Note: The stance in this article is that opinion of the author alone.
I was actually afraid to post this.. but you know what. Fuck it.
Over a year ago, I got into a argument with a 'friend' over Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and he made a few good points by posting a article that separates a professional player from a 'scrub'.
A Scrub is someone who expects even play, complains about people who are 'cheap', and well.. generally complains.
A Pro is someone who does what it takes to win.
What brings this up is another argument with the same 'friend' a year later the day after 2012 EVO. The conversation started friendly with us chatting about the finals for UMvC3 between FilipinoChamp and Ifrit, with me making mention that I don't like Phoenix as a character because she is too easy to use, and that I really don't have respect for players who use her and that I'm glad F.Champ won with a team that doesn't use her.
He then blows up on me because of my opinion of Phoenix as a character. Just goes nuts... and I'm sure a few of you will too.
My reasoning behind this is the fact that to play her, you have to spam as much as possible with two characters and not rely on much skill or juggling or anything. You just sit there and build meter and turtle. Then blow your load on one character, its incredibly simple.. easy... and doesn't take much skill to learn. Yeah... I'm not bitching about Chris G and his Morrigan play... but it makes me feel the same way. The 'friend' immediately says, "Did you read that article I sent you at all?" and my response was, "Yes.. I'm a scrub, get over it. That doesn't make the cheap play any less right." Which continues to escalate the argument to the point of me saying, "It's just a game, drop this argument, my opinion won't change.. this is stupid." and his reply was, "No.. there are holes in your logic, we're gonna fight until you make your point." ... it is safe to say we are not friends anymore as I had to force my hand to end the stupid fight.
I know how to win games though, I played and won in Soul Calibur tournaments. You do rely on the same moves over and over again. But even I know I call myself cheap, because that works. I don't get angry when someone class me cheap... yet people who call themselves professional, or are hardcore fighting game fans, go APESHIT when someone points out that its a cheap way to win.
Professional or not, it's still fucking cheap. I'm a fighting game fan, enough to say I watched Evo with unprying eyes.... and decent enough player in at least one fighting game to win tournaments to know this. I admit it is what it takes to win.
So, does playing 'cheap' make you any more of a pro because you win all the battles?
Are fighting games getting dumbed down because of Comeback Mechanics?
I'll use my own favourite game Soul Calibur as a example. Nightmare, you win by swinging hard with the same moves, and use a grab plus sword stab into the ground, as well as wall bounces. To rely on him is 3 to 4 different move sets. A pro calls it a win, a scrub calls it cheap.
Another Soul Calibur Example is back in Soul Calibur 4, I played Cervantes. I used 3 or 4 different combos to win a GenCon tournament. This consisted of B, B, B to knock them down, then use a charge attack to shoot them as they got up. Or a Down+BA attack to slam them down, and as I rose Up BA to hit them 6 more times. I also used my teleport attack a lot. It was in that way that I won. A pro would call it a win, I still call it cheap, though I won - I guess that makes me a scrub don't it.
Marval vs. Capcom 3 - Phoenix is 3rd character in, guy picks Dr. Doom and Magnito, spams hidden rockets assist, and gravity beam.. only shows some amount of skill if he actually gets a normal punch in. Being able to juggle and reset takes some skill, but if he doesn't get that juggle in or he messes up...he still falls back on X-Factor or Phoenix or.. .BOTH. Ending the game in literally 3 hits and giving him the win. A pro calls it a win, a scrub calls it dumb luck, or cheap.
This also leads into the points that I feel that the "Comeback Mechanic" is sort of slowly ruining the gaming community, X-factor, ultra meter. It sets it up that 'anyone' can win, even new players. I've beaten high skill level players before with the Phoenix + X-Factor combo online. My 'friend' was quick to point out that fighting game popularity is at a all time high. I replied with, "Because it takes less and less skill to actually win a game now." Which... in turn made him angrier.
Out of all the generations of games that I've played recently, only four have gotten any sort of respect from me: Soul Calibur 5, King of Fighters 13, Mortal Kombat, and Skullgirls. (And I'm only good at one of them...). It is these I feel how fighting games should still be. With no major comeback mechanics (I say major, as SC5 does have Brave Edges, but the super meter is used for enhanced moves, Mortal Kombat has X-ray moves but can be blocked easily and the meter is used for Combo Breaking or enhanced moves. KoF13 has that Hyper Drive meter, but actually requires you to know and perfectly execute a combo juggle to effectively use it.) and 'fairly' balanced characters, it is these four that fighting games SHOULD be modelled after. Street Fighter 4... I don't 'mind' persay, as the Ultra Meter is sort of like the X-Ray of MK in a way, where you can block it... but it was used as more of a mechanic to allow newer players to have a chance at more skilled players, and dumb down the gameplay quite a bit.
With comeback mechanics.. honestly, we'll never see anything like the 2004 Evo(Diago vs Wong - Ken vs. Chun-Li, Street Fighter Third Strike.. look it up.) ever again where someone actually skilfully used a parry mechanic and then won it with a well thought out answer. All it takes is one motion of the stick or a hit of two buttons and someone can win the game.
I think what I'm trying to say here is... a professional DOES do what it takes to win, but someone who points out the ways they win is called a 'scrub'. My 'friend' was quick to point out in the Fighting Game Community... there is no such thing as a respectful win... and that I can agree with. I've played in enough tournaments to know this, I lost BADLY to a Cassandra player when he slammed me to the ground and wouldn't let me get up. But does that make the professional player any less cheap.. no.
I guess its the fact that I think things over too much, and maybe should just enjoy the games as they are. I would LOVE to get into the professional side of things, especially with my Soul Calibur play, but I'm afraid of the community. The community in most professional styles of play will attack someone who sees things differently. This effects me as, while I play at a high level of a certain game... my views of how people play differ on how professionals play... and this is probably why I'll never actually go to a high level tournament, as I find that my own moves are cheap... and though I might win the game I'll never leave the title of being a "Scrub" behind, no matter how good I get.
It really is frustrating that any community, if you point out the flaws of something.. are quick to raise a pitchfork and burn you at the stake no matter how right you are. Professional Player, Scrub. All a professional player is, now a days, is a scrub who doesn't admit that he's cheap.. that is of course, My Personal Opinion.
PS: AGAIN, THIS IS MY PERSONAL OPINION. IF YOU WANT TO START A FIGHT WITH ME, GO AHEAD... MY OPINION WILL NOT CHANGE NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU HATE ME. :) read