Jamison Trumpets

Fighting Game Corner: Newer Player Rant

September 17th, 2010 by DanielRGT

If you’ve hopped onto this train known as the  “Street Fighter 4 & Friends Express” in the past year or so, you’re probably new to the whole fighting game scene. Don’t worry, I used to be new to the scene too at one point (This was back in the mysterious era known as 2008); however, the scene was considerably different back then.

To begin with, the newer players weren’t quite as (for lack of a better phrase) fucking annoying as some happen to be right now. It’s to be expected, I guess, that when a newer game comes out and the scene rapidly expands there will be some annoying people along the way. It’s not like all the new players are annoying, just the very outspoken ones are.

A lot of their obnoxiousocity (a word I invented to spite you, personally) comes from the fact that they really don’t know any better. What constitutes a broken character? What move is “too good”? What does a character really need to get better as opposed to what you personally wish for your character to have? It’s questions like these that a lot of new players, honestly, don’t know how to answer while thinking logically.

The largest example is when Street Fighter 4 first came out. In the first Street Fighter 4 (Author’s Note: For those who don’t know, there are 2 versions. Street Fighter 4 and Super Street  Fighter 4. I will shorten these from now on as “SF4” and “SSF4” or just “Super”), Sagat was a very powerful character. A lot of what made him so good was his fantastic fireball zoning, his high damage output, his corner pressure, and his fantastic anti-airs (which correlates directly to his zoning). To some, he was easily considered the best character in the game, and you would have been hard pressed to find somebody who would have disagreed.

To veterans and better players, Sagat was very good but he was in no way unbeatable. To me, Sagat was only as powerful as the player controlling him. Of course, I ended up losing to Sagats all the time. After all, he’s a lot more powerful than the character I chose to play (Sakura)! To beginner players, however, their frustrations took over and they deemed anyone who played Sagat as “gay”, “no-skill”, or a “tier whore.” There were even some lower-end tournaments (very local, and very small) that ended up banning the use of Sagat, simply because they felt he was “far too powerful.” Other tournaments and events banned the use of characters such as Gouken or Seth, two very mediocre characters that have to actually work very hard to acquire their win. Why were these characters banned? Quite simply, the organizers found one thing to be far too “overpowered”, didn’t want to deal with it, and banned it on the spot.

Their approach to other things was fairly ignorant as well, but less on the complainy side and more on the irrational side. When it comes to fighting games, it is generally characters with halfway-decent mixups that tend to be very strong characters. This doesn’t apply to ALL characters with good mixups as having several tools is vital to being viable, but having a good mixup can do nothing but help your character.

To the people who don’t know what a mixup is, let me briefly explain. A mixup is a situation in which you force your opponent into a situation where they are forced to guess, and their guess will determine whether they blocked your combo or got hit by your combo. A basic example is with my main character, Sakura. Sakura has a move that launches her opponent into the air, and from this point she can dash under her opponent and when they land they are forced to guess in which direction to block.  If they guess incorrectly, they will eat a combo; If they guess correctly, they will block the combo or have done an invincible move to hit her out of the mixup entirely. Mixups are not specific to Street Fighter, and have ranged as far back as dinosaur times (Example: The velociraptor mixed up the T-rex and did a stylish combo on him to end the round. However, the next round they both got unblockabled by an asteroid).

To experienced players, they recognize that some mixups are harder to get out of than others. Some mixups only escape is to block the attack, no one move will get you out of it. Other mixups are weaker, and can be beaten by things as simple as a backdash or jumping away. For the newer players, they want this very simple solution to escaping mixups for ALL mixups. Basically, they believe their character should have all the tools to never be mixed up. I may be exaggerating a tad by saying this, but if you read some threads about things people want for their characters you will see things like, “I want my character to be able to do this particular thing, just like that completely different character.”

