went with the safe pick. It wasn’t until later on that I came to the realization that Xenogears, who faced Pokemon G/S/C in the Games Contest, had beaten it—and rather convincingly at that. With that tidbit in mind, I went back to change to Star Ocean, because I just knew that Star Ocean 3 would beat Xenogears in a match-up, and Xenogears had mauled Pokemon G/S/C.

Interestingly, I recall the match was closer when only registered members of GameFAQs could vote—you had to have an account in order to cast a vote. It was a strange glitch, but after it was fixed, Xenogears won by even more. I think, more than anything, it helped to prove that Pokemon is by no means a powerhouse franchise here at GameFAQs. I have no doubt in my mind that the Pokemon hate still lingers even to this day, as there has not been anything notable that would change people from hating to liking it in just two short years. Further, Pokemon is not enjoying the same popularity it did back in the days of R/B/Y; not only in public opinion, but also in sales. I think it is very safe to say that ridicule and dislike toward the series still exists on a pretty significant scale to this day, which does not spell good things when it goes up against a series that people do like, even if it’s not played on the same widespread scale.
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:38:21 PM | message detail | #172
It should be pretty clear at this point that Star Ocean does not need to be a significant franchise in order to pull out a victory against Pokemon. One might bring up Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow, but I can’t imagine that it would help out the series significantly at all. If you have played one Pokemon game, you have more or less played them all. Sure, there are some that are better than others, and each adds something new in an attempt to make it fresh (more Pokemon, double team battles, day/night, breeding, etc.), but it essentially is the same game even after all these years, or at least the basic concept has remained intact. I’m sure that Pokemon will be stronger due to people like R/B/Y more than others just because it was during the big craze, but it wouldn’t be that much stronger to where this is out of Star Ocean’s reach. As an example, I wouldn’t take Pokemon R/B/Y over Xenogears, or even give that match a second thought. And just as a refresher course, Pokemon G/S/C ended up around Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, Resident Evil, and Secret of Mana in the extrapolated standings. Of course, there is the Final Fantasy VII/Xenogears SFF to take into consideration, but I wouldn’t picture it being all that significant. It was certainly there, but not quite in the large scale that some want to believe.

However, I’m not relying on Pokemon’s weakness and its anti-votes; rather, I’m banking on the popularity of Star Ocean, which seems to be grossly underestimated on the board for some reason (I could only assume it was because it never really became a board “fad” along the lines of Tales of Symphonia or Phoenix Wright), mixed with those said anti-votes—they’re always worth taking into consideration when it’s Pokemon. Oddly enough, one of the biggest misconceptions about Star Ocean is that it is obscure or cult, which could not be further from the truth. There was never any argument to back up Star Ocean being cult, and when its sales for the latest entry hit 630,000 in America alone, I think it is pretty justified in being far above an obscure RPG or an obscure RPG franchise—the entire series has sold over two million copies worldwide, which is pretty solid for an RPG series not named “Final Fantasy.”

Fortunately, I managed to come across some Star Ocean sales for the entire franchise over at tri-Ace’s website. I wouldn’t dare think about using sales as a way to prove the strength of a series, especially against something like Pokemon, but this simply goes to show that Star Ocean is not cult, obscure, or unheard of among gamers. It has had two releases here in America, and both received very good sales…

1.) Star Ocean (SNES)
Japan -- 235,000
America -- N/A
Total: 235,000

2.) Star Ocean : The Second Story (PSX)
Japan -- 724,000
America -- 370,000
Total: 1.09 million

3.) Star Ocean : Blue Sphere (GBC)
Japan -- 130,000
America -- N/A
Total: 130,000

4.) Star Ocean 3 : Till the End of Time (PS2)
Japan -- 478,000
America -- 630,000 [This is a more accurate number according to NPD's recently released]
Total: 1.10 million

5.) Star Ocean 3 : Till the End of Time - Director's Cut (PS2)
Japan -- 164,000
Total: 164,000

Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:39:28 PM | message detail | #173
As you can clearly see, Star Ocean 2 and Star Ocean 3 both sold very well over here, especially the latter. To give a comparison, Star Ocean 2’s sales are comparable to Dragon Quest VIII’s (400,000) and Xenosaga Episode I (500,000). It didn’t sell as much, but it is clearly up there in sales. Even more interesting is that those figures surpass that of Xenogears, which sold 239,000 in America. Xenogears is certainly more popular than those sales figures would indicate, but it’s hard to give Xenogears so much credit and undercut Star Ocean when its sales are as good as these. Gamers have played them, they have heard of them, and it isn’t cult. Looking at Star Ocean 3’s sales, you could even compare those to Resident Evil 4 and God of War (pre-Greatest Hits) with around the 630,000 number. How crazy is it that people are willing to call that obscure? It just doesn’t make sense.

