How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Bet On DBZ

Aug 21, 2013 No Comments by

It’s hard to describe Salty Bet Dream Cast Casino briefly and properly convey its brilliance. It’s a mock gambling site for a broken game.  It’s an over-the-top spectacle. It’s chaotic, inconsistent and unpredictable. Salty Bet is what happens when the schoolyard arguments of “Who would win, Pikachu or Batman?” are put into practice. Salty Bet simultaneously makes for great casual spectating and careful analysis.

Players bet on matches between computers fighting on MUGEN – an easily modifiable fighting game engine. For once, the main attraction isn’t the players, but the characters. Every match, two AI players randomly select their fighters from a pool of hundreds. They’re wildly inconsistent in just about every category. Some fighters are giant robots that take up half the screen while others are horribly scaled and take up hardly a foot. Some are ripped wholesale from other games, while others look like Franz Kafka’s dreams animated in MS Paint. It’s absolutely absurd and ridiculously unbalanced, which is why it’s so brilliant.

Black Captain America versus a Japanese swordstress - a typical fight on SaltyBet.

Black Captain America versus a Japanese swordstress – a typical fight on Salty Bet.

If it wasn’t already clear, the site hardly takes itself seriously. Players bet Salty Bucks, which serve no value outside the keeping score. Betting is free, but dedicated spectators can subscribe to join the Illuminati, see detailed statistics for each fighter, and maintain a minimum balance of $666. Everything from speed metal to French smooth jazz plays in the background.

The matches make for great comedy, whether it’s a Mexican version of Homer Simpson throwing down with a dragon, or Superman flying to the top of the screen and refusing to come down. Small tourneys are held every Thursday which produce fantastic stories. Most recently, the winner was the Dragonball Z character Nail, who was so poorly programmed that he was all but impossible to hit.

Part of the fun is trying to decipher all of the insanity. With hundreds of characters, memorizing the whole roster is nigh-impossible, so spectators have to analyze trends. Anytime a Dragonball Z character shows up, chat explodes with “ALWAYS BET ON DBZ” and, more often than not, drops an unreasonable load of Salty Bucks on them. Dragonball Z characters are well known for often being hilariously broken, shooting beams that can KO an opponent at full health.

This is exactly what it looks like.

Not pictured: the Darkwing Duck theme playing in the background.

However, a fair share of the characters (and all their various iterations) are absolutely useless. Dragonball Z characters are an extreme case, but just about every trend has this sense of reasonable doubt about it. Will this version of Goku insta-KO the opponent? This Raditz has his name spelled incorrectly, is that good? Why is this Vegeta called “Shadow Vegeta”? Before a match starts, spectators get about a minute to bet and look at the characters. The AI is disabled, so both fighters stand idly as the timer ticks down. Guessing who’s trash and who’s broken is difficult, certainly, but not impossible – or at least, it doesn’t feel like it is. Even if you bet it all on a dud, the matches are still a blast to watch. It’s hard to get mad at Salty Bet when things don’t go your way.

Ultimately, though, getting “good” at Salty Bet, while fun, isn’t the point. It’s about appreciating the spectacle. Being able to kick back, chat with a friend and watch Fat Albert duke it out with Sasquatch is something really special.

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About the author

Amateur games journalist looking to expand his portfolio. When I'm not writing for Super Combo, I'm editing articles for others or goofing around in Dota 2. If you enjoyed the article, let me know! I always appreciate feedback. You can learn more about me at WillUhl.com.
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