A lot of the times, the wish will be for a “good wake-up option.” To briefly describe what a wake-up option is,  it is an option your character has after having just been knocked down. Characters like Ryu have an uppercut which is invincible on its startup; this is a very powerful wake-up option. Other characters have considerably weaker wake-up options, but the reason for this is probably very simple. In SSF4, Cody has very limited wake-up options. To begin with, his defensive options (excluding his extremely reliable anti-air) are very limited. The reason for this, put simply, is that his offensive options are abundant. I won’t go into details, but anybody who is familiar with Cody’s gameplay will know that he is very strong offensively, and considerably weaker defensively. This is how he was made, and honestly I have no problem with this.

Newer Cody players, however, feel frustrated that their defense is so lacking. You can often find them asking for a “better wake-up option” to deal with pressure from other characters. There are simple ways to up your defense regardless of what character you are playing, in fact the mechanic is built right into the game! Every character has the ability to block, this is a universal game mechanic that nobody is exempt from. Blocking intelligently and correctly can be difficult sometimes, however, and the urge to attack someone who is currently on the offense can be unbearable at times. It’s patience that really gets you through when your opponent is being relentlessly offensive, and while you’re on the defense you can find a moment to turn the tide of the match into your favor.

Am  I just going to talk about how much I hate newer players? Maybe, but if you’re a newer player who’s genuinely interested in getting better and you feel like a lot of the reasons you are losing are basic fundamentals, let me shamelessly advertise a website called Option Select. As far as Super Street Fighter 4 goes, it has tons of useful information that could help up your game tenfold. Firstly, check out Ryan Hunter’s  blog portion of the website where he gives you 5 Tips for a Beginner. As well, you can find information on more fighting games than just Street Fighter 4 at Shoryuken. Lastly, if you want more information on any of the fighting game terms I used in here (such as mixup), check out the Term Glossary for tons of definitions of fighting game/super street fighter 4 related terminology.

Lastly, I apologize for a  rant-post. I usually like to keep my blog posts in the realm of humor articles, but this is something that’s been bothering me for a long time. The Fighting Game Corner, for the most part, will be only “mildly” humorous as far as comparing it to my other works. I take fighting games pretty seriously, and it’s one of the things that I find most enjoyable at the moment. As such, I want to be able to write articles with at least some type of serious composure, even if I throw in a joke or two here and there. If you’re not saavy with fighting games and don’t plan to become so, the Fighting Game Corner may not be the place for you.

Castlevania: Haelp I'm Confused

May 19th, 2010 by DanielRGT

There’s a lot to be said about Castlevania. There are castles, certainly, and on top of that some obscure and unidentifiable substance known as “vania.” On top of that, there’s Dracula (or his surprise twist of a son, Alucard), Death, zombies, ghosts, zombie-ghosts, ghost-axemen, axemen-zombies, medusa heads, and fishmen.

It was certainly an original game when it came out for the NES, but when people go around spouting how good these games were, I get a little confused. The first source of my confusion stems from the fact that all old castlevania games, without fail, are fucking awful. I mean it, they’re really bad. Like any movie with Pauly Shore bad.

The old games, using a mixture of brilliant game design and mechanics, bring together the best parts and memories of falling in pits of water (and subsequently dying), attempting to hit some unreachable enemy (Spoiler: He can hit you), getting hit by random flying medusa heads or other related projectiles and falling in previously-mentioned pits of water, and attempting to jump across a chasm that was specifically built to harbor your doom.

Actually the only thing these games really have going for them, which is probably why people enjoy them so, is because of their exceptional music. It’s actually beyond exceptional, but I don’t want to spend several lines having a figurative boner over these tunes, so suffice to say the music is excellent. Which brings me to why I believe people play these games.

Good music in a game has a powerful effect on people. There are games I have played longer than I really should have (such as Castlevania) because of their music. Hell, I will sometimes even leave the game on, not move my character, and go and do something else because I want to listen to the music.

This does not, however, tell me that the game is good. If the game is a piece of ass, the music will not suddenly turn the game into a masterpiece. On the contrary, I feel pity for the game because it had such good music but was left to be a miserable pile of shit that not even its own mother could love.

