Episode 1: Coming Out Swinging
Episode 2: Making Waves
Episode 3: On Thin Ice
Episode 4: Blind Sided
Episode 5: In the Crosshairs
Episode 6: Climbing the Walls
Episode 7: The Gauntlet
Episode 8: The Grand Finale
Episode 1: Coming Out Swinging
1776. George Washington chops down the cherry tree. He attaches it to Ben Franklin’s kite. Lightning ensues. The Declaration of Independence is born. History follows. America wins the Civil War. America defeats Hitler. America defeats the Vietnamese. All so a video game organization can greenlight bad reality television. And I can make fun of it.
It’s season two of World Cyber Games: Ultimate Gamer™. Last season, nothing of interest happened. But this time, it’s on, mother fuckers. Why is this entry a week-and-a-half late? The World Cyber Games hacked my computer and killed my aging, clinging-to-life six-year-old hard drive. There’s no other explanation. Time for payback. Time to write mean things on the internet!
0:48 – “…and compete for the biggest title in gaming.” This is followed by in-game footage of Wii Sports Resort. This won’t end well.
1:27 – Samsung Ad Placement Detection Robot! Get in here! Your services are needed!
THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
2:37 – Caesar
Gamertag: CDN The 3rd
Acumen: “Top 8 Finalist, Gears of War“. I presume this means a Top-Eight finish at the 2007 World Cyber Games, the only time Gears of War was a featured game at the competition. This will not be the first time the show is ambiguous in selling the talent of its contestants.
Quote: “I’m really doing this for my woman. If I can win this money, I would definitely propose. She’s my soulmate.” Focus testers wanted Jersey Shore. Here you go.
2:52 – Mike
Acumen: “3-Time WCG National Finalist, FIFA“. Three-time American champion of a soccer video game. In other words, when it came time to find a champ, only one other person showed up. And then he was deported.
Quote: “I do really well with women. But I’m not very good at relationships. Like I have a lot of things going on with work, school, and sports.” Oh. It’s the evolution of World of Warcraft. Where full-time raiders have room for straight-As and two forty-hour jobs. Only now? Fuck the girlfriend. Girls are ghey, dawg.
3:09 – Kat
Gamertag: ||| Mystik |||
Acumen: “National Champion, Dead or Alive 4; Top 12 Finalist, Halo“.
Quote: “In the past competitions I did, I actually had a problem with a lot with the girls, ’cause it’s hard to understand how to compete with them without getting on their bad side.” She is telling the whole truth and nothing but. She was all “I PLAY TO WIN” and they were all “NO THROWS U COCKNOOB”. Yup.
3:21 – Vanessa
Acumen: “WCG Pan-American Champion, Dead or Alive 4”
Quote: “But as I soon as I saw Kat, I knew she was gonna try to start up some problems with me.” Fabricated drama? In my reality television show? Get out.
3:36 – Yaz
Acumen: “World Champion, Counter-Strike: Source“. Haters gonna hate. Why? I’ll let you know when I find the source of your problems.
Quote: “WCG, the World Cyber Games, is kind of like the Olympics for gaming, you get gold medals, you get the jack, you represent your country.” It’s like the Olympics. Minus the free condoms in the Olympic Village. No need for condoms.
3:51 – Faye
Gamertag: Princess Aura
Acumen: “Regional Champion, Super Smash Brothers“.
Quote: “Video games…was kind of my babysitter.” The dreaded “gamer girl”. Epic. More on that later.
4:07 – Ryan
Gamertag: | RyBu |
Acumen: “Multiple Local Tournament Titles”. He fuckin’ clowned little Jimmy.
Quote: “I’m not a pro gamer, so they’re gonna look at me like I’m a random casual noob.” That’s nice. When you find all the buttons on the controller, get back to me. Until then? The grown-ups are trying to talk.
4:27 – Justin
Acumen: Yes. That Justin Wong.
Quote: “I am currently the U.S. champion of Street Fighter IV, became a household name.” Woah, hold on. The pro-gamer celebrity chain of command is as follows: “Name comes up first on a Google search”, “Mega-popular YouTube video”, “Wikipedia Article”, “60 Minutes Interview”. And Daigo Umehara let everyone know where you stand. Way to go, Justin!
4:32 – Hannah Simone and Joel Gourdin are back to host the second season. Returning to do this show. Yes, the economy’s that bad.
5:28 – Caesar: “Everything in [the loft] is awesome. The TVs are beast-o-matic.” Remind everyone who makes them!
5:31 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
5:33 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
5:36 – Vanessa: “They are almost paper-thin. I’m just thinking: I need to get one of these.”
