How many people do you know that have some kind of honor code? Some kind of moral compass to them? Values? What do these have to do with Video Games, you ask?
I like to think there’s a time and a place for everything. If I’m fighting at a tournament or even online, in gaming I rarely cheese. I won’t sit there spamming fireballs or the same move, gaining a victory. I say rarely because, yes, it does happen but usually when I get sick of the opposing player cheesing me, and I do it to teach them a lesson. Still, cheesing is part of the game unless you’re blatantly breaking the game to win.
That’s not to say I hate people who use shady tactics because I just don’t. It’s your fun, you play the way you want to, I just prefer to do it the honorable way. I remember StarCraft’s Zerg rush being called an unfair strategy when it first came out, but people adapted and it was stopped. I even used it personally against a friend. I quickly rushed, he complained and challenged me again and I was put in my place, lesson learned on that one.
There was a Mortal Kombat 10 Tournament at my local GameStop and I did terribly at it, I chose to play as a character no one really plays as (Jacqui) and that character had an extremely sickening move, which I didn’t choose to use. I ended up losing and it was quite embarrassing, I knew had I just stuck to using my tried and true Sub-Zero I would’ve done a hell of a lot better and may have actually won the whole thing, with the prize being Mortal Kombat 11. I don’t think I’m better than anyone else but I like knowing that I played the game within rules, that I lost or won within rules, and that someone wasn’t cheated out of a victory against me specifically, because I found a loophole within a specific game’s rules. Fighting games… let’s get into that classic feeling of competition and how it takes on a major role in why I play them.
I love it, I love everything about being put up against someone and at first not knowing what they are going to bring to the table, which character they will use if they change to a character to counter yours after being beaten so many times. There’s a whole ton of strategy involved and I only skim the surface of it. Fighting someone is like playing a version of checkers on the fly, one game, in particular, made me feel like I could be playing actual Chess on the fly, Street Fighter 6. That game makes me feel like with practice I can become a top-tier player, but that’s for another post.
The feeling of doing well against someone is great, but the feeling of finally beating someone after losing four to five times is even better. I just love competition. The best times are when a player stays on even if he’s winning over and over again. I feel like losing can be a learning experience and I’ll stay with that person for at least ten sets or until they are sick of winning. Embarrassing? Yes! Do I care? No!.
Getting into a rhythm is a legit good time, and when you know the type of opponent you are playing, just having the upper hand and playing mind games with them can be fun too, a game within itself, if you will. There is something about playing the psychic role, knowing exactly what they plan to do, and what pattern they fall into, and being prepared for just about everything they throw at you, which makes me feel godly. Like I’m Neo in the Matrix and Agent Smith is throwing punches and Neo just steps back and looks at the punches being thrown.
Not to mention the anxiety that playing the unknown may cause. A bunch of stress indicators are there, paranoia? Check. Performing to your standards? Check. You may feel that you are a great player but playing on the spot it can all come crumbling down as you struggle to find the right button to press. All of this comes together to create quite the unique experience that only a few genres can create. I feel as though Fighting Games are the best competition games.
Since I was a little kid, I’ve always loved the fighting game genre, I still look forward to certain games to this day. Honor and Competition go hand in hand in fighting games but there is one game that I’m dying to write about, one game that I’d say is shaping up to be the best fighting game of all time. Street Fighter 6.
But before I write about that one, let me just go play a few matches…