This does not explain, however, why people like old Castlevania games. Pretty much everything before Symphony of the Night is an awful game and should feel awful, but you will see over and over again how much people liked the first Castlevania, how Castlevania 4 is the best game ever to have existed ever always, how Richter would look so cool in my apartment.

I’ve got to tell you I’m sick of it. Good music does not make up for poor gameplay and horrible jumping mechanics. Actually the only old Castlevania game with okay jump mechanics IS Super Castlevania 4, which is probably why people tend to enjoy it so much. It’s not a very good game, but even a pile of dirt will shine gold if compared to the previous piles of excrement you saw earlier.

Left 4 Dead (2), Killing Floor, and Et Ceterated Bullshit

November 3rd, 2009 by DanielRGT

Recently, I picked up the game Killing Floor on Steam. I’m not going to go into great detail about how I think the game is or what the game can do (you can do that by yourself you lazy whore), but it’s a pretty good game that’s been keeping me entertained for a little bit. In short, the game is a zombie shooter that works in “waves”, that is to say you must survive for several numbers of waves of zombies to survive until the “boss” zombie, then if you defeat him the map is over and you are taken to a new map. That’s the premise in short, and there’s some XP leveling up bullshit but that’s going way too far into the game and I’m sticking by my “you-look-it-up-goddamnit” policy.

Now in contrast, there’s a game like Left 4 Dead. Fans of this game look at Killing Floor and their giant floppy boner (this is not oxymoronic, this is simply a comment on the type of people who have hard ons for L4D) for Left 4 Dead goes nuts. They become Jason Stavin’ Angry, saying Killing Floor is just a cheap knockoff of Left 4 Dead and how Left 4 Dead is a much much better game and how if you play Killing Floor you’re just a great big ol’ faggot.

Classy ladies over on the Left 4 Dead side.

Meanwhile on the Killing Floor side there’s a bunch of indy gamer cockasses who go “Left 4 Dead is such bullshit (Translation: Left 4 Dead is too mainstream), Killing Floor is the best zombie fucking shooter ever goddamnit. You play Left 4 Dead? Fuck Left 4 Dead, I see a Left 4 Dead player I kill ’em.”

In short, it’s two fanboys to two games throwing their shit at each other.

My opinion of the matter is this: Killing Floor and Left 4 Dead are two different games. The only thing they have in common are zombies and guns. Comparing these two games when they are built to be two different games and are two different games is the dumbest thing. One is a campaign story-based multiplayer first-person zombie shooter. The other is a wave based RPG first-person zombie shooter.

Now if you simply comparing them as “games” then fine, you can say “I like this Killing Floor/Left 4 Dead better than Killing Floor/Left 4 Dead.” But that can be said in the same way that I believe that Street Fighter is a far superior game to that of Qbert (and as such, all Qbert fans can suck my dick. Respectively.)

It’s time to head over to the second part of this blog post, which is also zombie related: Left 4 Dead 2. I played the demo over the weekend and here are my thoughts:

  • -It’s like Left 4 Dead.
  • -Like, exactly like it.
  • -Ok, I know it’s the sequel but maybe it could be a bit more different.
  • -Model changes do not constitute “different.”
  • -Ok, well I mean I guess you can pick up melee weapons now and hit shit with them. That’s cool I guess.
  • -25% more black people.
  • -I’m not racist.
  • -Nor am I gay.
  • -There’s new weapons.
  • -They shoot bullets.
  • -Ironically I am talking in bullet points.
  • -That was a horrible pun.
  • -Couldn’t it just be a little different?
  • -There’s a football playing infected who charges your ass.
  • -He only knows how to run in a straight line though.
  • -So if you get hit by him you’re awful.
  • -You got hit by him didn’t you.
  • -You’re awful.
  • -I mean there could be SOME differences.
  • -Oops I didn’t pre-order it I don’t get showered in Valve presents.
  • -The sky is much bluer.
  • -Ok, I guess that’s because it takes place during the day instead of at night.
  • -Fuck you for pointing that out fag.
  • -No goddamn differences.

That’s what I think. Suck it Qbert fans.

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