5:38 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
5:46 – A.J.
Acumen: “Up for Rock Band World Record”. What does that even mean? Rock Band has over 1,200 songs. It’s like claiming StarCraft baller status because nobody’s beaten you in Halo vs. Naruto Tower Defense.
Quote: “I haven’t had a full-time job in two years.” Speaking of jobs, mine is done here.
6:08 – Sebastian
Acumen: “National Finalist, Madden; Top 3 at over 50 Tournaments”.
Quote: “My mom left my family in high school. It changes you.” “I’m not cocky, I’m just confident. ‘Cause if I don’t believe, who’s gonna believe? My own mom obviously don’t.” Wait…”Chosen1″…replace “mom” with “Cleveland”…it’s LeBron in disguise! And he’s going to choke at video games, too!
6:28 – Rachel
Acumen: “Multiple 1st Place Finishes, Team Fortress 2”.
Quote: “I’ll do anything to win this competition.” Alright. The audience already made their joke. Carrying on.
6:46 – Jake
Acumen: “Multiple Local Tournament Titles in 3 Genres”. Anyone else get the feeling they just make this stuff up? How is a national organization going to verify whether somebody won that fifty-dollar cash prize at youth group?
Quote: “Finding out that I was up for the internet vote was nerve-racking.” Worried? A white male competing against two girls? In a vote on American soil? Was it ever in doubt?
6:55 – Interesting. There’s alcohol this time. Alcohol makes people do stupid things.
7:17 – Only cowards play Pac-Man without activating Turbo Mode.
7:29 – Kat to Vanessa: “So what’s been your problem for so many years?” What a diplomat.
7:42 – Kat: “What I understand is I took your boyfriend.” Coming soon from the world of failed passive-aggressive chit-chat: “Hey Vanessa, I feel for you. I really hope your mother gets medical assistance for that fungus in her vagina. Oh wait, that was you.”
8:08 – Kat: “Why am I by myself?” *groan* In professional wrestling, the bad guys have a habit of discussing their plans in “secret”. That is, in front of cameras and cameramen. Professional wrestling exists in a bubble where the good guys lack access to televisions, taped footage, and common sense. “Why am I by myself?” breaks the fourth wall. Ultimate Gamer™ purports to be reality television. That is, unscripted. Good going, editing team. You just made your star attraction look like a tool.
8:39 – Hannah: “This week’s game is Tekken 6.”
8:43 – “Tekken 6 is a 3-D arcade-style fighter with stunning interactive stages and an all-new rage system. Your rage aura kicks in when your health gets too low, giving your character more damage per hit so you can quickly defeat your enemies.” “All-new”? Rubber-banding has been the basis for every innovative fighting game mechanic of the last fifteen years. Oh, right. The show’s target audience is Call of Duty: Roster Update. This may seem fresh and original to them.
9:22 – Hannah: “Today, you will be flying high in a challenge inspired by the martial arts wire-work you’ve seen in Hollywood blockbusters.” Yup. When the Ultimate Fighting Championship came around, this is what they had in mind.
10:14 – Rachel: “When the first real-life challenge was explained to us, I feel like I was the only one in the group who was like ‘Hell yeah, I need to get in on that.'” Sounds like the launch of the PSPGo.
10:34 – Oh my God! It’s actor Kelly Hu! And she’s going to pick the Most Valuable Player of this real-life competition! Uh. Yay?
15:52 – Hu awards Yaz the Most Valuable Player award for this segment, spurring the question: “If one gets ‘Best of Show’ and nobody cares, does it make a sound?” Let’s talk about that decision. Let’s talk plus-minus. The purple team won 8-6. Thus, their plus/minus is +2. Simple stuff. Yaz yielded the lowest plus-minus of the purple team’s three rounds, fighting Mike to a dead heat. And as the show eagerly pointed out, the green team handed Yaz free points. Yaz should have finished -2. He wins the Most Valuable Player award. Yup. Ruins the show for me. You’ll be hearing from my lawyers.
17:04 – Vanessa: “I wanted to beat the team, but beating Kat was awesome.” This is getting kind of kinky.
17:40-18:21 – Good. Last season, Robert “Prod1gy X” Paz was sold as the alpha gamer. Didn’t click for me. That’s a definite. The more time spent hammering home Justin’s credentials, the better. The casual audience will buy it. He’s Asian.
18:37-18:40 – Now playing: The unsexiest use of lens flare in the history of motion picture.
