2upGamers August: Halo At Trenchtown And An Ultimate Gamer Mini Showdown At UCT

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Posted: 3 September 2013
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In August some serious FIFA 13 and Halo 4 action dominated the 2upGamers e-sports events. At the community gathering an impromptu Mini Ultimate Gamer challenge threw us in the deep end... and at the end of the night Han Solo made us all cry (not in a good way).

The August roundup is going to be shorter than usual, visually, as I had a small technical error that wiped out, among other things, my photos for both of August's 2upGamers events - the e-sports event at Trenchtown in Observatory and the community event at UCT. Nevertheless, there's still lots to say about all the action that took place at the two events.


2upGamers Trenchtown August
2upGamers Trenchtown August: Cosplay

Trenchtown's e-sports events in August comprised FIFA 13 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Halo 4 on the Xbox 360, Injustice: Gods Among Us 1v1, Street Fighter IV 1v1, and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 1v1. There was also an informal cosplay competition so I joined the day's events earlier this time in order to catch it.

Pictured above are Janette Marike Kasselman as Van Helsing, Reuben Carstens as Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad from the Assassin's Creed video-game series, Marissa Rutherford as Lucy, and Jason Eiserman as the Pyro from Team Fortress 2. The gamers voted for the winner and the scores were close. Jason won the competition and received R350 plus a R100 voucher from Krafts By Witch Knight.


2upGamers Trenchtown August: FIFA 13

I sat and watched most of the finals of the FIFA 13 tournament. As usual, both Xbox 360 (results) and PlayStation 3 (results) elimination rounds were held, with the winner of each platform facing off in the finals on both consoles and the gamers placing second on each platform facing off for third and fourth place on both consoles.

The Xbox 360 final was between Yazeed Dollie and Ricardo Marcelino, both playing as Brazil, with Yazeed in home colours and Ricardo in away colours. Yazeed had a close shot at the goal in the 11th minute, and Ricardo had one in the 41st minute, followed by Yazeed again in the 44th minute but no actual goals were scored in the first half of the game. Instead we were treated to some very skilled footwork and a tough competition.

In the second half, Yazeed had another close shot at the goal in the 54th minute, followed by Ricardo in the 60th minute, but it was finally Yazeed who found the net, in the 85th minute, resulting in a final score of 1-0 at the end of the match.

The PlayStation 3 final, between Jody Lewis (playing as Paris Saint-Germain FC) and Andrew-Lee Tobias (playing as Real Madrid), included a dramatic technical issue. Andrew scored twice before half time and then a third time in the second half in the 73rd minute but soon after the console reset itself and wiped out the game.

It was decided that they would retain the score (currently 3-0 to Andrew), restart, and play another half. In the second game, Jody scored in the 7th and 12th minutes and then again in the 43rd minute, bringing the combined score to 3-3 at the halftime whistle. As there was no way to get the game into overtime it was decided that they would play out the second half as an extended overtime period so, at this point, with scores even it was once again anyone's game. While the game before the reset had been filled with lots of smart passing and footwork, it now became all about getting ahead in the score. Jody managed to score in the 58th minute, at which point the players adjusted their formations and did some quick substitutions, and then once more in the 72nd minute. With the score now at 5-3 the pressure was all on Andrew. A few shots missed in the 84th and 85th minutes and then he finally found the net in the 90th minute, which brought the final score to 5-4, resulting in a close win for Jody.

The finals, between Yazeed Dollie and Jody Lewis, and the third/fourth playoff, between Ricardo Marcelino and Andrew-Lee Tobias, were held at the same time on opposite sides of the gaming area so I opted to watch the finals.

(In the third/fourth playoff Andrew won 2-0 against Ricardo on the Xbox 360 and then 3-1 on the PlayStation 3, for a combined winning score of 5-1 and third place in the tournament.)

