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My Expertise: Being the underdog


This cost me a lot of coins in the days that I played arcade games. I would put a couple quarters into the Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 cabinet, beat a stage or two, and then get destroyed by someone who randomly came up and decided to hop into the fray. I'd put in another set of coins, possibly two depending on how good the person was, and end up beating him by less than an inch of the health bar.

This is what I'm best at, being persistent. I don't really excel at any one type of game, I am more of a 'Jack of All Trades'. I can play a racing game pretty decently, but the walls and other cars always take a bit of damage. I can also play RTS games, but I always lose the first round and make a slight comeback during the second. There's one common variable that comes into play, though, and that's interaction with another player. Playing a game against a computer is just something I do to waste time, but I value the competitive spirit that comes with opposing another human player.

There is also another thing that I've always been interested in and that thing would be psychology. I want to know what another person is thinking; what they are going to do next. While a computer may just do random inputs to counter what you input, a person does not always think that way; the person thinks for his/her self. People usually have a play pattern that they are comfortable with; one that they will almost always follow. I like to learn others' play patterns and try to mold mine around that so I can win. Of course to do that I would have to play against them or watch them first. In terms of the former, I would almost always lose.

If you would bring these two mindsets together, you would get the essence of what has come to be my favorite video game genre: the fighting game. When being serious about them in a competitive sense, fighting games have you select a favored character and learn all of the match ups for said character. That means that you would have to learn the character's moves, combos, and how to use them expertly against every other character in the game's roster. After doing all of that, you still aren't completely ready to feel like you are on the top of the world, because a ton of other people know the same things that you do. This is when it's time to take on the world and learn a lot of real-life skills. Each opponent will always have a technique that you would need to adapt to and sometimes those techniques are always changing.

There's another great example of my role of an underdog. Since it was announced, Demon's Souls skyrocketed to my 'Most Wanted' list. After hearing of its daunting difficulty, I was a little swayed, but it continued to stay at the top of my 'Most Wanted' list. Excitedly, I picked it up on the day of its release, went home, and died. I, like many others died hundreds of times. But, that didn't stop me. I memorized every enemy and little pathway there was. I was doing so well and felt on top of the world! Then, I got to a point where memorizing things wouldn't help a lot. I got to the Flamelurker boss. I can honestly say that I died at this boss at least 50 times. I had a feeling that I wasn't ready for it and should go on to another level, but I didn't. I tried and tried until I finally got the killing blow on him, got resurrected, and proceeded to die again. I ended up beating the game in less than a month after I bought it, but it was because I was addicted. I love the challenge of playing extremely difficult games. Beating them just makes it so much more of a gratifying win.

But all of this began on a Super Nintendo Entertainment System in a lowly American living room in the 90s. It was me and my brother playing a usual match of Street Fighter II. My brother would always pick either Vega (Claw) or Zangief while, being too young to really comprehend the moves, I chose Ryu. To me Ryu was just some amazing guy who had the ability to shoot out balls of fire and also turn into a helicopter. Even though he was so amazing, I would always lose. How could a guy who could shoot out fire be beaten by someone who could just climb fences or a brute? I could not answer that. Then one day I decided to actually watch what he was doing. I started to learn what he would always do and how to use Ryu's moves. Then I started beating him time after time because he always had the same game plan. I then started to use this against my friends and my eyes were open. Everyone had their own mindset and I had to learn it to win.It has continued since then and progressed into something that just comes naturally to me.

I might not get you the first couple of times, but watch out, I'm right behind you.
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About DyneSilone of us since 2:17 PM on 07.01.2009

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