Real quick. Let’s talk gamer girls. Gamer girls are a video game subculture of women who play video games. Therefore, “TEH HOTZ!!!” Some gamer girls are happy to be prizes in a male-dominated, sexually-deficient gamer culture. Low supply, high demand. Others will abuse this privilege. Faye is a combination of gamer girl, the notorious 4Chan forum troll Boxxy, and the hyperactive female supporting character in most Japanese Role-Playing Games. And she may be a cat girl. If the charade turns sour? I’ll forgive it. The girl plays video games. That’s so fucking hot.
19:38 – Yaz: “We gotta somehow get out Kat, dude. She has way too high of a gamer score.” Bwahahahah. Achievements: Because bad gamers needed a way to feel good about themselves.
20:15 – Yaz: “The only way to guarantee Kat in is…throw your match.” God damnit, not again. This also happened on the show’s first season. Anyone remember StarCraft at World Cyber Games 2007? When Song Byung Goo (Stork) tried to throw his matches so the South Koreans could sweep the medals? Yup. The same organization thinks it’s okay if players tank games on their reality television show.
20:48 – Can anyone explain this to me? Kat is being played as the threat. As the villain. What has she done to deserve this? Other than having “way too high of a gamer score”?
Bwahahahaha. Gamer score. Oh, that kills me.
22:26 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
22:43 – Why not glue the controller to the damn floor? It’d be higher off the ground.
24:07, 24:08, 24:09, 24:11 – Striking the fatal blow with the same move four opponents in a row. Welcome to the world of “playing fighting games versus the computer”.
25:09 – Mike is up for elimination. You mean sports game skills don’t carry to Tekken 6?
25:33 – Yaz finishes in first. We’re supposed to be shocked. “OH MY GODS HE BEAT JUSTINS?” That’s why the scoring system in Ultimate Gamer™ is ambiguous. The Isolation Challenge™ was Tekken 6‘s Survival Mode. The goal is to defeat as many opponents as possible before you die. But as Justin alluded to at 24:27, he “didn’t die at all”. So the show set an unspoken limit on the number of opponents. See, the Isolation Chamber becomes a nightclub at eight. They can’t have Justin run the gauntlet until morning. So quite simply, Yaz didn’t die, either. And he won the real-life challenge. Therefore, first place. No accomplishment actually occurred. And the show doesn’t want you to know that. Because oh my Gods, he beat Justins.
25:53 – Joel: “This year, you will not be able to send yourself to Samsung Stadium.” Good call. It gives the winner too much control over who he sends to the elimination round. Thus giving more incentive for a good player to throw his match. I don’t think anybody thought this through.
26:37 – Yaz, on the Isolation Chamber: “And that’s [the move] I abused.” My point exactly.
29:47-30:18 – No, Kat. You’re crying. There’s no crying in e-sports.
31:52 – Yeah, Kat. That’s what you get for crying. You gone, woman. You gone.
32:26 – Vanessa: “We felt this was the best choice.” As in “we, the people in the loft”. Remind me why I am supposed to root against Kat?
33:40-34:16 – Bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch, bitch. That’s all you two women do.
35:13 – Rachel: “Kat’s a professional fighting game player.” I will be holding you to this statement.
36:35 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
36:57 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
40:07 – “High-priority move from Mike. A belly smash.” Methinks this will be a recurring theme.
40:11 – Legend has it the first fighting game players used a variety of moves. Supposedly, they played the game for fun. And then, somebody came along and used the same two moves. Over. And over. “Do X until the other player stops it” was born.
40:18 – Joel: “Kat needs to get in closer, hit faster.” Yes, because she’s throwing the punches. Not a piece of computer code that hits just as hard every single time.
40:56, 40:58 – OMGZ FUKKIN NOOB SPAM BELLY SMASHZ
42:04, 42:20 – Okay. Seriously. You’d think Kat would get it by now. It’s one thing for your opponent to use the same two moves. It’s another for him to telegraph those moves. And it’s another to let Mike do it for nine matches.
42:35 – Here’s a sports analogy: Kat was a heavily-favored football team that turned the ball over six times and still won by fourteen points. For every five “belly-smashes” that Kat couldn’t get around her head, there was a solid counter or juggle to illustrate that she was on another plane of talent. And that’s how a sports game buff was eliminated in the first episode for the second year in a row.
How are we holding up against Season One? What’s there to say? It’s the exact same show. Same pacing, same feigned drama, same crappy editing, same fear of exposing the talent, same disregard for the requirements of real competitive gaming. Whatever. It’s something on television to watch. So next week, on WCG Ultimate Gamer: Catfight!
Continue to Episode 2: Making Waves