In the first match on the PlayStation 3 Yazeed played as Brazil and Jody played as Paris Saint-Germain. Yazeed, who is an Xbox 360 player, dominated early on with a shot at the goal in the 3rd minute and then success in the 12th minute, for a score of 1-0. In the 43rd minute another of his attempts saw the ball rebound off a PSG player, straight back to a Brazil player who kicked it straight into the net, taking the score to 2-0.

In the second half, another attempt by Yazeed sent the ball over the top goal post but two minutes later he found the net again - 3-0. Jody fought back and in the 82nd minute took the ball all the way across the field and into the goal, for a score of 3-1 but three minutes later Yazeed was successful again, and the match ended with a score of 4-1.

They then moved to the Xbox 360 to play the second match. Yazeed chose Brazil again and Jody switched to Real Madrid. Jody worked extra hard in this match and displayed lots of footwork skill as he worked to keep the ball away from Yazeed's team members and in the 34th minute the effort paid off with a goal, by Ronaldo, bringing the score to 0-1.

In the second half it was Yazeed's turn to display his footwork skills and he found the net in the 58th minute, bringing the score to a 1-1 tie. Jody missed a shot at the goal in the 78th minute and then found the net, once again via Ronaldo, in extra time for a final score of 1-2.

The winner, therefore, was Yazeed with a combined score of 5 to Jody's 3. Yazeed received R400 plus a R100 Cheap Codes credit and Jody won R200.


2upGamers Trenchtown August: Halo 4

A few metres away Zombie Dredd was managing a very complicated Halo 4 roster, in which the entrants were split into four groups that switched in and out of the available Xbox 360 consoles to complete their matches in a free-for-all tournament. The top four in each group went through to the second round, which was then whittled down to the top eight players, and finally, after a three-map tournament that really tested their skills, Danny managed first place by one point, with Jsharp taking second place.

You can read Zombie's full report to see what happened in more detail.

Further on in the room the fighting games were also running, with numerous players taking a shot at more than one competition. Sadly the Injustice: Gods Among Us tournament only drew eight players so it's going to be tossed from future lineups unless more gamers support it. Alasdair Donaldson won and Sameegh Jardine came second. (View the full results here.)

The Tekken Tag Tournament 2 tournament drew 12 players, with HotShot winning and Di Lhong taking second place (full results), while the Street Fighter IV tournament drew 11 players, with Khan-Kahan winning and Luminous taking second place (full results).


2upGamers August Community Event
2upGamers August

The August community event was once again held at UCT, again in collaboration with UCT's Genshiken.UCT anime club, but this time it took place in the Molly Blackburn Memorial Hall, which, it turns out, is a great spot for gaming.

Because the event was held the day before the MSSA Western Cape Provincial Championships there were fewer people in attendance as any of the more hardcore gamers were elsewhere either practising or, I imagine, sleeping (the provincials started at 9am) so the 2upGamers guys decided to divide all the attendees into four groups and run a Mini Ultimate Gamer Competition.

Each group competed internally in four challenges - Halo 4 free-for-all on the Xbox 360, FIFA 13 1v1, a Kinect Star Wars dance off, and Injustice: Gods Among Us 1v1 - and players were awarded points for how well they did, which was added to their running totals.

My group's first challenge was Halo 4. I was not looking forward to it because I am useless at first-person shooters on consoles - I need a PC and a mouse to be effective. I did at least get one kill but there were a few of us who were hopelessly outclassed by the more experienced players, and that makes a short game feel very long. The headset I wore (unfortunately I forgot to note what it was) was really comfortable and the noise in the room created a bit of a echoey feedback loop in the audio that was quite surreal and added to the atmosphere of the game I was playing.

Up next was FIFA 13. I've watched a lot of games, as you can tell from my various 2upGamers roundups, but I've never had a chance to play (nor, admittedly, have I been particularly interested in playing). Luckily I was paired with someone who also has never played so we were on equal confused footing. I actually enjoyed the game, even though I lost 2-0. Most of the controls (I played on the Xbox 360) were pretty intuitive, although I got frustrated that my players weren't always where I thought they would be (once you've played the original Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe no other team-based game compares). Play was also quite smooth, for the most part, although I had trouble figuring out how to kick at the goals successfully, but I learnt some of the footwork controls for midfield and generally had a good time in the match.


