Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Gaming Personality

Warning: This is a VERY geeky post.

Due to the fact that I have many, many games, there seems to be an assumption that I am a stellar player as well, when in fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

I am more of a clever player and not a particularly dexterous or coordinated one.... I admit it, and my record in online fragfests like Unreal Tournament proves that. I mean, when I played online, I tallied two wins out of hundreds of games, but I was a good team player in Capture the Flag and Assault-type maps, and I made things interesting in Last Man Standing games, so while I was never totally incompetent, I was never dominant either.

The thing that helped me realize this was a few of the thoughts that occurred to me before my copy of Guitar Hero II had arrived. The thing that I had noticed from all the videos of people playing the game was they are playing the notes with the left hand and strumming with their right, which seemed so ass-backwards to me. I mean, think of it this way... when you are playing a game with a normal PS2 controller, which hand is generally moving a little stick up and down and which hand is mostly concerned with pressing a series of colored buttons.

Exactly. And compare it to the GH controller.

I know that in real life, most people hold the guitar with their right hand strumming and left hand on the neck, but it is a game and not a real guitar... so I just said screw it, and went lefty flip from day one. I mean, logically, it makes sense, does it not? Why wouldn't you use your dominant hand to play the notes... and with that setting, the notes on screen correspond to the way you are holding the guitar, so, at least to me, it seemed like a winning concept.

And the idea of playing any particular mission/song/game to perfection is laughable to me. I am occasionally anal retentive about things, but in games, I am all about getting to the end. I might stop to pick up a few extra things along the way, but if I think the effort to get a particular item is too much, or the benefit really isn't worth it, I will skip it.

This also means that if it is between trying to do one of those specialized tasks in a game (like finishing missions without getting hit/100% shot accuracy etc), and just finishing the game, well, finishing is more important in most cases than those criteria to me. If I can perhaps go back and do those tasks on individual levels, then I might do it, but I am not the person you want advice from when it comes to that.

And with that in mind, I also tend to build/create characters that can take (and usually dish out) a lot of damage... whether it is Mechs (especially this), boxers or various other kinds of characters where you can make that kind of a decision, I've always went for heavier ordinance. I remember back in the PSX days when I built a boxer in Knockout Kings 2000 that was pure strength and I put all of that strength on his right side so when I fought, my lefts were like getting hit by a heavy pillow and my right uppercut was hilariously effective, with the thought being, I might not hit you every time, but when I did, whoever was on the receiving end of that shot would certainly feel it. And when I play Mech-based games, I always use the name Tanker, because really treads, lots of armor and some substantial firepower do sort of make me think of that kind of vehicle.

But I have noticed that I have let go of a lot of the stubbornness I had when I was a younger player. One particular instance stands out in my mind. I was playing Final Fantasy III (which was technically VI, but that is semantics really), and there is a certain location filled with Cultists which featured a boss that would cast a powerful magic spell and basically kill your entire party. Now there was an easy and clever way of avoiding that, but at the time, it didn't even occur to me... like equip ing an item or cast a spell that would auto-revive members of my party after that spell was cast.

So instead, I just grinded until my party had enough hit points to endure that spell and get through the battle largely intact. Which took a lot of work. Much more than it was worth really... but I did surmount that challenge in the most linear and some would say boring way... by sheer overpowering. And the upshot of that mistake in judgment was the rest of the game was a lot easier.

So, really I am not great, but I am not pitiable (at least in terms of my gaming skills). I am just sort of an average player really.


Dalton J. Fox said...

I understand your logic behind flipping the Guitar Hero controller, but I can't even fathom trying to play it that way. I just feel all uncoordinated when trying it, which I just did after reading this. I felt stupid even trying to hold it that way. lol. But, if you can pull off playing like that, then go for it. You're better than I am.

MC said...

I think it is because I started that way so I learned to hack it in that position. You learned to do it the other way, so your sense memory is all tied up in the other position.

There is another advantage to playing lefty... the whammy bar is right under your thumb so you can more easily manipulate it while staying close to the strum bar.