Even further in Star Ocean’s favor, the latest entry in the series—Star Ocean 3—has the added benefit of being heavily advertised and by a company known as “Square Enix.” Yes, arguably the biggest company at this website is the one behind Star Ocean 3 : Till the End of Time, which I think it a pretty significant factor. It helps out a lot that the series, or at least the latest entry, is now attached to Square. More people are likely to give it a look, more people are likely to play it, and more people are likely to vote for it based entirely off of the company if they hated/didn’t care about Pokemon and saw Star Ocean there. On another note, Star Ocean 3 enjoyed immense success here on GameFAQs. It peaked as the number one game at one point, and it stuck around in the Top 10 for a long time before falling off. Again, it is not to prove its strength; rather, it is to prove that it was not ignored. It shows that people at GameFAQs took notice to the game and were playing it, which is big for something like this.

One of the unfortunate things about this match is that we have not had the opportunity to see Star Ocean ever really show off its strength in any type of contest environment. Heck, it’s barely had an opportunity in the standard polls that take place year round on GameFAQs. But, it has appeared a few times, even if it wasn’t in the question.

In the first poll, Star Ocean 3 ended up coming in a solid third behind Grand Theft Auto : San Andreas (Game of the Year Winner) and Metal Gear Solid 3—both huge games. That’s some extremely stiff competition right there, so it’s understandable that it would not dominate the charts. I mean, I wouldn’t even be thinking about Star Ocean over Metal Gear or Grand Theft Auto (though I do wish it were popular enough to go toe-to-toe with them. Heh), so it’s placement isn’t really all that negative. At the least, it shows it can net some real votes and not be favored over other “mainstream” titles.

In the second poll, we see it coming in fourth of the most anticipated Square Enix games coming out in the future. There is plenty of “Final Fantasy” competition, which is automatically going to place ahead of anything else in that poll, but it does have comparable numbers to FFTA—a pretty strong game in the games contest—and FFXI. Again, nothing really earthshaking, but it does show that there are people who care about the game quite a bit, which just further removes the idea that it is overly obscure.

In the last poll, Star Ocean places second in a poll asking what first-quarter PlayStation 2 game are you most looking forward to. Once again, it has pretty comparable numbers to FFXI, much like that other poll, but that’s all that manages to beat it. It does beat out games like Splinter Cell, Mega Man Anniversary Collection, StarCraft : Ghost, and Resident Evil : Outbreak. This is probably the more impressive poll, though there are plenty of options to choose from.
Master Moltar | Posted 7/3/2006 4:41:14 PM | message detail | #174
I would go and grab a bunch of polls that ask about upcoming Nintendo games or handheld games or whatever where Pokemon gets a small chunk of the “most anticipated.” Even recently, it seems to have the same voters who will vote for it, but they are in a very small number. Pokemon is usually last or second to last in any of those polls, regardless of what competition is there. However…

These two polls do a fine job of covering the “Pokemon hate” that I talked about earlier. Everyone pretty much knows all about hatred toward the series, and those polls just reinforce those ideas. The latest one, admittedly, was taken in 2003, but I can’t imagine that hate diminishing by any notable amount over the past two years—Pokemon’s last appearance in a contest. That on top of Star Ocean’s clear and present fanbase and pretty solid popularity are leading me to believe that Star Ocean will pull a victory here …

I think Star Ocean is going to have some surprising strength (No, not anything that puts Metroid in danger) that people are really underestimating. These arguments being tossed around that Pokemon is going to win decisively or not ever have to worry are ludicrous to me. What’s worse is that I have yet to see any argument that supports Pokemon winning this match in such a way. There is not much debate surrounding this match on the board, because most people seem to think Pokemon is the safe choice—and if you want to be safe, sure. The only thing I can come up with as to why people would pick Pokemon in this match is their own unfamiliarity with the Star Ocean series, and just not looking at the actual facts at hand here. We may not have see Star Ocean in a contest before, but that is not a negative against it. The reasonable explanation for that is that Star Ocean 3, the most popular entry by far, released in August 2004. That essentially means it had one contest to get in and that was Summer 2005. I don’t recall a rally ever being held to get Fayt (the main character) into the contest, and Board 8 has significant influence on the nominations. The games contest … well, I wouldn’t have imagined Star Ocean 2 cracking through that with the such strict competition—but I wouldn’t imagine it being strong enough to beat something like Xenogears, though Suikoden would be on the receiving end of beating.

