Salty Bet is a strange website. On the face of it, players bet on the outcomes of virtual fights with fake money, nothing too exciting.
But when you look a bit closer and realise it’s Ryu from Street Fighter going up against Donkey Kong or Ronald McDonald taking on Fred Flintstone it starts to get interesting. Delve even deeper and you’ll be absorbed by a, admittedly useless, but ridiculously interesting time sink with more overlapping and contradicting rules than anyone can count.
Salty, the game’s creator uses to M.U.G.E.N. engine to set various pop culture icons, video game characters, obscure anime creations and god only knows what against each other in three different match types. Exhibitions are chosen by members of the “Salty Illuminati”, are not ranked and can feature characters from any of the four tiers. Matchmaking mode puts characters from the same tiers together so the fights tend to be closer, fights are also ranked so the more powerful characters can move up through the tiers while while the weaker ones drop down. Finally Tournament Mode uses a separate pot of money from the user’s main balance, winnings however, are added to the main pot after the tournament.
As fun as it sounds, you’ll struggle to stay out of the salt mines (the punishment for bankruptcy) without getting to grips with several of those aforementioned rules. Those confusing ones that always seem to contradict each other. Always bet sword, always bet Simpsons, always bet waifu, always bet waifu with sword, never bet double sword as they cancel each other out except for the times that they don’t, always bet Darkstalkers, always bet Marvel on the second tuesday of the month unless it’s February and a leap year, never bet MS Paint and most importantly always, never sometimes bet Dragon Ball Z. Oh and don’t listen to the chat whatever you do. It’s just a wall of deceit designed to fix the odds.
Even if you memorise all of these rules all you can really make is an educated guess (unless the superstar tag team that is Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson is involved, then it’s easy money). You do start to follow certain characters, not just deceased pop icons either; after watching Katakura Kagetsuna (From some obscure Capcom clone of Dynasty Warriors) smash his way through a couple of A Tier tournaments I found myself going all in on him on sight.
Popular cult figures like El Presidente have also emerged. On the face of it, El Presidente looks like a version of Raditz of Dragon Ball Z with remarkably poor AI. In fact his AI is so poor there’s a fair chance he will just stand there, do nothing and get pummeled into oblivion. But, on rare, almost magical occasions, “El Prez” decides to actually launch an attack capable of devastating almost any character on the roster. ”El Prez is actually quite well balanced, in an odd way, as his inability to remember who he is or what he is there for most of the time has kept him perpetually rooted in S tier (the highest of the normal tiers, the only one above it is X tier which is essentially a holding pen for ridiculously over powered characters).
Joining Salty Bet is free and you’re given $400 to start with. If you do end up in the salt mines you’re given $100 to try and work your way back up. The sort of people who throw actual, real, money (the sort that can be exchanged for tangible things in the real world) you can become a member of the Salty Illuminati. This guarantees you a minimum of $666 (your balance will never drop below this point) and gain access to all of the character’s fight records as well as gaining the ability to suggest exhibitions.