Friday, July 31, 2009

Why I Like Blazblue

Non-physical competitive gaming, when not luck-based, basically comes in two main flavors: Chess-type and Poker-type.

In a Chess-type game, the entirety of a game is laid out for all to see, which every element's possibilities known beforehand. Since there are so many possible actions to take, the onus is on the players to utilize the predetermined legal actions to overcome his opponent, while he mindfully watches his opponent attempting the same thing. Having the right pieces in the right positions at the right times is not an important objective in chess-- it is the only objective.

On the other hand, in a Poker-type game, the elements of the game world are hidden. Neither player has any way of knowing what cards the other has, nor any influence on how the game will unfold. The only thing these players have to go on is each other-- a pro poker player and a scrub will statistically get the same number of fantastic hands throughout their careers, but the pro player will be able to win more through means other than simply having better cards.

Fighting games can really go either way. On one hand, the legal characters, their attributes, and abilities are all predetermined and known fully by all involved, similar to the way everyone knows how chess pieces are allowed to move. This is of course at the theoretical highest level of play.

Unfortunately not everyone can reach this level of gaming prowess, and the game changes. Almost regardless of the game, the adage that allows absolute beginners to begin to improve is, "When in a position where one option is to block, then block." It it similar to poker-- in a high pressure environment with limited information on what the opponent will do, it is often a very good choice to simply do nothing. Statistically speaking, the game will reward the player for opting not to play.

Just as the cowardly poker player will simply fold out every time until he's dealt a killer hand, many fighting games reward players that do nothing until a braindead opportunity. In Dead or Alive, I'm not sure there is a single feasible move that will result with frame advantage on block. This results in the two DOA players simply guarding, hoping the other person opts to play the game (to attack) possibly out of boredom, statistically putting him at a disadvantage.

Blazblue is cool because it, through many game systems, favors the attacker in almost any situation. Although the relentless pressure capability of Guilty Gear's False Roman Cancel is gone, a player pressing buttons has an easier time winning than one that doesn't, which is a refreshing change.

I like pushing buttons.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Birthday from Youtube!

50 new subscribers in a day? Just what I've always wanted. How did they know?