|Match Date||Sunday, August 11th, 2002|
|Scorpion - 33.62%|
After the first round, this match was expected to be a simple bye week for Max Payne en route to what was now a possible showdown against Pac Man. After all, Max Payne blew the hell out of Dirk the Daring while Scorpion and Pac Man struggled (in comparison to Payne against Daring) in their matches.
There were two things that slipped well under the radar about the Scorpion/Max matchup. One, Max Payne vs Dirk the Daring set (and still holds) the record for the lowest-scoring match ever. And while Max did win with ease, the low vote total may have hinted that no one really cared about either character. Secondly, Max may have held Dirk to 23.83%, but Scorpion didn't do all that bad himself in the first round. He held Kazuya Mishima to 28.99% in a match that had a far higher vote total than that of Payne/Daring. The problem here is that people gave Daring respect, and blew off Scorpion's blowout as Fighting Game SFF. After all, why would anyone give Scorpion a chance here? Max Payne was fresh off of an acclaimed self-named title, while Scorpion wasn't even the most popular character from a fighting series that many fighting purists consider to be inferior.
But as Chris Berman loves to say, that's why they play the games. When the poll first opened, not only was Scorpion doing more than hold his own against the heavily-favored Payne, but he was flat-out destroying Payne. Payne was given the pain in this match, and he was never in it from the start. The board had its typical outcry for quite awhile, especially considering how badly Payne was being beaten in a match that he was so easily supposed to win.
Aside from the aforementioned warning signs involving perhaps the true nature of what Payne's first round truly meant for him, he also suffers from his genre not being well-received on GameFAQs. A game being loved by the mainstream is a completely different animal from a game being received by GameFAQs, and Max Payne is an example of this. Tommy Vercetti, Tanner, and Ryu Hayabusa are other examples, and Carl Johnson will likely fall into this trap as well. Action games sell by the millions, but on GameFAQs, no one cares. The fighting genre, as niche as it may be on this site, seems to be more respected than the action genre, and even if that isn't the case, its the only thing I can think of that explains why Scorpion won this match in such a simple, overbearing manner. Max Payne, despite being heavily favored in most categories that matter, was killed. Clearly, someone out there forgot to care about him.
This also shows that Dirk the Daring was an absolute ****ing scrub. Getting blown out by someone who gets blown out never bodes well for you, and this was a good indication that it would take a small miracle for Daring to return to the field.
And finally, was it possible for Scorpion to be a threat to Pac Man? Pac Man may be the odds-on favorite, but Max Payne came off of a low-scoring match and was promptly blind-sided by Scorpion. Could the same thing happen to Pac Man as well? Unlike Max Payne, one could say that Pac actually struggled in his first two matches. It was quite the interesting prospect.