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Asian Cyber Games 2008 - VF5 & GH3

Initially, I was not planning on going to the Asian Cyber Games but I’m glad that I threw caution to the wind, spent the remainder of our gaming fund and flew to Singapore to see the Asian Cyber Games 2008. Amidst the strange weather and all the walking I had to do crossing the City Link Mall going to the Suntec Convention Center, I can definitively say that I enjoyed myself. Me and my husband met so many great people in the ACG. As cheesy as it sounds, our experience in the ACG can be summed up by the WCG’s theme song “Beyond the Game”. While every single player desire to win, in the end the desire to meet like-minded gamers is greater.

Anyway here’s my short coverage for the Asian Cyber Games. For the sake of organization, I will talk about the 360 game titles: Virtua Fighter 5 and Guitar Hero 3 for now...

Virtua Fighter 5:

For me, this was the most interesting competition in the whole of ACG...not because my husband was participating in it but because you can see that all the representatives were indeed the best the world had to offer. VF5 is perhaps the most technical fighting game ever created and it is unfortunate that Sega was not able to market this game well outside Japan. There is no doubt in my mind that VF5 is currently the best fighting game ever and the most exciting to watch. The character balance is superb! There are no cheap tricks in VF5 that cannot be countered by a skilled player.
For the ACG the 8 countries that qualified, and their respective VF5 characters, for the tournament are as follows:

· Australia (Kage)
· Hong Kong (Aoi)
· Japan (Shun)
· Korea (Lei Fei)
· New Zealand (Akira)
· Philippines (Jacky)
· Singapore (Vanessa)
· Taiwan (Jeffry)

I was very happy to see a unique set of characters for the Virtual Fighter qualifiers. Even the other countries who didn’t qualify also showed exceptional skill in the game. I was not able to watch all the other matches but I can safely say that Indonesia (Akira) and Thailand (Lau) players are exceptionally skilled as well. The VF 5 players are also an interesting mix of personalities which made the tournament much more interesting.

Check out the videos of the Semi Finals and the Finals for Virtua Fighter 5. Granted, I haven’t covered any international gaming event before but it is my opinion that ACG 2008 VF5 competition is one of the best international fighting game tournaments ever! The final four countries are Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.

I certainly hope that Sega is watching or have heard the news about the fantastic ACG tournament for VF5. Perhaps they can release Virtua Fighter 5 R for the XBOX 360 and we can all hope that the game will be chosen for WCG 2009!

Semi Finals: Korea (Jeffry) vs Hong Kong (Aoi)
This match is really interesting because the Korean player used Jeffry, prior to using Jeffry the same player showed some exceptional skills as Shun Di and Lei Fei. If I'm not mistaken the Korean player is the 1st Runner-Up in the Korean VF5 National Tournament.

Semi Finals: Japan (Shun) vs Singapore (Vanessa)

This match showcases two of the most celebrated Asian gamers. The Japanese gamer 'Itazan' has won 2 VF:Evo Championships as well as several more in Japan. The Singaporean gamer 'Tetra' is known to be among the top Dead or Alive 4 players and is the most popular cyber athlete of Singapore.

Final Match (Bronze Medal): Singapore (Vanessa) vs Hong Kong (Aoi)
This match is particularly interesting because both players are well matched against each other. This match is also long, lasting for around 10 minutes.

Final Match (Gold & Silver Medals): Japan (Shun) vs. Korea (Lei Fei)
The Final match between Japan and Korea was absolutely amazing! This is the longest fight in the whole tournament and the game went as long as 5 matches!!! It was interesting to note that the Korean player has mastered at least 2 characters for the ACG. In the semi-finals he used Jeffry and in the final match he used Lei Fei. Similarly, the Japanese player is also a master of two characters, Akira and Shun Di.

Note: My videocam lost power during the final fight. Fortunately for the whole footage is uploaded in YouTube courtesy of sggamer.

Guitar Hero 3:
While my husband is a VF5 player, I am a Guitar Hero 3 player. My knowledge of Guitar Hero 3 is more than what I know of VF5....hehehe but after the ACG, I’m thinking of playing VF5 myself because I got so inspired after watching those fights.

Guitar Hero 3 competition at the ACG was interesting for a lot of reasons. A month ago the official rules for the tournament was released and the difficulty level was set to HARD with an official list of 8 songs to be played in the tournament. Two weeks before the start of the ACG, the organizers decided to change the rules of the tournament. The new rules state that all songs are now available but the actual game is set for Expert Hyperspeed 2! Now that was really a surprise since most of the Asian tournaments used ‘HARD’ difficulty for its tournaments in line with the official rules for the German competition. Also when you play Pro Face Off the speed of the note chart is increased. So playing Pro Face Off on Hyperspeed 2 on Expert is a lot faster than playing single player on Hyperspeed 2 on Expert.

But despite the changes, the Guitar Hero 3 tournament was very festive. Samsung proudly hosted the Guitar Hero 3 tournament at the ACG with the tournament ground set apart from the other games. Samsung put the Guitar Hero 3 booth right in front of the entrance at the ACG for maximum visibility. The great HDTV displays coupled with the latest Samsung Home entertainment center audio, the crowds certainly flocked to the GH3 booth whenever the tournament was on going.

The rules of the competition follows that the player with the greatest score difference in a best of 3 song match wins the match. At Expert Hyperspeed 2 Pro Face Off you really need to have fingers that look like they are flying off the guitar. The final four players are as follows:

· Korea
· New Zealand
· Philippines
· Singapore

In the end, PinoyXBOX’s very own Luis Benesa (finalcut713) grabbed the Silver Medal while New Zealand took the gold and Singapore got the bronze. The final song list in the match are as follows: Cult of Personality, The Way It Ends and Through the Fire and Flames.

To sum things up, things are looking very well for the Asian Cyber Games and for Asian gamers in general. If what we saw here is a preview of the skills of the Asian gamers for Germany, then Asia has a good chance of having a strong performance at the World Cyber Games 2008 in Cologne Germany!

Congratulations to all the players who went to the Asian Cyber Games! All of them have been given a unique opportunity to expand their horizons as gamers and they are all winners following the true spirit of the World Cyber Games.

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