So yeah. Ultimately, I think Star Ocean is going to prove to have some pretty solid strength, Pokemon is going to continue to show its own weakness, and people are going to continue to think Pokemon is the “safe choice,” despite it proving to be fodder on numerous occasions. We have seen Pokemon on the losing end against a Square RPG—Xenogears—and it’s in the same situation here against a more popular Star Ocean. I’m confident in Star Ocean pulling out a victory that isn’t overly close, but isn’t a blowout by any means. This’ll be a much closer match that people are giving credit, and Star Ocean should at least garner some respect from this, win or lose. Anyone expecting this match to be entirely one sided is just not giving this match the thought it deserves. It may be just one point, but it could end up being a crucial one point.

(*waves the Star Ocean flag* Final Fantasy > Star Ocean final in my favorites bracket, yo.)

Aitch Emm’s Bracket Says : Star Ocean will win.

Aitch Emm’s Prediction : Star Ocean 53% -- Pokemon 47%

Aitch Emm’s Vote : Star Ocean.

Comments: WHEW, glad that's done with. Crew is in favor of Pokemon 8-1, but with HM's write-up, for might as well call it even. Most of us think it will be close, but Soul smells a easy Pokemon victory.
Shivan Reincarnated | Posted 7/3/2006 5:22:26 PM | message detail | #175
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Phediuk | Posted 7/3/2006 5:24:28 PM | message detail | #176
Good God, HM. Think of how many hours of your life you wasted rooting for the losing team.
"Thank you, Mario. But our princess is in another castle."
-Toad in Super Mario Bros.
Phediuk | Posted 7/3/2006 5:25:43 PM | message detail | #177
Wait, does 45% of the GameFAQs population owning Pokemon RS translate to Pokemon hate? Explain this to me.
"Thank you, Mario. But our princess is in another castle."
-Toad in Super Mario Bros.
Blade Of Evils Bane | Posted 7/3/2006 5:27:21 PM | message detail | #178
Hes going to feel pretty stupid for wasting all that time typing that up in a couple of hours... : D

Can't think of a good sig.
SephirothG | Posted 7/3/2006 5:27:25 PM | message detail | #179
Christ, HM...
[Something clever was here before the sig wipe]
Shivan Reincarnated | Posted 7/3/2006 5:28:07 PM | message detail | #180
It's actually less than 45%. I doubt all 18% that said maybe ended up buying it.

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin
Phediuk | Posted 7/3/2006 5:31:58 PM | message detail | #181

A Square RPG scoring less than 15% in a GotY poll is not at all impressive.

HOLY CRAP FIFTH PLACE, in close contention with "None of the above".

It's a Square RPG up against a bunch of franchises the GameFAQs populace doesn't care about. Big ****ing whoop. Aside from that, it still got beaten by FFXI, which would probably be one of the weakest games in the main FF series.
"Thank you, Mario. But our princess is in another castle."
-Toad in Super Mario Bros.
Lopen | Posted 7/3/2006 5:36:57 PM | message detail | #182
Phediuk is kinda right here. Part of HM's analysis is arguing against himself in my eyes. I'd have brought those polls up in support of Pokemon. SO isn't ultimate jobber fodder, but it's hardly looking impressive either.
Raiden is still [!!] nominations short!
Tatsumaki Senpuu | Posted 7/3/2006 5:47:42 PM | message detail | #183
Good God, HM. Think of how many hours of your life you wasted rooting for the losing team.

It didn't even take an hour ...

"Building the future and keeping the past alive are one in the same thing." -- Solid Snake
therealmnm | Posted 7/3/2006 5:57:31 PM | message detail | #184
I hardly touched on Star Ocean itself. I was more or less arguing for Pokemon.
Nominate Carmen Sandiego for SC2k6
Currently playing: Fable, MGS3:S, GTA:SA, MMAC
Captain Brainslide | Posted 7/3/2006 6:45:45 PM | message detail | #185
Ah, another year, another time to tag this thing so I can find it in the mess of topics on the board. There's way more posts already than previous Crew topics, though, which I guess is good except it gets to 500 too fast.

