Are you ready for EVO Japan? - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Are you ready for EVO Japan?

by Sairus Delaney

The world’s premier fighting game event is finally making its triumphant debut in the birthplace of modern fighting games!

This event will play host to seven main titles. The more regular fighting game franchises being represented are BlazBlue Central Fiction, The King of Fighters 14, Tekken 7, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev2 and Street Fighter 5 Arcade Edition. Nintendo gets a lot of love at this event too with the more unorthodox ARMS and Super Smash Brothers for WiiU. However, even aside from those games there are dozens of ‘official’ side events being organized in everything from Pokken Tournament to Ranma ½ Hard Battle on the SNES.
This weekend’s event is spread across three days. The first two days of the event are held in Ikebukuro’s Sunshine City on the West side of Tokyo, while the last day, exclusively devoted to the big ticket games’ finals, is held in Akihabara’s Akiba Square on the East side. Interestingly, the first two days of the event are completely free to enter, both to the public and to competitors. The finals do have an entry fee however with prices ranging from $15 standing places to $80 in the S class ringside seats!

There’s over 2,000 players registered to play in just Street Fighter 5, so this is shaping up to be a cutthroat event. Just a few months ago the same organizers ran a smaller, excellently named lead up event called 賽 [sài]. That event ran a similar suite of games, so those who narrowly missed out on top placements in Smash, KoF14 and GGXrd will be back for blood this time around. Check out the official page to see if any of your favorite players will be entering!

Large scale events like this tend to attract the major fighting game developers to show off upcoming games. Even the Switch will see some juicy fighting game details arise this time around as Arc System Works will be bringing a playable build of their upcoming BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle to the show floor. SNK have also promised new details on SNK Heroines.

There’s a couple of quirks to this event that will surely set it apart from regular Japanese events. Firstly, the entire event is being run Double Elimination, meaning if you lose a game you get a second chance to stay in the tournament. Typically Japanese events are run Single Elimination where a single game loss will send you home. This will be a welcome change for any international competitors!

Secondly, while most of the events have cash prizes, neither Nintendo titles will be included in that pot. Japan has extremely strict anti-gambling laws and so having prize money of any kind is often a rarity in Japanese events, but Nintendo standing apart certainly sticks out.

Although maybe not of huge interest to hardcore Nintendo folks, Street Fighter 5 is taking center stage as the main event of the tournament. In a spot of unfortunate timing, Capcom released a major update to the game less than two weeks before EVO Japan, rebalancing all characters and even adding a new fighter to the roster. With such a limited lead in time there’s sure to be plenty of upsets and twists in this tournament.
Finally, the most important special event of EVO Japan: the entire Famicrew will be there! James, Ty, Danny and myself (Sairus) plus other special guests will be entering various tournaments, trying out the new games and generally patrolling the show floor, so look forward to plenty of on the ground impressions!

Will you be tuning in to any of the show's live streams or is there anything else you're looking forward to from the event? Let us know in the comments!

Patrons, also look forward to a super special episode of Famicast Champion Edition sometime after the show too!