2upGamers August

Our group's third challenge was a Star Wars Kinect dance off. This is a mini game in the game that's based on Dance Central and I definitely recognised some of the moves - they just have new Star Wars-related names.

The entire evening all the groups were subjected to Hologram Girl (based on Gwen Stefani's Hollaback Girl), which is horrible. All the reworked lyrics are awful. For three days after I had the line "Ooh, this my ship, this my ship" stuck in my head to the point where I wanted to burn the brain cells storing it. The line doesn't even make sense. I know what it's based on but I certainly would have appreciated some smarter writing (A little bit of grammar, perhaps? "It's my ship".)

Hologram Girl features Princess Leia in her slave costume at Jabba's palace (of dance-off dreams?) and most of the moves are pretty easy (well, we were playing the easy version) so you don't feel too uncoordinated. The trick, also, is to make sure that you follow the hand movements more than any of the other movements so the whole experience is not too unpleasant, bar the lyrics.

Here's a video of the track so you can see what it's all about:


[ Youtube link ]

It's quite fun, once you get the hang of it, especially when you know that everyone in the room is in it together. I ended up doing okay and scored some points for my cumulative Mini Ultimate Gamer total.


2upGamers August

My group's final challenge was a knockout round in Injustice: Gods Among Us. In July I spent a lot of time playing the game but unfortunately I did badly in a few practice rounds we had before the challenge commenced because I'd just forgotten all my techniques. When we finally went into the match - Deathstroke versus Deathstroke - I was doing well and we were even until someone mentioned that I was doing well, and then my whole game just collapsed and I was out of the competition.

Annoyingly, after the challenge I went back and played some more and was soon back on top of my game.

After everyone had rotated through all the gaming stations the scores were added up and the winners from each group were brought into the final. The rest of the community was tasked with deciding on what the final showdown would comprise so, of course, the unanimous decision was another Kinect Star Wars dance off - this time with a music track that no one had experience with: I'm Han Solo (a re-imagining of Jason Derulo's Ridin' Solo, also with awful lyrics).

The four competitors were split into two groups of two to do a dual dance off but the winner was to be the person with the highest individual score. I think most of us were too busy staring at the screens going "W.T.F?!?" to focus too closely on the actual action taking place in the finals, however. This dance off features Han Solo performing some - let's just say "very effeminate" - moves (other people in the room offered some more offensive phrasing) that I'm pretty sure he wouldn't have been caught dead performing in the galaxy but, of course, they are instantly manlier (not really) because they've been given new names such as "Double Blaster" and "Trash Compactor".

After Han Solo has his moment, and everyone is cringing, Lando Calrissian takes to the floor for part two. Being a little bit more of a smooth player, he, at least, can pull off some of the moves a lot more stylishly and it's far less psychologically damaging to watch.

It also made me realise that long after all the Star Wars actors have died their likenesses are still going to be used for the most ridiculous things people can come up with. Kinect Star Wars is just the beginning.

If you're curious, here is a video of that sequence. I'm warning you though - what is seen cannot be unseen:


[ Youtube link ]

After that, the deserving winners and runners up received their prizes and we all went home with terrible sights and sounds stuck in our minds.

The 2upGamers Mini Ultimate Gamer challenge was an interesting exercise in throwing people out of their gaming comfort zones and although I was skeptical at first it turned out to be a very fun evening.


2upGamers is held monthly in Cape Town. See the Facebook page and Twitter for more information, announcements, and to find out about registering for the next event. The date for 2upGamers September is still to be announced and Trenchtown September is scheduled for 21 September (it will feature the last FIFA 13 competition before FIFA 14 takes its place). Visit ZombieGamer's Facebook album for more photos from the 2upGamers August community event.


Tags: #cape_town, #comics, #cosplay, #games, #star_wars





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