Oh, and I do have to hand out props to HM for that latest writeup (I guess I have a better tolerance/appreciation for length and detail than some around here). Even if the prediction comes up short, that was well done. I wouldn't mind at all if Star Ocean wins and kills my zero bracket early. Still, HM's percentage skills earlier just show that he hasn't given up his need to change his mind on things quickly, even after only a few seconds of typing numbers... ;-)
HaRRicH | Posted 7/3/2006 9:37:09 PM | message detail | #186
In the last poll, Star Ocean places second in a poll asking what first-quarter PlayStation 2 game are you most looking forward to. Once again, it has pretty comparable numbers to FFXI, much like that other poll, but that’s all that manages to beat it. It does beat out games like Splinter Cell, Mega Man Anniversary Collection, StarCraft : Ghost, and Resident Evil : Outbreak. This is probably the more impressive poll, though there are plenty of options to choose from.

Splinter Cell had two games in the Top 100 List's drop-down box -- which featured 130 games -- and only one game made it (#87)...and it was still beaten by the two write-ins. MMAC helped Mega Man NONE in 2004. While the fact that SC:G got cancelled doesn't matter, I wouldn't think fans of Starcraft would be crazy about a third-person shooter on the Gamecube. RE:O wasn't quite so hyped, if memory serves me right -- I think that was around the time the RE brand-name was startin' to be slung into mud before RE4 saved the franchise.

SO should do good for itself, and it could win...but just don't push your arguement too far out there HM.
Miss my Four-Pack Of Fun? Go here:
UltimaterializerX | Posted 7/3/2006 9:38:41 PM | message detail | #187
Man, I got boxed in hardcore.

Winner of the Spring 2004 "Best. Game. Ever." Contest
Currently Playing: Resident Evil 4, KH:COM (Sora), Larussa 92 (NYY), FE8, WC3: Frozen Throne
HaRRicH | Posted 7/3/2006 9:47:04 PM | message detail | #188
I'm boxed worse than you Ulti, and I still plan to win the point on this match. =P
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HaRRicH | Posted 7/3/2006 9:50:42 PM | message detail | #189
I also want to point out a mistake I made in my Suikoden/MMX analysis...

---N/A (neither series had games on the drop-down list)

...Suikoden 2 was actually #57. Sucks for me!
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Sir Bormun | Posted 7/3/2006 10:24:19 PM | message detail | #190

Oh my God, it beat Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal! I've been such a fool, there's no way Pokemon can contend with this monolith of a series!

Seriously... ya. That was a pretty pathetic showing. And SO3 was the ONLY RPG in the poll. On a site that was, at least then, RPGFAQs, that's a damned terrible showing.
Need new sig.
BlAcK TuRtLe | Posted 7/3/2006 11:05:50 PM | message detail | #191
I have 55.01%. Let's see how I stack up.

Like Darth Maul, the bastard child of Michael Flatley and Hellboy. -trancer1
Jarvis_Clarinet | Posted 7/3/2006 11:12:08 PM | message detail | #192
I think it's safe to say that Soul wins... about eleven minutes into the poll...

Original Account: Doctor Clarinet; Created 11/1/03; Banned 8/18/05
HaRRicH | Posted 7/3/2006 11:41:20 PM | message detail | #193
HM got BLASTED in this match.

I pity him, really -- I thought it would be close as well (in Poke's favor though), like many of us...but holy ****.
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therealmnm | Posted 7/3/2006 11:42:20 PM | message detail | #194
I doubted Pokemon's blowout ability.
Nominate Carmen Sandiego for SC2k6
Currently playing: Fable, MGS3:S, GTA:SA, MMAC
XxSoulxX | Posted 7/4/2006 12:04:44 AM | message detail | #195
First of many, hopefully.
--- -
"ertyu is actually a language. For example, 'dum' is ertyunese for 'godly'." - Topaz Kitsune
^5 SOWL IMHO - Explicit Content
HaRRicH | Posted 7/4/2006 12:09:43 AM | message detail | #196
I did in this match for sure. I wouldn't have said the series is unable to perform blow-outs...but I certainly wouldn't have thought we would see one here.
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HaRRicH | Posted 7/4/2006 12:12:56 AM | message detail | #197
Oh, and I believe I get a point for the Suikoden/MMX match...if so, hells yeah.
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Ngamer64 | Posted 7/4/2006 12:23:27 AM | message detail | #198
Glad I didn't pick against Nintendo this year! Hoo boy!

"lol x-stats" - The Contest Simulator:
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zman804 | Posted 7/4/2006 1:11:33 AM | message detail | #199
Skunk Gold Panda Revolution... I'd so buy that!
Metal Goomba | Posted 7/4/2006 9:09:43 AM | message detail | #200
Now Playing: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars